INFANT Centre News
Three INFANT researchers received IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship and Postgraduate Scholarship Awards. Minister Simon Harris announced €24.6 million in Irish Research Council funding to support rising researchers and pioneering projects. “I am delighted to announce this investment for a new generation of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers under the Irish Research Council’s Government of Ireland programmes. These awards will support the development of the next generation of excellent researchers in Ireland, as they pursue new knowledge at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines”. Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardees: Marita Hennessy is a Postdoctoral Researcher at INFANT (Pregnancy Loss Research Group). During her two-year fellowship, Marita will develop and pilot test a psychosocial intervention for staff in maternity hospitals/units in Ireland under the mentorship of INFANT PI, Professor Keelin O’Donoghue. Gillian Maher is a Postdoctoral Researcher at INFANT. During her two-year fellowship, Gillian will develop a novel approach to harness Irish maternal and newborn data to improve pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies. Postgraduate Scholarship Awardee: Aoife Gallagher is a Clinical Research Fellow with an interest in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. During her 12-month scholarship she will be working on ARChhIE: A Retrospective Comparison of Irish and Spanish IgE- Medi-ated Egg Allergy Strategies. Welcoming the announcement, Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “Early-career researchers represent the future of research and innovation [...]
Huge congratulations to INFANT PhD student Caroline Joyce on receiving her Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists. Caroline's PhD work is on the identification of Biomarkers for the Diagnosis, Management and Follow-up of Women with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease. This project aims to identify more sensitive biomarkers for GTD to allow earlier detection of disease recurrence and progression to malignant disease. 🔗 More info: Biomarkers for Gestational Trophoblastic Disease | University College Cork (ucc.ie) This is a collaborative project between INFANT - Pregnancy Loss Research Group (PLRG) (Prof. Keelin O’Donoghue), the School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology (Prof. Tommie McCarthy) and the National Trophoblastic Disease Centre (Dr John Coulter).
Born Too Soon will give an unprecedented look into lives of the hardworking staff who dedicate their lives to caring for vulnerable newborns at CUH's neonatal unit. TV crews have been in the hospital all year filming 'Born Too Soon,' following the stories of families and medical teams looking after premature babies born at the busy hospital. At CUH, preemies are given round-the-clock care, with the new series showing the ups and downs of life looking after frail babies - particularly in a time with strict Covid restrictions. Viewers will get to see the dedication and love put into giving babies born preterm the best chance possible when Born Too Soon starts at 9 pm Tues 5 September on Virgin Media One.
Geraldine Boylan, Professor of Neonatal Physiology, Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, University College Cork and Director of the INFANT Research Centre was awarded the 2023 Tom Connor Distinguished Investigator Award from Neuroscience Ireland. Professor Boylan was presented the prestige award at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) during the annual Neuroscience Ireland conference. This conference brings together an international audience of neuroscience researchers, clinicians, and industrial partners to share knowledge and expertise, fostering the advancement of excellence in neuroscience research within Ireland. The NSI Distinguished Investigator Award is presented every two years to an exceptional research scientist from Ireland or based on the island of Ireland who has made an exceptional contribution to the field of neuroscience. This award is given in memory of the former President of Neuroscience Ireland, Tom O’ Connor, who passed away in 2013. Accepting the award, Professor Boylan said: “I am very honoured and humbled to receive the Tom Connor Distinguished Investigator Award from Neuroscience Ireland. This recognition for neonatal neuroscience represents the collective efforts and hard work of the research team at INFANT over many years and I am truly grateful." Professor John Cryan, UCC Vice President for Research and Innovation at UCC, and recipient of the award in 2017 said: “Congratulations to Professor Geraldine Boylan on receiving this prestigious award, a testament to her dedication and expertise in neuroscience [...]
International Guest Speaker on Knowledge Translation and Patient Engagement in Child Health Research
INFANT Research Centre are delighted to be hosting a special guest speaker event with Dr. Shannon Scott, Professor and a Canada Research Chair in Knowledge Translation for Children’s Health from the University of Alberta, Canada on Thursday 7 September from 13.00-14.00 in room 1.02 Brookfield Health Sciences Complex. In advance of the launch of UCC Futures: Children, and in line with the strategy of UCC to build on our reputation for excellence in the field of children’s health, rights and wellbeing, this talk would be of particular interest to researchers at all stages working in areas of child health research, knowledge translation and patient engagement. Dr. Shannon Scott is an internationally recognised nurse, scientist, educator and knowledge translation and knowledge mobilization leader. Knowledge translation (KT) is the process of taking information from reliable evidence-based research and putting it into user-friendly form for everyone to understand and use. During this event, Dr. Scott will discuss the growing movement to involve patients in health research and share insights into her research programme "Translating Evidence in Child Health to Enhance Outcomes" (ECHO). This programme aims to develop, evaluate, and disseminate evidence-based knowledge translation (KT) tools with parents to improve health decision-making and outcomes. She will also talk about their iterative co-development process, discuss the development of parent advisory forums and the progressive research that is focused on cultural [...]
INFANT Research Centre is now accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Researcher on a part time basis to work on COVICAT project which is supported by the North-South HEA programme. The researcher will be responsible for data management and data analysis of data on COVID-19 infection and vaccine in pregnancy in Ireland and Europe. Strong management and quantitative skills are required for the project. Expertise in time-series methods would be an advantage. The successful candidate should have a PhD in Epidemiology, Public Health or a PhD in another related field but with strong quantitative skills. Research Assistants with at least 3-4 years’ experience in quantitative research may also apply for this post. Post Duration: 12 months Salary: Post-Doctoral Researcher€42,031 - €48,427 p.a. (IUA PD1 Salary Scale), pro rata 0.6 FTE, Research Assistant: €29,275 - €39,158 p.a. (IUA RA Salary Scale), pro rata 0.6 FTE Project Title: COVICAT: COVID-19 infection and vaccination in pregnancy: An ecological study to assess congenital anomalies For an information package including further details of the post see: https://t.co/wq1pQJfk3c Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr Ali Khashan, INFANT Research Centre, Tel: + 353 (0) 21 420 5565; Email: email@example.com Applications must be submitted online via the University College Cork vacancy portal (https://ore.ucc.ie/). Queries relating to the online application process should be referred to firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the job-title and project name. [...]
Funded PhD, supported by the HRB CRF (Clinical Research Facility) UCC Project Title: PPI in clinical trials for vulnerable populations This HRB CRF (Clinical Research Facility) UCC fully funded PhD involves a multistakeholder collaboration between CRFC, PPI Ignite Network @ UCC and the INFANT Research Centre. The PhD will address conceptual and implementation aspects of PPI in the context of clinical trials in neonates/children. The work will be embedded within one or more ongoing CRF/UCC trials. The PhD will inform ongoing CRFC best practice implementation of PPI in clinical trials for diverse patient population groups, as well as develop the theoretical and PPI implementation competence of the successful PhD scholar. Funding arrangement: Full time four years. Supports: Placement in INFANT. UCC PhD supports and training. Supported by PPI Ignite Network @ UCC Registration: Full time Stipend: €19,000 The PhD will be supervised by Professor Geraldine Boylan, Professor Patricia Kearney, Site Lead PPI Ignite @ UCC and Dr Emmy Racine, Programme Manager, PPI Ignite @ UCC. To apply please send a statement of interest (<200 words) and a brief (2 page max) CV to Professor Patricia Kearney, PPI Ignite @ UCC. Email: email@example.com CLOSING DATE: Thursday July 27th
Cork-based medtech company CergenX has raised €1.2 million in funding to further develop its technology to screen newborns for brain injury. CergenX is a spin-out from the Infant Centre in UCC. Founded by chief executive Jason Mowles, chief science officer Professor Geraldine Boylan and chief technology officer Sean Griffin in 2021. The company is currently developing a system that uses artificial intelligence to screen all newborns for signs of brain injury in less than 15 minutes. The funding was raised through a private financing round, with participation from high net worth individuals and existing investor Enterprise Ireland. It brings to €2 million the total raised by the company to date. The money will be used to support the development of the newborn brain screener, expanding its staff with roles in artificial intelligence, product management, and software engineering and accelerating the company’s path to market. CergenX is a spin-out from the Infant Centre in UCC. Founded by chief executive Jason Mowles, chief science officer Professor Geraldine Boylan and chief technology officer Sean Griffin in 2021, the company is currently developing a system that uses artificial intelligence to screen all newborns for signs of brain injury in less than 15 minutes. “This latest investment not only validates the immense potential of our newborn brain screener but also demonstrates the confidence our investors have in our vision,” Mr [...]
INFANT PI, Professor Keelin O’Donoghue was awarded the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) Distinguished Researcher Award for her contribution or her contribution to research on stillbirth/newborn death. The award was conferred at the closing ceremony of the 2023 conference, hosted at the University of Sheffield from 30 June to 02 July. Announcing the award, Professor Adrienne Gordon said: “She has been awarded this on the unanimous decision by the Board to reflect her years of significant research around stillbirth, most particularly in Ireland where she is continuing to strive for best practice care for families and high quality evidence, particularly in terms of the national standards, so we thank you Keelin for all that you do.” Professor O’Donoghue, along with 11 other members of the Pregnancy Loss Research Group, attended the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) Conference 2023 at The University of Sheffield from 30 June to 02 July, showcasing a variety of work undertaken by the Group in the areas of: Stillbirth Spirituality Recurrent miscarriage COVID 19 Perinatal pathology Fetal fatal anomalies Termination of pregnancy Multiple pregnancy Workplace supports for pregnancy loss Knowledge translation Graphic medicine. Source: News and media | University College Cork (ucc.ie)
Cerebral Palsy Foundation awards €1.6 million funding to University College Cork to support cerebral palsy education and research Funding of €1.6 million will support UCC’s appointment of a Chair in Early Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy. The Cerebral Palsy Foundation Chair will lead research in early brain injury and cerebral palsy at the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research (INFANT), UCC. University College Cork (UCC) and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation today announced the creation of a new Chair in Early Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy. The new ‘Cerebral Palsy Foundation Chair’ is made possible thanks to generous support of €1.6 million from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, a global not-for-profit organisation committed to creating positive change for those with Cerebral Palsy and related disabilities. The appointed Chair will lead a programme of research and public engagement that will empower the voice of young children and families living with cerebral palsy. Currently the most common lifelong physical disability acquired during childhood, cerebral palsy is diagnosed in approximately 150 children each year in Ireland. Early diagnosis in babies can lead to much better outcomes. The Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s partnership with UCC will enable researchers at INFANT to generate critical knowledge that will transform outcomes for children with Cerebral Palsy and their families. “On behalf of UCC, I sincerely thank the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for their transformational [...]
Cerebral Palsy Foundation Launches Programme of Excellence to Revolutionise Cerebral Palsy Care in Ireland Foundation partnering with University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Children’s Health Ireland to establish Ireland as an international leader for Cerebral Palsy care and research Dublin, Ireland - The Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) has announced the launch of a Programme of Excellence to revolutionise the delivery of cerebral palsy care in Ireland. Through the development of three major clinical and research hubs at University College Cork (UCC), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, this first-of-its-kind initiative will establish Ireland as an international leader in cerebral palsy care and research. Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) is an implementation partner in the academic healthcare programme. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the most common childhood-acquired, lifelong physical disability. Many individuals with CP face significant and unnecessary challenges in their daily lives, including problems with movement, speech, and other body systems. An estimated 150 babies receive a CP diagnosis in Ireland each year, and an estimated 3,000 children and young people and 9,500 adults are living with CP in Ireland. Early intervention and the right care pathways can make a significant difference in the long-term outcomes and quality of life for people living with CP. Backed by $12.5 million in philanthropic funding [...]
The BASELINE Birth Cohort study is Ireland’s opportunity to establish a longitudinal birth cohort with the potential to answer important questions in the study of diseases in early life, later childhood and beyond. It has the potential to identify risk factors for common disorders such as diabetes, eczema, and asthma. This study has the potential to transform the landscape of paediatric research in Ireland. In 2019/2020 reconsenting of the cohort was undertaken where all parents of participants were sent an updated GDPR compliant consent/assent form and asked to complete and send back to the centre. Approximately 634 replied positively and 25 requested either their data to be removed, their samples to be removed or both, therefore approximately 660 (30%) replied. The INFANT centre continues to store and analyse data and samples from participants who did not reconsent to the BASELINE study as a consent declaration was obtained from the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee (HRCDC) in 2021 which permits the continued storage and processing specifically for the BASELINE study and related research in the absence of reconsenting the participants. The Health Research Regulation (HRR) is also adhered to. Biosamples and personal data from the study continue to be processed for the purpose of the BASELINE study and are stored securely for future related research which can only be undertaken subject to Ethics Committee approval. We [...]
A new network putting children at the centre of decision-making in healthcare was launched today at University College Cork. Funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), In4Kids, the Irish Network for Children’s Clinical Trials, will support innovative clinical research and trial design for children in Ireland. It is the first clinical trials network in Ireland to focus on children’s health. Better patient outcomes Evidence shows that research-active hospitals have better patient care outcomes. In4kids will allow healthcare staff and researchers throughout Ireland to work together through a multidisciplinary network, with access and support for participation in national and international clinical trials with particular emphasis on rare paediatric diseases and high medical need areas. The network is developing educational and training resources for everyone involved in clinical trials and will soon establish a young persons’ advisory group. The network also aims to ensure that children and their families are involved in clinical research from an early stage and that the research is relevant and accessible to them. In4kids is the Irish hub in the c4c network, a pioneering European network that aims to facilitate the development of new drugs and other therapies for the entire paediatric population. Children are not little adults Paediatric patients have developmental, physiological and psychological differences from adults. Medicines and treatments made for adults therefore cannot simply be applied to children. Professor Geraldine [...]
Dr Simon Woodworth delivered one of the keynote addresses at the 2022 Pre-ICIS SIGDSA Symposium at Copenhagen Business School on 10th December, titled 'Using data to drive pregnancy care and health policy: The Kilimanjaro ULTRA project'. He also presented a prototype demonstration 'ULTRA: An Electronic Birth Registry for the Kilimanjaro Region'.
📢INFANT at 2022 IPA Conference 💡Danielle Clifford wins first prize in the Neonatal section for her presentation on her work on biomarkers for HIE at INFANT 👏Well done Danielle
Many thanks to all the speakers at our Research Symposium in Clinical Trials in Neonatology, which took place at the River Lee Hotel on Friday 25th November. Our thanks also to all those who attended the event in person and virtually and to all our funders for making the event possible.
📢INFANT at the #YoungInvestigatorsSymposium 📍Trinity College Dublin @tcddublin 🗣️Lead Investigator @markosullivann will discuss the #Neurobell Project and research commercialization 👏Organized by @NeuroscienceIRL -Early Career Researchers Network (NSI-ECRN) committee
📣Check out this new paper by INFANT researchers 💡'Development of an EEG artefact detection algorithm and its application in grading neonatal #HypoxicIschemicEncephalopathy' 🔎Read full paper here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957417422019352 #ConvolutionalNeuralNetwork #Neonatal #MachineLearning
📢INFANT at the World Congress on Gestational Trophoblastic Diseases in Sydney #ISSTD2022 🗣️@IrishResearch PhD scholar Caroline Joyce of The Pregnancy Loss Research group presented:
📢INFANT at #ISOQOL22 💡PhD Scholar Laura O'Byrne presents her important work on patient reported outcome measures for postpartum women 🎉Laura was also nominated for a Student Award for this important work 👏Well done Laura!! @NPEC_UCC @hrbireland
📢INFANT Seminar Series continues this Friday 💡Scholarly Communications Librarian and CORA Manager, Donna O Doibhlin will present on available options for meeting funder requirements related to Open Access publishing of research papers.
📢INFANT Research Symposium 💡Clinical Trials in Neonatology 🗓25 November 🔎Register for free here: https://eventbrite.ie/e/infant-research-symposiumclinical-trials-in-neonatology-tickets-440825981377 Eugene Dempsey In4kids Health Research Board (HRB) conect4children University College Cork Geraldine Boylan Jan Miletin Afif EL-Khuffash Haresh Kirpalani Neil Marlow Barbara Schmidt Brian Walsh Colm O'Donnell
💚#BLAW2022 💜INFANT's Pregnancy Loss Research Group are dedicated to providing support & information to parents bereaved by early & late pregnancy loss 💚Promote their emotional, psychological, spiritual & physical well-being 💜Improve professional practice & facilitate research 🔎Find out more about The Pregnancy Loss Research Group here: https://www.ucc.ie/en/obsgyn/plrg/