Annual Research Day 2015

18 Jun 2015
(L-R)Prof Ben Stenson, Prof Geraldine Boylan (INFANT), Prof Neil Finer, Prof Charles Lockwood, Prof Lucilla Poston, and Prof Louise Kenny (INFANT).

The College of Medicine and Health, in conjunction with the INFANT Centre (Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research), annual Research day was held on Tuesday 16th June 2015 at Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC.

The conference was opened by Prof Louise Kenny, Director of INFANT. The theme of the morning session was ‘Risk Modification in the Developmental Origins of Adult Disease: Fact or Science Fiction?’ The keynote speech was given by Prof Lucilla Poston, King’s College London, followed by oral presentations by Carol Ní Chaoimh, UCC, Caroline Aherne, UCC, and Elaine McCarthy, INFANT Centre.

The second session focused on ‘New Horizons in Maternal and Fetal Health’ with Prof Charles Lockwood, University of South Florida, as the keynote speaker. Other speakers included Katie Togher, INFANT and APC, Ruairí Robertson, Teagasc, and Sinead O’Neill, INFANT.

The theme of the afternoon session was ‘Achieving Improved Outcomes: Baby Steps to Excellence’. The keynote speakers for this session were Prof Ben Stenson, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and Prof Neil Finer, University of California. The other speakers comprised John O’Toole, INFANT, Ann Marie Looney, INFANT, and Claire Watkins, Teagasc.

Thank you Dr Mairead Kiely, Prof Louise Kenny, Prof Eugene Dempsey and Prof Geraldine Boylan for chairing the sessions.

Following the oral presentations in all three areas, the best speaker in each area was awarded the Michael C Berndt Gold Medal for Research. The winners were Elaine McCarthy, who presented on ‘Early life determinants of muscle strength at five years of age’, Katie Togher, whose presentation was titled ‘Epigenetic regulation of placental HSD11B2 identifies class-specific HDAC and DNMT inhibitors as novel protective pharmacotherapy for the human placenta’, and Claire Watkins, whose presentation focused on ‘The INFANTMET Study: Characterisation of infant-derived gut microbes’.

On the breaks between the oral sessions, moderated poster sessions took place, and three awards were distributed for best poster. Congratulations to Conal Wrigley for winning first prize for his poster titled ‘Examining the Validity of a Digitalised Assessment of Executive Functioning for Toddlers: The BabyScreen App’. Colm Barrett and Maria Donovan were also awarded prizes for their posters.

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