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BREATH is Named Asthma/ COPD Project of the Year at NI Healthcare Awards 2018

20 April 2018

The multi-disciplinary, cross-border project BREATH (Borders and Regions Airways Training Hub) has won Asthma / COPD Project of the Year at the 19th Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards held at the Europa Hotel Belfast in February.



The €7.7m project funded by the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), is a highly ambitious, collaborative research partnership that has brought together a world class cluster of researchers from the Smooth Muscle Research Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast and the Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Health Research, University of the West of Scotland, whose aim is to better understand and alleviate the impact of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

COPD is an incurable lung disease that is a leading cause of death worldwide, and is particularly prevalent in the border regions of Ireland and Northern Ireland, in addition to South West Scotland. Despite the huge health challenge that the disease presents, it is still a relatively under-resourced and under-researched illness. Throughout this five-year project, over 30 researchers and doctoral students will work together, to develop innovative approaches which will contribute to the better treatment and management of COPD. The programme also encourages collaborative partnerships with industry.

Dr. Kieth Thornbury, Principal Investigator at the Smooth Muscle Research Centre, DkIT said,

“We are delighted to win this prestigious award, sponsored by Teva Pharmaceuticals.  It is wonderful to get added recognition for this very exciting project which seeks not only to better understand COPD but will raise awareness of the disease, to help encourage preventative measures, timely treatment and disease management.”

Dr. Tim McCormac, Head of Research at DkIT added:

“I would like to congratulate the Smooth Muscle Research Centre team and our partners on the BREATH project. This award helps to highlight the important work carried out by the team in helping to better understand this often ‘invisible’ killer disease with a view to  developing new and improved treatments to transform the provision of healthcare in this area.

The Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards reward excellence, professional achievement and recognise the outstanding contribution the healthcare profession has made to the industry over the past year.  Organised by Medcom, publishers of pharmacy and healthcare magazines across the UK, the awards provide the chance for NI’s healthcare professionals to showcase their work in front of many of the profession’s key opinion leaders.


For all media enquiries, please contact Thomas Redmond, Head of Marketing & Communications at DkIT, e. thomas.redmond@dkit.ie t. +353 851775488