NEPHSTROM’s Dr Cathal O’ Flatharta and Dr Nahidul Islam of NUI Galway were on hand at the awards ceremony for a schools’ competition called “START” whose aim was to encourage school students to come up with interesting questions and to design and run trials to answer them in a scientific way.
“It is one of the only initiatives out there that is teaching children about randomised trials,” says Dr Sandra Galvin, who co-ordinates the Health Research Board Trials Methodology Research Network, which runs the START initiative. “We need more people to participate in trials to improve healthcare, so there is that big important picture here, and it comes down to kids having fun and they take the message home.” For more information about the event, see hrb-tmrn.ie/start-competition.
Cathal and Nahidul created and managed a presentation area for NEPHSTROM, spoke to the school groups and visitors who were interested in the planned clinical trial for NEPHSTROM taking place at NUI Galway’s Clinical Research Facility. A sister project, AUTOSTEM was also represented. This project is looking ahead of the clinical trials in order to meet the needs of the clinics in the future by developing automated cell factories to produce the vast quantities of cells which will be required should the clinical trials prove successful.