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Frontiers in Neurology (FIN6)

6th Annual Meeting, Friday 18th November 2016 Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), Pearse Street, Dublin


Professor M. Lynch awarded SFI grant

Prof. Lynch, Dept of Physiology, has been awarded €1.38 for the research project "Targeting glial plasticity to alleviate age-related loss of neuronal function in Alzheimer’s disease"

The aims of this project are

  1. To identify novel markers, with an emphasis on metabolic changes, which reflect microglial activation and functional state. The ultimate objective is to utilize these markers to develop MRI tools and therefore assess changes with age, in particular in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, in a non-invasive manner.
  2. To establish whether the age-related loss of glial plasticity correlates with a shift in their metabolism that impacts on synaptic density and thereby on synaptic function.
  3. To assess the potential beneficial effects of 4 strategies designed to reprogramme glia in alleviating the deficits that develop with age and in Alzheimer's disease.

Funding source: Science Foundation Ireland
Duration: 4 year from September 2016
Grant: €1.38m


Dean’s Award for Teaching Innovation, Faculty of Health Sciences

Facilitator: Dr Eric Downer, School of Medicine, Department of Physiology

Embryology is a core subject undertaken by Health Science students, with the aim to bring together core knowledge in Cell Biology, Anatomy and Physiology to describe the developmental process from fertilization to birth. For the 2015-16 academic year student feedback indicated difficulty visualising key embryological concepts in 2D, particularly embryonic folding/flexion and cell layer migration during gastrulation. This project will develop an interactive audio-visual animation that will be implemented into the Junior Freshman curriculum for teaching embryology and will be assessed via pre- and post- animation surveys to determine if the audio-visual aid improves student learning in embryology. Furthermore, the collation of questionnaire data associated with the animation will be conducted by a Senior Sophister student as part of their final year undergraduate research project. Overall, this will explore how the animation can be used to supplement student education beyond the traditional classroom. This project will act as the first steps to develop a prospective pilot animation, which will be introduced in 2016-17, and will act as a platform to develop/implement new audio-visual teaching tools into degree programmes throughout the School/Faculty, including Medicine, Nursing and Occupational Therapy.


Please see our website for further details and to register:
https://www.tcd.ie/CAPSL/staff/learning-teaching/professional-development-events/

Date: Tuesday November 15th 2016

Time: 13:00 – 14:00

Venue: Auk Room, Zoology Building


TBSI image competition - 1st place for Physiology post grad.

Maria Velasco from Prof. Kumlesh K.Dev's Lab, Dept of Physiology, wins 1st place for her image: "Cerebellar neuron-glia network "

This image represents the cellular organization between neurons and glial cells in a mouse cerebellar organotypic slice. Organotypic cultures of brain tissue allow you to study different parts of the brain –e.g. the cerebellum- in their original structure, keeping the cellular organization and neuronal networks almost as they are in vivo.  This can be used to study different development features of the brain in vitro, as well as to perform electrophysiological and pharmacological experiments. In the brain, neurons are outnumbered by glial cells, amongst we can distinguish astrocytes, microglia and oligodendrocytes. Here it is shown the interaction between neurons (red), astrocytes (yellow) and microglia (green) in one of the lobules of the cerebellum. The imaging is done by confocal microscopy with the Leica SP8 microscope in TBSI. This image is 300µm wide.

Further reading at Trinity News and Events

 

 


AMBER image competition - 3rd place for Physiology post grad.

Sibylle Bechet from Prof. Kumlesh K.Dev's Lab, Dept of Physiology, wins 3rd place for her image: "Stop Twitching - Start Smyelin"


This fluorescent image was generated using confocal microscopy. It depicts the complex interplay of glial and neuronal cells in the cerebellum of a Twitcher mouse, an animal model for Krabbe’s Disease (KD). This infantile neurodegenerative disease affects all cell types in the brain and is mainly characterised by accumulations of a toxic metabolite called psychosine. This, in turn, is detrimental to oligodendrocytes, causing dismantling of their protective myelin sheath around neurons. Although clinical practice lacks a curative treatment, emerging evidence suggests beneficial effects of pre-treatment with fingolimod, a drug used for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. In this image, oligodendrocytes (green), neurons (red) and astrocytes (yellow) were stained using immunohistochemistry, in order to monitor effects of treatment with fingolimod in the Twitcher mouse. This technique allows evaluating this compound as a potential candidate for treating this devastating childhood illness.


Dr. Eric Downer awarded Dean’s Award for Innovation in Teaching

Dr. Downer, has teamed up with Dr. John Dingliana and Dr. Jean Fletcher to develop a novel teaching aid for incorporation into the Human Health and Disease BSc programme.

Embryology is a core subject undertaken by Health Science students, with the aim to bring together core knowledge in Cell Biology, Anatomy and Physiology to describe the developmental process from fertilization to birth. For the 2015-16 academic year student feedback indicated difficulty visualising key embryological concepts in 2D, particularly embryonic folding/flexion and cell layer migration during gastrulation.

This project will develop an interactive audio-visual animation that will be implemented into the Junior Freshman curriculum for teaching embryology and will be assessed via pre- and post- animation surveys to determine if the audio-visual aid improves student learning in embryology. Furthermore, the collation of questionnaire data associated with the animation will be conducted as part of a research project. Overall, this will explore how the animation can be used to supplement student education beyond the traditional classroom. This project will act as the first steps to develop a prospective pilot animation, which will be introduced in 2016-17, and will act as a platform to develop/implement new audio-visual teaching tools into degree programmes throughout the School/Faculty, including Medicine, Nursing and Occupational Therapy.

Full details here:

http://www.healthsciences.tcd.ie/awards/innovation-in-teaching-winners.php


Dr. Eric Downer's research profiled in "MS Research"

From Exercise to Cannabinoids

Dr. Downer's research is featured on page 8 of Issue 1 of MS Research in the linked PDF


RAMI 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Sinéad Ryan, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, who was awarded the Barcroft Early Career Award at the 2016 meeting of the Biomedical Sciences Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, held on June 23rd in UCC.

Sinéad researches the cellular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of exercise in a model of Alzheimer’s Disease and works in Dr Áine Kelly’s laboratory.


Sinéad is pictured receiving the Barcroft Medal from Prof. Ken O’Halloran, UCC, click for larger version.


Trinity College launches new free online course: “Exercise Prescription for the Prevention and Treatment of Disease”

"Exercise Prescription for the Prevention and Treatment of Disease", Trinity’s newest free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), run in partnership with FutureLearn, begins on the 18th of April 2016.

This two week free online course from Trinity College Dublin will explore the evidence behind exercise prescription, and how it has evolved as a tool for preventing and treating disease. Geared towards healthcare professionals, the course details how physiological adaptations to exercise can translate to improved health outcomes, and will help enhance confidence in exercise prescription as a treatment.

Assistant Professor of Physiotherapy Dr Cuisle Forde explains, Not that long ago bed rest was prescribed to patients with cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and exercise was considered by many health professionals as something to be avoided. Today, exercise is an integral part of patient treatment”.

The free online course will address the role of exercise in the treatment of a variety of clinical populations including people with cardiovascular disease, mental health problems, paediatric conditions and cancer.  
Available to anyone with internet access across multiple devices including desktops, tablets and smartphones, the two-week innovative course will enable healthcare professionals anywhere to experience a Trinity education. Throughout the course there will be an opportunity to engage with researchers, healthcare professionals and exercise prescription experts from the discipline of Physiotherapy and the Department of Physiology at Trinity College Dublin.

Head of Physiology Dr Aine Kelly says "One of the best things about this course is that it is accessible to health care professionals who feel they need to increase their working knowledge and awareness of the latest research in exercise prescription for patient populations."

This course is designed for healthcare professionals who wish to broaden their understanding of exercise prescription and physical activity as a tool to prevent and treat disease, but no previous experience or qualifications are required.

Register for this free online course which starts on the 18th of April here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/exercise-prescription/1/

Trinity College School of Medicine is an international leader in postgraduate education with a strong research focus. This course will give learners a taster of the Online Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Exercise. Applications are now open for this course, with details available here: http://www.medicine.tcd.ie/physiotherapy/postgraduate/online/

For more information on online education, including postgraduate courses, at Trinity College Dublin click here https://www.tcd.ie/OnlineEducation/


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