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School of Medicine Researchers Secure Funding as Meath Foundation Announces its Latest Research Grant Recipients

The Meath Foundation of Tallaght University Hospital today announced the winners of its 2022 Healthcare Research Funding. Five researchers, four of whom are affiliated with the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Medicine, received a total of €375,000. Successful topics included the immune response of nursing home residents, melanoma, self-management of medication, chronic pancreatitis, and a specialist ambulatory pleural service.

Commenting on the 2022 research award announcement, Mairéad Shields, Chair of the Meath Foundation, said:

The Meath Foundation believes that healthcare research is essential as it is the bridge that takes us from today's good practice to tomorrow's better practice. In its support for research at Tallaght University Hospital, the Meath Foundation helps to build this bridge to the future, not only in this institution, but nationally and internationally.

The grant winners were Professor Sean Kennelly (Consultant Physician in Geriatric & Stroke Medicine), Professor Fergal Kelleher (Consultant Medical Oncologist), Professor Catherine Wall (Consultant Nephrologist), Professor Kevin Conlon (Consultant Pancreatic Surgeon), and Dr Deirdre Fitzgerald (Consultant Respiratory Physician). Dr Shane Lyons (Movement Disorders Research Fellow) won the 2022 Research Fellowship for his study on ‘The prevalence of primary Tauopathies in Ireland: a clinically-defined population study in the province of Leinster.

Speaking about his award, Professor Kennelly, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Trinity Institute of Neurosciences, said:

This is a collaborative project between TUH/TCD clinicians, and Immunologists based in TCD and Institut Pasteur, Paris, the first-in-kind NH-IMMUNE project will elucidate the key determinants of immune response variability in older nursing home residents to inform future vaccine development/deployment strategies, in addition to advancing our fundamental understanding of immune response variability in very frail older persons.

Professor Kevin Conlon, Chair of Surgery in the School of Medicine, who was awarded Multi-Disciplinary Team funding under the 2022 theme of ‘Chronic Disease Management & Integrated Care’, said:

This project aims to establish a patient-centred integrated care pathway for the management of chronic pancreatitis. Co-investigators for this work include Ms Marie Egan (Clinical Nurse Specialist in TUH) and Dr Sinead Duggan (Senior Research Fellow in the School of Medicine, TCD), and we will collaborate with our community partners, including Dr Catherine McCabe at the Institute of Population Health, and our extensive TUH multidisciplinary team. We aim to place patients at the centre of their own care, to form a partnership between acute and community care, and to shift the focus the from illness to wellness. We are very grateful for the Meath Foundation’s generosity and vision.

Professor Fergal Kelleher, winner of the John Barragry Award, said:

My collaborator Professor Clair Gardiner and myself are delighted with this award from the Meath Foundation. It will allow an MSc student from TCD to research tumour immunology in patients diagnosed with melanoma. We are very appreciative.

The Meath Foundation has been working with Tallaght University Hospital since the services of the Meath Hospital were transferred there in 1998. The Foundation was founded to support research and education in healthcare and is dedicated to improving health outcomes for patients, and the experience of patients and staff in Tallaght University Hospital. It achieves this by providing sustainable financial support for world class research, education, quality improvement, innovation, and the arts in the Hospital. The Meath Foundation’s objectives are to advance healthcare research, recognise and promote excellence, educate future healthcare leaders, promote and improve quality of care and delivery, and promote better health through the arts. Since 1998, it has provided €6.95 million in support of research, education, quality improvement, innovation and arts projects in the hospital and in support of its staff

To learn more about the work of the Meath Foundation, see here: https://www.meathfoundation.com