The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI, Galway, is an interdisciplinary centre of research excellence, which brings together scientists, engineers, information technologists and clinicians to foster team-based, problem-centred approaches to research. The Centre’s research is focused on innovative therapeutic solutions to current medical challenges including cardiovascular disease, orthopaedics, reproductive medicine, and cancer. The NCBES research thematic focus of “Advancing Medicine through Discovery” spans the discovery of new medically relevant knowledge, to the development of novel therapies for the treatment of disease.
Established under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI), with funding from Ireland’s Higher Education Authority and private donors, the Centre aims to make discoveries of significant medical impact for the medicine of the future. These will include the underpinning mechanisms of disease, as well as the development of novel approaches to disease diagnosis and treatment. The NCBES, including its affiliated research institutes and centres, contributes to an established long-term strategy to develop an internationally-competitive centre of excellence in Biomedical Science and Engineering research, education and technology transfer at NUI Galway.
The NCBES is an internationally leading Institute for research and innovation in Biomedical Science and Engineering, comprising integrated state-of-the-art Biomedical research facilities. These include two large and recently opened facilities, firstly, the Biomedical Science Building on the North Campus and, secondly, the Lambe Translational and Clinical Research Facility on the Galway University Hospital campus. The former houses research teams focussed on Apoptosis, Biomaterials, Chromosome Biology, Glycoscience and Regenerative medicine, while the latter provides state-of-the-art capacity for translational research and for the conduct of clinical trials, including first-in-man clinical studies. In addition, on the South campus a Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) approved Centre of Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) and a stem cell manufacturing facility are located in the Orbsen Building.
The Galway region is one of the major concentrations of the Medical Device and Healthcare industries in both an Irish and European context. Consistent with national aims and policy objectives, the NCBES has developed a range of interactions and collaborations with these regional industries that both enhance national capacity and the international standing of Ireland. Given the particular concentration of Medical Device industries in the Galway region, NUI Galway’s Biomedical research strategy naturally seeks to actively engage with this economically important sector. Recent research funding successes, include the CÚRAM SFI Centre which focuses on innovative and transformative device-based solutions to treat chronic diseases of global importance, highlight the vibrant research partnerships between the NCBES and our industrial hinterland.
A major challenge we face in the current research climate is to find a means of nurturing the more basic aspects of our scientific endeavours. Experience demonstrates that it is from novel discoveries in basic science that longer-term applications arise.
Professor Noel F Lowndes; BA (Mod), PhD, MEMBO, MRIA