National Children’s Research Centre and Trinity Join Forces to Investigate Inflammatory Diseases in Children

Posted on: 04 November 2013

Bench-to-bedside programme aims to improve children’s health through greater understanding of paediatric inflammatory diseases.

The National Children’s Research Centre (NCRC) at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin have recently awarded €1.7 million in funding to support three new Assistant Professorship positions in paediatric immunology as part of a strategic partnership between the NCRC and Trinity’s School of Medicine to develop a research programme focused on immunologic mechanisms of disease in children. 

The Paediatric Research in Translational Immunology (PRiTI) Programme will have implications for the development of more targeted treatment of children’s inflammatory diseases such as eczema, asthma, infant sepsis and childhood rheumatic diseases. 

The newly appointed Assistant Professors, Drs Patrick Walsh, Roger Preston and Sarah Doyle will develop research programmes in the NCRC at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital. The location of these new research teams within the NCRC in the hospital will facilitate close collaboration with paediatric clinician scientists working in the children’s hospital, contributing to a bench-to-bedside research ethos.

Commenting on the significance of the creation of the new initiative Professor Carlos Blanco, Director of the NCRC, said: “The National Children Research Centre and the Children’s Medical Research Foundation are committed to funding and facilitating the development of paediatric research in Ireland. Our vision is to be a nationally and internationally recognised centre for the quality of its research, its contribution to advances in paediatric medicine and a driver of the research agenda in paediatrics.”

“The funding and development of an immunology/inflammation program together with Trinity College Dublin is an exciting development and clearly within the scope of the Centre. The aim of the Paediatric Research in Translational Immunology programme is the creation of an infrastructure on immunology and inflammation to further develop this field in paediatrics and to offer a think tank and collaboration opportunities for paediatricians. The incorporation of Drs Patrick Walsh, Roger Preston and Sarah Doyle will clearly enrich the program and expand the collaboration with clinicians from the hospital,” he continued.

Professor Paul Browne, Interim Head of School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, commented: “The appointment by the School of Medicine of three outstanding immunologists, Drs Walsh, Preston and Doyle, who will be based within the National Children’s Research Centre at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital will ensure our immunologists are in proximity to children with inflammatory conditions. These translational research environs will make real discoveries that will improve the health of children. Looking forward, this ethos of bench-bedside paediatric research will be relevant to the new National Children’s Hospital at St James’s Hospital.”

Professor Padraic Fallon, SFI Stokes of Professor of Translational Immunology at Trinity’s School of Medicine, is Director of the Paediatric Research in Translational Immunology Programme. Professor Alan Irvine, Consultant Dermatologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and Professor of Dermatology at TCD is co-Director. 


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Yolanda Kennedy, Press Officer for the Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin at or tel: +353 8963551