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Feb/March 2018


   Head of School and New Directors

Professor Michael Gill - Head of School of Medicine


Professor Gill as the Head of School provides overall academic leadership and strategic vision, and is responsible for the effective general management of the school, and for the quality of the student experience.

Dr Joe Harbison - Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning


Dr Harbison as the DUT&L has responsibility for the undergraduate affairs of the School and will play a central strategic and management role for the six undergraduate programmes. In addition to interacting with the Head of School and the School Executive, the Director will work through programme co-ordinators and heads of discipline.

Professor Louise Gallagher - Director of Research


Professor Gallagher as the Director of Research will have delegated responsibility for the development of research and innovation in the School. The Director will play a strategic role in promoting and enabling research in the School, working closely with the Head of School and Heads of Discipline.

Dr Steve Thomas - Director of Health Policy and Engagement


Dr Thomas as the Director of Health Policy & Engagement will oversee the School’s engagement with and impact on health policy and health services.

Professor Seamas Donnelly - Director of Global Relations


Professor Donnelly as the Director of Global Relations will have delegated responsibility for the development of external academic relations on behalf of the School of Medicine. The Director will develop strategic partnerships with external academic, philanthropic and industry partners in research and education.

New School Administrative Manager


Dr Alex McKee is the new School Manager. His role is to ensure the delivery of a high quality administrative service that supports the day to day smooth running of the school as well as its longer term strategic planning and development processes

New Research and Undergraduate Medicine Administrators


Ms Bridget Gavin has been recently appointed as the new Research Administrator working with the Director of Research

Orla Mulligan is the new Fresh Co-ordinator for the Undergraduate Medicine Course.

Both administrators are based in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute

   Upcoming Events

Upcoming lecture - New Frontiers in Shared Decision Making: Research, Implementation and Healthcare Improvement


Prof Glyn Elwyn, from the Dartmouth Institute will be delivering a lecture on “New Frontiers in Shared Decision Making: Research, Implementation and Healthcare Improvement” on Thursday the 1 March at 6pm in the TCD Global Room. The main focus of Prof Elwyn’s work is limiting the harmful effect of power imbalance in medical practice. How can we make sure that people make decisions with the best possible information about the inherent trade-offs that exist when considering treatments? What skills do clinicians need to facilitate collaboration and careful deliberation processes? Are there attitudinal or cultural barriers that need to be tackled? Is the ethical imperative to involve people in decisions not sufficient? If not, why not? Prof Elwyn is part of the research team on the INCA (Interaction Analytics for Automatic Assessment of Communication Quality in Primary Care) project in the Centre for Health Policy and Management, TCD. This project is funded by the Health Research Board and seeks to enhance the scalability and affordability of quality assessment, and to create actionable knowledge for improved care and value.

2nd Annual Trinity Healthcare Entrepreneurship Forum


Bringing together some of the most prominent voices in Irish healthcare, the Trinity Healthcare Entrepreneurship Forum will take place on 6th March in the Knowledge Exchange Area (KEA) of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute. The evening will showcase not only the business potential in the health sector, but also the skills necessary to succeed in this competitive industry. Featuring a diverse range of speakers from all facets of healthcare, the Forum will appeal to anyone interested in entrepreneurship and innovation.


4th Annual Bone Study Day 9th March


Friday 9th March 2018 A Multidisciplinary Study Day in Metabolic Bone Biochemistry and Medicine Preliminary Programme Trinity Lecture Theatre, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital

Please view the brochure for further information (PDF 481 kB)

Please register on eventbrite here

MSc. in Health Services Management Course Information Session Wednesday 14th of March 2018


The MSc in Health Services Management is holding a course information session on the 14 March from 4pm to 6pm for students interested in applying for the 2018/19 intake. Location: Centre for Health Policy and Management, 3-4 Foster Place, Trinity College, Dublin 2 For more information and to register please phone +353 1 8962665 or email Course link

Trinity Translational Medicine Institute Annual Scientific Conference, 23rd March, 2018


TTMI ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE 2018, 23rd March 2018 (9am - 5pm), Durkan Lecture Theatre, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, St. James's Hospital. For their full programme please visit the TTMI website


The 15th International Trinity College Live Course on Cardiac Intervention at St James’s Hospital, takes place on 23rd March 2018.


This one day training event, held in the Robert Smith Lecture Theatre, Trinity Centre, SJH, is led by national and international experts in general cardiology, coronary and structural heart disease intervention. The speakers and sessions have been chosen to both demonstrate contemporary coronary and structural heart disease management techniques and to promote debate. This course is designed for healthcare professionals with an interest in general cardiology, coronary and structural heart disease. Participants will debate current best practice in the management of coronary and structural heart disease and related disorders.

For further information please view the brochure (PDF 1MB)



8th ESDD Conference 2018, Sept 25

Dysphagia: Shaping the Future

Dysphagia is a prevalent symptom in conditions such as cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders, and stroke. The European Society for Swallowing Disorders (ESSD) is one of the world’s leading organisations for the investigation and management of dysphagia. This year, the ESSD annual congress will be held in the Aviva Stadium, September 25-29th. Approximately 600 attendees are expected from over 40 countries. The bid to host the congress in Dublin was won by ESSD Vice-President Dr. Margaret Walshe (Dept. of Clinical Speech & Language Studies) and staff from both the Dept. of Clinical Speech & Language Studies and the School of Medicine. The organising committee are working collaboratively to showcase Trinity College Dublin, which is a principal supporter of the congress. 

Key contributors from TCD include Prof. Des O’Neill (Medical Gerontology) who has been involved with and supported research in oropharyngeal dysphagia for a number of years. Irish clinicians and researchers interested in dysphagia will have an opportunity to present their work to an international audience of experts. The call for abstracts is now open.


Bursary for MSc course in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy


€7,500 bursary for MSc course in CBT is now available for one applicant. Click here for more details

Research study seeking participants


I am undertaking a research project involving both athletic and non-athletic groups, under the supervision of Mr. Bernard Donne, in which I will be assessing postural stability in a laboratory setting. The aim of my study is to compare balance between active and retired athletes with age matched control groups

Balance Study Poster (PDF 37 kB)

Balance Study Introduction Letter (PDF 186 kB)

Research study seeking participants


We are looking for women over 18 yrs living in the Liberties, Dublin 8 and the Charlemont/south east city area (D 2 & 6) to join an exciting new research study to support women to quit smoking  , T: 01-231 6669 E:

   News Update

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Trinity College and the School of Medicine strengthen collaborations with one of the oldest European Universities - Charles University in Czech Republic.


At the end of last year, TCD has been visited by a delegation from Charles University, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove which included Prof. Jiří Petera – Vice Dean for International Relations, Head of Department of Oncology and Radiotherapy and President of the Czech Society of Radiation Oncology, Prof. Zdeněk Fiala – Head of the Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Eva Macourková – Head of the Office for Foreign Relations and Tereza Švadláková - Research Scientist, former Erasmus student who recently carried out her research project at Trinity Translational Medicine Institute. Read on (PDF 390 kB)


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School of Medicine expands academic and research links with leading Russian Universities.


Last year Yuri Volkov, Professor of Molecular and Translational Medicine facilitated the establishing of academic and research collaborations with two leading Universities of Russian Federation Read on (PDF 439 kB)


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Professor Brendan Kelly Inaugural Lecture


Title of lecture "Psychiatry in the Twenty-First Century: From Neuroscience to Community Care" by Professor KellyProfessor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght Hospital, which took place last May 2017



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Professor Mark Little Inaugural Lecture


Title of lecture “A Googolplex of Autoimmunity – Translational Medicine in the Information Age” by Professor Little, Professor of Nephrology and Consultant Nephrologist, which took place last January 18, 2018.


Inaugural lectures provide newly appointed professors with the opportunity to showcase their academic activity to the College community and members of the public. An inaugural lecture is a significant event in an academic staff member’s career.


Picture: Left to right, Prof Michael Gill - Head of the School of Medicine, Prof Mary McCarron - Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Mark Little - Professor of Nephrology, TCD, Provost of Trinity College, Lucy Nugent Deputy CEO Tallaght Hospital

Dr Martina Hennessy


Dr David Kevans

The Wellcome – HRB Clinical Research Facility


The Wellcome – HRB Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. David Kevans as Associate Director of the CRF. David joins Dr Martina Hennessy who was recently appointed as Director and together they will lead the CRF through its next phase of operation following renewed funding for four years from the HRB. David joined in St. James’s Hospital as a Consultant Gastroenterologist and Senior Clinical Lecturer at Trinity College Dublin in 2014. After gaining Specialist Registration in Gastroenterology in 2011 David undertook a three-year fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto / University of Toronto specialising in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. While in Toronto he was awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship award to support Inflammatory Bowel Disease focused research. He has a special interest in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and leads a programme at St James’s Hospital which provides both regional and tertiary level care for patients with these disorders. David has a significant number of peer-reviewed publications in the areas of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and colorectal cancer. He has an active research programme at St James’s Hospital / Trinity College, Dublin.

New €2.5 Million Funding for SPHeRE Programme


The HRB have announced new funding of €2.5 million to extend the SPHeRE (Structured Population & Health Services Research Education) programme for a further three cohorts of PhD scholars. SPHeRE is a structured PhD programme run jointly by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin & University College Cork. SPHeRE began as the ‘HRB PhD Scholars Programme in Health Services Research’ with funding for an initial four cohorts of scholars. The Programme was expanded in 2013 with the launch of SPHeRE and now provides a key infrastructure to support health research in Ireland through its unique and innovative PhD education, training and research programme. This is expanding Ireland’s capacity to conduct high quality interdisciplinary population health and health services research and maximize its translation to policy and practice. To date, the Programme has graduated 33 HRB funded PhD scholars and an additional 16 doctorates funded through alternative sources. A further 52 PhD scholars are enrolled on the Programme currently (31 HRB funded and 21 alternative/self-funded). Key outputs of the programme include 264 peer reviewed journal articles, 245 oral conference presentations and 62 individual scholar awards and bursaries. SPHeRE scholars regularly publish in leading journals including the British Medical Journal, PLoS One and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Scholars have also achieved recognition through a variety of awards including best oral and poster presentation awards at conferences, as well as wider recognition such as the BMJ Editor’s Pick 2015, and the HRB-TMRN and The Irish Times 2015 national writing competition awards. The Centre for Health Policy and Management hosts the TCD arm of the programme: TCD Director - Dr Steve Thomas, Assistant Director for Teaching and Learning – Dr Lorna Roe (formerly Dr Sarah Barry), TCD Administrator – Sheena Cleary

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Inaugural Symposium ISPOR


On Thursday 15th of February the Trinity College Dublin student chapter of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) held our Inaugural Symposium, entitled “Health Technology Assessment-Current perspectives across Intersecting Disciplines”. Three PhD candidates from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Claire Gorry, Helen O’Donnell and Niamh Carey) have been involved in starting up the chapter, in conjunction with Joy Leahy from University of Limerick. The purpose of establishing the chapter is to bring students from multiple departments and from other universities together, to share and promote our research and to build collaborative relationships for the future. Dr. Laura McCullagh from the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and Dr. Arthur White from the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE) spoke on the clinical and statistical aspects of HTA, while Dr. James O’Mahony from the Centre for Health Policy and Management (TCD) gave a broader health economics perspective. All three speakers are highly experienced in their fields. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear from local experts on both the issues of HTA in the Irish setting, and the innovative research that they are involved in. We were delighted with the enthusiasm for the event, with students travelling from the Royal College of Surgeons, University College Cork (UCC) and University of Limerick to attend. After the speakers we held a poster session with student posters on display from both TCD and other Irish universities, across multiple disciplines. It was a great chance for students to showcase their own research, chat to the speakers in an informal setting, connect with students across disciplines, and get to know students from other universities. The event afforded useful networking opportunities to all present, and hopefully will lead to fruitful collaborations into the future.

Picture: Speakers: Dr L McCullagh, James O'Mahony and Arthur White


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International Biogerontology for Clinicians conference in MISA


The Inaugural Biogerontology for Clinicians International Conference was held in MISA on February 16th and 17th. The conference was opened by Prof Michael Gill and attendees heard the latest concepts and findings in the field of Biogenontology over the course of the two days from Clinicians and Scientists. Speakers included Prof Tom Kirkwood (UK), Prof Eline Slagboom (NL) and Prof Rose Anne Kenny (IRE). The conference was sponsored by Pfizer and Bord Fáilte and organised by the School of Medicine’s Prof Rose Anne Kenny, Dr Clíona Ní Cheallaigh and Dr Nollaig Bourke.

Picture: Prof Rose Anne Kenny kicking off the International Biogerontology for Clinicians conference in MISA


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A Pharmacoeconomics Workshop has been introduced into the Year 3 Medicine Timetable


A Pharmacoeconomics Workshop has been introduced into the Year 3 Medicine Timetable. This Workshop is led by Dr Laura McCullagh (Associate Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology & Therapeutics) and is facilitated by members of staff at the National Centre for Pharmacoeconomics (NCPE). Participants learn about the NCPE evaluation process and about the HSE reimbursement decision process. Participants perform Cost-effectiveness calculations and Gross/ Net Budget Impact calculations and are faced with a decision regarding the reimbursement of a number of high cost drugs within the context of a limited budget.

Photo: The Pharmacoeconmic Workshop facilitators are Claire Gorry, Helen O'Donnell, Laura McCullagh and Caitriona Ni Choitir (missing from the photo is Felicity Lamrock).


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School of Medicine Transition Year Programme


The TY programme is a reduced programme this year with 17 students participating in a variety of presentations and tasks such as PBL (Problem Based Learning), Clinical Skills Sessions and even spending a day on the wards of St James’ Hospital. It is a full and exciting week that gives the TY students an insight into what it’s like to be a student of Medicine in Trinity College. At the end of the programme, we hope the students have a clearer picture of the hard work and dedication it takes to become a doctor.


patientMpower App - Empowering Better Options - Click on image for app



In people with autoimmune disease, the immune system is incorrectly activated so that, rather than deploying its weaponry to remove an infection, it causes organ destruction. An individual’s susceptibility to autoimmune disease is partly mediated by their genetic make-up, but the trigger is something in the individual’s environment. The triggers for a specific autoimmune disease are generally unknown. If we can discover what these are, we will be able to predict autoimmune disease risk and potentially devise ways in which the trigger can be avoided.

In most causes of autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks an individual’s own body, the condition flares over time. For example, in ANCA vasculitis, half of sufferers have a flare within 5 years. This requires use of powerful medications, which cause infection by suppressing the immune system.

We bring together physician, patient, computer scientist and artificial intelligence expertise to create a system that learns over time about the impact of the environment on disease flare, with the goal of creating a clinical support tool and an intelligent smartphone app that will empower the patient in managing their own condition.

Link to app

Link to AVERT poster (PDF 2 MB)


Med Day 2017/18


We at Med Day were completely overwhelmed by the generosity of those who kindly donated during this years collections. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those involved in anyway big or small particularly our legion of students who braved the dark and cold armed with nothing but a bucket and a t-shirt. Through the help of many and the generosity of more we have managed to raise well over our target of €50,000 for our chosen beneficiaries. To them we have to say it has been an absolute pleasure to help and that their dedication to improving patient care is the inspiration around which Med Day continues to revolve. We would like to give one last thank you to everyone and hope to have an even more successful 2018.

Medtronic takes on Novel Technique invented by Trinity Researcher


For more than 50 years the mainstay of physical measurement of gastrointestinal function has been based on pressure measurements in various cavities of the GI system by placing a catheter in the appropriate area, usually via a natural orifice such as the mouth, nose or anus.

Dr. Barry McMahon, a physicist at Tallaght Hospital and a co-founder of Trinity Academic Gastroenterology Group (TAGG) in the School of Medicine explains, “GI pressure measurements work on the assumption that the organs of the digestive system exert a force when they contract or when a peristaltic wave passes through and that this force can be measured using correctly orientated pressure sensors. Our work and that of others demonstrated that this is an over simplification and we began the search for a better or, at least complimentary, method to measure organ function.”

Working with a Danish colleague, Gregersen, Dr McMahon used the electrical properties of tissues in the gut to devise a new probe for measuring the distensibility of sphincters and organs in the digestive tract. This, functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP), was the starting point from which, Crospon Ltd (Galway), developed a medical device known as ENDOFLIP. More than 10 years on from the original work, the device was recently bought by Medtronic Ltd. from Crospon Ltd for an eight figure sum.

McMahon said “having your invention picked up by one of the largest medical device companies in the world validates your work in a way that publication in the medical literature never could. You now know it will have a direct role in changing patients’ lives all over the world.”

Homelessness associated with a dramatic increase in emergency department attendance


New study illustrates the toll Ireland’s homelessness crisis is having on hospital overcrowding Homeless people use emergency department 20 times more than their housed counterparts and have 10 times more inpatient bed days, according to a new study carried out by researchers at Trinity College Dublin. The research, which analysed all 54,205 emergency department visits and unscheduled admissions to St James’s Hospital in Dublin’s south inner city in 2015, illustrates the toll that Ireland’s homelessness crisis is having on people’s health and on hospital overcrowding, according to its author (Dr Clíona Ní Cheallaigh, Senior Lecturer in Medical Gerontology at Trinity’s School of Medicine, Consultant in General Medicine and Infectious Diseases, St James's Hospital and faculty member of the Global Brain Health Institute, Trinity.) Read on (PDF 286 kB)

Cancer Immunology Stimulus Research Award


Associate Professor Laure Marignol was awarded two Cancer Stimulus Research seed Awards. The first awards, entitled RAYNBO will leverage the pre-existing inter- disciplinary strength of radiobiology ( Dr Marignol), immunology (Prof. Lavelle) and nanomaterials (Dr Prina-Mello) to provide a proof-of-concept for the development of an anti-cancer strategy for combination with radiotherapy. The second award, in partnership with Prof. Cliona O'Farelly will inform the mathematical modelling of T-cell activity and tumour growth rates in response to radiation exposure.

Undergraduate Research Publications


The staff at the Discipline of Radiation Therapy have secured the peer-review publication of the majority of their undergraduate research projects. This research work is not only expanding the strategic goals and international reputation of the Discipline's Applied Radiation Therapy Trinity (ARTT) research group, but will also equip our graduates with a life-long interest in research.

NANOMED group and LBCAM lab


Please see our scientific engagement and EC-H2020 activity that the NANOMED group and LBCAM lab have done in the past 6 months Read on (PDF 947 kB)

TILDA Report - One in Four older Irish adults lacking in Vitamin D


Several articles were written about this study, read on

Irish Times

The Times - UK



Dr. Eric Downer talks about his research in the field of MS in the MS Ireland research ezine, and at the MS Ireland Research Explored Event


MS Ireland recently conducted an interview with Dr. Eric Downer (Department Physiology TCD), where he discusses the MS/cannabinoid research currently being undertaken in his laboratory. This interview has been published in MS Ireland research ezine provided to patients.

Best Oral Presentation at the 2017 Scientific Meeting of the Irish Thoracic Society (ITS)


Congratulations to Lucy Bergin, a member of the research group of Prof. Seamas Donnelly in the School of Medicine, and co-supervised by Dr. Michelle Armstrong, shown here receiving her prize for Best Oral Presentation at the 2017 scientific meeting of the ITS.

Lucy's award-winning presentation detailed her research into The effect of IL-17A on Toll-like receptor 3 function in disease progression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The conference delegates included healthcare professionals and research scientists, who are involved in the care and treatment of people with chronic or acute respiratory disease in Ireland.

Left: John Barron, Hospital Specialist at Boehringer Ingelheim Centre: Lucy Bergin, Donnelly Research Group Right: Dr Jacqueline Rendall, Outgoing President of the Irish Thoracic Society

International Lab Placements


Two Ph.D. students from the research lab of Professor Seamas Donnelly undertake international lab placements.


Ph.D. student Aoife McElroy, travelled to The University of Edinburgh to the lab of Dr Nik Hirani to investigate autophagy regulation in clinical samples from patients suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).


This coming month, Ph.D. student Andrew O’Neill, will travel to Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, as part of a student internship with Professor George A. O'Toole, to further study Pseudomonas aerginosa host-pathogen interactions. We wish him the best of luck in his research.

Dr Geraldine Foley, Assistant Professor, presented paper at 28th International Symposium on ALS/MND


Dr Geraldine Foley, Assistant Professor, Discipline of Occupational Therapy, presented a paper at the 28th International Symposium on ALS/MND, Boston, 8-10 Dec. Dr Foley’s presentation titled ‘A systematic review of decision-making among patients and family in ALS care’ encompassed key aspects of her systematic review published in the high-impact journal ALS & Frontotemporal Degeneration. The International Symposium on ALS/MND is the largest medical and scientific conference specific to ALS and is the premier event in the MND research calendar for discussion on the latest advances in ALS research and clinical management.

Dr James O’Mahony wins Emerging Investigator Award


Dr James O’Mahony, Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Policy and Management, has been approved for a Health Research Board Emerging Investigator Award for Health 2017 under the project title of "Enhancing the Evidence Base for Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Ireland: Building Improvements from the Intervention-Specific to System-Wide Levels". The award runs for four years from September 2018. This project will involve three components: (i) modelling methods for cancer screening; (ii) continued work with the CERVIVA consortium of HPV-associated disease research; (iii) investigation of the use of cost-effectiveness thresholds in Ireland and abroad in the context of hospital waiting lists. We will be welcoming a PhD candidate to the department under this grant and are currently seeking applications, please email for further details. Collaborators on the grant include partners from HIQA, RCSI, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the NTPF, the ESRI and CervicalCheck.

The HSE Research Awards on Ageing


The Palliative Care Economics (PaCE) research group at the Centre for Health Policy and Management was recently awarded funding of €164,000 under the HSE Research Awards on Ageing for a project entitled ‘The UP Study – Understanding Inequalities in Palliative Care for Older People and Providing for the Future’. The purpose of the HSE Research Awards on Ageing is ‘to enhance population health and wellbeing over the trajectory of ageing by the creation and use of knowledge to ensure Ireland is a good place to grow old’. The study will be led by Prof Karen Ryan of the UCD School of Medicine, supported by co-investigators Dr Peter May, Dr Bridget Johnston and Prof Charles Normand from Health Policy and Management. The aim of this 18 month collaborative project is to use mixed methods to model the palliative care needs of older people in Ireland; calculate associated costs (including costs to service users and effects on financial risk protection); and to provide understanding on why current knowledge regarding best practice on meeting need is not put into practice and what is required to effect change and deliver on equitable palliative care provision for older people. This work will support the work of the recent Sláintecare report in providing detailed resource and financial data to underpin Recommendation 4 that universal palliative care is provided within five years.

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Final phase of “Pathways to Universal Healthcare” project


The ‘Pathways to Universal Healthcare’ project team in the Centre for Health Policy and Management has recently commenced the final phase of its three-year study. Funded by the HRB, Pathways aims to provide a strong evidence base to inform the strategic direction and implementation of universal healthcare in Ireland. In this final phase, led by Dr Sarah Barry, the team will collaborate with the HSE to evaluate three pilot sites, in Tallaght, Wexford and Sligo, where Integrated Care for Older Persons is being implemented. Researchers will use an innovative co-design approach by developing methods of participant observation in consultation with local participants. Also, a series of outputs will be produced for participants during the study process so that new insights and knowledge can inform ongoing practice and planning. The field work will run until the summer. These case studies on ‘integrated care’ and ‘the change process in action’ will build on previous work undertaken by the team examining the organisational challenges of moving to Universal Health Care (UHC), including a systematic review and a survey of CEO-level health managers. The Pathways project is a collaboration between Trinity College, the Health Systems Strengthening Office of WHO Europe and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

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Dr Sarah Barry at the 14th National Health Summit


Dr Sarah Barry presented a keynote address at the 14th annual Health Summit on 8 February 2018 which focused on next steps for the Committee on the Future of Healthcare report, Sláintecare. She looked in particular at the challenges in implementing major health reform and in creating sustainability in an environment with ever growing health needs and costs. The title of Sarah’s presentation was “The key challenges of moving to an integrated care model of healthcare” and mapped the features of health system environment that enable integrated care and its challenges.

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Pathways to Universal Healthcare seminar


The Centre for Health Policy and Management hosted a second seminar to share research findings from the three year HRB funded Mapping the Pathways to Universal Healthcare project on 19 September 2017 at the Science Gallery in Trinity College. There was a full house with over 150 registered participants from a wide swath of interested parties which led to good interaction with inputs and engagement from the floor on the potential pathways to and outcomes of universal healthcare in Ireland. In addition to presentations from the Pathways team - Dr Steve Thomas, Dr Sara Burke, Dr Bridget Johnston, Dr Sarah Barry and Rikke Siersbaek - Roisin Shorthall, TD, Chairperson of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare and Dr Josep Figueras Director of European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and head of the WHO European Centre on Health Policy in Brussels each presented.

CRF’s Annual Scientific Meeting


Over 80 hospital and university staff and students attended the CRF’s Annual Scientific Meeting held on 13th December 2017. The meeting showcased the health science research being supported by the CRF. Research studies are being undertaken by a wide range of health professionals in the areas of hepatitis, oncology, infectious diseases, audiology and inherited retinal diseases. Read on


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Focus on Infection Meeting


The department of Clinical Microbiology held their annual Focus on Infection meeting on December 4th 2017 in the Radisson Blu hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8. Each year the meeting brings together renowned national and international speakers from all areas of infectious disease read on (PDF 524 kB) and visit the Clinical Microbiology website


Our Med Minds


The Association of Medical Students in Ireland at Trinity (AMSI TCD) hosted their 2nd annual week long “Our Med Minds” campaign from the 5th to the 11th of February to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst medical students and doctors and promote positive mental health and well-being through various services offered at Trinity recent Keane Pfizer medal and prize (for 1st place in Microbiology in the Laboratory Medicine course) , and from the previous year, were presented with their medals by Professor Conor Keane. Read on (PDF 240 kB)


Operation Childlife Operation Childlife (OCL)


Operation Childlife Operation Childlife (OCL), the international children's medical charity supported by medical staff from St James Hospital, Dublin and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children Crumlin, had two successful volunteer expeditions to partner institutions in November 2017. The visit to Children's Hospital No 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam consolidated the achievements of the 10-year relationship with that institution. Dr Mark Ryan (TCD 1988), a Director of OCL and an Interventional Radiologist at St James Hospital said that 'the continuing and appropriate escalation in the complexity of cases performed with our local Vietnamese colleagues confirms and underpins the success and trust in the strategy that has been in place over the past decade between the two partner institutions.' He also confirmed the signing of a MOU between the partners and the Ministry of Health in HCMC, taking the agreement up to 2020. The visit to Angkor Hospital for Children, Siem Reap, Cambodia, was the first clinical mission to that partner institution following prior feasibility and needs-assessment evaluations in 2016. The trip was deemed a success by both AHC and OCL and further clinical and educational engagement is in late planning stages. Clinical teams are expected to visit both partner institutions again in the first quarter of 2018.'

Picture 1. Children's Hospital No 2, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - capacity approximately 1000 patients. 2. Dr Mark Ryan of OCL performing an oesophageal intervention with Vietnamese colleagues at Childrens hospital No 2 HCMC, Vietnam


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Prof Richard Huxtable & Amy Worrall

Annual Swan Lecture


A Balance of Opposites? Ethics, Judges and Minimally Conscious Patients Richard Huxtable, Professor of Medical Ethics and Law, University of Bristol last October 2017

Abstract: This presentation reported on research undertaken by Professor Huxtable and Dr Giles Birchley as part of the Wellcome Trust-funded project ‘Balancing Best Interests in Healthcare, Ethics and Law’ (BABEL). The project focused on the best interests standard, which underpins many decisions made for or with patients who lack capacity. The presentation explored legal rulings about whether it is in the best interests of patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness to (continue to) receive life-prolonging treatment. The courts have long adjudicated on cases concerning clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration for patients in the vegetative state, and they are now increasingly encountering patients in the minimally conscious state. The latter cases are the main focus of this presentation, which will specifically consider the ethical concepts, principles and approaches that feature in the judges’ decisions. Prof Huxtable demonstrated how the rulings encompass diverse ethical values – some of which might be expected, but some perhaps less so, and closed by asking whether this is a bad thing, as it indicates inconsistency, or a good thing, as it demonstrates an openness to pluralism.

Bio: Richard Huxtable is Professor of Medical Ethics and Law, and Director of the Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol. Qualified in law and socio-legal studies, he researches end-of-life decision-making, surgical ethics and clinical ethics, and has published widely in legal, bioethical and medical journals. His books include Law, Ethics and Compromise at the Limits of Life: To Treat or Not to Treat? (2012, Routledge) and All That Matters: Euthanasia (2013, Hodder), as well as the co-authored/edited The Cambridge Medical Ethics Workbook (2010, CUP) and Ethical Judgments: Re-writing Medical Law (2016, Hart). Richard co-edits the Ethics in Clinical Practice section of BMC Medical Ethics and is a trustee of the UK Clinical Ethics Network.

Prof Huxtable presented the 2017 Swan medal to Amy Worrall, who delivered a summary of her prize winning essay on ‘Assisted Dying’.


Human Health and Disease BSc Career Evening


Dr. Eric Downer (Asst. Prof. and Director of Human Health and Disease BSc) and Dr. Jean Fletcher (Asst. Prof. and Senior Freshman Human Health and Disease coordinator) hosted a career evening for the Human Health and Disease BSc in the Tercentenary theatre, TBSI, on February 12th. The event was attended by the current Human Health and Disease classes. Dr. Fletcher and Dr. Downer welcomed the return of ten Human Health and Disease alumni to share their experiences of life after their undergraduate years in the BSc programme. All ten graduates provided excellent insight into their chosen career paths in scientific research, industry, regulatory affairs and medicine.



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2017 BSc Human Health and Disease Graduation Human Health and Disease Senior Sophister Graduation.


Congratulations to our new Human Health and Disease graduates, who were awarded their degrees at a graduation ceremony held in the Examination Hall in December 2017.



World Cancer Day Discipline of Radiation Therapy


Staff and students of the Discipline of Radiation Therapy recently took part in a social media campaign to highlight the Union for International Cancer Control’s World Cancer day, held every year on 4th of February. World Cancer Day aims to save millions of deaths annually by raising awareness and education about cancer, and promoting initiatives aimed at prevention and control of disease.


Repealing To The Public: How one designer is drumming up support for Repeal the 8th in Ireland

JS student Shubhangi Karmakar has had her design work for the Repeal the 8th campaign featured in HotPress with a mention of the School of Medicine in the published piece. Please see this month’s issue of HotPress for the full article titled: “Repealing To The Public: How one designer is drumming up support for Repeal the 8th in Ireland

Prize winner best video abstract


Congratulations to Catriona Gallagher, Lecturer in Clinical Medicine (TCD) and Dermatology Research Registrar at Tallaght Hospital, winner of the prize for best video abstract titled “Development of a novel educational tool targeted at IBD patients on immunosuppression” at the recently concluded ISG Winter Meeting 2017. Further information can be found at

Awarded for her abstract at the 25th UEG Meeting in Barcelona


Mary Hussey received the National Scholar award at the 25th United European Gastroenterology (UEG) meeting in Barcelona for her abstract on "Feasibility of same day Colon Capsule Endoscopy in patients with an incomplete colonoscopy". Further information can be found at

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Keane Pfizer medal and prize


The recent Keane Pfizer medal and prize (for 1st place in Microbiology in the Laboratory Medicine course) , Paul Farrell (recipient 2016) and Conor Browne (recipient 2017), were presented with their medals by Professor Conor Keane.


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Dr Damien Ferguson awarded the JS Prichard Memorial Prize for 2016-2017


This prize founded in 2003 in memory of Professor John Prichard, Associate Professor of Medicine 1978 – 1996, by the Department of Clinical Medicine. It is awarded annually to the best Clinical Tutor from St James’ Hospital, as voted by the final year medical students. The recipient for the academic year 2016-2017 as voted by the final medical year class of that year was Dr Damien Ferguson. Damien was presented with the JS Prichard Medal by Professor Joe Keane (Clinical Medicine) and an honorarium by Mr Paul Casey (Hospital Representative, Servier Laboratories). The award is sponsored by Servier Laboratories under the direction of Mr Anthony Burrows. Dr Ferguson is currently undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Clinical Medicine under the supervision of Professor Suzanne Norris and Dr Colin Doherty. He is studying cognitive impairment and neurological deficits in the hepatitis C population in Ireland. His aim is to determine the neuroimaging characteristics of these patients pre- and post- viral clearance using in-depth magnetic resonance (MR) technology. Image Left to Right: Professor Joe Keane, Mr Paul Casey, Dr Damien Ferguson and Anthony Burrows


Colouring: a rich and rewarding avenue into science


A picture paints (or colours in) a thousand words, and can literally put us in the picture about science and research, according to Dr Lorna Lopez, a research fellow at the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute whose work looks at the genetics of brain conditions read on