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


The Department of International Health & Tropical Medicine has an exciting and growing research portfolio led by Professor Samuel McConkey

Prof. Sam McConkey

The research activities of this department are about control and prevention of diseases in resource-poor areas, however, methodologically the activities span from the molecular and immunological, through clinical trials and cohort studies to health systems and anthropological investigations.

Funding presently comes from the Irish Health Research Board and Higher Education Authority, from UK's Economic and Social Research Council and Medical Research Council, and from European Vaccine Initiative in Heidelberg.

The latter agreed to fund an R&D programme collaborating with Oxford University entitled - A circumsporozoite protein vaccine against malaria using the adenovirus Ch63 vector: preclinical and Phase I safety and immunogenicity studies.

The phase I clinical trials in healthy volunteers began at RCSI's Clinical Research Centre in Beaumont in January 2012, and build on work done in Oxford and Gambia by Prof. McConkey.

Malaria vaccine trial: Volunteer information

As malaria is being controlled in Gambia the needs increased for a National malaria surveillance system, performed in collaboration with CIAM, a research NGO there, and with the Gambian Ministry of Health. This started in February 2008 and is Irish Aid/HRB funded in a catalytic way that will be sustainable.

Migrants and asylum seekers moving into Ireland is a recent phenomenon, however in 2006 census 17% of people living here were not born in Ireland. A major research effort has been launched to understand how the Irish health system has responded to this, commencing in April 2009 and ongoing. This explores how public policy is formulated, the influence of scientific data on public policy, and the implementation of policy into practice, themes which transcend beyond immigration and beyond Ireland, so leading to comparative analyses to our health system's responses to various live issues in Ireland, and also to the responses of health systems in other countries to migration and other issues.


Dr John D. Cahill

  • Principal Investigator, Rifaximin use in Post Infectious IBS: A Retrospective Review Salix Pharmaceutical, April 2010
  • Co-Investigator, CDC CI000514, Global Travelers' Health National Research Center Consortium, CDC & NIAID, August 2009 - present
  • GeoSentinel Surveillance Project, Ongoing data collection, February 2008 - present



  • Platelet research       
  • Clinical trials
  • Social Science research
  • MRC, The Gambia
  • HBV research
  • HIV-2 research
  • Malaria;
  • Tuberculosis research
  • HIV-1 research