This years’ RCSI Research Day took place on 25th February. The event, which showcases the most recent findings of research taking place at RCSI, was attended by more than 300 researchers throughout the day-long event. The latest advances in biomedical sciences, clinical research, population health sciences, healthcare delivery and health professions education were just some of the topics featured in studies presented.

This year’s event was a tremendous success, and saw an unprecedentedly high level of undergraduate participation this year, emphasising the importance of research in the development and career progression of our students. The event was organised by Co-ordinators Dr Gianpiero Cavalleri (Academic Co-ordinator), Stephanie O’Connor, John White, Cathy O’Byrne (Co-ordinators – Office of Research and Innovation), the organising committee of Dr Andrew Cameron (Anatomy), Amy Cole (MCT), Dr Mark McCormack (MCT), Sean Quinlan (Physiology & Medical Physics), Mary Elizabeth Walsh (School of Physiotherapy), Dr Cian O’Leary (School of Pharmacy) and Dr Hans-Georg Koenig (Physiology & Medical Physics).


Pictured: L to R: Dr Aoife Gallagher, RCSI Head of Innovation, Prof. Steve Jackson of University of Cambridge, who delivered the John J Ryan Distinguished Lecture at RCSI Research Day 2016, and Prof. Ray Stallings, RCSI Director of Research.

Mid-day, Professor Prof. Steve Jackson of University of Cambridge delivered this year’s John J Ryan Distinguished Lecture. Prof Jackson FRS, FMedSci is the University of Cambridge Frederick James Quick and Cancer Research UK Professor of Biology. He is also Head of Cancer Research UK Laboratories at the Gurdon Institute, and an Associate Faculty member at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The talk title was: “Cellular responses to DNA damage:  from molecular insights to new cancer treatments.”

Research Day Prizes

Research Day 2016 concluded with an evening awards ceremony which took place in the Cheyne Lecture Theatre. Dr Gianpiero Cavalleri, Academic Co-Ordinator, hosted the ceremony which saw awards being presented to winners across twelve categories.

The ceremony began with the presentation of the Mr Kamal Sayed Prize in Neurosurgery to Mr. Jahangir Sajjad (pictured), Research Registrar, Department of Neurosurgery, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork. The College medal, which is generously supported by Dr Yacoob Kadwa, Class of 1965, is awarded to a neurosurgery trainee in recognition of outstanding work and excellence in the field of neurosurgery. This is a prestigious award of RCSI and is run in conjunction with the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience. The prize pays special tribute to the memory of Mr Kamal Sayed, a graduate of RCSI (Class of 1960). The award was presented by Mr Amos Sayed, and also on behalf of his sisters Dr. Camilla Carroll (FRCSI and Class of 1985) and Dr Jacintha More O’Ferrall (Class of 1990).

RCSI Author Citations Prizes were awarded to Dr Annette T. Byrne, Dept. of Physiology & Medical Physics, jointly to Ciara M. Murphy, Matthew Haugh & Prof. Fergal J. O’Brien, Dept. of Anatomy, Dr. Mark McCormack, Dept. of Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics, and to Prof. Alice V. Stanton, Dept of Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics.  These prizes were presented by Ms. Aoife Flanagan, Head of Institutional Research and Planning, RCSI.

Dr Niamh Connolly, RCSI School of Pharmacy, was announced as the winner of the Health Professions Education Award. The prize was awarded in the broad category of health professions education, acknowledging the centrality of a robust research and development approach to all RCSI’s educational programmes.

Mr Eric Clarke, Health Informatics, Mrs Jane Burns, Health Professions Education Centre, and Dr Richard Arnette, Quality Enhancement Office, were presented with the prize for the front cover illustration of the RCSI Research Day abstract book for their outstanding image entitled ‘What #breastcancer looks like’.

Medical student Rena Al-Zubaidy was awarded the Dr. Harry O’Flanagan Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research for the best undergraduate oral presentation. This category was open to all RCSI Research Summer Students who completed a research project in 2015. This medal award was created by Dr. Yacoob Kadwa, RCSI graduate (Class of 1965) to pay special tribute to the memory of Dr. Harry O’Flanagan, former Registrar of the RCSI. The undergraduate poster presentation prize was awarded to Pharmacy student Jennifer Toney.

In the postgraduate scholars – first year category, which was open to any postgraduate group, including PhD, Msc, MD in first year of fulltime registration or equivalent, Edmund Gilbert, RCSI Department of Molecular & Cellular Therapeutics, was the recipient of Biosciences Limited and Cruinn Diagnostics Limited Prize for the best oral presentation. The poster presentation prize winner in the category was Emily Ryan, RCSI Department of Anatomy.

In the postgraduate scholars category, which was open to any postgraduate group, including PhD, Msc, MD in second or later year of fulltime registration or equivalent, Claire Brougham, RCSI Department of Anatomy, was awarded the Roche Medal for the best oral presentation. The poster presentation prize winner in the category, which is sponsored by Fannin, was awarded to William Lackington, RCSI Department of Anatomy.

In the Early Career Investigators category which was open to all RCSI post-doctoral fellows, Dr Natalia Lajczak, RCSI Department of Molecular Medicine, was awarded the Barnes Medal for the best oral presentation. The award is named after Dr Joe Barnes, Professor Emeritus of Tropical Medicine in RCSI and was presented by his son Mr. Matthew Barnes. The poster prize winner in this category, was awarded to Dr Gillian Lavelle, RCSI Department of respiratory Medicine. The judges noted that the standard of science in this category was exceptionally high. (February 2016)