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NBIP Ireland
Research Office
121 St Stephens Green
Dublin 2

+353 1 402 8651

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20th-Jan-2014: Novel application of OCT developed at NUIG

Dr. Sergey Alexander from the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging group (TOMI) at National University of Ireland Galway has demonstrated a novel label-free depth resolved sensing technique based on optical coherence tomography (OCT) to detect structural changes at the nanoscale. This label free approach provides new possibilities for depth resolved study of pathogenic and physiologically relevant molecules in the body with high sensitivity and specificity. It offers a powerful opportunity for early diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Read the full article at this link

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13-Jun-2013: Women and cholesterol:  The beneficial effects of estrogen on liver metabolism explained in breakthrough Science paper from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland  and University of California.

The female hormone estrogen tends to protect women against high cholesterol and heart disease during the child-bearing years.  This may help explain why premenopausal women are usually protected from developing heart disease and cirrhosis.
The molecular mechanism for the beneficial effect of estrogen on liver metabolism  was unknown until a joint study between RCSI and the University of California at Irvine published last month in the Science Journal, Science Signaling, revealed the type of estrogen receptor, the targeted genes and the cellular processes involved in this metabolic response in the liver. The research team led by Dr Ellis Levin at UC Irvine and Prof Brian Harvey at RCSI showed that estrogen binds to a new type of estrogen receptor at the cell membrane (membrane ER) to activate a network of enzymes which inhibit a regulator  (SREB) of genes that drive the synthesis of cholesterol .  The researchers also found that estrogen suppresses lipid synthesis including harmful triglycerides.   The team at RCSI included father and son, Brian and Harry Harvey, and post-doctoral fellow Fiona O’Mahony who identified the estrogen-responsive genes. The UC Irvine team developed a transgenic mouse which expressed only the membrane estrogen receptor which allowed its role in liver metabolism to be understood at the patho-physiological level.  From  these experiments, the two teams were able to provide important insights about how estrogen and membrane ER signalling may suppress the expression of some genes and produce beneficial changes in liver metabolism. The researchers concluded  that their results provide the impetus to develop and test new forms of  pharmacological agonists that only engage the membrane ER and avoid the cancer-producing side-effects of estrogen in the nucleus, and which could contribute to favourable lipid homeostasis, including preventing excessive harmful cholesterol and triglyceride content in the blood that can progress to heart disease and cirrhosis.


View the press coverage at the following links:
Irish Independent
Irish Daily Mail
Health Canal
Alpha Galileo

Link to the article here

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19th-May-2013: NBIPI Researchers are 'Feature of the Week' in OCT news

Researchers in Prof Martin Leahy's group have demonstrated the applications of Optical Coherence Tomography in fingerprint analysis. This technology could be used to deliver additional security and could complement existing fingerprint technology currently used in law enforcement and border control.

A link to the Feature can be found here
The complete article can be read here

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03-May-2013. Prof. Brian Harvey receives honorary doctorate from Michigan State University

Prof Harvey attended the commencement ceremony at MSU to receive his award.

Read the Honorary Degree citation here

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A recently published review article by Dr Susan M Daly and Prof. Martin J Leahy has been one of the most read papers in the Journal of Biophophotonics this month. The review focuses on current imaging techniques, state of the art advancements and applications, and general perspectives on the prospects for these modalities in the clinical setting.

'Go with the flow': A review of methods and advancements in blood flow imaging.
Susan M Daly and Martin J. Leahy
J Biophotonics. 2013 Mar;6(3):217-55.
Read the article here

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NBIP researcher Prof. Patrice Mollard (CNRS, Montpellier, France) and his team have published a study in PNAS which has been highlighted by F1000Prime faculty members 'In this fascinating study, Mollard and collaborators combine different techniques to provide functional and morphological evidence of a passive diffusion route through fenestrated blood vessels for the appetite-regulating hormone ghrelin to reach its target neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus'.

Prof Mollard has previously developed a new in vivo imaging technique to combine multiphoton microscopy with a long-working distance objective.
By combining complex microsurgical approaches in transgenic mice with analytical imaging tools the group can visualise real time sub cellular interaction and obtain detailed information on the microvasculature and extravasation of fluorescent molecules within the brain.

Read the full article here. Details of the paper are below.

Rapid sensing of circulating ghrelin by hypothalamic appetite-modifying neurons.
Schaeffer M
, Langlet F, Lafont C, Molino F, Hodson DJ, Roux T, Lamarque L, Verdié P, Bourrier E, Dehouck B, Banères JL, Martinez J, Méry PF, Marie J, Trinquet E, Fehrentz JA, Prévot V, Mollard P.

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5203, Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, F-34000 Montpellier, France.

PNAS: 2013 Jan 22;110(4):1512-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212137110. Epub 2013 Jan 7.



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