Congratulations to PhD student Alix Whelan for winning the Engineers Ireland Biomedical Research Medal at the
Alix Whelan and Caitríona Lally (supervisor)
Alix Whelan, a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering under the supervision of Professor Caitríona Lally in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, is the 2020 winner of the Engineers Ireland Biomedical Research Medal.
This prestigious award and €1,500 honorarium sponsored by DePuy Synthes, is adjudicated based on a research paper and presentation, by an expert panel drawn from academia and industry. It is awarded annually to the best PhD-level biomedical engineering researcher in Ireland at the Annual Conference of the Section of Bioengineering of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.
Alix’s winning presentation entitled “Bioprosthetic leaflet durability: at the heart (valve) of the matter” provides key insights into how the fibrous structure of leaflet tissue, used in bioprosthetic heart valves, governs its accumulation of mechanical damage and calcification; the two leading causes of premature device failure in patients. The fundamental insights gained from this research will be used in a computational model; providing a platform to optimise the performance and durability of next generation bioprosthetic valves for patients.
This research was performed with the support of collaborators in TCD and Boston Scientific Corporation, and is funded by the Irish Research Council and Boston Scientific Corporation.