He was welcomed by University Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella and the University Pro-Rector for Research & Knowledge Transfer, Prof. Saviour Zammit, who gave an overview of the University’s latest research efforts in areas relating to bio-medicine and engineering. Present at the event was Mr Wilfred Kenely, who is the CEO of the Research Innovation and Development Trust (RIDT), responsible for attracting funds towards research projects undertaken by UM.
The President, accompanied by the Rector and other dignitaries, was escorted by Prof. Richard Muscat, the Director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine & Biobanking, to the laboratories the Centre; Professor Godfrey Grech, from the Department of Pathology, welcomed them to the Oncology Laboratory. A brief overview on the early detection of tumours in the oncological field was delivered by the Professor Grech. Shortly after, Professor Mario Valentino, Department of Physiology & Biochemistry and Dr Christian Zammit, Department of Anatomy, presented more concrete examples of the research conducted by both departments conjointly. Both Professor Valentino and Dr Zammit demonstrated, to those present, the latest developments in molecular neuroscience associated with Stroke – one of the global leading causes of deaths.
Later on, they proceeded to the Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics, housed within the Faculty of Engineering building, where Prof. Ing. Kenneth P. Camilleri, showed the President some examples of signal processing, followed by image processing, and then electrical activity of the brain. H.E. Dr Vella, was given another demonstration, this time featuring a smart wheelchair prototype in the Control Systems Engineering Lab. This device, could potentially enable its target users to automate certain processes which are otherwise taken for granted, ultimately allowing for more autonomy.
Addressing the media, the President, expressed his appreciation towards the useful research currently being conducted at the University of Malta. He added that the usefulness of this research, especially in the medical field, which he formed part of during his time as the specialist in family medicine, lies in the way it can be applied to improve the quality of human life. Complementing the President's remarks, the UM Rector remarked that the rich human capital within this institution should be better supported through sufficient funding, improving not only the lives of those who will benefit, but also the reputation of Malta in the global scene.
Furthermore, RIDT CEO, Wilfred Kenely, expressed his gratitude towards the President's visit at UM's Msida Campus, whilst also drawing the attention towards the funding needed to set in motion the ideas of our researchers.
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