Making a difference

AO Research Institute Davos Fellowship advances NUI Galway student’s research—and the AO’s mission
ARI Fellow Kieran Joyce

AO Research Institute Davos
 (ARI) Fellow Kieran Joyce is proof of how the AO Foundation and its network promote excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.

Joyce, a doctorate and medical doctor student at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway), recently completed a four-week fellowship at AO Research Institute Davos as part of his research into the glycomic profile of intervertebral disc (IVD) in health and degeneration for biomaterial functionalization.

Given AO Research Institute Davos’s long collaboration with NUI Galway’s Prof Abhay Pandit, an established authority on biomaterials and one of Joyce’s mentors, the foundation for a successful fellowship was well established.

“When we met at the European Orthpaedic Research Society (EORS) Global Summit in September 2018, we had the idea: Why don’t we apply the same methods described in his paper to our preclinical IVD organ testing system at AO Research Institute Davos to validate our organ cultures in comparison?” said AO Research Institute Davos Principal Scientist Grad, who supervised Joyce’s AO Research Institute Davos Fellowship with AO Research Institute Davos’s Dr Zhen Li.

Joyce believes his AO Research Institute Davos Fellowship will advance his research well into the future.

“In terms of expertise, AO Research Institute Davos is one of the best institutes I’ve worked in, and AO Research Institute Davos’s experts were always ready to answer questions,” he explained. “This fellowship offered me a basis to continue to develop and make a difference not in just one patient’s life, but in the lives of many patients,” he said.

A 2018 EORS Travel Award helped offset travel expenses related to the fellowship.