Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI to Play Key Role in New Clinical Research Network

13 June 2006

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney TD, of a multi-million euro investment by the Wellcome Trust and the Health Research Board (HRB) for a the development of a Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (CRIN) among the three Dublin Medical Schools.

The successful proposal was coordinated by the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (DMMC) executive management team of Professor Dermot Kelleher TCD, Professor Bill Powderly UCD, Professor Brian Harvey RCSI and Dr. Pierre Meulien CEO of the DMMC.

A capital fund from the Wellcome Trust will build a new Clinical Research Centre (CRC) on the grounds of St, James's Hospital which will be linked through clinical research and clinical trial programmes with the existing CRC at RCSI-Beaumont Hospital and the Genome Resource Units at UCD-Mater and St. Vincent Hospitals.

The RCSI Clinical Research Centre at Beaumont Hospital and Surgen (a research facility which delivers pharmacogenomics services to the pharmaceutical industry as well as conducting research programmes in colorectal cancer and epilepsy) will play an integral co-ordinating role of the Dublin CRIN. Professor Dermot Kenny (Director of the RCSI-CRC) will co-ordinate the clinical directorate and research programmes as associate director of the CRIN, Ailbhe Murray (director of nursing research in the RCSI-CRC) will lead Research Nurse Training Programme and Dr. Andrew Lyall (Surgen Director) will co-ordinate the Patient Data Management System of the CRIN.

The Wellcome Trust award will also fund the core directorate costs,whereas, the recurring costs of the Dublin CRIN will be supported by the HRB. The combined Wellcome Trust and HRB funding is expected to total €20M over the next five years.

Commenting on the development Professor Brian Harvey, RCSI said “It is well established internationally that state of the art clinical research at hospital-based Clinical Research Centers improve patient care through research-led diagnosis and therapy and this is a defining feature of the Dublin CRIN.”

The research programmes, which will underpin the Dublin CRIN, will include Cardiovascular Disease, Cancers such as Colorectal, Breast and Prostate, Neurological and Psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy and Autism as well as Diseases of the immune system.

The DMMC Executive Management Team will be responsible for the overall management of the Dublin CRIN, which aims to network with other clinical research centers nationally and join the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) by 2007.