Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Programme
Sophie Lawlor has just completed a research internship (summer 2020) in the Molecular Rheumatology unit, under the supervision of Prof Ursula Fearon and Dr Megan Hanlon. Sophie was awarded a prestigious Laidlaw Undergraduate Research Scholarship to perform her research. The Laidlaw Leadership Programme is an innovative scholarship designed to support talented and motivated undergraduate students from all discipline. The Programme aims to develop their leadership and research skills and give them insight into a specific research field at an early stage of their studies. Sophie spent 4 weeks in the lab focused on a project entitled ‘Distinct pathogenic mechanisms underlying Down syndrome associated arthritis (DA) and JIA – implications for therapeutic response’. There are limited studies to date examining the underlying mechanisms that drive disease in children with DA. Recent clinical research has raised awareness, leading to more timely diagnosis, treatment, better clinical outcomes and quality of life for DA children. Furthermore, distinct immune cell responses in these children compared to that of JIA have been identified, possibly suggesting different approaches to treatment strategies. In particular, Sophie examined a specific cell type in the joint which is known to be one of the main invasive cell types in the joint. She demonstrated that combinations of specific pro-inflammatory cytokines (known to be increased in children with DA), induce a pathogenic invasive phenotype in the these cells, an effect that also involves changes in metabolism. These results, in parallel to immune cell analysis and synovial pathology will allow us to understand better the disease mechanisms and develop better diagnostic and therapeutic options, earlier in disease. This in turn should lead to significant improvements in clinical care and management of children with DA.
Pint of Science
Pint of Science brings some of the most brilliant scientists to your local pubs and cafes to discuss their latest research and findings with you. You don’t need any prior knowledge, and this is your chance to meet the people responsible for the future of science (and have a drink with them). The festival runs over a few days in May every year, but we occasionally run events during other months.
Dublin Chapter Manager – Our very own Megan Hanlon
Megan is a PhD student in the Molecular Rheumatology research group in Trinity. She also teaches a tailored immunology course to secondary school students in disadvantaged area with the Trinity Access Programme. Looking forward to working with PoS this year to further grow her passion for sci comm!
For more information please follow the link!
Inflammatory Arthritis and You Workshop
Arthritis Ireland in partnership with Trinity College Dublin have organised a series of workshops to consult people living with inflammatory arthritis.
Inflammatory arthritis is a common autoimmune condition that can cause disability for patients in day-to-day tasks. While new medications have advanced the treatments for many patients, it is still unclear which patients will develop severe disease, who will respond to current therapies and who will experience side effects.
To further understand disease progression and response we have designed these workshops to engage with patients and aim to address:
(i) patients understanding of their disease
(ii) the risk factors and potential immune system changes involved, and
(iii) how research that directly involves patients may provide important insight to better treatment strategies for Inflammatory arthritis.
Some pictures from the Dublin workshop below!
Patient Awareness Initiative Survey
Led by Molecular Rheumatology, TCD with Arthritis Ireland, funded by the HRB. More than 1,400 completed surveys. Preliminary analysis suggests patients need more information on early diagnoses, drug adherence and pregnancy.
Transition Year Students – Work Experience 2019
Dr Sarah Wade, Molecular Rheumatology, supervising transition year students in the lab, 2018.
Prof Ursula Fearon speaking to patients at Arthritis Ireland AGM 2017. Prof Fearon discusses the need for personalised medicine in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.
Prof Ursula Fearon updates @Arthritisie patients on current research @tcddublin @tcdTBSI @CardArthritis #arthritis
Dr Charlene Foley speaking about Downs Arthropathy to patients at Arthritis Ireland public lecture. Dr Charlene Foley research is co-funded by Arthritis Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland.
Eular centre of excellence award