Major US Research Award for Professor Frank Barry

Thursday, 5 January 2012

One of Ireland’s leading scientists working in the field of stem cell therapy is to receive the 2012 Marshall R. Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research.

Professor Frank Barry, Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, is to be given the award by the Orthopaedic Research Society. This is the first time the award will go a scientist working outside of the US.

The Marshall R. Urist, MD Award was created in 1996 and is sponsored by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This prestigious award honours an investigator who has established him/herself as a cutting-edge researcher in tissue regeneration research, and has done so with a sustained ongoing body of focused research in the area of tissue regeneration as it relates to the musculoskeletal system.

The award is named after Dr Marshall R. Urist (1914-2001) who carried out pioneering studies on bone induction and the identification of bone morphogenetic protein, or BMP, which revolutionised orthopaedic medicine. 

Harry A. McKellop, Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee of the Orthopaedic Research Society, said: “The Urist Award honours investigators who have made significant contributions to research in tissue regeneration. It is presented to Professor Barry in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of cell mediated therapies in bone and joint repair, and the impact of his research on improving the understanding of tissue regeneration and joint metabolism.”

Professor Frank Barry, who is from Cobh, Co.Cork, moved to the US in 1990 to work with Osiris Therapeutics, based in Baltimore, which is now one of the leading companies engaged in the development of stem cell therapies. In 2004 he moved back to Ireland, as Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, a role he continues to hold. He took over as Director of NCBES in 2009, and oversees 70 academic investigators and 300 researchers as they develop innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions in the areas of Biomedical Engineering, Cancer, Neuroscience, and Regenerative Medicine.

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Barry said: “It is an extraordinary honour for me personally to receive this award and I am very grateful to the Orthopaedic Research Society for recognising the research I have been involved in over the last number of years. I am fully aware that research of this nature involves teams of scientists and I have been very fortunate to work with many talented and innovative researchers in the US and especially now at NUI Galway.”

The Marshall R. Urist Award includes an honorarium of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque, which will be presented to Professor Barry during the 2012 Annual Meeting of the ORS in San Francisco, on 6 February.

Professor Barry will join the company of previous distinguished recipients, including Drs. Ernesto Canalis, A. Hari Redi, Arnold Caplan, Richard Coutts, Thomas Einhorn, Steven Goldstein, Rocky Tuan, Farshid Guilak, Chris Evans, Vicky Rosen and Jay Lieberman.

Author: Marketing and Communications Office., NUI Galway
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