June 2015 | Meitheamh 2015

Prof Bernard Kinane, Honorary Fellow

Wed, 10 June 15 18:32

From time to time, we award an Honorary Fellowship of the UCD School of Medicine to an individual who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to education, research, clinical care or to the School.  The UCD School of Medicine Honorary Fellow is the highest award bestowed by the School.  In June 2015, the School awarded this title to UCD Medicine Alumnus, Professor Bernard Kinane.  The citation address to our graduating Class of 2015 by Professor Patrick Murray, Dean of Medicine and Head of School, is reproduced below.

Professor Bernard Kinane (UCD Medicine 1983)

Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston

2015 Honorary Fellow, UCD School of Medicine

Citation by Professor Pat Murray, Dean of Medicine & Head of School

Here at the UCD School of Medicine, we get to take bright, enthusiastic and impressionable young minds ; We fill them full of the latest scientific knowledge ; Teach them clinical skills and professional behaviours ; Give them opportunities to demonstrate these skills and gain valuable clinical experience.  We send them throughout Ireland and across the globe to be carers and patient advocates throughout their careers.  We then get to claim credit for their many achievements and successes!

We ask our students to be career-long learners, constantly questioning everything that they learned at UCD.  We encourage them to lead and to participate in research, building on the body of medical knowledge.  We hope that they will be inspired by those who went before them and in turn act as role models for those who follow in their footsteps. 

In 1983, one of our new young graduates took on that burden of expectation.  This 23 year old Tipperary man completed his internship at St Vincent’s University Hospital followed by medicine and paediatric SHO positions at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children (as it was then known) and at Waterford Regional Hospital.  He developed his clinical expertise as a medical and then paediatric registrar at Waterford and Crumlin respectively.

Living up to our mantra of continuous professional development. He undertook a Diploma in Child Health at UCD before taking up a paediatric residency at the Children’s Medical Centre in Dallas, Texas.  This was followed by a three year appointment as clinical fellow in paediatric pulmonary medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School where he has spent the past 23 years.  He was appointed Chief of Paediatric Pulmonary Research in 2000 and has held numerous leadership positions including Associate Chief for Education and Director, Paediatric Sleep Programme.

As Chief of Paediatric Pulmonary Research, our distinguished alumnus has pursued both fundamental biological research, investigating signal transduction pathways that regulate cell migration and lung development and well as clinical research into respiratory conditions.  His laboratory identified a number of regulators of lung cell migration that are important in organ development, particularly the gas-blood exchange surface of the lung.  His group observed that these regulatory mechanisms were critical to inflammatory cell migration, opening up a new field of research into congenital lung malformation, blood vessel inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease, coronary artery disease and asthma. 

This UCD graduate has conducted clinical research into the control of breathing and the pathophysiology of congenital hypoventilation syndrome and has helped elucidate the molecular mechanisms of this condition.  He has undertaken research into the genetic basis of, classification and treatment of interstitial lung disease, a field in which he is considered an international expert.

As consultant paediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital, he provides care to children with pulmonary disorders, asthma, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease as well as obstructive sleep apnea and respiratory disorders affecting sleep and exercise.

Our distinguished guest has won numerous student and faculty awards for his teaching excellence and his mentorship over the past 15 years and he has supervised over 25 doctoral students to completion.  He teaches both at Harvard and in the Harvard-MIT Programme in Health Sciences and Technology.  He has been a strong advocate on behalf of the UCD School of Medicine and has established a paediatric elective placement at Mass. General for four of our students each year, an honour bestowed on relatively few international medical schools.  These are highly sought-after opportunities and our returning students report an excellent educational experience.  Our students are fully integrated into the medical teams on an equal basis to their Harvard counterparts.  They return with tales of legendary ‘sims’ sessions were they get to rehearse real life clinical scenarios in one of the world’s leading hospitals and having 24 hours to answer the Twitter-delivered question each evening. 

Indeed our honouree is renowned for his enthusiastic embracing of technology using social media in its early days as an education tool for teenagers with asthma.  He was one of the first in America to use blogs, and one of the first to use mobile (iPad) devices for medical student education.  He has pioneered the use of Facebook to improve patient compliance and has developed a national Twitter-based tutorial as a core teaching tool in clinical paediatric clerkships.  He is considered an international expert in the use of social media and web-based learning in medical education.  In collaboration with the Harvard Partners Centre for Connected Health, he has co-developed an ‘app’ to manage newborns with bedtime/sleep timing problems.

These are just a few of the highlights from an exceptional thirty year career as a doctor, researcher and an educator.  Along the way, he found time to marry Dubliner, Mary Coughlan and raise a family.  We are delighted to welcome both he and Mary this evening as we bestow our highest honour that of Honorary Fellow of the UCD School of Medicine.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege to announce the 2015 UCD School of Medicine Honorary Fellow as Professor Bernard Kinane.