UCD and University of California sign agreement to strengthen research and training links

University College Dublin announced the signing of a 5-year International Unit Affiliation Agreement (IUAA) with the University of California, San Francisco to develop closer educational, research, innovation and cultural links between both institutions.

The agreement between UCD and the Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) located at the University of California’s San Francisco campus, will reinforce links between scientists in San Francisco and Ireland and broaden their collaborative ability to strengthen scientific research and innovation.

The universities will work together to identify opportunities to promote co-operative biosciences research and training activities between both institutions, beginning with a joint symposium to be held in Dublin next September that will focus on molecular networks of cancer and other diseases.
Signing of international unit affiliation agreement with UCSF
Pictured (l-r) Prof. Walter Kolch, UCD; Prof. Boris Kholodenko, UCD; Prof. Nevan Krogan, QBI, UCSF; Edna Carroll, UCD; Prof. Orla Feely, UCD; Prof. William Gallagher, UCD; Jacqueline Fabius, QBI, UCSF; and Dr Gerard Cagney, UCD.

Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD said, “As Ireland’s global university, one of our strategic objectives is to further develop close links between UCD and leading institutions, such as the University of California, San Francisco.”
“The signed agreement builds on the already close relationship between both institutions and will result in the exchange of staff, students, ideas and knowledge in biosciences, a key research strength of both universities.”

Professor Nevan Krogan, Director, QBI said, “QBI continuously seeks novel approaches to address pressing biological and biomedical problems. I strongly feel that it is through these types of alliances that major biological discoveries will occur. I am very excited to see the collaborative efforts that will come from this partnership.”

The agreement between UCD and QBI builds upon a relationship that dates back nearly twenty years when Professor Krogan and Dr Gerard Cagney, UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and Fellow, UCD Conway Institute, collaborated on several projects. This collaboration included study visits by Dr Colm Ryan, UCD School of Computer Science and Dr Ariane Watson, Systems Biology Ireland that led to highly cited publications in the network biology field. The formalisation of these existing ties now allows both institutions to strive towards bigger endeavors simultaneously.

“This collaboration is great for Ireland because UCSF is a world leader and it’s at the forefront of many different areas,” said Dr Cagney, “This agreement opens up a lot of research opportunities and interactions that would not have happened otherwise.”

“While UCD has strengths in computational modeling, advanced network reconstructions and machine learning statistical methods, QBI has access to first-rate technology at a larger scale, which creates a good combination where both sides complement each other,” he added.
Professor Walter Kolch, UCD School of Medicine, Director of Systems Biology Ireland, Conway Fellow and co-organiser of the QBI/UCD symposium in 2020 described science as becoming a global enterprise in need of merging experts.

“The way to break down silos is getting people talking. That’s what we’re trying to do with this symposium. We are trying to kick-start not only collaborations between the States and Ireland but also between fields. I am very excited about this new prospect for collaboration and I think this is going to be something really new where we can do things which we haven’t done before.”