NUI Galway project into bone fragility in Type-2 Diabetes awarded major European grant
07 August 2018
Photo: Nevan McCartin
Two researchers supported by NUI Galway have been awarded significant European Research Council (ERC) starting grants for their research into bone fragility in Type-2 Diabetes and the roles and voices of youths in the study of minority and regional language preservation.
In total the European Research Council awarded the ERC grants to 403 talented early career researchers in the fields of physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, and social sciences and humanities.
Researchers will benefit from €603 million in total and up to €1.5 million each, to create their own research teams and conduct pioneering projects. The grants are part of the ‘excellent science’ pillar of the EU’s current Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
€1.5m grant to conduct research into ‘Multiscale Mechanics of Bone Fragility in Type-2 Diabetes’
Dr Ted Vaughan, a lecturer in biomedical engineering from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, has been awarded a €1.5 million European Research Council Starting Grant to conduct ground-breaking research into his project, Multiscale Mechanics of Bone Fragility in Type-2 Diabetes.
Dr Vaughan said: “Type-2 Diabetes is associated with a higher risk of skeletal bone fractures and contributes to the 3.5 million bone fragility fractures that occur annually in Europe. Interestingly, the elevated risk of fracture in patients with Type-2 Diabetes is not accompanied with any reduction in their bone density.
“This is in stark contrast to Osteoporosis, probably the most widely studied bone disease, where bone density is significantly reduced. Currently, there is a limited understanding of the physical changes that take place in diabetic bone disease.
“Also, it is not known why such changes compromise the structural integrity of bone tissue and this presents distinct clinical challenges in terms of both assessment and treatment of bone fragility in Type-2 Diabetes.”
Dr Vaughan and his research team will use novel experimental and computational techniques to understand the mechanics of bone fragility in Type-2 Diabetes. A multiscale framework will be used to evaluate fracture processes at several different length scales in the tissue, including state-of-the-art techniques that will identify the role of individual molecules on bone fracture behaviour.
Innovative clinical diagnostic strategy
The research programme will significantly advance our understanding of the physical mechanisms responsible for bone fragility in Type-2 Diabetes and Dr Vaughan will use this information to develop an innovative clinical diagnostic strategy for this patient population. Research in this area forms a critical need with the ever-increasing world-wide prevalence of Type-2 Diabetes.
Professor Lokesh Joshi, vice-president for research at NUI Galway, said: “European Research Council Starting Grants are one of the most prestigious and competitive awards for researchers in Europe. This particular award identifies excellent emerging talent and we are delighted that our university has attracted two awards. These awards also highlight our strengths and the depth of our international standing and reputation in the fields of biomedical engineering and the humanities.”
Grantees from 44 countries across the world received grants, from as far afield as Vietnam and Argentina. The competition therefore enabled some researcher mobility and the spread of scientific knowledge as 40 grantees will move country to take up their grant, and 16 will come from outside the EU and H2020 associated countries.
These grants will help the selected scientists build their own research teams, leading to job creation as an estimated 1,500 postdocs, PhD students and other staff could be employed to support them.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2018/08/07/nui-galway-project-bone-fragility-type-2-diabetes-awarded-major-european-grant/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/a-acg-1024x768.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/a-acg-300x300.jpgNewsbiomedical,grants,NUI Galway