TEDMED Live comes to Galway

Dr Ger Flaherty (left) and third year medicine student Tariq Esmail (right) with John Campion (centre back) and speakers at the TEDMED Live event at NUI Galway
Apr 26 2013 Posted: 09:45 IST

Students and staff at NUI Galway’s School of Medicine recently collaborated in hosting a major international conference addressing healthcare issues of global significance. TEDMED Live was held at the University on Friday, April 19 as a satellite event of the annual TEDMED conference taking place at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, USA.

NUI Galway is one of the first institutions outside the United States to receive permission from TEDMED, a multi-disciplinary community of innovators and leaders working together to address the societal causes of ill health, to stage a local conference.

The NUI Galway TEDMED Live event attracted over 250 delegates, comprising medical students and academic staff, who contributed to the pre-conference discussions using social media.

Organised by Tariq Esmail, a third-year medical student from Canada studying at NUI Galway, the event featured four local NUI Galway speakers, each of whom delivered a short presentation on one of TEDMED’s 20 Great Challenges in Medicine.

  • Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway, explored innovative approaches to human tissue regeneration.
  • Professor Laurence Egan, a Consultant in Gastroenterology, tackled the topic of chronic disease management.
  • Dr Francis Finucance, a Consultant Endocrinologist at University Hospital Galway, gave a captivating perspective on societal approaches to managing the obesity crisis.
  • Professor Matt Griffin, Professor of Transplant Biology at NUI Galway, highlighted the central role of the patient in healthcare in his engaging talk entitled Patient-centred care has been and always will be a winning philosophy.

All of the local speakers’ presentations were professionally recorded and will be shared with a global audience on www.TEDMED.com. TEDMED has committed to inviting the most creative and engaging speakers to next year’s main conference in the USA. The organisation granted permission to NUI Galway to transmit their preferred session from the TEDMED conference in the USA to their local delegates at last Friday’s event. This webcast featured six international speakers, including such luminaries as Dr Francis S. Collins, an American physician-geneticist renowned for his leadership of the International Human Genome Project and currently serving as Director of the National Institutes of Health in the USA.

Reflecting on the success of this international partnership, Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway and academic adviser for the conference, said: “The School of Medicine at NUI Galway is proud to have been the first Irish institution to host a TEDMED Live satellite conference. The success of this initiative owes much to the vision and diligence of Tariq Esmail, one of our most capable international medical students, to the MedSoc student society, to the enthusiastic student and academic delegates attending the event, and to the powerful impact of the four local speakers, whose presentations have now reached a global audience.

Dr Flaherty added: “We are planning to create a novel special study module, entitled TEDMED, which will give ownership of the event to our students and allow us to stage a TEDMED conference annually and invite a larger audience from the wider University and the general public. TEDMED is a forum for innovative approaches to complex global health problems and NUI Galway is proud to be an active partner in this influential community of thinkers and opinion leaders.”


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