University College Dublin and Genomics Medicine Ireland Announce Collaboration to Accelerate Precision Medicine Discoveries

Pictured at GMI are; Professor Andrew Deeks, UCD President, Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact and Dr Anne Jones, CEO, GMI

University College Dublin and Genomics Medicine Ireland Announce Collaboration to Accelerate Precision Medicine Discoveries

Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI) and University College Dublin (UCD) have today announced a collaboration agreement as a part of a large scale population research programme, across more than 60 diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and Alzheimer’s, in Ireland. 

The collaboration is one of the largest academic and industry collaborations in genomics research to be announced globally and will examine the relationship between genetic variation and human disease in up to 10% of the Irish population. 

Genomics research has the potential to transform healthcare by providing a greater understanding of the role a person’s genes, behaviours and environment plays in their general health.  This knowledge is critical for the development of new drugs to combat common complex diseases in addition to personalised medical care tailored to the individual. This should provide more effective treatment than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of care used today.  

The research teams in UCD and GMI will focus on uncovering novel biology that will translate into new precision therapies and treatments to benefit patients.

Over the lifetime of the agreement, the GMI and UCD Genomics Research Collaboration will also target key initiatives to build capacity, train and develop the next generation of medical professionals in the area of genomic medicine which will be critical for Ireland’s engagement and success in this ground-breaking field. 

Professor Andrew Deeks, UCD President, said, “Today’s announcement provides us with the opportunity to apply UCD’s significant research and health sciences expertise to the development of genomic research and precision medicine in Ireland with potential to add real value in improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “Our collaboration with GMI provides a significant platform for UCD, and our affiliated hospitals within the Irish East Hospital Group, to build capacity, skills and infrastructure in the area of genomic medicine. This agreement is the culmination of extensive discussions around how opportunities in genomic medicine and its benefits to patients can be realised in a careful and appropriate way. We now look forward to working with GMI to deliver globally impactful research that advances the field of precision medicine and puts Ireland at the centre of global genomics research and innovation.”

Dr Anne Jones, CEO, Genomics Medicine Ireland said, “Genomics Medicine Ireland was established at NovaUCD so we are very proud to partner with UCD given our shared history and the institution’s strong heritage and reputation in research and innovation. This collaboration agreement has significant potential to lead to new drug development as well as advance Ireland’s skills and expertise in clinical genomics, bioinformatics, clinical research and genomic laboratory science.”  


7 March 2019

For further information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, e:, t: + 353 1 716 3712 or Richard Magnier, MKC Communications, e:

Editors Notes

Genomics is the study of all of a person’s genes (the genome), including the interactions of those genes with each other and the person’s environment. Genomics has a critical role to play in the identification, prevention and treatment of disease and rare conditions, including the scientific study of complex diseases such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and cancer because these diseases are typically caused more by a combination of genetic and environmental factors than by individual genes. 

Founded in 2015, Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI) is an Irish life-sciences pioneering population-based genomics in the country, leading a number of research studies across the island examining the relationship between genetics, health and disease spanning a spectrum of disease areas. GMI works in collaboration with clinicians, patients, academic researchers and global biotech and pharmaceutical sectors to discover pathways to new treatments and new diagnostics for people both here in Ireland and around the world. 

GMI is currently undertaking genomic research into a range of diseases such as: multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, brain tumours, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, ankylosing spondylitis, rare diseases, and the GenoFit study with UCD Institute for Sport and Health examining the relationship between genetics and fitness. The company also operates Ireland's largest genomics laboratory which conducts state-of-art sequencing and sample processing.  GMI is a subsidiary of global genomics company, WuXi NextCODE and is also supported by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.

University College Dublin, with 30,000 students from close to 140 countries worldwide, was established in 1854 and was founded on the educational principles of its first Rector, John Henry Newman. The University seeks to contribute to the economy and society through the excellence and impact of its research, innovation and scholarship, the quality of its graduates and through its engagement nationally and internationally.