Prof Owen Smith Appointed IEHG Cancer Clinical Director
The Ireland East Hospital Group has appointed UCD Professor of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Prof Owen Smith as Clinical Director of its newly established Clinical Academic Directorate in Cancer. The announcement was made by the IEHG Chief Executive Officer, Professor Mary Day.
By together two of Ireland’s leading university hospitals recognised for their expertise in cancer, the hospital group hopes to establish the premiere cancer centre in the country. The cancer initiative will leverage the considerable expertise of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St Vincent’s University Hospital to deliver state of the art cancer care to patients, in terms of the range, depth and complexity of care required.
This new single entity, operating across two sites will mean larger departments with a greater critical mass, more possibilities for subspecialisation, an expansion in the range of services and more personalised medicine approaches with a clear focus on genetics and translating research benefits into better patient care.
The new organisational model of the Cancer Clinical Academic Directorate, which will combine with a high degree of interdependent working with the other cancer services in the group, will deliver greater coordination of care, quicker translation of research into patient benefits and better value for healthcare funders.
Prof Day noted
The strong emphasis on research and innovation, particularly in areas that directly impact patient care - clinical trials, personalised medicine, immunotherapy, remote care and surgical technologies, is enabled by an infrastructure of biomedical research, bioinformatics and data analytics.
We are very fortunate to have someone of Prof Smith’s calibre and expertise associated with the Ireland East Hospital Group. His extensive background in cancer research will ensure IEHG builds on and improves clinical effectiveness, patient safety and keeps us in line with best practice in the sector.
Prof Owen Patrick Smith CBE
Professor Owen Smith is Professor of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine at University College Dublin and Consultant Paediatric Haematologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin. Professor Smith also holds the titles, Honorary Regius Professor of Physic (1637) and Professor of Haematology  in the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin.
Professor Smith entered Trinity College Dublin in 1976 to read Natural Sciences and graduated with a moderatorship in Biochemistry in 1980. He went on to graduate in Medicine from Trinity in 1985 and after nine year postgraduate training at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, University College London he was appointed Consultant Haematologist at the National Children’s and St James’s Hospitals, Dublin. Between 1995 and 1999 Professor Smith was successively lecturer in Haematology, senior lecturer in Haematology, before being appointed Professor of Haematology at the Faculty of Medical and Dental Sciences at Trinity College Dublin in 2002.
Professor Smith is a principal investigator at the National Children's Research Centre, Crumlin, and the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. His two main areas of research have focused on evidence-based randomised peer-reviewed haemato-oncology clinical trials with a focus on clinical questions within all domains of paediatric and adolescent blood and cancer and the elucidation of the relationship between the protein C activation pathway and systemic inflammatory response sepsis syndromes.
One of Professor Smiths’ major contributions to Irish medicine has been through the promotion of clinical research as evidenced by; a significant expansion of clinical paediatric scholarship with excellent research outputs, a strengthening of national and international academic collaborations, and the nurturing, education, and career development of the present generation of Irish consultant paediatric haematologists. In addition, Professor Smith’s has a strong record of championing significant national developments in child and adolescent health in this country over the two decades. For example, he was project director for the creation of National Centre for Hereditary Coagulation Disorders [1997 – St. James’s Hospital] and the National Paediatric Haematology-Oncology Programme [2002 – Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin]. He was a member of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board , the Dolphin Review Group on the National Children’s Hospital  and is currently Special Advisor to the Children’s Hospital Group Board and member of the Strategic Advisory Group focusing on options to develop a Paediatric Academic Health Sciences Network at the request of the Children’s Hospital Group Board.
Professor Smith chaired the National Genetic and Genomic Medicine Network Strategy Group  and was a member of the Cancer Strategy 2016-2025 advising on child, adolescent and young adult cancers .
The co-author of more than 340 research original articles, letters, books, book chapters and papers, Professor Smith is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Pathologists, Royal College of Physicians of Dublin, Royal College of Physicians London, Royal College of Physicians Glasgow, and Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh. He is a member of numerous associations and societies, including; the Medical Research Council Childhood Leukaemia Working Party, Children’s Oncology Group [USA], the International Berlin Frankfurt Munster Study Group for Childhood Leukaemia, the United Kingdom Children’s Cancer Group, European Working Group on paediatric aplastic anaemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. He is an international advocate for children and adolescents with rare diseases and for expanded access to expensive drugs.
Professor Smith has received numerous awards throughout his career that have included; Presidents Prize of the Dublin University Biological Association in 1984 and 1985, Postgraduate Travelling Scholarship in Medicine, Sheppard Memorial Prize in Medicine and the Sir John Banks Medical in Medicine from Trinity College in 1991. He was the recipient of the Junior Chamber Ireland’s National Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award in the area of Scientific Development in 1998 and he delivered the 41st Graves Lecture and the 31st St Luke’s Lecture to the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland in 2001 and 2006 respectively. He was admitted to Honorary Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin in 2009 and was awarded Honorary Professorship title of Regius Professor of Physic (1637) in the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin in 2014.
In 2015 Professor Smith was appointed Professor of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine in the School of Medicine at University College Dublin. In the same year he was conferred honorary Commander in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his life-long work on cancer in children and adolescents by Queen Elizabeth, on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.