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

Thursday, 17th April 2008-Molecular Medicine Ireland Launched Today

17 April 2008

RCSI will form part of the newly established organisation, Molecular Medicine Ireland, that will coordinate the health research activities of the College, the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), University College Cork (UCC) and University College Dublin (UCD), it was announced today.

Five heads of the institutions (NUI Galway, Royal College of Surgeons, TCD, UCC and UCD), having signed the Members Agreement for Molecular Medicine Ireland .
Sitting from left to right: Dr Pat Morgan, Dean of Graduate Studies at NUI Galway representing the President Prof Jim Browne; Dr Mike Kamarck, Chair of Molecular Medicine Ireland ; Minister Mary Hanafin.Standing: Dr Ruth Barrington, Chief Executive, Molecular Medicine Ireland; Dr Hugh Brady, President UCD; Dr John Hegarty, Provost Trinity College Dublin; Dr Michael Murphy, President UCC; Mr Michael Horgan, CEO, Royal College of Surgeons.

The organisation, Molecular Medicine Ireland , will strengthen Ireland 's profile in health research by combining and building on the biomedical research strengths of each institution. It will accelerate the translation of recent rapid advances in science into new ways of understanding disease and new diagnostics, drugs and devices to treat illness and protect the health of people in Ireland .

There are 16 members of the Board of Molecular Medicine Ireland and RCSI is represented by Professor Brian Harvey, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Director of Research, RCSI and Professor Jochen Prehn, Head of Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, RCSI

Five RCSI scientists are currently engaged in a Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme (CSFP) organised through Molecular Medicine Ireland. This training programme transcends institutional boundaries to give fellows unparalleled access to the top biomedical researchers in the country and to state-of-the-art basic and clinical research facilities. They include: 

  • Damian McCartan -The developmental protein HOXc11 mediates endocrine resistance in breast cancer.
  • Finian O'Brien - The Neurobiology of Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures
  • Mazen Al-alawi - Modulation of ion transport and human airway epithelial physiology by two classes of anti-inflammatory molecules, lipoxins and glucocorticoids.
  • Oliver Schubert -  Neuroproteomic Analysis of Schizophrenia and Disease-Associated Neuronal Signalling Defects
  • Sanjay Chotirmall- Investigating the role of estrogen in cystic fibrosis

Speaking today, RCSI’s Director of Research Professor Brian Harvey said “Through the collaboration and pooling of resources between the partner institutions, Molecular Medicine Ireland represents an important network of clinicians and scientists for RCSI to develop its research strategy in translational medicine.”

The formation of Molecular Medicine Ireland was funded by the Government’s Higher Education Authority under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 4. Molecular Medicine Ireland replaces the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (DMMC) which, since 2002, has coordinated the biomedical research activities of TCD, UCD and RCSI.