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Prof Thomas Ritter, leader of research programme, was recruited by the National University of Ireland, Galway as a lecturer in Gene Therapy and Regenerative Medicine and assumed his position in March 2005. Prof. Ritter has over 20 year experience in the field of gene therapy in organ transplantation. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1994 from the Max-Planck Research group of Immunology / Rheumatology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany where he worked on the molecular characterization of T cell receptors specific for human collagen type II. Having completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Marseille, Center of Immunology in 1995, Prof. Ritter took up a faculty position at the prestigious Charité University Hospital in Berlin, Germany. He worked as a leader of the gene therapy programme in experimental transplantation in the Institute of Medical Immunology under the directorship of Prof. Dr. H.-D. Volk. His research focused on the development of efficient viral gene-transfer systems for application in transplantation medicine. Prof. Ritter was successful in obtaining funding from the German Research Foundation and the Ministry of Health and Research as well as from industry (Schering). Prof. Ritter completed his 'Habilitation' (postdoctoral lecture qualification) in Immunology in 2002 followed by a promotion to assistant professor in 2003.