Prof Garry Duffy

Garry_DuffyDr Garry Duffy is Personal Professor of Anatomy, within the School of Medicine at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and Honorary Professor of Regenerative Medicine in the Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Garry is an expert in stem cell therapeutics and advanced biomaterials. He leads the Duffy Lab at NUIG, which is focused on developing advanced biomaterials to facilitate targeted delivery and future clinical translation of cell based therapeutics to treat chronic diseases. Central to this are the two European Consortia that Garry Coordinates, AMCARE and DRIVE, which gather a combined 18 industry, academic and clinical partners to design smart living biomaterial implants to treat myocardial infarction and diabetes, respectively. Garry is one of 28 PIs in AMBER, the €57 million Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research centre based in Trinity College Dublin which is co-funded by 20 industry partners and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). He is also Adjunct Associate Professor and Principal Investigator in the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering at Trinity College Dublin.

Garry has a keen interest in developing minimally invasive surgical devices to enable the future translation of biomaterial based cell therapy products. He is an Investigator in the €48 million CURAM SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices. He was the PI on a project that won 2nd place in the 2015 Cleveland Clinic and Enterprise Ireland Clinical Innovation Awards. In 2016 he completed a Science Foundation Ireland-funded Academia to Industry Fellowship with Boston Scientific Ltd Corporate Research where he developed medical devices for the delivery of biomaterial based therapeutics.

Garry graduated in Anatomy from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2002. He subsequently completed his PhD in the area of adult stem cell therapeutics for cardiovascular disease under the supervision of Prof. Frank Barry in the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), NUI Galway. Garry is a two-time Fulbright Scholar. During his first Scholarship in June 2006, he carried out research in cardiovascular tissue engineering and stem cell biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the supervision of Prof. Robert M. Nerem. He was awarded his second scholarship while on sabbatical in June 2013 to carry out research in advanced materials for cardiac regeneration at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in collaboration with Prof. Jeffrey Karp. Garry spent 9 years in the Department of Anatomy, RCSI where he joined as a Lecturer in July 2008 and left as Associate Professor in 2016 to take up his current role in NUIG. Through his Honorary Professorship and EU projects he still maintains close links with the RCSI faculty, especially the Kelly Lab.

Dr Helena Kelly

Helena_KellyDr Helena Kelly is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and a Principal Investigator in the Tissue Engineering and Drug Delivery Research Groups at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She leads the Kelly Lab within the Drug Delivery Research Group at RCSI. An expert in pharmaceutics, Helena graduated with a BSc (Pharm) from Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) and subsequently carried out PhD research in the area of hydrogels and sustained drug delivery in the Department of Pharmaceutics, TCD.

A true translational scientist, Helena’s career has spanned both academic and industrial settings. After completing her PhD, Helena spent six years in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry in Senior Project Manager Roles which gave her a wealth of experience in pharmaceutical production, scale up, technology transfer, clinical trial manufacture and the regulatory approval process.  This experience has been vital to her current research roles as PI and Deputy Coordinator of both the AMCARE and DRIVE Research Consortia, which focus on developing hydrogel-based delivery systems for cell therapies for cardiac repair following myocardial infarction and to treat diabetes, respectively.

Helena returned to academia in 2008, when she was appointed Lecturer in Pharmaceutics in the School of Pharmacy, RCSI. From January 2012 to March 2014 she was seconded as Project Manager for the establishment of the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIoP). Since her return, Helena has been promoted to Senior Lecturer in the School of Pharmacy.

Helena was recently awarded an €191k Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund as PI to develop “Chemogel”, a hydrogel-based delivery platform for targeted chemotherapy. The technology has potential application in a range of difficult to treat solid tumours including some of those with the poorest clinical outcomes.