GMIT student wins multiple national awards for heart disease research

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Galway Daily news GMIT student wins multiple awards for heart disease research

GMIT postgraduate researcher Shane McHugo has won two prestigious national awards for his research into congenital heart disease.

Congenital heart disease is the most common type of birth defect affecting the heart with 500 to 600 babies born in Ireland each year with the condition.

Shane’s PhD work focuses on assessing a number of different surgical procedures within an advanced bio-simulator in an attempt to optimise clinical results.

The full development of this bio-simulator replicating congenital heart defects will provide surgeons and researchers next generation technology to test various surgical options and assess their clinical outcomes.

His research is being carried out in collaboration with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Professor Colin McMahon, one of Shane’s supervisors, praised the potential this research has improve out knowledge of heart disease in children and its treatment.

“This innovative collaboration between the Paediatric Cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery department in Crumlin children’s hospital and GMIT shows real promise in progressing knowledge of children’s congenital heart disease. Shane has done a wonderful job with this project.”

The young man from Ballinakill in Galway won the accolade ‘Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Award Winner 2019’ and went on to represent Ireland at the ‘Present around the World (PATW) Regional Final for Europe, Middle East and Africa’, which took place in Athens during the summer.

He was the only Irish representative and was selected by an international panel of experts.

Shane also went on to be joint winner of the ‘International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Young Professional Award Winner 2019’, hosted by the National Standards Authority Ireland.

Later this year he will travel to Shanghai in China to represent Ireland at the world assembly of the Commission.

Dr Liam Morris says: “Shane’s awards further demonstrate the value of our research being carried out within GMIT for simulating surgical procedures within patient specific cases”.

Shane McHugo joined the research staff of GMIT in 2015, and has previously won the Allergen Innovation Award for this research.