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Note from Prof Timothy Lynch

Note from Professor Timothy Lynch 

The UCD Health Affairs unit was relaunched in 2018. As Vice Principal for Health Affairs and Chief Academic Officer of the Ireland East Hospital Group my role is to increase communication and collaborative work between UCD and the IEHG’s 11 hospitals. We need to be aware of the potential for collaboration that exists between the clinical service and academia. There is a significant amount of work at UCD and our hospitals that could benefit from increased cooperation and communication.

Increased communication will aid the development of an Academic Health Science Centre encompassing IEHG and UCD. An Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC) is a partnership between a university and healthcare providers focusing on research, clinical services, education and training. AHSCs are intended to ensure that medical research breakthroughs lead to direct clinical benefits for patients. IEHG will create its own model taking the best of the Irish health system, the strengths of its 11 hospitals and its links with UCD. Genetics, cancer, cardiovascular, women’s and children’s health, neurology, radiology and immunology are all areas where IEHG will develop academic clinical excellence.

Ireland is known for offering world-class undergraduate education in medicine, nursing and related services. In my opinion, what is also needed now is the development of postgraduate education which can dovetail seamlessly with the undergraduate offering. A careers’ structure also needs to be incorporated into postgraduate education. That is why the opening of the Pillar Centre for Transformative Healthcare at the Mater Hospital is so important. Postgraduate students will now be able to train in their clinical field and study at the same time within a structured innovative research environment. We will be working closely with the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons on this project and there is also huge potential for international collaborations. The development of an AHSC (which in time will develop into an Academic Health Science System – incorporating community services) will contribute to the Irish economy as well as attracting international staff.

We believe that the development of an Academic Health Science Centre is a very worthwhile endeavour which will benefit Irish healthcare as well as the Irish economy.

UCD Health Affairs

Woodview House, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
T: +353 1 716 3481 | E: health.affairs@ucd.ie