UCD Clinical Research Centre (CRC) awarded €5.3 million by HRB to grow clinical research and increase access to clinical trials

Funding will allow CRC to expand its already impactful clinical trials infrastructure


(ISSUE: Wed 13th Oct) UCD CRC (a HRB centre supporting clinical trials to improve health and care) established in 2006 to support clinician led research is delighted to announce receipt of major funding from the HRB. Over the next five years, this funding will allow the UCD CRC to continue to enhance patient-focused research, increase opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials and increase the critical support available to investigators from facilities, through to study design and sponsorship. This funding will also drive the quest for clinical trials to be delivered as part of usual care in the health system and in turn, ensure integration of research results into clinical practice.

Speaking about this significant funding awarded following a highly competitive national ‘call’, Prof Peter Doran, Associate Dean for Research, Innovation and Impact, UCD School of Medicine & Director, UCD Clinical Research Centre, said “At the CRC we already offer a patient-centred environment with comprehensive clinical facilities that provides access to professional and experienced clinical trials support staff for our clinical community. Our expert staff are delivering programmes of research that are enhancing health care and impacting patients’ lives The CRC also offers training in clinical research to nurture the skills and expertise necessary to grow even more high-quality, safe, and compliant trials.”

“Across the next five years, this funding from the HRB will allow the CRC to expand the supports available to investigators and to widen our research network, thereby ensuring that more of our hospitals, staff and patient share access to cutting edge research. The funding will enable the clinical community to conduct more clinical trials activity at our two current sites, St Vincent’s and Mater University Hospitals. It will also allow us to expand, into four more sites, including the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny and Wexford General Hospital to widen opportunities for new studies focused on rehabilitation, women’s health and primary care and in doing so, to improve patient access to new trials. In addition we will enhance the way in which we do trials. By focusing on enabling technologies and creating pathways to enhanced patient participation and involvement, we will ensure that the HRB investment has the greatest possible impact” continued Prof Doran.

In summary this HBR funding awarded to CRC will enable; 

  • Increased access to patients and clinicians to trials
  • Expansion of geographical access to research
  • Improvement in clinical trial, design, co-ordination and methodology
  • Enhancement of integration of clinical research into health system at six network sites
  • Expansion of educational programmes to train researchers and clinicians of the future
  • Integration of research results into clinical practice
  • Embedding of patient perspective in shaping and informing clinical trial design, development and delivery

Also speaking about the award, Prof Michael Keane, Dean, UCD School of Medicine said “In the 2019/20 academic year the CRC participated in over 300 studies and analsyed 90,000 samples in its core laboratory. Over the last five years, the 68 CRC investigators have published 1,700 papers and received 33,000 citations and since its inception close to 1,000 students, investigators and patients have completed CRC training programmes, which include MSc, patient education and methodology and biostatistics programmes for hospital staff, amongst others.”

“In view of the already vital role that the CRC plays in the clinical research ecosystem, this funding will allow the Centre to deploy even more and better trials driven by improved management, access to more sophisticated technology and recruitment of more patients who are more engaged in benefits of participation in clinical trials and will allow the CRC to deliver improved outcomes for patients. Essentially this very welcome funding will allow the CRC to continue to deliver and to develop it’s comprehensive, tailored, responsive and effective suite of enablers of clinical trials” continued Prof Keane.

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