GlaxoSmithKline and Trinity College Dublin Announce First European Strategic Framework for Collaboration

Posted on: 11 December 2008

Staff exchanges and PhD studentships in strategic areas announced by GSK and TCD

An innovative collaborative framework between Trinity College Dublin and the pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was put in place by Trinity’s Provost, Dr John Hegarty and Eddie Gray, President of GSK Pharmaceuticals Europe at a signature ceremony this week in Trinity College in the presence of the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan.

Building on an existing research partnership between TCD and GSK, and supported by IDA Ireland which targets Alzheimer’s Disease and neurodegeneration, the new strategic agreement will enable joint research projects and the sharing of expertise in new domains. A first for both organisations, and the first of its kind in a European context, the agreement provides a framework for engagement wherein the parties can openly explore collaborative research potential, synergies and partnership strategies of mutual benefit. Importantly, it facilitates the exchange of students and staff between the organisations and allows both organisations to tap into the strengths of the other to lever expertise into future collaborations.

The announcement was enhanced with the creation of new GSK sponsored PhD studentships in the areas of cognition and innate immunity, building on Trinity’s research strengths in neuroscience and immunology. Under the auspices of the new agreement and building on the existing research partnership in the domain of neurodegeneration, today also saw the announcement of the appointment of GSK Director of Translational Biology, Dr Neil Upton, as an adjunct professor in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and School of Psychology.

Speaking at the signing, President, GSK Pharmaceuticals Europe, Eddie Gray said: “We are delighted to formalise and augment what for us has been a very successful and productive relationship with Trinity College to date. Research and development is at the heart of what we do at GSK and so developing innovative research partnerships such as this is critically important for us to progress our ultimate objective of helping people do more, feel better and live longer. Today’s announcement represents true innovation in practice by creating a flexible framework within which both parties can collectively explore and collaborate on opportunities of mutual benefit. We are very excited about the possibilities this partnership will create for both ourselves and Trinity College, but most importantly for patients who are still waiting for much-needed treatments in these areas.” Provost dr john hegarty with tánaiste and minister for enterprise, trade and employment, mary coughlan and eddie gray, president of gsk pharmaceuticals europe

Provost Dr John Hegarty with Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise , Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan and Eddie Gray, President of GSK Pharmaceuticals Europe.

Commenting on the significance of the agreement, TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty said: “This new strategic agreement with GSK further cements Trinity College Dublin’s position as a leading international reference site for biomedical research. This model of strategic growth and partnership in the areas of international research quality is at the heart of Trinity’s research agenda”.

“As a university we are committed to world class excellence in research. This new collaborative agreement provides a forum for future collaboration. We are building on our success in neuroscience and expanding into new areas. The framework allows both organisations to engage in a meaningful fashion and lays the foundation for many exciting projects to come through openly exploring collaborative research potential, synergies and partnership strategies,” concluded Dr John Hegarty.