TCD led Eurolife Network of European Universities Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Posted on: 23 September 2009

Trinity College’s School of Medicine, in collaboration with its partners in Eurolife Network of European Universities in Life Sciences celebrated its ten  year anniversary at a special symposium launched by the Vice Rector of the Universitat de Barcelona, Dr Alex Aguilar, in Barcelona on  Monday 21st  last.  Eurolife is a network of seven prestigious academic institutions across Europe, with a mission of  advancing research and education  in the life sciences through strategic partnership and collaboration.

The participating institutions are:
Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland (Chair 2008-2011)
University of Edinburgh (UE), United Kingdom
Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands
Karolinska Institutet (KI), Sweden
University Medicine Goettingen (UMG), Germany
Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Spain
University of Strasbourg (USt), France

“This is a significant occasion which celebrates the contribution of the Eurolife Network to postgraduate education and research at the European level”,  commented  TCD’s  Professor Dermot Kelleher, Head of the School of Medicine, and current Chairperson of Eurolife. “Through our partnership over the last ten  years, we have grown to become an organisation that has taken a leadership role in developing innovative approaches to postgraduate research and training, scholar exchange and collaborative research networks, harnessing our individual institutional strengths for clear ‘European added-value’ in a trans-institutional cooperative strategic venture”.  

In launching the programme, Vice Rector of the Universitat de Barcelona Dr Aguilar emphasised the importance of the network. “Eurolife is a high quality network of premier European universities which has made significant contributions to education and research in the European arena.

Eurolife Achievements:
In research, a number of significant EU funded research programmes have developed through Eurolife, emphasising how this network partnership increases research competitiveness at the European level. Past successes include ‘Eurogendis’, a Karolinska Institutet (KI)-led postgraduate training programme in the genetic basis of human disease and  ‘Eurosterone’, a research training network promoting transdisciplinary research addressing diseases of major socioeconomic concern in Europe including chronic and inflammatory disease, cardiovascular disease, reproductive ageing and cancer and cognitive diseases associated with ageing.

Current projects  involving Eurolife researchers include the €11m Framework VI project ‘Autocure’, a KI led integrated research project bringing together expertise within different disciplines to develop new therapeutics for common inflammatory rheumatic diseases and the €11.4m Framework VI project EUGeneHeart, a UMG led research programme developing new approaches to prevent and treat heart failure through an increased genomic understanding of signalling molecules within the heart. 
In education, Eurolife is committed to developing new pan-European standards of excellence in postgraduate life science education, culminating in the launch of the  ‘Eurolife Joint Programme in Translational and Experimental Medicine’ (JPTEM), a research driven programme for postgraduate students which promotes scholar exchange.

“This innovative programme has allowed students to perform part of their research project at Masters level at a partner Eurolife institution, providing the student with an enriched high quality training experience and a skills set that contributes to their career and personal development as future research leaders in the life sciences,” commented  Professor  Mark Lawler, TCD, Chairperson of the Eurolife JPTEM committee which developed this innovative exchange programme.

A second initiative, impacting on both education and research, is the Eurolife Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series (EDFLS), pioneered by TCD. 

At the celebrations in Barcelona, Professor Garret FitzGerald, Professor of Translational Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, USA delivered the Eurolife Keynote Address entitled  ‘Translational Therapeutics, Salutary Lessons from the Prostaglandin Cascade’ which was extremely well received by the large  audience at the Aula Pi  Sunyer, Universitat de Barcelona.  “As a confirmed Euro-American, I am delighted to note the development of transcontinental initiatives in translational medicine such as Eurolife and look forward to exploring ways in which we can foster joint transatlantic initiatives for the benefit of global health. I was flattered to be invited to participate in the Anniversary meeting, particularly in such a wonderful city as Barcelona.”

The Keynote Address was followed by a Eurolife Round Table Forum where invited experts from the different Eurolife Institutions responded to a series of panel questions on ‘The Future of Translational Medicine’. There was a lively and informed discussion in relevant areas of translational medicine including the ‘omics revolution; academia-industry interactions; science and policy and science funding; the role of European Institutions in  International Health; the future for Biomedical Scientists in Europe and the challenges in translational medicine.

Eurolife is proactively promoting research exchange between our partner institutions in order to increase synergy and maximise research output.  The Eurolife Scholarship Programme For Early Career Researchers, an exchange programme whereby early stage researchers can visit partners for periods of 3-6 months to investigate strategic research priorities identified by Eurolife. This scholarship gives early career researchers the opportunity to acquire new skills in a different research setting, and to build and strengthen their international network. 
Full details of the Eurolife  are available at:
Also contact Professor  Mark Lawler at