NUI Galway research student, Dilip Thomas
Jan 29 2016 Posted: 14:13 GMT

CÚRAM researcher of ‘next generation’ stem cell therapies for cardiovascular diseases is elected to the EU Student and Young Investigator Section of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society

A research student developing ‘next-generation’ stem cell therapies for cardiovascular disease at the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at NUI Galway, has been elected to the prominent position of Chair-Elect for the EU Student and Young Investigator Section (SYIS) of the Tissue Engineering International & Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS).

TERMIS is one of the most prominent organisations in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine globally and attracts interest from researchers at the highest levels of the scientific community in biomedical research. The EU Student and Young Investigator Section provide a platform for the next generation of scientists and engineers in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to interact. SYIS aims to further the professional and scientific development of its members.

Dilip Thomas is currently concluding his doctoral studies, co-supervised by Professor Abhay Pandit at CÚRAM and Professor Timothy O’Brien, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, at NUI Galway. Dilip’s research interest is in the development of ‘next-generation’ stem cell therapies for cardiovascular diseases, with particular focus on Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), which is a severe obstruction of the arteries and markedly reduces blood flow to the extremities (hands, feet and legs) and has progressed to the point of severe pain and even skin ulcers or sores.

Mr Thomas has successfully designed and developed biomaterial cell capsules referred to as a ‘microgel’, for delivering stem cells for tissue repair. He has demonstrated that altering the design parameters of the microgels can influence stem cells to direct development of new blood vessels. He has also proven expertise in pre-clinical models for testing these types of therapies for treating cardiovascular disease.

Recently, Dilip was awarded the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) fellowship to further his research through training in Marchetti-Deschmann’s analytical laboratory at Vienna University of Technology.

Congratulating Dilip on his election, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, and himself a Fellow of TERMIS said: “Dilip will be a valuable asset to the EU SYIS of TERMIS and his election will be another important step in his career. Our confidence in the future of the MedTech sector in Ireland is largely based on the talent and skills of our young researchers, and at CÚRAM. Training and development of our students to the highest level, in a multi-disciplinary environment is a priority.”

The current Chair of the EU SYIS of TERMIS, Michael Monaghan, currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Research Institute for Women's Health in Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen in Germany, and also a former PhD student of Professor Pandit, added, “Dilip’s enthusiasm and drive for research translation from bench-to-bedside therapy has led him to acquire additional funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for fabricating a high-throughput microfluidic droplet device, which is a device that can generate cells containing droplets in small volumes, for microgel fabrication, funded through the National Access Programme.

CÚRAM, the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry partners and aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices.

ENDS

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