Dr Alison Reynolds wins Inaugural UCD Allergan Innovation Award

Dr Alison Reynolds has won the inaugural UCD Allergan Innovation Award in recognition of the innovative potential within her research to develop a new therapy for dry eye disease.  Dr Reynolds is an early career researcher in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine with close ties to the ocular pharmacology and genetics group based in the UCD Conway Institute.  This award will provide Dr Reynolds with a research bursary of €7,000 to enable her to develop a novel compound, uncovered in zebrafish, as a dry eye disease therapeutic.

Tears lubricate the front of the eyes and allow us to blink without discomfort. Dry eye disease causes discomfort for up to 30% of people age 65 or older in Ireland each year. Eyes feel irritated, sore and appear red, due to the combined effects of chronic inflammation and the reduced quality of tears that can lead to corneal damage. At present, treatment options for dry eye disease can be of limited benefit to the patient. Dr Reynolds believes that the new compound identified, using tiny tropical fish as a research model, may provide a better alternative for the treatment of dry eye disease.

Speaking after receiving her award, Dr Reynolds said: ‘The bursary will make a real difference to my research, enabling me to carry out pilot efficacy studies, visit international ocular surface experts and attend the Ophthalmology Futures Forum meeting in 2018.  I am very grateful to Allergan for this opportunity. I would also like to thank Enterprise Ireland for funding this work and my UCD colleagues for their contributions and support.’ Congratulations to Alison from all of her colleagues in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine.

For more on the UCD Allergan Innovation Award, please see:

http://www.ucd.ie/conway/media/latestnews/newstitle,388393,en.html