18.03.2014 UL researcher awarded 250,000 euro funding to tackle major men's health issue

University of Limerick researcher, Dr Niall Kelly was recently awarded in the region of €250,000 by the Health Research Board (HRB) to investigate a condition called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) which affects 50% of men over the age of 50.

Dr Niall Kelly, University of Limerick researcher

Dr Niall Kelly, University of Limerick researcher

A doctor with the Department of Urology, University Hospital Limerick, Dr Kelly is undertaking his PhD research at the University of Limerick. Dr Kelly explains: "BPH is a condition that will affect the majority of all men at some point in their lives. BPH results in the enlargement of the prostate gland which affects the ability to pass urine in a normal way." BPH affects 50% of men over the age of 50 and over 70% of men over the age of 70.

"Treatment of the condition involves the use of medical therapies and in some cases surgery. The processes which cause this condition are still not fully understood. The management of BPH is of major public health significance and is the source of considerable expenditure and is estimated to cost approximately €1billion in Europe each year."

"Through this study we hope to get a better understanding of how BPH develops and how it affects men, looking at a number of novel biomarkers that may ultimately be new targets for treatment of BPH, which we would hope will improve the quality of life for the ageing man".

Key to the successful awarding of the fellowship was the formation of a multidisciplinary team, combining clinicians, engineers, bioengineers and biologists. This research is being undertaken at the Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research (CABER), in collaboration with the Material and Surface Sciences Institute (MSSI) and Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) at the University of Limerick (UL).

Dr Kelly will be supervised by Mr. Hugh Flood, Consultant Urologist at University Hospital Limerick , Dr. Michael Walsh, Joint-Director at CABER and Dr. David Hoey, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering, UL. The research is also supported by Mr. Subhaisis Giri, Consultant Urologist, UHL and Dr. Patrick Kiely, Lecturer at the Department of Life Sciences, UL.