UHL and UL participate in research venture into tackling bowel disease

Rita Hinchion, UL HRI CRSU, Dr Maeve Skelly, Dr Manus Moloney and Elaine Conway, UL HRI CRSU Picture: Liam Burke Press 22  Photo captio

Rita Hinchion, UL HRI CRSU, Dr Maeve Skelly, Dr Manus Moloney and Elaine Conway, UL HRI CRSU Picture: Liam Burke Press 22 Photo captio

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick will take part in exclusive research into inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) after teaming up with life sciences company Genomics Medicine Ireland.

UHL, through the Health Research Institute at UL, is one of eight hospitals nationwide taking part in the pioneering genomics study, which is the first of its kind in Ireland.

Genomics is the study of genomes, the genetic material found in a cell or organism.

IBD, the onset of which is typically at a young age, can impact sufferers’ education and work performance and quality of life.

The purpose of the study is to identify genetic markers that can help diagnose and predict the severity of IBD, as well as to identify personalised treatments for sufferers.

Dr Maeve Skelly, of UHL, said it is “exciting” to be part of the research and is inviting patients to “learn more about this innovative research”.

Dr Manus Moloney, of UHL and Nenagh Hospital, said: “It’s great to see this kind of advanced research happening across Ireland and we’re excited to be able to offer participation to eligible IBD patients at University Hospital Limerick.”

Dr Moloney added that this study has “great promise” for treating associated conditions, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Ireland has the highest rate of colitis in the world.

Prof Rachel Msetfi, director of HRI at UL, expressed delight at being part of the research.

“We hope the discoveries coming out of this collaboration will enhance patient treatments and improve the health of people living with IBD.”

Sean Ennis, Chief Scientific Officer, Genomics Medicine Ireland said: “Our research is focused on new discoveries leading to the prevention of IBD. We will be examining the underlying genetic changes using techniques such as whole genome sequencing to identify both common and rare variants associated with IBD.”

People with IBD attending research centres and who are interested in participating in the study can ask their consultant for more information.

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