NUI Galway, UL and UCC Partner in PhD Programme

Monday, 13 June 2011

Research in the area of Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine will be furthered through the launch of a structured PhD Programme in the field delivered through the NUI Galway/UL Strategic Alliance and University College Cork. The PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM) is a collaborative programme involving partner institutions nationally and internationally, including: Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, University of Ulster, Queen s University Belfast, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, University of Pittsburgh, USA, Duke University, USA, Rice University, USA, Mayo Clinic, USA, RWTH Aachen University, Germany, Georgia Tech Ireland, and the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA). The 4 year programme, funded by the HEA under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 5, will also involve study visits for Irish students to the world-leading research institute, Georgia Tech based in Atlanta.

Director of the Programme, Professor Peter McHugh, of the NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics, said “The medical technology industry is one of the pillars of the Irish economy, with a tremendous potential for growth, which is dependent on having a highly educated and trained workforce and a strong research and innovation capability. Biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine are at the heart of this growth potential and this structured PhD programme is designed to produce graduates who will be the next generation of leaders in the industry and in academic research and education in the field.”

Professor Tim McGloughlin, Director of Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research at UL said; “This programme will enhance the professional skills of the PhD students through close interaction with the medical devices industry, further enhancing its role in the Irish economy and enabling R&D growth in this key sector.”

Professor Noel Caplice, Professor of Cardiovascular Science & Consultant Cardiologist, CUH/UCC said, “This is an exciting interaction between Universities that are already co-operating on stem cell and cardiovascular thematic research. We believe this BERM interaction will only strengthen this collaboration.

The PhD programme aims to become a leading international graduate education programme in the fields of biomedical engineering and regenerative medicine in which Ireland is already taking a strong international role. The overall objective is to develop graduates who will produce ground- breaking scientific results benefiting human health and contributing to economic growth.

Ireland’s medical technologies sector is a significant global cluster for medical device and diagnostic products. 200 plus medtech companies are involved in the development, manufacture and marketing of a diverse range of products and services, including 100 indigenous companies. Exports of medical device and diagnostics products are valued in excess of € 7 billion annually, representing 9 per cent of Ireland’s total merchandise exports. The sector employs 25,000 people, the highest number of people working in the industry in Europe, per head of population.

The Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine PhD Programme will involve significant interaction with the sector through the involvement of the Irish Medical Devices Association which represents 135 companies in the sector.
Irish Medical Devices Association Director, Sharon Higgins said; “IMDA is very excited by the launch of the structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. The Programme, developed with close industry involvement, builds on the strengths of the highly active national and international research activities taking place in Ireland, to produce unique graduates with key skills required to further contribute to the economic growth of the medical technology sector in Ireland.”

For further information please contact, Professor Peter McHugh, Director of the Structured PhD Programme in Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BMERM), NUI Galway College of Engineering and Informatics 091 493152 or email peter.mchugh@nuigalway.ie

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