Latest in cutting-edge Health Research from UL Hospitals and the University of Limerick

Professor Des Leddin, Graduate Entry Medical School,Professor Colette Cowan, UL Hospitals & Professor Austin Stack, Director HRI

Clinicians and academics from Limerick and the Mid-West region showcased their latest research findings at the 2017 Health Research Symposium on Friday, November 17th organised in collaboration between the Health Research Institute and UL Hospitals.

The event took place at the new Clinical Education and Research Centre at University Hospital Limerick and featured four keynote international speakers, 18 oral presentations and over 170 scientific abstracts.

Prof Austin Stack, Chair of the Organising Committee and Foundation Chair of Medicine, University Hospital Limerick commented: “The symposium is now in its fourth year, is a hugely important event in the calendar and life cycle of UL Hospitals. It gives us a huge opportunity to showcase and profile the deeply impressive range of research being conducted on the hospital campus in partnership with the University of Limerick, primary care and community care.”

“A primary focus for this year’s Symposium was on ‘Building Partnerships to Advance Healthcare Research and Practice’ and we showcased the breadth and depth of cutting-edge medical research that continues across the clinical and academic landscape in UL Hospitals and its associated partners. The programme demonstrated the remarkable growth in research capability and scientific outputs across our Group and the Scientific Committee took great care this year to prepare a high-quality and diverse programme that featured unique developments and innovation in health research,” Prof Stack added.

This year’s programme included scientific presentations on innovative research into chronic disease management; integrated care delivery across primary and secondary healthcare systems; preventive healthcare strategies; adoption of new ICT solutions in disease management and novel medical devices for an ageing population.  Researchers shared fresh insights on everything from low-fat Mediterranean diet on liver disease to dancing for Parkinson’s disease; the impact of high uric acid levels on survival, and from groundwater as a source for antibiotic-resistant infection to a survey of sleep and physical activity among patients with inflammatory arthritis.

Four keynote international speakers spoke at the event.

•         Prof Harry Hemingway, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, University College London, Director of the Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, “Emerging Research Opportunities in Large Scale Electronic Health Records”

•         Dr Leonard O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Human Factors and Ergonomics, Department of Design and Manufacturing Technology, University of Limerick, “Participatory design of novel medical devices addressing high clinical impact opportunities"

•         Prof Richard McManus, Professor of Primary Care Research, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, “Patient Self-monitoring and Patient Self-Management in Hypertension”

•         Prof Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway, Associate Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway, Consultant in Elderly Care, Saolta Hospital Group, “The Evolving Landscape of Clinical Research in Ireland”

“We had an exciting line up of distinguished national and international speakers along with a welcoming address from Professor Des Leddin, Head of the Graduate Entry Medical School at the University of Limerick and Prof Colette Cowan, CEO, UL Hospitals Group. Our aim this year was to further exploit our potential as an academic institution and highlight our recent research accomplishments,” commented Prof Stack.