Taoiseach Announces Medical Device Research Collaboration between Boston Scientific and the SFI Research Centre CÚRAM

  Dr Niamh Hynes, CÚRAM Investigator

Dr Niamh Hynes, CÚRAM Investigator

·             Medical device research in cardiovascular illnesses will allow surgeons to support minimally invasive procedures and improve outcomes for patients.
Washington D.C., 14th March 2018 – An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, today announced a new research project between CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at National University Ireland (NUI) Galway, and Boston Scientific. The research will enhance medical devices that allow surgeons to support minimally invasive procedures when carrying out life-saving repairs for aneurysms and aortic valve repair. It is one of several new research projects emerging from the collaboration between CÚRAM and Boston Scientific.

Speaking at a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) event in Washington DC to celebrate and build scientific collaboration between Ireland and the United States as part of the St Patrick’s Day Festival, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said, “These new research projects are further evidence of the high calibre of our research talent and the continued growth of the medical devices sector in Ireland.”
“Thanks to significant Government investment in R&D through Science Foundation Ireland, we have built a world-class research ecosystem, and Ireland is now recognised as a global leader in creative, innovative technologies. By collaborating with industry on innovative research, I hope we can look forward to the development of new and affordable solutions for chronic diseases, which can have a transformative effect on people's lives.”


Boston Scientific products touch the lives of more than 25 million patients each year. Its Galway facility, which focuses on cardiovascular devices, is the company’s largest facility in Ireland. Key product lines include drug-eluting stents, biliary stents, and catheters.
This new project, led by CÚRAM Principal Investigator (PI) Dr Niamh Hynes, offers the exciting potential to develop new devices by bringing together clinical and industry expertise and experience with biomedical and scientific research excellence.
“This unique, multi-disciplinary, specialist environment is key to CÚRAM’s success in developing strong programmes of work with our industry partners; in this case bringing substantial investment from Boston Scientific,” said Prof Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of the SFI Research Centre CÚRAM. “This project is in addition to three other ongoing research projects with Boston Scientific.”

Interventional cardiology is a branch of cardiology dealing specifically with catheter-based treatment of structural heart diseases. Minimally invasive transcatheter procedures for aortic valve repair, which involve inserting a replacement valve are being used more frequently, reducing the risk of surgery for patients. Research is now focusing on the development of novel interventional solutions, which allow blood to flow in the correct direction through the heart. CÚRAM Principle Investigator, Dr Faisal Sharif, in collaboration with Boston Scientific, is developing technology to further reduce risk and improve outcomes for patients undergoing these surgeries.
Another research project, led by CÚRAM Investigator Prof Tim O’ Brien, is carrying out a preclinical evaluation of a catheter device to support muscle and vascular regeneration in patients suffering from critical limb ischaemia; a severe obstruction of the arteries which reduces blood flow to the extremities. CÚRAM investigators Prof Gearoid Ó Laighin and Dr Leo Quinlan are also collaborating with Boston Scientific on the development of a novel implantable electrical stimulation device to improve cardiovascular circulation.
Prof Mark Ferguson, Science Foundation Ireland Director General and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said “The significant work being carried out by the SFI Research Centre CÚRAM continues to position Ireland at the forefront of the world medical device industry. I am delighted with the announcement of this new research partnership, which highlights the world-class reputation of Ireland as an important centre for R&D. The deepening of CÚRAM’s industry research collaborations is a testament to the research talent and collaborative environment which companies can access in Ireland. I am also confident that the project outcomes have the potential to positively transform human health across the world.”
“CÚRAM’s goal is to establish long-term strategic relationships with our industry partners, to complete projects that advance medical device technologies and inventions and convert these into products and services that benefit the patient,” said Prof Pandit. “Our Industry Programme Team facilitates and supports collaborations such as the projects we are working on with Boston Scientific; from the initial enquiry right through to knowledge transfer and the identification of future projects.”
CÚRAM is a world-leading SFI Research Centre that brings together researchers from the National University of Ireland Galway, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, University College Cork, University Limerick. Its overarching aim is to radically improve quality of life for patients suffering from chronic illness. CÚRAM’s clinical targets include cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, neural disorders, musculoskeletal issues, soft tissue repair and renal and urological disease.

SITE Symposium 2018

This year at the SITE symposium, the format changed to now include discussion, training and advances, with world renowned vascular and endovascular specialists in attendance. Prof Sultan of the WVI also attended, discussing exciting research and also serving as a panelist during key discussions.

Image Copyright - Sebastian Szulfer photodesign

To access the full photo gallery from SITE 2018, click here

Award for WVI Research at RAMI


Congratulations to Dr Patrick Canning,  who carried out his research at the WVI on cost effectiveness for during EVAR, and rEVAR, and who won best poster presentation for clinical research at RAMI Intern study day, Sat 27 January 2018 in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin. His research was in predictive scoring post EVAR.

Dr Canning is currently on an academic track internship in St. James's hospital, Dublin, which is a new scheme for interns in the country. This scheme is unique in that interns are allowed protected time to do research.

Cochrane Protocols Published


The Western Vascular Institute began investigating newer methods of evidence synthesis in 2016, under the guidance of Dr Fionnuala Jordan, Cochrane fellow. Currently, the WVI has six reviews underway with two Cochrane groups, Vascular and Stroke.  On January 19, three of these protocol were published.

Read the protocols by following the links below.

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Endovascular versus conventional open surgical repair for thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms

Abstract This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the effectiveness and safety of endovascular repair versus conventional open surgical repair (OSR) used in the management of thoracoabdominal aorta aneurysms (TAAAs). Read more

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Hybrid repair versus conventional open repair for thoracic aortic arch aneurysms

Abstract This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the effectiveness and safety of hybrid repair versus conventional open surgical repair for the treatment of thoracic aortic arch aneurysms (TAAs). Read more

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Hybrid repair versus conventional open repair for aortic arch dissection

Abstract This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows: To assess the effectiveness and safety of a hybrid technique of treatment over conventional open repair in the management of aortic arch dissection. Read more