Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Professor Des Fitzgerald



Des Fitzgerald graduated from UCD Medical School in 1977. He worked in Vanderbilt University in the US where he gained an international reputation for research into heart disease. In 1991, he returned as an academic consultant to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. From 1994 he was Professor and Head of Department in Clinical Pharmacology at RCSI.  Since 2004, he has been the Professor of Molecular Medicine and Vice‐President for Research in UCD, during which time UCD has soared in national and global rankings. He leads a cardiovascular research programme and has published over 150 original papers.

Manifesto (key points)

The Trinity College community has forged a global reputation in intellectual leadership, education and research. Through a system of self-governance, the University has created a unique environment where knowledge is valued and life-long scholarship can flourish.  Fundamental to this governance is the balance between the leadership of the University Council and the decision-making powers of the Board.  The representation by academics and students on these bodies ensures that scholarship guides the University.

Through this system of self-governance, academic freedom, both individual and institutional, is preserved. Academic freedom is the life-blood of this University and is central to its scholarship, education and research. The autonomy of the university legitimises its leadership in the social, cultural and economic development of society.

Autonomy is embodied in legislation and enabled by financial independence. The autonomy of Trinity College is enshrined in its unique Charter and self ownership. Paradoxically, the University is now financially dependent on the State, and so, as with the State, it faces an unprecedented financial crisis. As a consequence, Trinity College has limited powers to appoint academics and staff, to promote and incentivise and to pursue new areas of scholarship; effectively it has lost its autonomy.

My vision is a Trinity College where it is the academic that guides the scholarship and future of the University. Trinity College will be known here and abroad for its intellectual leadership, for the quality of its graduates and for what it discovers.

Specifically, I will re-establish the self-governance of the University; I will restore financial stability; I will create an environment where academics and students can excel; and I will build a faculty for the future.

Through these steps we together will forge a collegial, vibrant and confident community and see Trinity College emerge from the current crisis with a global reputation for excellence.



  • Francis M. Boland
  • Jane Farrar
  • Brian Foley
  • Nicholas Grene
  • Peter Humphries
  • Sylvia Huntley-Moore
  • Aoife McLysaght
  • Antoin E. Murphy
  • Eunan O’ Halpin
  • Thomas O’ Dowd
  • Kevin O’ Rourke
  • Simon Wilson

Last updated 7 February 2011 by