UL researcher receives HRB emerging investigator award

A University of Limerick researcher has received an emerging investigator award to explore how patients with hip and knee problems can participate in exercised based therapies.

Dr Clodagh Toomey among a group to receive funding from the Health Research Board (HRB), which is investing €8m in new health research.

The awards are designed to create a pipeline of researcher leaders who will improve health, influence clinical practice and inform health policy across a broad range of areas.

In a highly competitive process, a total of 11 awards were selected by an international panel from 45 eligible applications, addressing a broad range of health areas.

Classic arcade game Pac-Man provides insights into human behaviour: UL study

Dr Jason Power

A UNIQUE study by a lecturer at the University of Limerick has revealed that classic arcade game Pac-Man can provide insights into human behaviour and psychology.

The research by Dr Jason Power, a lecturer at UL’s School of Education, examined the impact of a person’s belief about their own capabilities and how this influences their performance by using the classic 1980s video game to look at daily behaviour.

Dr Power explains: “Pac-Man’s difficulty slowly ramps up to allow even the most casual players to experience success. This builds a person’s belief that they can succeed and encourages them to try again.”

New medical valve will make treatment of bladder problems safer

Prof. Michael Walsh

Medical device company – Class Medical – a University of Limerick spinout company have secured seed funding of €550,000 from investors including iHPSU match funding from Enterprise Ireland. Class Medical was founded in 2016 by Dr. Rory Mooney (CEO), Prof. Michael Walsh, Dr Niall Davis and Dr Eoghan Cunnane. Class Medical’s initial product offering is a patent protected device that eliminates the risk and complications associated with the treatment of painful urinary problems.

Acne stigma linked to lower overall quality of life, UL study finds

Many people with acne are negatively impacted by perceived social stigma around the skin condition, a new study from UL has found.

A survey of 271 acne sufferers has revealed that their own negative perceptions of how society views their appearance is associated with higher psychological distress levels and further physical symptoms such as sleep disturbance, headaches and gastrointestinal problems.

Females in the study reported greater impairment of life quality and more symptoms than males. Acne severity was significantly correlated with health-related quality of life and psychological distress.

New guidelines for bowel cancer screening

Everyone with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (abnormal tissue growths) should be screened for the disease, an international study involving researchers at nine institutions in the United States and Canada, co-led by University of Limerick (UL) has strongly recommended.

The research, available online and due to be published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association and the highest impact journal in its field, makes a total of 19 evidence-based recommendations which will guide the choice of screening test and frequency of use among those who have close relatives with colon cancer or pre cancerous growths.

Pharma manufacturing industry gather for 4th Knowledge Day

More than 250 people attended the fourth annual Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC) Knowledge Day for industry held in the Kemmy Business School, UL this week.

Ireland is renowned internationally for its expertise in pharmaceutical manufacturing: Research and Development is very important to developing and advancing pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Lero, IT Tralee and Bon Secours announce research programme to enhance hip replacement surgery

Dr. Daniel Riordan, Lero researcher IT Tralee and Mr John Rice, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Bon Secours Hospital

Lero, the SFI Irish Software Research Centre and IT Tralee have announced a €223,500 programme with Bon Secours Hospital Tralee (BSHT) which could advance the future use of robotics to perform hip replacement operations.

The initial goal of the initiative, which is backed by Science Foundation Ireland, will be to develop a more accurate way for surgeons to place a hip joint so as to minimise a patient’s hospital stay and avoid re-admittance due to issues arising from the operation. IT Tralee is looking to hire a PhD student to join the five-person research team.

UL study shows ‘alarming rise’ in uric acid levels in patients

Professor Stack, Foundation Chair of Medicine at Graduate Entry Medical School

One in four people in the Irish health system have elevated blood levels of uric acid, according to a new study led by researchers at the Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), University of Limerick. The largest study of its kind in Ireland has found that Uric Acid levels here increased at an ‘alarming’ rate from 2006 to 2014.

Uric acid has been linked with a range of conditions from gout to kidney disease.

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