by Conn Hastings (RCSI)
On the evening of the 26th September 2014, AMCARE researchers took part in Discover Research Dublin 2014, an interactive night of public engagement on wide variety of research themes.
The initiative was funded by the European Commission's Research and Innovation Framework Programme H2020 (2014-2020) and was hosted by Trinity College Dublin (TCD), in partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).
The AMCARE stand was aptly entitled ‘Mending Broken Hearts’ and consisted of interactive models, experiments, a slide show and poster presentations. The overall goal of the event was to provide an overview of the activities of researchers in both TCD and RCSI, for both entertainment and educational purposes. This engagement was intended to demystify scientific research while illustrating its potential value to society. The event facilitated direct public contact with researchers, to allow for questions and participation.
The night was a huge success and the AMCARE stand was very popular. The AMCARE team discussed various facets of our day to day work. We illustrated the mechanism behind a myocardial infarction (MI) and why current treatments are often suboptimal. The team outlined our proposal in general terms and explained how it could potentially improve the lives of MI patients. Dr. Aamir Hameed, a cardiothoracic surgeon and AMCARE research assistant, demonstrated on a full scale model of a human torso, the method of insertion, path of deployment and site of delivery of a trans-vascular injection catheter. Liam McDonagh, a Pharmacy student completing a Masters project with the AMCARE team, demonstrated the use and action of cross-linkable hydrogels with an interactive experiment in which the public could participate. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the team was encouraged by the level of public interest and engagement.