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The Vision Research Centre at

Wednesday, 2nd October 2013

The Vision Research Centre at

Carriganore House officially opens The "Howard Gate"

Carriganore House was opened in January 2012 to accommodate the Macular Pigment Research Group's (MPRG), Vision Research Centre. The vision centre has been a major success for the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), with many important human nutrition clinical studies now underway. However, the need for universal access became very clear as the research team engaged with the elderly population.

Professor John Nolan, Principal investigator of the group, was actively aware of this difficulty and gave an undertaking to secure additional funding to provide a patient safe access to the vision centre. To achieve this he approached the Howard Foundation from Cambridge UK, and outlined the challenges he and his team were facing with respect to patient access to the centre. The Howard Foundation considered his request and very generously agreed to support this project.

The Howard Foundation, a charitable trust established in 1982 by Dr Alan Howard and his son Jon, provides support and encouragement for research into nutritional sciences, particularly emphasizing efforts to understand the nutritional factors that influence health and wellbeing. The Howard Foundation has been supporting research in Waterford for many years, where they have been working closely with Professors John Nolan and Stephen Beatty of the MPRG. Many important research publications have resulted from the support of the Howard Foundation.

On Saturday, the 21st of September, Dr Alan Howard and other members from the Foundation visited Carriganore House to celebrate the opening of the new Howard Gate.

Speaking about this project, Professor Nolan said "We are delighted to be able to work with, and gain support from, the Howard Foundation. Their important contribution to the Institute and our many research projects to date has been extraordinary. The addition of this patient friendly access to our centre is essential for our studies as it ensures safe access for all patients participating in our clinical trials. I am most grateful to Dr Howard and the Foundation for their continued support of our research. The is positive news for the research centre"

Mr Paul Quirke, Capital Projects Manager at WIT added "This was an extremely generous donation from the Howard Foundation to enable us to complete a very important piece of infrastructure to support the research which was being completed in the house. We have now delivered universal access which is inherently accessible to older people, people without disabilities and people with disabilities". The works have been completed in line with designs in a manner sensitive to the house and walled-in garden, providing a high quality universal entrance for all visitors."

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