Feb 23 2009 Posted: 00:00 GMT
Third-year NUI Galway medical student Kapil Sharma is in Las Vegas this week to present at the Orthopaedic Research Society s 55th meeting. His presentation 'Tracking Human Adult and Fetal Stem Cells during Segmental Bone Repair' resulted from research carried out at the Georgia Institute of Technology, during a UREKA International Exchange Programme. The UREKA International Exchange Programme is one of two summer undergraduate research fellowship programmes, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, at the National Centre for Biomedical Science, NUI Galway. The UREKA programme promotes active research participation by undergraduate students from science, engineering and medicine, in a challenging and enjoyable research environment. Kapil, who was born in Galway city but grew up in Ennis, Co. Clare, spent three months last summer working in the US on a project that is part of a longstanding research partnership between NUI Galway and Georgia Institute of Technology. Working with Professor Frank Barry of NUI Galway's Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and Professor Robert Guldberg of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Kapil's research encompassed orthopedic biomechanics, and bone and cartilage tissue engineering. Kapil is currently based in Sligo, where along with 16 other NUI Galway medical students, he is undertaking a year of clinical training at Sligo General Hospital. For him, the UREKA programme has been a very positive experience: "Participating in the UREKA International Exchange programme in Georgia Tech has been one of the most academic and professionally fulfilling experiences of my life. I am truly excited about travelling to Las Vegas, this is a remarkable opportunity for me to present the research I did over the summer as well as to represent REMEDI and NUI Galway". Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director, REMEDI, also praised the UREKA programme: "This is a perfect example of the immense value of the UREKA programme in providing training for talented young scientists. The time spent at Georgia Tech, the chance to participate in this compelling research project, and the podium presentation at the Orthopaedic Research Society s meeting, all provide great opportunities for new research insights. I congratulate Kapil on his achievements and wish him great success in his future career". Kapil will attend the meeting in Las Vegas along with a number of REMEDI scientists who will also be making presentations. The NCBES at NUI Galway will welcome its fifth cohort of students to the UREKA Programme in 2009 and applications will be accepted from undergraduate students worldwide.