Trinity Collaborates on New Alliance to Deliver Major Healthcare Advances

Posted on: 21 March 2012

Four world-class institutions from Wales and Ireland have launched an exciting new alliance to lead the way in developing cutting-edge healthcare, funded via the European Regional Development Fund under the Ireland Wales Cross Border programme.  The €1 million Celtic Alliance for NanoHealth (CAN) will help companies on either side of the Irish Sea stay at the forefront of innovation and growth in what is a fast developing and hugely influential healthcare sector.

The alliance will pool resources from the lead partner, Swansea University’s Centre for NanoHealth, and three Irish institutions – Trinity College Dublin’s Institute of Molecular Medicines and Centre for Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN), University College Dublin’s Centre for BioNano Interactions, and Dublin City University’s Biomedical Diagnostics Institute and Nanobiophotonics and Imaging Centre.  Each centre brings to the alliance specific areas of expertise in nanohealth.

Professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine (IMM) and CRANN Principal Investigator, Yuri Volkov, who is leading the Trinity alliance within the Nanohealth programme said: “This is a perfect opportunity to marry the expertise from fundamental research scientists working in various disciplines like Physics, Chemistry, Biomedical Research and Clinical Experts with the aim to establish a strong regional leadership in the nanohealth and nanomedicine areas in line with the recently published Forfas’ Report of the Research Prioritisation Steering Group.”

The alliance will enable small to medium-sized companies interested in developing nanohealth technology to access world-leading resources as well as providing the opportunity to link up with potential investors.  Two showcase business events are planned for September of 2012 and 2013 in Swansea and Dublin, in collaboration with the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship at Rice University in Houston, Texas, aimed at providing opportunities for companies to link up with investors tailored to the nanohealth sector.

Through CAN it is expected that new and faster ways of screening for diseases using nanotechnologies will be developed. These will provide advances in patient care and safety and enhance the speed at which novel developments can be translated for patient benefit.  For example, Nano-devices and Nano-biosensors allow the detection and measurement of biomarkers in fluid or tissue samples at a level of sensitivity far beyond current methods, aiding the early detection and treatment of a wide range of diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Dr Steve Conlan, Director of the Centre for NanoHealth at Swansea University said: “Establishing a coordinated cross-border cluster will create a world-class alliance of key opinion leaders, internationally distinguished researchers and state-of-the-art infrastructure. This alliance will have the scope, capacity, and flexibility to lead nanohealth internationally from scientific, technological, and economic innovation perspectives.”

For more information about the Celtic Alliance for NanoHealth (CAN) visit