Public engagement & outreach activities

Continuous public engagement & outreach commitments

  • Virtuome (since June 2020)
    We designed and implemented the Virtual Metabolic Human's fully virtual flagship summer research programme for STEM undergraduate students built on the pillars of community involvement, biocomputational research, and personal development.

  • Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) for in silico medicine policy development (since April 2021).
    We are represented as a founding member of the PPI task force of the Avicenna Alliance policy development working group, with the aim to accelerate societal impact for digital health endeavours.

  • National PPI Ignite Network (since December 2021).
    We are represented as a member of the national PPI Ignite Network workgroup for building national PPI capacity across communities, with focus on PPI implementation in lab-based research.

  • Civic Engagement committee at the University of Galway CMNHS (since October 2021).
    We are represented in the University of Galway College of 
    Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences (CMNHS) civic engagement (CE) committee for delivering on the college's strategic plans for CE.

  • University of Sanctuary Academic Mentorship (since January 2022).
    We contribute to academic mentorship to University of Sanctuary scholarship recipients,
     to foster a culture of welcome and inclusion for refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants.

Completed public engagement & outreach activities

  • IHMC 2022 Global Gut Health Award  (10 Nov 2022).
    We were honoured with the Global Gut Health Award for our presentation of the Virtual Metabolic Human for human-microbiome metabolic modelling and engaged research at the International Human Microbiome Conference in Kobe, Japan, uniting 800 attendees from all over the world.

  • Patient engagement symposium  (17 Oct 2022).
    We participated in the "Patient engagement explained: Insights from a patient, a patient association and a pharmaceutical company" online symposium organised by Voisin Consulting Life Sciences, highlighting patient engagement case studies from 3 different perspectives: from a patient, a patient association, and industry.

  • Sustainable digital health innovation conference  (14 Oct 2022).
    We participated in the "Sustainable digital health innovation conference" in Galway, bringing together health researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and  industry to discuss the latest innovation in digital health with focus on engaged research and public & patient involvement.

  • COBRA 2022 poster presentation on the MicroMap Virtuome outcome  (29 Sep 2022).
    We presented "MicroMap: Interactive visualisation of human microbiome metabolism realised via online systematic team empowerment of STEM undergraduates in Ireland" at the 8th Conference on Constraint-Based Reconstruction & Analysis (COBRA) conference in Galway, Ireland.

  • COBRA 2022 oral presentation on the VMH's community engagement activities (29 Sep 2022).
    We presented "The Virtual Metabolic Human & COBRA Toolbox" at the 8th Conference on Constraint-Based Reconstruction & Analysis (COBRA) conference in Galway, Ireland.

  • VPH 2022 poster presentation on the MicroMap Virtuome outcome (8 Sep 2022).
    We presented "MicroMap: Interactive visualisation of human microbiome metabolism realised via online systematic team empowerment of STEM undergraduates in Ireland" at the Virtual Physiological Human conference in Porto, Portugal.

  • VPH 2022 poster presentation on the PPI task force of the Avicenna Alliance (7 Sep 2022).
    We presented "Implementing Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) for in silico medicine." at the Virtual Physiological Human conference in Porto, Portugal.

  • VPH 2022 workshop presentation on PPI for Digital Health (6 Sep 2022).
    We were a workshop presenter at the "Public and patient outreach and engagement for in silico medicine" workshop at the Virtual Physiological Human conference in Porto, Portugal.

  • WiSTEM-UROP conference poster presentations (22 Aug 2022)
    We presented 3 Virtuome projects at the WiSTEM-UROP conference in Galway, Ireland, including "The effects of nutrition on working memory performance", "Public perception of wearable fitness trackers and their effectiveness at encouraging physical activity", and "The visualisation of the iDopa metabolic map on CellDesigner".

  • Final Virtuome 2022 short video (22 Jul 2022)
    We produced the final short video together with all Virtuome 2022 participants on the Virtuome 2022 programme experience. 

  • Panel discussion with Aisling Colreavy on Healthy Ireland (19 Jul 2022)
    We organised and chaired the Virtuome panel discussion with Aisling Colreavy, programme manager, on the Healthy Ireland & Healthy Galway initiatives.

  • Panel discussion with Darren O'Rourke, TD, on generating societal impact from STEM (11 Jul 2022)
    We organised and chaired the Virtuome panel discussion with Darren O'Rourke, TD, on opportunities for STEM graduates to catalyse societal impact.

  • Panel discussion with Richard Bennett on career opportunities for STEM graduates (5 Jul 2022)
    We organised and chaired the Virtuome panel discussion with Richard Bennett, research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, on career decision-making considerations for STEM graduates.

  • Meet the Virtuome 2022 Team short video (18 Aug 2022)
    We produced a team introduction video together with all Virtuome 2022 participants.

  • Panel discussion with Christina Nuhr on implementing community-driven science (28 Jun 2022)
    We organised and chaired the Virtuome panel discussion with Christina Nuhr, programme manager at The Wheel Ireland, on harnessing community-engaged science for societal good.

  • Virtuome Video presentation for International World Microbiome Day (27 Jun 2022)
    The 2022 Virtuome participants collaborated on producing a short video presentation for the occasion of International World Microbiome Day with the aim to share interesting microbiome facts with the public.

  • Impact 2030: A discussion with Prof. Philip Nolan (22 Jun 2022)
    We attended a panel discussion with Prof. Philip Nolan, CEO of Science Foundation Ireland, on opportunities for universities to effectively tackle current and future societal challenges, at NUI Galway.

  • Panel discussion with Frances Drummond & Sarah Delaney (21 Jun 2022)
    We organised and chaired the Virtuome panel discussion with Frances Drummond, programme manager at Breakthrough Cancer Research, and Sarah Delaney, research manager at Health Research Charities Ireland, on effective collaboration with charities, the public, and patients, for catalysing positive societal impact of STEM research.

  • Panel discussion with Virtuome programme alumni (14 Jun 2022)
    We organised and chaired the Virtuome panel discussion with Virtuome 2020/2021 alumni Adam Pointz, Ciara 
    Varley, David Noone, Ivana Pyne, and Rebecca Lane on their individual learnings and future direction after their Virtuome experience.

  • Engaged research for policy impact workshop (14 Jun 2022)
    We co-facilitated the "Engaged research for policy impact" workshop to Virtuome 2022 participants with Ruth Hynes as part of the underlying Community Involvement pillar. The workshop focused on identifying relevant policymakers and organisations, stakeholder liaison, and engagement to accelerate the policy implementation of research outcomes. The workshop was based on the Engaged Research & Innovation for Societal Impact by Campus Engage.

  • Stakeholder analysis for engaged research workshop (7 Jun 2022)
    We co-facilitated the "Stakeholder analysis for engaged research" workshop to Virtuome 2022 participants with Ruth Hynes as part of the underlying Community Involvement pillar. The workshop focused on conducting systematic stakeholder analysis, engagement, and communication for effective engaged research. The workshop was based on the Engaged Research & Innovation for Societal Impact
    by Campus Engage.

  • Pathways to impact workshop (31 May 2022)
    We co-facilitated the "Pathways to impact" inaugural Engaged Research workshop to Virtuome 2022 participants with Ruth Hynes as part of the underlying Community Involvement pillar. The workshop focused on foresightful planning research project outcomes for enabling positive societal impact. The workshop was based on the Engaged Research & Innovation for Societal Impact
    by Campus Engage.

  • Virtuome 2022 (30 May - 22 Jul 2022)
    We organised the 3rd consecutive edition of the Virtual Metabolic Human's fully virtual flagship summer research programme for STEM undergraduate students built on the pillars of community involvement, biocomputational research, and personal development, welcoming 11 STEM undergraduate students from NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Dublin and based in Ireland, the USA, and Romania.

  • Adjudication for the CMNHS Gold Medal in civic engagement (22 May 2022)
    We were one of the judges for the CMNHS Gold Medal in civic engagement award for NUI Galway medical students who demonstrated excellence in civic engagement during their studies.

  • Engaged Research & Innovation for Societal Impact training programme (25 Mar - 5 Jun 2022)
    We participated in the inaugural edition of the Campus Engage Engaged Research & Innovation for Societal Impact programme coordinated by Camus Engage. This 6-week programme competitively selected 30 participants from 30 Irish higher education institutions to 'train the trainers' to develop the national capacity to implement best practices for engaged research.

  • 7th Public & Patient Involvement in Research Conference (27 Apr 2022)
    We participated in the 7th edition of the Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) in research conference conducted online and organised by the national PPI Ignite network in Ireland.

  • Speaker at the Avicenna Days conference (16 Feb 2022)
    We were represented on the panel of the "Raising awareness: involving non-engineering communities" panel discussion session of the 2022 Avicenna Days conference for academic and industry professionals working in the field of in silicon medicine.

  • Doing Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) virtually workshop (8th Dec 2021)
    We attended the "Doing PPI virtually" workshop online delivered by Carol Porteous, University of Edinburgh, and organised by the University College Cork PPI Ignite subsidiary.

  • Patient Engagement Open Forum 2021 (7th Dec 2021)
    We attended the Patient Engagement Open Forum (PEOF) 2021 online. The PEOF aims to facilitate collaboration and co-creation of real solutions for patients with patients while providing a holistic perspective of patient engagement, its landscape, and actors.

  • Creating and running a PPI group workshop (1st Dec 2021)
    We attended the "Creating and running a PPI group" workshop online delivered by Carol Porteous, University of Edinburgh, and organised by the University College Cork PPI Ignite subsidiary.

  • PPI in clinical trials – design, recruitment & retention workshop (24th Nov 2021)
    We attended the "Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in clinical trials – design, recruitment, and retention" workshop online delivered by Carol Porteous, University of Edinburgh, and organised by the University College Cork PPI Ignite subsidiary.

  • Resolving knowledge injustice symposium attendance (16th Nov 2021)
    We attended the "Resolving knowledge injustice in research is not easy: A truthful description of the destinationless but impactful journey" by Rebecca Murphy, Maynooth University, co-organised by the Health Research Board Primary Care Clinical Trial Network Ireland.

  • I'm a scientist, get me out of here! participation (10th - 17th Nov 2021)
    We participated in the "I'm a scientist, get me out of here!" initiative funded by Science Foundation Ireland, where scientists participate in live chats with school children from all across Ireland. We were represented in the Magnesium Zone with focus on biomedicine & engineering and awarded the "Scientist of the Week" prize.

  • Patient & Public Involvement – Make it meaningful seminar attendance (5th Nov 2021)
    We attended the "Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) – Make it meaningful" lunchtime seminar by Derek Stewart and organised by University College Cork PPI Ignite subsidiary.

  • National PPI Ignite Network Launch attendance (2th Nov 2021)
    We attended the launch event for the Irish national Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) network launch, coordinated by NUI Galway, online.

  • Final Virtuome 2021 short video (18 Aug 2021)
    We produced the final short video together with all Virtuome 2021 participants on the Virtuome 2021 programme experience.

  • Virtual Humans as Personal Health Coaches article in Cois Coiribe (4th Aug 2021)
    We published the "Virtual Humans as Personal Health Coaches" article in the Cois Coiribe magazine, highlighting the current avenues and potential of digital health in the context of biocomputational modelling techniques.

  • Breaking Barriers: Education & Public Engagement symposium (3rd Aug 2021)
    We organised and chaired the "Breaking barriers: education & public engagement" symposium with Claire Riordan and Lindsay Deely from the CÚRAM SFI research centre on medical devices within the Virtuome 2021 context.

  • MPA 2021 poster presentation on the MicroMap Virtuome outcome (2 Aug 2021)
    We presented "MicroMap: Interactive visualisation of human microbiome metabolism realised via online systematic team empowerment of STEM undergraduates in Ireland" at the Metabolic Pathway Analysis (MPA) 2021 conference online (hybrid conference in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA).

  • Transition from university studies to conducting research seminar (13th Jul 2021)
    We organised and chaired a seminar on transitioning between university studies to hands-on research in an academic environment to support the Virtuome 2021 participants in their future considerations for career decision-making.

  • IHMC 2021 poster presentation on the MicroMap Virtuome outcome (27-29 Jun 2021)
    We presented "MicroMap: Interactive visualisation of human microbiome metabolism realised via online systematic team empowerment of STEM undergraduates in Ireland" at the International Human Microbiome Conference online.

  • Virtuome Video presentation for International World Microbiome Day (27 Jun 2021)
    The 2021 Virtuome participants collaborated on producing a short video presentation for the occasion of International World Microbiome Day with the aim to share interesting microbiome facts with the public.

  • 6th Annual Public & Patient Involvement Summer School participation (24th & 25th Jun 2021)
    We attended the 6th annual Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) summer school online, organised by the University of Limerick.

  • Virtuome 2021 (14th Jun - 6th Aug 2021)
    We organised the 2nd consecutive edition of the Virtual Metabolic Human's fully virtual flagship summer research programme for STEM undergraduate students built on the pillars of community involvement, biocomputational research, and personal development, welcoming 26 STEM undergraduate students from NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Dublin.

  • Better together: knowledge coproduction for a sustainable society symposium (3rd June 2021)
    We attended the "Better together: knowledge coproduction for a sustainable society" seminar, organised by the Royal Irish Academy.

  • Video production course for scientists (9th & 23rd April 2021)
    We completed the 2-day video production course for scientists, delivered by Judie Russell from the Vidacademy and organised by the APC Microbiome Cork.

  • Research impact workshop (10th - 12th November 2020)
    We participated in the 3-day workshop "Planning for and communicating prospective research impact" with Dr Tamika Heiden from the Research Impact Academy and organised by Áine Mhic Thaidhg from the NUI Galway Research & Innovation office.

  • Final MicroMaps 2020 short video (18 Aug 2020)
    We produced the final short video together with all MicroMaps 2020 participants on the MicroMaps 2020 programme experience.

  • STEM Career panel discussion with Carol Keenan (12 Aug 2020)
    We organised and chaired a panel discussion with Carol 
    Keenan, NUI Galway Careers Centre, and the MicroMaps 2020 programme participants on employability, guidance, and opportunities for STEM undergraduate students.

  • Career pathways in the Irish MedTech sector (4 Aug 2020)
    We organised and chaired a panel discussion with Antoinette Curtin, Edwards Lifesciences, and the MicroMaps 2020 programme participants on pathways, opportunities, and career development in MedTech.

  • Meet the MicroMaps 2020 Team short video (9 Jul 2020)
    We produced a team introduction video together with all Virtuome 2022 participants.

  • MicroMaps 2020 (8 Jun - 14 Aug 2020)
    We organised the 1st edition of the Virtual Metabolic Human's fully virtual flagship summer research programme for STEM undergraduate students with the mission to craft a valuable learning experience for each other. MicroMaps welcomed 30 STEM undergraduate students from NUI Galway, University College Cork, and University College Dublin.

  • Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) in research conference (6th May 2020)
    We attended the annual Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) in research conference online, organised by the NUI Galway PPI team.

  • Video interview with Costas Maranas (20 Mar 2020)
    We produced the VMH Influencer Series interview with Prof. Costas Maranas from Penn State University, Pennsylvania, on bio-engineering, metabolic modelling, and challenges in computational biology.

  • Video interview with Chris Henry (10 Feb 2020)
    We produced the VMH Influencer Series interview with Dr Christopher Henry from Argonne National Laboratory, USA, on KBase, applications for microbiome modelling, and challenges in biomedical data science and future avenues.

  • Engaged research: coproducing knowledge and community-engaged research (6th Feb 2020)
    We attended the "Engaged Research: Co-producing knowledge – community-engaged research" seminar by Ann Lyons from NUI Galway and organised by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, and ALIVE at NUI Galway.

  • Introduction to Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) for researchers (12th Dec 2019)
    We attended the workshop "Introduction to Public & Patient Involvement (PPI) for researchers" at NUI Galway and organised by PPI Ignite Galway.

  • Video interview with Johannes Hertel (26 Nov 2019)
    We produced the VMH Information Series interview Dr Johannes Hertel from NUI Galway on the team's latest 'Integrated Analyses of Microbiome and Longitudinal Metabolome Data Reveal Microbial-Host Interactions on Sulfur Metabolism in Parkinson’s Disease' article.

  • Video interview with new team members (19 Nov 2019)
    We produced the VMH Insider Series interview with new team members Ife-Elizabeth, Emer, and Filippo, who joined in autumn 2019.

  • Technology and social change (10th Oct 2019)
    We attended the "Technology and social change: NUI Galway volunteers in the local community" seminar by Lorraine Tansey from NUI Galway and organised by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, and ALIVE at NUI Galway.

  • Public Patient Involvement in Health Economics (30th Aug 2019)
    We attended the "Public Patient Involvement in Health Economics: Challenges and Perspectives" symposium organised by Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre (HEPAC) at NUI Galway.

  • Virtual Metabolic Human hands-on workshop (23 Jun 2019)
    We organised and delivered the Virtual Metabolic Human workshop to the metabolomics community at the 15th Annual Conference of the Metabolomics Society, Metabolomics 2019, in The Hague, The Netherlands.

  • Video interview with Vassily Hatzimanikatis (28 May 2019)
    We produced the VMH Influencer Series interview with Prof. Vassily Hatzimanikatis from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, on systems biology, biomedical engineering, and interdisciplinary collaborations.

  • Spotlight Article in MetaboNews (Apr 2019)
    We published an invited article on the Virtual Metabolic Human Database in MetaboNews, published by the Metabolomics Innovation Centre, Canada, and the Metabolomics Society.

  • Video interview with Pam Silver (12 Mar 2019)
    We produced the VMH Influencer Series interview with Prof. Pamela Silver from Harvard University, Boston, on microbiome research, systems biology, and applications for future medicine.

  • Toward a predictive Virtual Human (5th Mar 2019)
    We published the article "Toward a predictive Virtual Human" in Bioengineering and Metabolism Voices, as invited by Cell Press.

  • Video interview Nathan Lewis (19 Feb 2019)
    We produced the VMH Influencer Series interview with Prof. Nathan Lewis from the University of California, San Diego, on computational biology, metabolic modelling, and application for future medicine.

  • Video interview with Federico Baldini (25 Jan 2019)
    We produced the VMH Information Series interview with Federico Baldini from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, University of Luxembourg, on the team's latest "The Microbiome Modelling Toolbox: from microbial interactions to personalized microbial communities" article.

  • Video interview with Hans van Beek (10 Jan 2019)
    We produced the VMH Influencer Series interview with Dr Hans van Beek from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on systems biology, hypothesis generation using computational modelling, and fostering of interdisciplinary collaborations.

  • Video interview with Nathan Price (7 Jan 2019)
    We produced the VMH Influencer Series interview with Prof. Nathan Price from the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington, on systems biology, constraint-based reconstruction and analysis (COBRA), and the applications of computational biology for future medicine.

  • Video interview with Alberto Noronha (23 Nov 2018)
    We produced the VMH Information Series interview with Dr Alberto Noronha from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, University of Luxembourg, on the team's latest "The Virtual Metabolic Human database: integrating human and gut microbiome metabolism with nutrition and disease" article.

  • Research culture: changing expectations conference (29th & 30th Oct 2018)
    We attended the "Research culture: changing expectations" conference organised by the Royal Society in London, UK.

  • Video tutorial: VMH resources download (18 Oct 2018)
    We produced the VMH Information Series tutorial for VMH beginners as an overview on what data is available for download, and how to download these data.

  • Video tutorial: VMH diet designer (18 Oct 2018)
    We produced the VMH Information Series tutorial for VMH beginners as an overview on how to compose personalised diets, calculate composition, and flux values.

  • Video tutorial: VMH ReconMaps (18 Oct 2018)
    We produced the VMH Information Series tutorial for VMH beginners as an overview on the biochemical network representation capabilities, the maps interface, and how to give feedback.

  • Video tutorial: VMH QuickStart (16 Oct 2018)
    We produced the VMH Information Series tutorial for VMH beginners as an overview on how to search, navigate, and visualise the VMH resources.