SURE 2021

Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) 2021 Conference (Online)

Friday, 1st October 2021

This is the website for the SURE 2021 online conference, that took place on Friday, 1st October 2021.


SURE 2021 Conference

The SURE 2021 Conference was the fourth series of Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Conferences and second online conference, following earlier face to face series in 2018 (with three conferences in Dublin, Athlone and Waterford) and in 2019 (with three conferences in Dublin, Sligo and Carlow).  The 2021 virtual online conference was hosted by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), TUS:MM (Athlone Institute of Technology) and Dundalk Institute of Technology (Dundalk IT) and featured 23 oral presentations and 48 poster presentations across three thematic streams/break out rooms on zoom. SURE Virtual 2021 was attended by over 300 students, academic staff, professional body and industry representatives. Last year’s SURE Virtual 2020 conference, hosted by GMIT, Cork IT and TU Dublin (city campus) was the first SURE Network conference to go online, featuring 24 oral presentations, 35 poster presentations and a 450 plus audience.

The aims of the SURE conference are to:

  • Provide current students with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the work which has been undertaken by recent graduates, and the career opportunities that exist for graduates in Scientific disciplines.
  • Provide recent graduates with an opportunity to gain a reviewed publication based on the scientific research undertaken by them during their undergraduate studies.
  • Celebrate the academic achievements of recent graduates in the scientific disciplines.
  • Provide a multi-disciplinary scientific forum through which undergraduate research outputs can be disseminated to students, researchers, academic professionals and industry.

Conference Opening by Dr. Terry Maguire, National Forum for Teaching and Learning (NFTL)

It was our honour to welcome Dr Terry Maguire, Director of the National Forum for Teaching and Learning to open the SURE 2021 conference.


Papers

Students and graduates who had recently completed an undergraduate research project (NFQ Level 8 or NFQ Level 7) in a Scientific discipline were invited to submit a 250 word abstract for an oral or poster presentation. Submissions were invited for the following, and related, disciplines:

  • Analytical Science
  • Biology
  • Biopharmaceutical Science
  • Chemistry
  • Computing
  • Food Science
  • Health Science and Nutrition
  • Land Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Nursing
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Physics
  • Sport Science

Abstracts were reviewed by a team of approximately 65 reviewers around Ireland, leading to the final presenter list, comprised of 24 oral presentation and 51 poster presentations. Details of the final presenter list were published here in the 2021 SURE virtual conference booklet.

Students entering final year in September 2021 were engaged with from semester 1 of 2021 to encourage them to attend the conference. This cohort constituted the majority of the audience at the conference.

This is the 2021 presentation for final year project coordinators and penultimate year tutors that was used to inform students about the opportunity to participate in the SURE 2021 Conference. Students were encouraged to submit a project regardless of whether they had time in the wet laboratory or not, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

This is the promotional flyer used to publicise the 2021 conference.


Oral Presentations

Oral presentations were organised into three streams, with eight presentations in each stream, as follows:

Stream 1: Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics (hosted by Waterford IT)

  • The role of hydrogels in delivering bone marrow stromal cells for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease by Bardia Haghighirad (Athlone Institute of Technology), Clement L. Higginbotham
  • Bioinformatic analysis of six Bifidobacterium breve prophages by Rachel Mc Lellan (Munster Technological University), Francesca Bottacini
  • An investigation into the use of gelatin from marine by-products to act as novel ingredients in cosmetic formulations by Siobhan Ward (Institute of Technology, Carlow), Adriana Cunha Neves, Brian O’Rourke
  • The Application of Chitosan-Metal Complexes to Wound Dressings: A Systematic Literature Review by David Hanley (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology), Cormac Quigley
  • A comparison of Deconvolution and Z-Stacking for microscopy by Jarni Braal (Munster Technological University), Natalia Rebrova, Milosz Przyjalgowski
  • SARS-CoV2 variants, spike mutations and computational prediction of their impacts by Lizaveta Kotsikava (Technological University Dublin), Fergus Ryan, Andrew Knox
  • Bioinformatic analysis of the GluN1 subunit of the NMDA receptor by Pasquinna Sida (Waterford Institute of Technology), David Scanlon
  • 8 Image-based Malware Classification using Feature Extraction and Computer Vision” by Josef Staubmann (Technological University Dublin), Stephen O’Shaughnessy

Stream 2: Biology and the Environment (hosted by Dundalk IT)

  • The detection of CRFL2 overexpression in Philadelphia Like B-ALL using flow cytometry by Hannah Greene (Technological University Dublin), Claire Wynne, David O’Brien
  • The Use of Melittin: A Natural Component of Honeybee Venom, as a Potential Anti-Cancer Treatment in Human Carcinomas by Niamh Donnellan (Athlone Institute of Technology), Anne M Friel
  • Cronobacter: an emerging opportunistic food-borne pathogen by Katie Phair (Athlone Institute of Technology), Damien Brady
  • The antimicrobial peptide resistance mechanisms of Staphylococcal species by Beatrice Olayiwola (Institute of Technology, Carlow), Carla Surlis
  • Identification of an exosomal miRNA expression signature in response to chemotherapy treatment in neuroblastoma by Christopher Sheridan (Technological University Dublin), Olga Piskareva
  • Genetic mutational status and inflammatory response in metastatic cancer: New implications for immunotherapies by Brenna Daily (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Paul Hartel
  • The Role of Temperature and Humidity towards Covid-19 Transmission Dynamics and Mortality Rate by Clement Sim Shi Jie (Munster Technological University), Jim O’Mahony, Helen O’Shea
  • Stem Cell Technology and miRNA Communication in Ovarian Cancer by Nicola Bailey (Athlone Institute of Technology), Cathy Brougham

Stream 3: Health, Sport and Nutrition (hosted by TUS:MM (Athlone Institute of Technology))

  • The Associations between Nutritional Status, Nutrition- Impact Symptoms, and Health-related Quality of Life in Oesophageal Cancer Survivors by Sarah Bennett (Technological University Dublin), Claire Donohoe, Michelle Fanning, Conor Murphy, Suzanne Doyle
  • Perceptions of Game Speed in Women’s Rugby by Cathriona Heffernan (Athlone Institute of Technology), Robin Healy
  • Exploration of Health Behaviours and Experiences of Post-Menopausal Women Aged between 55 & 65 by Conor Lillis (Athlone Institute of Technology), Patricia Heavy
  • Eating disorders and substance abuse in the Irish transgender population: Perspectives of healthcare professionals by Aideen McCann (Technological University Dublin), John Kearney, Nele Callewaert
  • A Systematic Literature Review on The Benefit of Mirror Therapy in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Review and Meta-Analysis” by Charlene Gilmartin (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Kenneth Monaghan
  • To Investigate the Effect of An Accessible 6-Week Aerobic Exercise Intervention on Health Markers and Submaximal Aerobic Fitness in Irish Female Nurses Aged Between 35 And 59 Years Old” by Rachael Maloney (Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology), Evelyn HannonAn audit of meat analogues on the island of Ireland” by Shaunagh Mulhall (Munster Technological University), Janette Walton

Poster Presentations

Poster presentations were organised into three streams, as follows:

Stream 1: Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics (hosted by Waterford IT)

  • Systematic Review: Effectivity of cannabinoid receptor agonists in the reduction of intraocular pressure by Megan Doyle (Technological University Dublin), Matthew Sheehan.
  • Examination of some common fingerprinting methods for the recovery of latent fingerprints from non-porous substrates immersed in water by Leanne Walsh (Technological University Dublin), Shane Murphy.
  • Examination and Comparison of Various Ink and Printer Marks on Paper Using Scanning Electron Microscopy by Roza Paterek (Technological University Dublin), Shane Murphy.
  • Investigation on the Role of Surface Treatments on the Anticorrosion Properties of Sol-Gel Coatings on Stainless Steel by Niamh Farnham (Technological University Dublin), Declan McCormack, Mohamed Oubaha.
  • E-Vita: An accessible patient medical record by Taif Al Beedh (Technological University Dublin), Emma Murphy.
  • ‘AstroEvolution’: The Use of Genetic Algorithms to Master a Self-Programmed Video Game by Patrick Whelan (Technological University Dublin), Patrick Brady.
  • Understanding the potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a therapeutic for Covid19 induced lung injury by Aoife McGuinness (Athlone Institute of Technology), Emma J. Murphy, Bianca Simonassi Paiva.
  • Irish Sign Language: An Avatar-Based Approach by Leonardo Maurins (Technological University Dublin), Matt Smith.
  • Complex Analysis Applied to Potential Theory by Conor Curtin (Technological University Dublin), Rossen Ivanov.
  • A study of the antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of Schiff base ligand complexes by Ilaha Rizaee (Athlone Institute of Technology), Ann O’Malley.
  • Simulation of Quantum Computers by Joseph Butler (Waterford Institute of Technology), John Houlihan.
  • An investigation into the use of natural mistletoe extracts and their formulations as potential anti-cancer treatments in human carcinomas by Rebecca Healy (Athlone Institute of Technology), Anne M Friel.
  • Orai Channels as Potential Therapeutic Targets in Asthma by Yong Syuen Chee (Dundalk Institute of Technology), Bernard Drumm.
  • Determining the binding affinity of the antineoplastic agent BP-C1 by Megan Westbury (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Nikolay Solovyev.
  • Scoping review of the potential for green synthesis of Carbohydrate Fatty Acid based antimicrobials by Nelvea Grace Osorio (Technological University Dublin), Julie Dunne.
  • Anticancer Activity of Schiff Base Metal Complexes: A review by Tricia Mondala (Technological University Dublin), Denis O’Shea.
  • Mutation Profiling Irish Colorectal Cancer Patients via Next-Generation Sequencing by Laoise Geraghty (Technological University Dublin), Kathleen Brosnan, Robert Cummins, Tony O Grady.
  • Stem Cells as Drug Delivery Vehicles and its Potential Future in Treatment of Prostate Cancer by Sarah Ingram (Athlone Institute of Technology), Cathy Brougham.
  • Stem Cell Technology by Sorina Amarculesei (Athlone Institute of Technology), Cathy Brougham.
  • Enhancement of a UVC LED product by Caolan Shorten (Munster TechnologicalUniversity), AnneMarie McCarthy

Stream 2: Biology and the Environment (hosted by Dundalk IT)

  • Microbial diversity of digestate from commercial biogas plants by Jordan Kervick (Waterford Institute of Technology), Nabla Kennedy.
  • The Study of Gut Microbiome and Gut Microbiome Mapping Kits by JinYi Chia (Dundalk Institute of Technology), Orla Sherlock.
  • The prevalence of liver fluke within equines in Ireland by Mairead Quinn (Athlone Institute of Technology), Sile O’Flaherty.
  • Investigating the optimum conditions for bacterial biofilm formation by Megan Joyce (Technological University Dublin), Emma Caraher.
  • The Effects of Air Quality on Wildflower Pollen by Emma Lalwani (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Paul Hamilton.
  • A comparison of the quality of silage with and without the use of starters by Kate Devereux (Waterford Institute of Technology), Nabla Kennedy.
  • Review of Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Development of Novel Antimicrobials by Orlaith Plunkett (Athlone Institute of Technology), Andy Fogarty.
  • The design and creation of a digital pathology teaching resource for cervical histopathology training of obstetrics and gynaecology specialists by Rebecca Robinson (Technological University Dublin), Alison Malkin, Helen Keegan.
  • PCR design to detect bacteriocins in Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) and a review of screening studies in LAB by Sallyanne Tully (Technological University Dublin), Mary Logue.
  • Detection of Influenza A Virus through Quantitative Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction for Wastewater-Based Epidemiology by Angelina Jong (Dundalk Institute of Technology), Bridget Kelly.
  • Quantitative diagnostics of coronavirus proteins and immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 by Jack Bollard (Trinity College Dublin), Martin Hegner, Giulio Brunetti.
  • Examining the expression of pro-inflammatory adipocytokines in relation to blood pressure and adiposity, and their prevalence in cardiovascular disease by Amy Kennedy (Technological University Dublin), Oscar MacAnaney.
  • The antioxidant and anti- inflammatory effects of natural compounds on RAW 264.7 macrophage cells by Tegan Owen-Pelly (Waterford Institute of Technology), Edel McNeela, Amruta Deshpande.
  • Plant DNA extraction by Gergely Antal (Institute of Technology, Carlow), Carloalberto Petti.

Stream 3: Health, Sport and Nutrition (hosted by TUS:MM (Athlone Institute of Technology))

  • The fate of AMR bacteria in seafood and impact on human health by Bozena McCarthy (Technological University Dublin), Michelle Giltrap, Furong Tian
  • A person-based approach to the exploration of lay perspectives on weight management programmes by Orlaith Cahill (Technological University Dublin), Annemarie Bennett.
  • Physical Activity Behavior Patterns of third level students during the COVID19 lockdown in January and February 2021 by Sinead Larkin (Technological University Dublin), Mairead Stack.
  • Good Practices in Treating Eating Disorders Combined with Substance Abuse: A Focus on an Integrated Treatment Approach by Orla Curtis-Davis (Technological University Dublin), Martina Rooney, Nele Callewaert
  • Impact of COVID – 19 confinement measures on dietary intake, dietary habits and lifestyle of the Irish population (COVIDiet study) by Laura Molloy (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Irina Uzhova.
  • Irish Consumers’ Understanding of Sustainable Diets by Aaron Donohoe (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Maria Dermiki.
  • Investigation into the knowledge, perceptions, and adherence of the physical activity guidelines among third level students currently studying in Ireland by Kathleen McNally (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Irina Uzhova.
  • Understanding the prevalence, diversity, and impact of food intolerances in the Irish adult population by Chynese McTiernan (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Richéal Burns
  • Factors Influencing the Consumption of Dietary Supplements amongst Undergraduate Students in Ireland by Niamh Cully (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Owen Kenny.
  • An Investigation of the Knowledge and Perceptions of Arthritis amongst the Student Population by Laura Dunleavy (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Máire Mc Callion.
  • Obesogenic Risk Factors, Glycaemic Profile and Ischemic Heart Disease by Sinead Hogan (Technological University Dublin), Oscar Mac Ananey.
  • Evaluation of the role and impact of government interventions in modifying unhealthy eating behaviours: A pragmatic literature review by Padraic Óg Horan (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Richeal Burns.
  • An Oral Health Promotion Intervention on the Creation of Public Awareness Surrounding the Negative Effects of Excessive Alcohol (Wine) Consumption on Oral Health by Jacinta Sutton (Athlone Institute of Technology), Eileen Lane.
  • Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health: Effectiveness of Healthy Dietary Interventions in Reducing the Risk of Heart Diseases by Sinead Mc Guirk (Institute of Technology, Sligo), Sasirekha Palaniswamy.

Award Winners

The following awards for the Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics stream was presented by Professor Willie Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology:

  • The SURE Network Award for Best Scientific Poster in the Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics category is presented to Laoise Geraghty, from Technological University Dublin for their presentation entitled Mutation Profiling Irish Colorectal Cancer Patients via Next-Generation Sequencing
  • The SURE2021 Audience award for Best Scientific Poster in the Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics category is presented to presented to Taif Al Beedh from Technological University Dublin for their presentation E-Vita: An accessible patient medical record
  • The SURE Network Award for Best Oral Presentation in the Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics category is presented to Lizaveta Kotsikava from Technological University Dublin for their presentation entitled SARS-CoV2 variants, spike mutations and computational prediction of their impacts
  • The SURE2021 Audience award for Best Science Communicator in the Chemistry, (Bio)Pharma, Computing and Physics category is presented to Siobhan Ward from Institute of Technology, Carlow for their presentation entitled An investigation into the use of gelatin from marine by-products to act as novel ingredients in cosmetic formulations

The following awards for the Biology and Environment stream were presented by Dr Michael Mulvey, President of Dundalk Institute of Technology:

  • The SURE Network Award for Best Scientific Poster in the Biology and the Environment category is presented to Megan Joyce from Technological University Dublin for their poster entitled: Investigating the optimum conditions for bacterial biofilm formation.
  • The SURE2021 Audience award for Best Scientific Poster in the Biology and the Environment category is presented to Orlaith Plunkett from Athlone Institute of Technology for their poster entitled: Review of Global Antimicrobial Resistance and Development of Novel Antimicrobials.
  • The SURE Network Award for Best Oral Presentation in the Biology and the Environment category is presented to Christopher Sheridan from Technological University Dublin for their presentation entitled: Identification of an exosomal miRNA expression signature in response to chemotherapy treatment in neuroblastoma.
  • The SURE2021 Audience award for Best Science Communicator in the Biology and the Environment category is presented to Niamh Donnellan from TUS:MMW (Athlone Institute of Technology for their presentation the Use of Melittin: A Natural Component of Honeybee Venom, as a Potential Anti-Cancer Treatment in Human Carcinomas.

The following awards for the Health Science and Nutrition stream were presented by James Maloney, Senior Regional development Executive for Enterprise Ireland:

  • The SURE Network Award for Best Scientific Poster in the Health, Sport and Nutrition category is presented to Bozena McCarthy from Technological University Dublin for their presentation entitled: The fate of AMR bacteria in seafood and impact on human health
  • The SURE2021 Audience award for Best Scientific Poster in the Health, Sport and Nutrition category is presented to Laura Molloy from Institute of Technology, Sligo for their presentation Impact of COVID – 19 confinement measures on dietary intake, dietary habits and lifestyle of the Irish population (COVIDiet study)
  • The SURE Network Award for Best Oral Presentation in the Health, Sport and Nutrition category is presented to Aideen McCann from Technological University Dublin for their presentation entitled Eating disorders and substance abuse in the Irish transgender population: Perspectives of healthcare professionals
  • The SURE2021 Audience award for Best Science Communicator in the Health, Sport and Nutrition category is presented to Cathriona Heffernan from TUS:MM (Athlone Institute of Technology) for their presentation entitled Perceptions of Game Speed in Women’s Rugby.

And

  • Conor Lillis from TUS:MM (Athlone Institute of Technology) for their presentation Exploration of Health Behaviours and Experiences of Post-Menopausal Women Aged between 55 & 65

 


Conference Materials

This is the SURE2021 Conference Booklet, listing all those involved, all presenters, all keynotes and sponsors.

The posters were hosted in a specially designed SURE Network Gathertown space during the conference. For further details please contact Cormac.quigley@gmit.ie.

The conference took place on Zoom.