NUI Galway-based CÚRAM banks €2.1m for 31 postdoc spots

1 Jun 2016

CÚRAM is highly regarded by H2020 it seems, via NUI Galway

The good news from NUI Galway keeps rolling in as CÚRAM – the SFI centre for research in medical devices – has been awarded significant backing for a new programme.

CÚRAM has been ranked first in Europe in a Horizon 2020 project, seeing off 71 rival applications to develop a new industry-academia fellowship programme called ‘MedTrain’.

With €2.1m awarded for the project, CÚRAM’s MedTrain will see 31 two-year postdoc fellowships created over the next five years.

Areas like R&D, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, biomaterials and drug delivery and protein engineering, as well as neuromodulation and computational modelling, will be explored throughout the programme.

Stem cell success

Only 18 months old, CÚRAM has already had a successful life. Earlier today (1 June), a collaborative research project led by its researchers saw a major breakthrough.

Prof Timothy O’Brien, a co-principal at the centre, led a team of researchers that successfully harnessed stem cells to generate patient-specific heart tissue in a dish to help further research to develop new treatments for heart disease and sudden death in young children.

With the ability to properly analyse damaged heart cells, the researchers are now working with adult and paediatric cardiologists to help define the burden of Long QT syndrome and develop technologies to measure the effectiveness of therapies and genetic repairs.

MedTrain particularly big

Other funding has come through to CÚRAM in its short lifetime, too, with its scientific director Prof Abhay Pandit “particularly proud” of the MedTrain award today.

“At CÚRAM, we work closely with academics, industry and clinicians and this programme will only further enhance those networks across Europe and internationally, which are critical for driving medical device research and development,” he said.

Successful applicants for postdoc fellowships will be hosted in a CÚRAM academic host organisation (NUI Galway, UCC, UCD, or RCSI) and fellowships will include secondments to a suitable research-performing industry in organisations around the world.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic