A UNIVERSITY of Limerick researcher has been awarded a prestigious grant of €1.5m to pursue studies in treating bone-loss diseases.
Dr David Hoey, who works in the Materials and Surface Science Institute, at UL, specialises in how physical activity can help maintain a healthy skeleton.
According to Dr Hoey the funding of €1.5m, which was granted by the European Research Council, will help them discover “innovative treatments” for bone-loss diseases.
“My research will focus on the stem cell primary cilium, which is an antennae-like structure that extends from the surface of these cells. This ‘antenna’ is required for stem cells to sense a physical load enabling the cell to change into a bone-forming cell and replace the lost bone. Understanding how this process works will enable us to mimic the beneficial effect of physical loading using newly developed drugs and therapeutics and will lead to innovative treatments for bone-loss diseases, such as osteoporosis,” he said.
According to Dr Mary Shire, vice president of UL research, Mr Hoey is one of two Irish-based researchers to receive an ERC grant and that it will prove to be beneficial for patients with bone-loss ailments in the future.