Stem Cells and Biobanks

At the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Dr Cynthia Heffron from Cork University Hospital spoke on the differentiation of cancer stem cells from “normal” stem cells. She talked about genes activatwed and suppressed in these calls and about the means using tissue culture of analysing the processes. On a personal note, I was astonished at the very close resemblance to her father Professor Jim Heffron of UCC and she inherited his brilliance. He was a member of gthe committee set up in response to the Dioxin and PCP contamination in the food chain a few years ago. cynthia got her PhD from TCD and worked on stem cells at St James’s Hospital Dublin 8. She did finish with a Republic of Cork football shirt. Maybe the IMF/ECB have never heard of Cork!

Professor Eoin Gaffney of St James Hospital then spoke on Biobanks Ireland. The co-operation with Beaumont, Cork and Galway for tumours was outlined. Apparently the UK sytstem failed but it is going around the world. There are consent and ethical issues and problems arise due to the competitive nature of research. Comminication and attitude nare essential components of a successful biobank. The photes show the two contributors.