Professor Beatty was recently interviewed on the TG4 programme entitled "I mBarr do Slainte". The ...
The mission of the Macular Pigment Research Group is to study the role of nutrition for optimising visual function and prevention of blindness, cognitive function and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG) is based in Carriganore House, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland. This unique research facility offers state-of-the-art vision testing laboratories and infrastructure. In addition, we have a high quality biochemical laboratory, which allows us to conduct clinical trials to the highest possible standard.
The focus of our research concerns naturally occurring plant pigments known as carotenoids. Carotenoids play important roles throughout the body, but three particular carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin) are found at the back of the eye (the macula) where they are collectively known as macular pigment.
The Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST) is funded by the European Research Council, and comprises two different trials: CREST Normal and CREST AMD. CREST aims to assess the impact of enriched macular pigment with all three macular carotenoids - lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z), and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ) - on visual performance and blindness. Of note, this is the first study to test the effects of supplementation with all three macular carotenoids, including MZ, in the context of a sufficiently powered, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.
Trial 1: CREST Normal (Recruitment has ended for this trial)
We are looking for volunteers for CREST Normal. This study is investigating ways in which enrichment of macular pigment with the macular carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin) impact on the visual performance and experience of normal subjects. We aim to recruit 120 subjects in each group. The MPRG investigator affiliated with this trial is PhD student Jessica Dennison.
The following people are suitable to volunteer for CREST Normal:
People over the age of 18
People with no eye conditions (spectacles and contact lens-wearers can volunteer)
People who are not currently taking eye-related dietary supplements (i.e. those containing lutein, zeaxanthin and/or meso-zeaxanthin)
People with diabetes or who have had laser eye surgery are not suitable for this study.
Please call Niamh Owens on 051 302810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Trial 2: CREST AMD (Recruitment has ended for this trial)
Recruitment for CREST AMD has ended. This study is investigating ways in which enrichment of macular pigment with the macular carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin) impacts on the visual performance and experience of subjects with early stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The MPRG investigator affiliated with this trial is PhD student Kwadwo Akuffo.
All participants on the CREST AMD study will be guaranteed to receive a supplement containing one of two different formulations of the macular carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin, as well as a multivitamin. This follows the National Eye Institute standard of care guidelines for patients with AMD.
The following people are suitable to volunteer for CREST AMD:
People over the age of 18
People who have been diagnosed with early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in one eye
People who are not currently taking eye-dietary supplements (i.e. those containing lutein, zeaxanthin and/or meso-zeaxanthin)
People with diabetes are not suitable for this study.
Please call Laura Corcoran on 051 845505 or email email@example.com
Egg Xanthophyll Interventional Trial (EXIT: Eggs for Eyes)
The objective of EXIT is the development of a macular carotenoid-enriched egg as an innovative supplement for vision and cognitive health.
Update, December 2013:
The EXIT clinical trial has now been completed, and we sincerely thank all volunteers for their time. Data analysis and publications are now underway.
What is the EXIT Study?
The “EXIT” study aims to improve vision using a novel nutrient-enriched hen egg as a healthy alternative to a normal eye supplement.
What was involved?
A healthy egg-based breakfast was specially prepared by the chefs of the Culinary Arts Department in the WIT Tourism & Leisure Building. Each volunteer was invited to enjoy this breakfast five days a week for eight weeks.
Each volunteers was also asked to attend two study visits; one at the beginning and one at the end of the eight week study. These study visits were held at the Vision Research Centre in Carriganore House, WIT West Campus, and measured visual performance, cognitive function and health checks (including blood pressure and cholesterol) using gold-standard specialised techniques.
Meso-Zeaxanthin Ocular Supplementation Trials (MOST) is an initial investigation into the efficacy of supplementation with meso-zeaxanthin, the central macular carotenoid, for patients with, or at risk of developing, AMD. These studies are comparing different formulations of macular carotenoid supplements and their impact on macular pigment enrichment, visual performance, and disease progression.
Update, December 2013:
All MOST study visits have now been completed, and we sincerely thank all our volunteers who gave us their time for this study over the last three years. Data analysis and publications are now underway.
Prof. John Nolan
Howard Chair in Human Nutrition, Fulbright Scholar, European Research Council (ERC) Fellow
Prof. John Nolan is the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG, www.mprg.ie). His research group studies the role of eye nutrition for vision and prevention of blindness, and current studies are investigating the link between nutrition and brain health and function.
Professor Nolan has successfully supervised eleven students to MSc, PhD and MD level, and is currently supervising six PhD candidates as part of ongoing projects at the MPRG. He has presented at over 70 international scientific conferences and has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers on his area of research (1731 = citations, H index = 25). Professor Nolan is also Chair of the International Macular Carotenoids Conference, which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University, UK., see www.macularcarotenoids.org
Prof. Stephen Beatty
L.R.C.P.I., L.R.C.S.I., M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O.(N.U.I.), M.M.Sc., F.R.C.Ophth, E.B.O.D., M.D. - Director
Professor Stephen Beatty is the Director of the Macular Pigment Research Group. He graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1990, and trained as an ophthalmic surgeon in Dublin, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Geneva. He has been a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with a special interest in retinal disease since 2001.
Stephen Beatty has a strong track record in research, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications (2,332 citations, H index 22), and his research interest include cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Stephen Beatty was appointed Professor at Waterford Institute of Technology in 2010 and Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin in 2011.
Dr. David Kelly
PhD - Postdoctoral Senior Scientist
David Kelly is the Postdoctoral Senior Scientist at the Macular Pigment Research Group. David received a BSc (Honours) Degree in Applied Biosciences from Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in 2006 and was subsequently awarded an Irish Research Council Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) grant to pursue a research PhD at the department of Biological Sciences at CIT. This project focused on the isolation and exploitation of bacteriophages (naturally-occurring bacterial viruses) for the bio-control of both food spoilage bacteria (Lactic acid bacteria) and medical pathogens such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
After completion of his PhD, David worked in a dual research / technical role in the same department at CIT for three years, gaining experience in many areas such as Microbiology, Biochemistry, Cell Culture, Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics, Biomedical Science, and Food Science. He has also gained previous industrial research and development experience with Glanbia Nutritionals, in addition to Microbiologist roles in the food and beverage industry (Glenpatrick Water, Kilkenny Nutritionals).
He worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Shannon ABC at I.T. Tralee prior to joining the MPRG, using immune and epithelial cell models to investigate the potential of marine extracts for use as novel therapeutic agents against animal parasites.
Ms. Jessica Dennison
- Postgraduate Research Student
Jessica Dennison is a postgraduate research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group currently working on the European Research Council-funded Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST).
During her time with the MPRG she has first-authored a publication in Experimental Eye Research, in 2013, entitled “Concordance of macular pigment measurements obtained using customized heterochromatic flicker photometry, dual-wavelength autofluorescence, and single-wavelength reflectance.” She has also presented on the subject of her paper at ARVO 2013, and the Macular Carotenoids Conference 2013.
Prior to joining the MPRG, Jessica completed her BA in Natural Sciences with a minor in Sociology at Fordham University in New York City. She has done previous research at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary with Dr. Dan-Ning Hu and Professor Joan Roberts on reactive oxygen species damage to human retinal pigment epithelial cells and protection by melatonin and other antioxidants.
Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Akuffo
O.D. - Postgraduate Research Student
Kwadwo O. Akuffo is a postgraduate research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. He is currently working on the project entitled “Enrichment of Macular Pigment and its Impact on Vision and Blindness: Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST)”
He has been trained in retinal photograph grading at the Reading Centre, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK. With this training, he has completed grading of approximately 10,000 retinal photographs taken as part of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) for AMD, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. He is also a member of the TILDA Vision Group.
Kwadwo is an Optometrist by profession. Prior to starting his studies, he worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of Optometry and Visual Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana. From 2005 to 2011, he studied Doctor of Optometry (OD) at KNUST, graduating with distinction. During his studies at KNUST, he was on the Faculty of Biosciences Dean’s Honours List on three consecutive occasions for outstanding academic performance. In his final year at KNUST, he was appointed as the President of the Dr. D.B. Kumah Research Group, Department of Optometry and Visual Science, KNUST, during which he coordinated the activities of his colleagues working on various projects in vision science.
Kwadwo is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), American Academy of Optometry (AAO), European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) and the Society for Clinical Trials (SCT). His research interests include age-related eye disease, vision and nutrition.
Ms. Kate Loskutova
- Visiting Medical Research Student
Kate Loskutova is a visiting research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group. She is currently a student at the Moscow State Medical Stomatological University and is anticipated to graduate in 2014, with the Bachelor of General Medicine degree. Kate completed a three week observership at the Basel Augenspital, Switzerland, and a six week observership at the Ophthalmology Department in Glostrup Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. She has previously studied the link between antioxidants and age-related macular degeneration with the MPRG in 2010 and is a co-author of the poster entitled "High Serum Concentrations of Lutein are Associated with Elevated 8-oxo-dg in Serum of Normal Subjects" presented at the ARVO 2011 Conference.
Ms. Clare Kirwan
FAOI - Clinical Optometrist
Clare is an optometrist with a First Class Honours Diploma in Optometry from the Dublin Institute of Technology. She won the Harte Barry Prize from the Optician’s Board and the Association of Optometrists Prize on graduation. After many years in retail optometry, Clare joined the Institute of Eye Surgery in 2011, where she works as a clinical optometrist with Professor Stephen Beatty in the Whitfield Clinic, Waterford. In January 2013 she joined the Institute of Vision Research team where she is in charge of the Whitfield Clinic arm of an international research project into the safety and efficacy of Lucentis, a drug used to treat age-related macular degeneration, and to investigate the Health-Related Quality of Life of patients undergoing this treatment. She also manages the Microperimetry Clinic in the Institute of Eye Surgery. Clare is also currently studying for a Masters in Cataract and Refractive Laser Surgery through the University of Ulster, Coleraine.
Ms. Rachel Moran
BSc (Honours) - Postgraduate Research Student
Rachel Moran is a postgraduate research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group in Waterford Institute of Technology. She is currently working on a project entitled “Plasma antioxidant status in Irish Adults: The Irish LongituDinal Study on Aging (TILDA)”, a position she successfully attained through competitive interview. She completed a BSc (Honours) degree in Applied Biology with Quality Management in Waterford Institute of Technology and was recognised as AIB Student of the Year in 2011. Rachel has assisted research on the GMSAFOOD project entitled: “Biomarkers for post market monitoring of short and long-term effects of genetically modified organisms on animal and human health” and worked independently, while under the supervision of two experienced researchers, on a research project entitled: “Isolation and characterisation of endospore-forming bacteria isolated from pig manure-derived compost”. She has also gained industry experience as quality assurance administrator in Genzyme.
Mr. Ganjar Saefurahman
- PhD Student
Ganjar Saefurahman is a postgraduate research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group, Waterford Institute of Technology. He is currently working on the project entitled Lutein Algae Feasibility funded by the European Research Council. He completed a BSc degree in Marine Science in the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia in 2008. He worked as a laboratory and lecturer assistant at the Laboratory of Ichthyology, Marine Biology, Chemical Oceanography, and Aquatic Ecology, Bogor Agricultural University between 2005 and 2008. He continued to work as a researcher with the Microalgae R&D Laboratory, Surfactant and Bioenergy Research Center, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia from 2008 to 2011. His research group conducted various projects of microalgae R&D funded by government institutions, e.g. the Ministry of Research and Technology, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, private industries, and international institutes.
In 2011, Ganjar became an Australian Development Scholarships Awardees from Indonesia. He continued a M.Phil study of Biological Sciences as a research student at Algae R&D Centre, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Australia from 2012 to 2014. His research thesis was the effects of different light spectra on the growth, composition and productivity of microalgae. In 2013, he was one of the Junior Research Award nominees in the 7th International Algae Congress, Germany. Ganjar is a member of the International Society for Applied Phycology, the Asia-Pacific Society for Applied Phycology and the Royal Society of Western Australia. His area of R&D is microalgae culture, photobiology and applied phycology for high-value products and environmental applications.
Ms. Fiona Moejes
- Visiting PhD Student
Fiona graduated with a Masters of Biological Science degree from the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology department of the University of Sheffield in 2011 where she looked at identifying and characterising the microalgae Tetraselmis suecica as a potential source of biodiesel.
As of April 2013, she became one of 13 Early Stage Researcher/PhD students that form the Marie Curie Initial Training Network project funded by the European Commission called AccliPhot. The main research aim of AccliPhot is to investigate and understand short-term acclimation mechanisms to changes in light conditions in photosynthetic organisms (see www.accliphot.eu). In particular, her research aims to evaluate the efficiency of Phaeodactylum tricornutum strains for biofuel production in large-scale industrial outdoor bioreactors and assess the extent to which the models developed for controlled laboratory conditions are applicable to outdoor, industry-scale bioreactors. She is based at Daithi O’Murchu Marine Research Station (DOMMRS) in Bantry, Ireland (see www.dommrc.com).
Her microalgal culturing experience led to her role as a visiting scientist assisting with the initial laboratory set up and strain selection for the proof-of-concept project LutEin Algae Feasibility (LEAF) project at the Waterford Institute of Technology.
Mr. Rafael Herena
- PhD Student
Rafael was born in Barcelona in 1985, he studied Marine Sciences at the University of Cádiz, obtaining a background as oceanographer and marine biologist. Afterwards, he completed a Masters in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Almeria, where he specialized in microorganism bioengineering and bioprocessing.
During his bachelor degree and thanks to a Seneca grant he worked in the L’Oceanografic de Valencia as a marine biologist. In 2011 he completed a Masters thesis at PharmaMar biopharmaceutical company (Madrid) about the development of antitumoral compounds from marine actinobacteria.
In 2012 Rafa started working in The Netherlands with a Leonardo Da Vinci grant at FeyeCon CO2 technologies, in a FP7 project call “All-Gas” (biodiesel from microalgae grown in wastewater). Since then he has been working for C2circle as a biotechnologist in the bioenergy and green chemicals group.
Macular Pigment Research Group Overview 2012
An Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny TD Launches MPRG Vision Research Centre at WIT
MPRG Biochemical Laboratory
Macular Pigment Research Group, Vision Research Centre
Macular pigment and its functions
RTE Nationwide (Ireland)- Dr. John Nolan and Prof. Stephen Beatty
Part 1 of RTE Nationwide Programme on Macular Pigment Research Group
Part 2 of RTE Nationwide Programme on Macular Pigment Research Group
There are no current vacancies at the MPRG at this time.
An sprioc atá ag an Grúpa Taighde Lí Macúl ná chun staideár a dhéanamh ar an ról atá ag cothú chun feidhmiú amharc a bharrfheabhsaigh agus daille a sheachaint, feidhm cognaíoch agus galar Alzheimer a sheachaint.
Tá an Grúpa Taighde Lí Macúl lonnaithe i Tigh Carraiganore, Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Phort Láirge, Port Láirge, Éire. Chuireann an fóntas taighde uathúil seo tástáil radharc saotharlanna agus bonneagar atá faoi staid na teicníochta ar fáil. Chomh maith leis sin, tá saotharlann bithcheimiceach againn anseo, agus tugann sé deis dúinn trialacha cliniciúil a iompair chuig an chaighdeán is airde.
Tá ár taighde dírithe ar líonna plandaí a tharlaíonn go nádúrtha. Glaotar caratéanóideacha ar na líonna sin.. Tá ról tábhachtach ag na caratéinóideacha i gcorp an dhuine, ach tá trí caratéinóideacha ar leith (lutein, zeaxanthin agus méisea-zeaxanthin) a fhaightear ag cúl na súile (an macúl), in áit ina aithnítear iad mar lí macúil.
Faigheann an Trialacha Forlíonú Saibhriú Reitinach Láir (TFSRL) mhaoinithe tríd an Comhairle Taighde Eorpach, agus tá dhá trialacha éagsúla i gceist leis: Gnáth TFSRL agus MMA TFSRL. An sprioc atá ag TFSRL ná chun tionchar de lí macúil saibhrithe ar cruthú radharc agus daille a mheas le gach ceann do na trí caratéanóideacha – lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z), agus méisea-zeaxanthin (MZ). Is é seo an chéad imscrúdú a rinne tástáil ar na tionchar do forlíonú le gach ceann do na trí caratéanóideacha macúil, MZ san áireamh, i gcomhthéacs de go leor cumhacht, dall dúbailte, randamaithe, triail cliniciúil ina bhfuil rialaithe ag placebo.
Triail 1: Gnáth TFSRL (Níl níos mó earcú ar fail don triail seo)
Tá muid ag iarraidh oibrí deonach do Gnáth TFSRL. Tá an triail seo ag imscrúdú slite ina mbíonn tionchar ag saibhriú lí macúil le na caratéanóideacha macúil (lutein, zeaxanthin agus méisea-zeaxanthin) ar cruthú radharc agus ar taithí do gnáth ábhair. Tá muid ag iarraidh 120 n-ábhair a n-earcú i ngach grúpa. An imscrúdaitheoir GTLM atá bainteach leis an triail seo ná dalta PhD Jessica Dennison.
Na dhaoine atá oiriúnach mar oibrithe deonach ná:
Dhaoine thar 18
Dhaoine gan aon ríochtaí súile (is féidir le spéaclaí agus chaitheamhóirí lionsa tadhaill an obair deonach a dhéanamh)
Dhaoine nach bhfuil ag tógáil forlíontaí cothaithe ina bhfuil baintach le súile faoin tráth seo (sin é forlíontaí a chuimsíonn lutein, zeaxanthin agus/nó méisea-zeaxanthin)
Níl dhaoine le diaibéiteas nó dhaoine atá tar éis máinliacht léasar na súile a fháil oiriúnach don triail seo.
Le do thoil, chuir gloach ar Niamh Owens ar 051 302810, nó, chuir ríomhphoist chuig firstname.lastname@example.org
Triail 2: MMA TFSRL (Níl níos mó earcú ar fáil don triail seo)
Níl níos mó earcaíocht ar fáil do MMA TFSRL. Tá an triail seo ag imscrúdú slite ina mbíonn tionchar ag saibhriú lí macúil le na caratéanóideacha macúil (lutein, zeaxanthin agus méisea-zeaxanthin) ar cruthú radharc agus ar taithí d’ábhair le céim luath do meathlúchán macúil aoischoibhneasa (MMA). An imscrúdaitheoir GTLM atá bainteach leis an triail seo ná dalta PhD Kwadwo Akuffo.
Beidh gach rannpháirteach ar an triail an MMA TFSRL ráthaithe chun forlíon a chuimsíonn cheann do na dhá foirmlithe do na caratéanóideacha lutein, zeaxanthin, agus meso-zeaxanthin, chomh maith le vitimíní-iolrach a fháil. Leanann sé seo na treorlíntí cúram don Institúid Náisiúnta na Súile a bhaineann le othair le MMA.
Na dhaoine atá oiriúnach mar oibrithe deonach do TFSRL MMA ná:
Dhaoine thar 18
Dhaoine atá tar éis a bheith diagnóisaithe le céim luath do meathlúchán macúil aoischoibhneasa (MMA) i súil amháin
Dhaoine nach bhfuil ag tógáil forlíontaí cothaithe ina bhfuil baintach le súile faoin tráth seo (sin é forlíontaí a chuimsíonn lutein, zeaxanthin agus/nó meso-zeaxanthin)
Níl dhaoine le diaibéiteas oiriúnach don triail seo.
Le do thoil, chuir glaoch ar Laura Corcoran ar 051 845505, nó, chuir ríomhphoist chuig email@example.com
Professor Beatty interviewed on I mBarr do Slainte on TG4
Professor Beatty was recently interviewed on the TG4 programme entitled "I mBarr do Slainte". The programme centred around the importance of eye health. To watch this programme in full, please click on the link below:
Countless collisions have occurred due to blind spots created by sun glare and the distance ...
Motorists, including truck drivers are being warned of the dangers of sun glare.
Countless collisions have occurred due to blind spots created by sun glare and the distance perception problems that are created. Driving directly against the sun can also block peripheral areas of vision and cause sudden moments of blindness as the sun peeks out from behind surrounding objects.
It can make using the road for pedestrians and cyclists very challenging also as it can be very difficult for motorists to see them.
Like beauty, glare is often in the eye of the beholder. Drivers middle-aged and older are more sensitive to glare than younger drivers because their eyes take longer to adjust to changing light levels.
For example, a 55-year old takes eight times longer to recover from glare than a 16-year-old. As the population ages, the number of older drivers will continue to rise as will the number of complaints about glare.
Lighter-coloured eyes are more sensitive, which means the lighter your eyes are the more glare will bother you. Certain other conditions, such as having had vision-correction surgery that affects the corneas, may also increase your sensitivity to glare.
James Loughman, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science at Dublin Institute of Technology added: “Individuals who suffer dry eyes often find their symptoms worsen during driving. This has the additional effect of increasing glare as a result of ocular irritation and an irregular tear film. Our research at Dublin Institute of Technology has also revealed that macular pigment plays a critical role in glare sensitivity.This pigment, which accumulates in the retina, filters the light as it strikes the retina and removes the components that cause glare much in the way that polarised sunglasses work. In essence, this pigment is the eye’s natural protection against glare”.
Unexpectedly, our diet is an important factor for both tear function and macular pigment protection against glare. Evidence exists, for example, that omega-3 fatty acids have a beneficial effect on tear function. Macular pigment is entirely of dietary origin and is typically deficient in Irish adults due to the lower than average intake of leafy green vegetables such as spinach or kale. This may predispose individuals to increased risk of glare and potentially to certain eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration. Importantly, however, Prof. Loughman states that “our research has shown that dietary supplementation with macular carotenoids in the quantities found in the commercially available supplement, Macushield, can alleviate glare sensitivity, while the use of artificial tears can have similarly beneficial effects on glare disability in the case of persistent dry eye”.
Article sourced from Safedriving.ie http://www.safedriving.ie/606/motorists-get-sun-glare-warning-2/
James Loughman, professor of optometry and vision science at Dublin Institute of Technology, says there ...
A professor of optometry has issued a warning about the dangers to road users posed by sun
James Loughman, professor of optometry and vision science at Dublin Institute of Technology, says there is a risk of collisions due to blind spots created by sun glare and the distance perception problems that this creates. He also explained that driving directly against the sun can also block peripheral vision and cause sudden moments of blindness as the sun peeks out from behind surrounding objects. The professor goes on to explain that middle-aged and older drivers are more sensitive to glare than younger drivers, because their eyes take longer to adjust to changing light levels. People with lighter coloured eyes will be bothered more by glare and vision-correction surgery can also increase sensitivity to glare. Professor Loughman said: “Individuals who suffer dry eyes often find their symptoms worsen during driving. This has the additional effect of increasing glare as a result of ocular irritation and an irregular tear film. “Our research also revealed that macular pigment plays a critical role in glare sensitivity. This pigment, which accumulates in the retina, filters the light as it strikes the retina and removes the components that cause glare, in the way that polarised sunglasses work. In essence, this pigment is the eye’s natural protection against glare.”Professor Loughman goes on to say that diet is an important factor for both tear function and macular pigment protection against glare. He said: “Our research has shown that dietary supplementation with macular carotenoids in the quantities found in the commercially available supplement, Macushield, can alleviate glare sensitivity, while the use of artificial tears can have similarly beneficial effects on glare disability in the case of persistent dry eye.” Noel Gibbons, road safety officer for Mayo County Council in Ireland, said: ''We can't change the position of the sun, or the need to travel at certain times, but there are simple steps you can take to ensure you're prepared for these conditions. ''Keep your windscreen clean, both inside and out. Dirty windscreens add to the danger when the sun is low. “If you can't see, slow down accordingly, keeping an eye on the traffic behind, in case the following vehicle doesn't see you against the sun. “Also, beware with these fine evenings (as) there are more pedestrians and cyclists on the road.''
Article sourced from Road Safety GB, Friday 19th September 2014 http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/3883.html">http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/3883.html
MPRG Student Rachel Moran spoke today about her research at the 17th Triennial International Carotenoid ...
MPRG Student Rachel Moran Presents at 17th Triennial International Carotenoid Symposium in UTAH
MPRG Student Rachel Moran spoke today about her research at the 17th Triennial International Carotenoid Symposium in Utah today. Rachel is also nominated for a presentation award at the conference.
The MPRG attended the opening of the new Netlabs facility in the Carraiganore Campus of ...
WIT’s ‘NetLabs’ centre to create 600 jobs by 2019
The MPRG attended the opening of the new Netlabs facility in the Carraiganore Campus of WIT where they showcased their research to date for Minister Ruairi Quinn. Click here to read the full press release from the Irish Independant.
Hi everyone, thank you so much for all the positive feedback following the Nationwide documentary ...
Huge response to Nationwide documentary!
Hi everyone, thank you so much for all the positive feedback following the Nationwide documentary on Monday night!
As you can imagine we have received a huge number of phone calls, and the whole team is working non-stop to get back to everyone who called and left messages or sent emails or letters. Please bear with us, and be assured that we will contact you as soon as we can.
If you have already left us a voicemail (please don't forget to leave your name and number!) there is no need to call again - we will get back to you.
If you have not yet managed to get through to leave a message or to speak to someone, you can call either 051 845505 or 051 306261, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
News story from the European Commission newsletter, 30th January 2014: "News you can use" Professor ...
MPRG to be showcased on RTE Nationwide
News story from the European Commission newsletter, 30th January 2014: "News you can use"
Professor John Nolan and his research team in the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) are working on how to prevent a condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition which affects an estimated 12 million people across Europe.
AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in people over 50 years of age, affecting an estimated 80,000 people in the Republic of Ireland, 500,000 people in the UK and over 12 million sufferers across Europe. This eye disease is particularly frustrating because it results in a loss of central vision. In other words, someone with AMD can see everything except what he or she is looking at, and is therefore unable to read, watch TV, drive, or recognise a loved one’s face.
Professor Nolan's work is being funded by the EU's European Research Council (ERC) to the tune of €1.5 million over 5 years. The research being undertaken at WIT will lead to improvements in eyesight for many sufferers of impaired vision, and potentially be beneficial even for those who are considered to have ‘normal’ vision.
Find out more about Prof Nolan's research project by watching Nationwide RTE TV - Monday 3 February at 19:00
Pictured: Professor John Nolan (back row, right) with Nationwide presenter Helen McInerney (back row, left), the RTE film crew, and MPRG patients.
Kwadwo Akuffo has been awarded the Young Achiever Award at the first edition of the ...
Kwadwo Akuffo awarded Young Achiever Award
Kwadwo Akuffo has been awarded the Young Achiever Award at the first edition of the Ghanaian – Irish & Networks Excellence (GINE) Awards. The GINE Awards were organised by the Ghana Union Ireland (GUI) in collaboration with the Ghana Consulate Ireland. The awards ceremony was held on the 28th December, 2013, at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin, to award individuals, organisations and groups demonstrating leadership, selflessness and dedication to the Ghanaian-Irish community within Ireland, and also to raise awareness and funds for GUI youth annual educational and social integration programmes in all regions. Ten different awards were given at the ceremony which included the Young Achiever Award. An awards committee reviewed nominations from Ghanaian-Irish community and network groups in the Republic of Ireland.
Three young people were nominated for the Young Achiever Award, given in recognition of an outstanding young person aged 16-30 years who has broken barriers and currently studying or yet to study at a university; has demonstrated dedication, enthusiasm, commitment and achievement in their chosen field; has excelled academically including extra-curricular activities within the community; and is a good role model amongst peers. His award was presented by Mr. Joe Costello T.D., Minister of State for Trade and Development and Mrs Emer Costello, Member of European Parliament for Dublin.
Kwadwo pictured (left) with Mr. Joe Costello T.D., Minister of State for Trade and Development, and other award winners.
The MPRG welcomes applications from high-achieving academic students who are interested in applying for funding ...
Vacancy: Postgraduate Students
The MPRG welcomes applications from high-achieving academic students who are interested in applying for funding to pursue a research PhD or Masters through the Irish Research Council (IRC) Postgraduate scheme 2014/ 2015. Click here for more information on this post and the application process.
Following the Macular Carotenoids Conference 2013, a CRC Press book publication entitled "Carotenoids and Retinal ...
Carotenoids and Retinal Disease book release
Following the Macular Carotenoids Conference 2013, a CRC Press book publication entitled "Carotenoids and Retinal Disease" has been released. This publication is a collaboration between the key opinion leaders in the field of macular carotenoids, and was edited by Professors John Nolan and John Landrum.
This book presents an up-to-date, thorough volume devoted to the chemistry, pathobiology, visual science, and medical and public health significance of the macular carotenoids. With contributions from an international group of leading experts, it covers a range of topics, from macular anatomy to clinical trials.
Carotenoids and Retinal Disease
John T. Landrum, Florida International University, Miami, USA
John Nolan, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland
We are pleased to announce that the new MPRG website (direct link www.mprg.ie) has now ...
New MPRG website!
We are pleased to announce that the new MPRG website (direct link www.mprg.ie) has now been launched. New content includes a Photo Gallery, Videos, Research Projects page, amongst other more detailed information. Remember to check out the News page for frequent updates, as well as our Facebook page!
Professors John Nolan and Stephen Beatty gave an interview at ARVO (Association of Research in ...
Interview: Advances in Macular Carotenoids
Professors John Nolan and Stephen Beatty gave an interview at ARVO (Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) Conference 2013, Seattle, USA. They discussed the current MPRG research projects and the importance of the central macular carotenoid, meso-zeaxanthin. This interview is now available and can be viewed here: Advances in Macular Carotenoids
The MPRG attended the Macular Carotenoids Conference 2013 at Cambridge University, UK. This conference was ...
Macular Carotenoids Conference, Cambridge
The MPRG attended the Macular Carotenoids Conference 2013 at Cambridge University, UK. This conference was held to provide a forum where macular carotenoid researchers could explore up-to-date and evidence-based hypotheses, and discuss the supporting research data into the role of the macular carotenoids in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), vision, and cognitive function. The MPRG PhD students, Kwadwo Akuffo, Jessica Dennison, Katie Meagher, Rachel Moran and Kate Loskutova all presented their data in the form of poster presentations. The MPRG Principal Investigator, Professor John Nolan, was chair of this conference, and gave several well-received lectures.
Pictured: Kwadwo Akuffo presenting his poster on the "Prevalence of sight-threatening ocular pathology in Ireland: The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing".
The MPRG is pleased to announce that Kwadwo Akuffo, MPRG PhD student, received an invitation ...
Kwadwo presents CREST project at Global Seminar in Ethiopia
The MPRG is pleased to announce that Kwadwo Akuffo, MPRG PhD student, received an invitation from the Director of ISC (Intelligence in Science, based in Brussels), to present the CREST project at the "Global Science Collaboration: Science Capacity Building in Africa" seminar. This event, held at the Irish Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, brought together international decision-makers, researchers, academic community and industry leaders to discuss issues and topics relating to developing human and technological capacity through science collaboration. The CREST project is an example of on-going EU Africa science cooperation and collaboration and it has potential application in Africa. Kwadwo spoke on the topic “Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST): a clinical trial into nutrition and age-related macular degeneration.”
Pictured: Kwadwo Akuffo (fifth from right) with delegates at the Irish Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
MPRG postgraduate student Jessica Dennison has been awrded a travel grant from Heidelberg Engineering for ...
Heidelberg Engineering grant awarded to Jessica Dennison
MPRG postgraduate student Jessica Dennison has been awrded a travel grant from Heidelberg Engineering for her work with their device the Heidelberg Engineering Spectralis HRA+OCT, a specialised instrument for assessing eye health in vivo. This data will be published as a peer-reviewed manuscript entitled “Concordance of macular pigment measurements obtained using customized heterochromatic flicker photometry, dual-wavelength autofluorescence, and single-wavelength reflectance.”
Of interest, the Spectralis used in the MPRG vision laboratory is the same device which is currently being used by NASA in the International Space Station to monitor the astronauts' visual health. Read more here: Spectralis in Space
Pictured: Jessica Dennison measuring a patient's macular pigment using the Spectralis.
The Macular Pigment Research Group is proud to announce that Kwadwo Akuffo successfully won a ...
Kwadwo wins place on prestigious Cochrane Training course
The Macular Pigment Research Group is proud to announce that Kwadwo Akuffo successfully won a place on the prestigious Cochrane Training Courses 2013 after a competitive application process. The Health Research Board and the HSC Research & Development Division in Northern Ireland, in association with the Training Team of the UK Cochrane Centre, offered two courses: ‘Introduction to Cochrane’ and the ‘Cochrane Systematic Review Course’. Kwadwo was awarded this training following a highly competitive application process. The aim of the Cochrane Training Courses is to build awareness and capacity in conducting systematic review in Ireland.
The Macular Pigment Research Group is proud to announce that Kwadwo Akuffo won a place ...
Kwadwo wins Best Poster Prize at WIT Research Day
The Macular Pigment Research Group is proud to announce that Kwadwo Akuffo won a place the Best Poster Delegates' Choice Award at the Waterford Institute of Technology Research Day 2013. Kwadwo’s poster presented the “Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials: Design and Methodology.”
Pictured: Kwadwo Akuffo receives his award from Dr. Ruaidhrí Neavyn, President, Waterford Institute of Technology
Professor John Nolan, Principal Investigator of Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Macular Pigment Research Group ...
Professor John Nolan: Trinity Affiliation
Professor John Nolan, Principal Investigator of Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG) has recently been appointed Professor (Adjunct Assistant) at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), in recognition and support of his ongoing academic collaboration with the TCD-based TILDA study.
TILDA is an acronym for ‘The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing’, designed to investigate the health, social and economic circumstances of the ageing Irish population, and includes 8,178 participants aged 50 years and over.
Professor Nolan is also a Fulbright Scholar, Howard Fellow and European Research Council (ERC) Fellow.
The Macular Pigment Research Group, led by Professor Nolan, is based at the Vision Research Centre, Carriganore House at WIT’s West Campus and studies the role of nutrition in vision and in the prevention of blindness. To date, Professor Nolan has secured €5 million in research funding in support of these studies and he is currently managing several projects.
Professor Nolan has successfully supervised ten students to MSc, PhD and MD level, and is currently supervising six PhD candidates as part of ongoing projects at the MPRG. He has presented at over 70 international scientific conferences and has published 61 peer-reviewed scientific papers on his area of research (1,001 citations, H index 17). Professor Nolan is also Chair of the international Macular Carotenoids Conference, which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University, UK (http://www.macularcarotenoids.org).
Professor Nolan and his colleague, Professor Stephen Beatty (Director of MPRG and Institute of Eye Surgery, Whitfield Clinic; and an Adjunct Professor of TCD) have been collaborating with Professor Rose Anne Kenny (the Principal Investigator of the TILDA study) at TCD since 2007. This fruitful collaboration between WIT and TCD has already led to several landmark peer-reviewed publications.
Professor Nolan and Professor Beatty are leading the vision-related component of TILDA.
Professor Nolan said, “This is a great honour for me, my research group, and my family to be recognised in this way. The TILDA project has required a gigantic effort from all the researchers involved, and we are fascinated with the results it is already producing.
“This project is vital to inform healthcare policy makers, as the ageing population continues to represent an ever increasing proportion of the overall population. The increase in life expectancy presents many challenges to society, and only if we understand the socio-economic implications of an ageing society can we hope to accommodate the changing needs of Ireland.”
See www.tilda.ie for more details.
The Macular Pigment Research Group is proud to announce that Sarah Sabour-Pickett has successfully passed ...
Sarah Sabour-Pickett graduates!
The Macular Pigment Research Group is proud to announce that Sarah Sabour-Pickett has successfully passed her PhD Viva and celebrated her graduation recently, having completed her studies with the MPRG on "Visual Performance and its Response to Intervention in Subjects with Age-Related Macular Degeneration". We wish her every success with her future career.
On the 8th October 2012 the MPRG met the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and ...
European Commissioner visits WIT
On the 8th October 2012 the MPRG met the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, who was visiting the Waterford Institute of Technology. The Commissioner visited the Carriganore West Campus, where the MPRG's Vision Research Centre is based, and met some of the researchers here. Dr. John Nolan updated the Commissioner on the progress of the European Research Council-funded CREST Project, and the ongoing patient recruitment for the research studies.
Pictured above from left to right: Sarah O'Regan (MPRG Research Assistant), Máire Geoghegan-Quinn (European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science), Dr. Willie Donnelly (WIT Head of Research), Kwadwo Akuffo (MPRG PhD student), Dr. John Nolan (MPRG Principal Investigator), Jessica Dennison (MPRG PhD student)
Macular Pigment Research Group
Vision Research Centre
Waterford Institute of Technology
West Campus, Carriganore
(00353) 051 845505