IICN Meetings

Belfast bathed in brilliant sunshine for 54th Annual Irish Neurological Association Meeting

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The 54th Annual Irish Neurological Meeting in at Riddel Hall, Queens University Belfast was a tremendous success.
The conference hosted speakers and guests from throughout the world.

Summarizing his presidency of the Irish Neurological Association Meeting, Dr. Brian Herron said
"The clinical and scientific calibre of the posters and presentations was typical of such an international conference and it was particularly pleasing to see so many international collaborative papers. At the same time the conference specifically encouraged participation by younger doctors and researchers at the start of their careers in medicine and science. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming to those who perhaps are presenting for the first time. This year as with previous, medical students were particularly encouraged to present. The standard of their presentations was exceptional and this was characterised by the superb presentation that won the Hugh Staunton prize for the best medical student paper.  I would like to thank all of those who contributed to making this year's conference such a success.

Dr. Brian Herron, Consultant Neuropathologist , Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast and President of the Irish Neurological Association Meeting 2018 with Professor Robert Taylor, Professor of Mitochondrial Pathology, Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research, Newcastle University and Allison Guest Lecture 2018.






The INA meeting programme consisted of platform presentations, poster presentations, an epilepsy symposium and the highlight of the meeting, the Allison Guest Lecture. 
To view the INA Meeting Programme please click on the link to follow
INA meeting Programme 2018


Platform Presentations 

Epilepsy Symposium

Poster Presentations

INA Dinner

Allison Guest Lecture

Awards and Prizes

                                                                      Sponsor Acknowledgement

Platform Presentations

A number of platform presentation sessions were scheduled for each day of the meeting. The very high standard of presentations across a wide range of topic areas is testimony to the challenge of the discipline as well as to the rigorous mentoring of senior neuroscience clinicians and the conscientiousness and aptitude of trainees.

                                                                                                         Platform Presenters at INA meeting 2018

Dr. Diana Olszewska, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin

Dr. Pat Moloney, Cork University Hospital

Dr. Kinley Roberts, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

Dr. Alastair, Donaghy, Craigavon Area Hospital.

Dr. Abel Devadass, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

Dr. Jennifer Lorigan, Brain Bank, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

Dr. Jon McKee, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast with Prof. Francesca Brett, Beaumont Hospital and Chairperson of the session

Dr. Olwen Murphy, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA

Dr. Stephen Barr, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast

Dr. Matthew Sayers, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Vashisht Sekar, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast

Dr. Marie Ryan, Academic Unit of Neurology, Trinity College Dublin.

Dr. Joan Moroney, Beaumont Hospital Dublin and Dr. Janice Redmond, St. James' Hospital, Dublin

Dr. Carl O'Regan, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

Ms. Aisling McCarthy, National University of Ireland Galway
Dr. Shane Lyons, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

Epilepsy Symposium

Dr. Stephen Hunt, Consultant Neurologist, Royal Victoria Hospital, directed the Epilepsy Symposium which took place on Friday morning. Dr. Michael Kinney presented the most recent data from the UK Epilepsy in Pregnancy register. This was followed by a lecture given by Dr. Rebecca Bromley, Paediatric Clinical Neuropsychologist and Research Fellow, Manchester University.  Dr. Bromley's research investigates disruption of typical brain development when the foetus is exposed in the womb to certain prescribed medications. 

                                                                                                       Epilepsy Symposium

Dr. Michael Kinney, Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast

Dr. Rebecca Bromley, Manchester University

Dr. Stephen Hunt, Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast with Dr. Rebecca Bromley.

Poster Presentations

Designated poster presentations sessions with expert led guides for each of the eight topic areas. The high number of quality abstract submissions to the meeting this year necessitated the division of poster exhibition into separate days for presentation. Four topics were exhibited on Thursday, Neuromuscular, Neuropathology, Epilepsy and Movement Disorder, and four topic areas on Friday, Cerebrovascular, Neuroinflammation, Neurosurgery and General Interest. One poster presentation was selected from each category for short platform presentation at the end of each day.

                                                                                                   Poster Presentations


Irish Neurological Association Dinner

The INA Dinner took place at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast and, as always, this was a most enjoyable social occasion. Honoured guests, retired neuroscientists, consultants, registrars and junior doctors understand that the long established association dinner is an extension of the valuable opportunity to seek advice from other experts in their area. The very popular social event facilitates the forging of relationships which frequently enables cooperation in research or in clinical experience.


Dr. Michael Jansen, Cork University Hospital and Dr. Jane Cryan, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin                           Dr. Dominick McCabe, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Dr. Ged O'Connor, University Hospital Waterford and Dr. John McConville, Ulster Hospital, Belfast

Allison Guest Lecture

Robert Taylor, is Professor of Mitochondrial Pathology at the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research in Newcastle and an Honorary Consultant Clinical Scientist with the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, leading the NHS Highly Specialised Mitochondrial Laboratory which provides a UK-wide diagnostic service for patients with mitochondrial disease. His research laboratory focuses on the biochemical and molecular genetic investigation of human mitochondrial disorders, with interests ranging from determining the molecular mechanisms by which inherited mitochondrial genetic abnormalities cause cellular dysfunction and identifying new genes associated with both paediatric-onset and adult-onset mitochondrial disease presentations to the development of techniques to prevent the transmission of serious mitochondrial disease.
Professor Taylor gave a highly informative talk on the role of mitochondria in normal inheritance, in disease and in therapeutic management of patients. He also discussed the ground breaking work led by scientists in Newcastle to develop techniques to prevent the transmission of serious mitochondrial DNA-related disease.

Dr. Herron welcomed Ms. Susan Baker to attend the guest lecture which is named in honour of her grandfather, Dr. Sydney Allison. Dr. Allison was first appointed to the medical staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast in 1930 when there was no specialist appointment in neurology. During the course of a long and illustrious career he sought to  establish positions as specialist neurologists and to actively promote the concept of neurology and neurosurgery working more closely together. (Ref: Ulster Medical Society Journal, Januay 2006, Dr. Stanley Hawkins)


INA Business Meeting

Members who attended the INA Business Meeting were unanimous in their appreciation of the enormous planning and organisation of the Meeting which Dr. Herron had invested in order to make the Meeting a most successful event and a valuable educational experience. Dr. Raeburn Forbes proposed a vote of thanks to Dr. Herron and this was enthusiastically supported by all present. Dr. Herron stated that he had very much enjoyed the experience of being INA President. 
It was agreed that members would contacct new appointees in their department and specialty who were not currently members of the IICN to join the organisation and to support the objectives of the IICN in promoting research and education in neuroscience. Dr. Herron proposed that Dr. Brian McNamara, Consultant Clinical Neurophysiologist, Cork University Hospital as the 2019 INA President and this was agreed by the meeting.

Dr. Brian McNamara, Cork University Hospital

Awards and Prizes

  • The Harold Millar Prize for best overall presentation at the meeting was awarded to Dr. Hugh Kearney, Beaumont Hospital, for his paper “Radiogenomics in de novo adult gliomas: classification of tumour grade and pathogenic mutations“  
  • The John Kirker Prize for best Epilepsy related presentation was awarded to Dr. Katherine Benson, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, for her presentation “Update report on genomic mutation analysis of Epilepsy Lighthouse Project”

Dr. Hugh Kearney received the Harold Millar Prize for best overall presentation at the INA meeting 2018

Dr. Hany El-Naggar accepts the John Kirker Prize for best Epilepsy related presentation at the INA Meeting 2018 on behalf of Dr. Katherine Benson.
  • The Mark Gibson Medal for best Movement Disorder related presentation was awarded to Dr. Laura Best, Royal Victoria Hospital, for her presentation "Family Matters: A case-based discussion regarding the pathogenicity of the CHCHD10 Pro34Ser variant".
  • The Hugh Staunton Medal for the best medical student or intern presentation was awarded to Ms. Aisling McCarthy, National University of Ireland Galway for her presentation “Understanding the value of repeat EEG testing in children; a prospective outpatient study over 5 years”

Dr. Laura Best receives the Mark Gibson Medal for best Movement Disorder related presentation at the INA meeting 2018

Dr. John McHugh accepts the Hugh Staunton Medal for best medical student or intern presentation at the INA meeting 2018 on behalf of Ms. Aisling McCarthy.
  • The Neurosurgical Presentation Prize was presented to Dr. Jonathan Poots, Royal Victoria Hospital for his presentation “A review of the initial experience performing deep brain stimulator insertion surgery in Belfast”.    
  • The Poster Presentation Prize was awarded to Dr. Grace McMacken, John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, Newcastle University for her presentation, “Neuromuscular junction involvement in inherited motor neuropathies”.

Dr. Jonathan Poots received the award for best Neurosurgical presentation at the INA meeting 2018

Dr. Grace McMacken received the award for best Poster Presentation at the INA meeting 2018

Sponsor Acknowledgement

The President of the INA and the Board of the IICN appreciate the support of the following sponsors of the 54th Annual Irish Neurological Association Meeting.

Roche Products (Ireland) Limited Sanofi Genzyme Clonmel Pharmaceuticals Merck Serono
Novartis Ireland Teva Pharmaceuticals Allergan Eisai Limited
Genomics Medicine Ireland Biogen Ireland Ipsen Limited  


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