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Over the past 10 years, the Personalised Medicine Centre within the University’s School of Medicine, has continued to develop pioneering research with the ultimate aims to develop treatments and clinical tools that take into account a person’s individual genetic and molecular make up.

Located on the Derry~Londonderry campus and at Altnagelvin Hospital, the PMC has the largest mass of personalised medicine researchers in Ireland and is renowned as a trusted source of knowledge and expertise. Research led by the team include studies of long-term conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blood cancers, eye disease, neurodegenerative disorders and arthritis.

Representing a £25million funding investment since its establishment in 2013, the centre has lead data-driven research, innovation and education designed to improve healthcare provision and patient outcomes. Its expert team of almost 60 Ulster staff and PhD researchers and over 20 Western Trust clinical leads, conducts research studies for future implementation in clinical settings that tailor medical decisions and interventions to an individual.

Dr David Gibson, Research Group Lead, PMC explains:

“Personalised medicine moves away from a one-size-fits-all approach to better manage patients’ health and targets therapies to achieve better disease outcomes for the individual. It relies not only on the reading of human genomes but requires the collection of large amounts of personal clinical and lifestyle data supported by underpinning technologies such as consumer apps and wearable technologies.”

Anniversary Celebrations

To celebrate healthcare stakeholders, staff, researchers, graduates and key stakeholders were invited to a showcase event on the Derry~Londonderry campus to spotlight the remarkable research progress and teaching accomplishments achieved throughout the past decade.

Keynote speaker Professor William Gallagher, Professor of Cancer Biology at UCD, Co-Lead All Island Cancer Research Institute and Deputy Director, Precision Oncology Ireland added:

“I am delighted to be a key speaker at this event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Personalised Medicine Centre in Ulster University. I am blown away by the spectrum of the diversity of research that is taking place within the Centre covering a wide variety of therapeutic areas but also the translational potential of this work making advances from the bench and bringing it closer to the clinic.”

The event featured an engaging lineup of experts from across Ireland, who addressed the audience showcasing their specialised medical research areas highlighting the vital role research plays in advancing medical knowledge and improving healthcare outcomes, including;

  • Dr Paula McClean & Dr Patricia Harris on ‘Education programmes in Personalised Medicine and Medicine at Ulster University’
  • Obesity: Professor Alex Miras, ‘Personalised treatment of obesity’
  • Mental health: Dr Elaine Murphy, ‘Personalised Medicine approaches in mental health’
  • Heart disease: Naomi Bell, PhD Researcher at Ulster University, School of Medicine on ‘Personalised exercise prescription for children with congenital heart disease’
  • Leukaemia: PhD Researcher Ruairidh Harrigan on ‘Drug development in childhood leukaemia’
  • Covid-19: Dr Joseph McLaughlin, Research Associate of Molecular Biology, Ulster University on ‘Inflammatory and immune response signatures associated with COVID-19 severity’
  • Glaucoma: Sophie Coyle, PhD Researcher at Ulster University, School of Medicine on ‘Targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome as a treatment for glaucoma’

Exceptional researchers and graduates were honoured in a prize-giving ceremony to recognise their dedicated efforts in the field of medical research, their achievements in discovering groundbreaking contributions highlighting the advancing excellence in research and education at PMC.

Recently integrated into the University’s School of Medicine, the Personalised Medicine Centre contributes to the delivery of the School’s ambitious vision, teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate students in Medicine, as well as on the Physician Associates and Biomedical Sciences degree programmes.