March 2020 | Márta 2020

Frontline Friday - Infectious Diseases

Fri, 27 March 20 14:07

Let’s hear it for our ID Physicians

Our School is privileged to have among our academic and clinical faculty considerable expertise in the clinical management of infectious diseases and many of our staff lead active research programmes.

Led by Professor Paddy Mallon, the UCD Centre for Experimental Pathogen Host Research (CEPHR) has developed from Paddy’s previous HIV Molecular Research Group.  Prof Mallon is UCD Professor of Microbial Diseases based at St Vincent’s University Hospital.  The CEPHR group combines clinical and research staff from both St Vincent’s and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospitals and integrates with the previous UCD Centre for Infectious Diseases based at the National Virus Reference Laboratory.

Prof Paddy Mallon and the SVUH Infectious Disease Team

Many will be familiar with the clear and engaging interviews that Prof Mallon gave to Baz Ashmawy describing the likely progress of the Covid-19 pandemic and the steps that every member of the public can take (social distancing, handwashing, cough etiquette, etc.) to help ‘flatten the curve’.  His colleagues in infectious diseases at St Vincent’s University Hospital also include Dr Eoin Feeney and Dr Cathal O’Broin.

Prof Mallon was previously a member of the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital department of infectious disease medicine which includes consultants Prof Jack Lambert (UCD Full Clinical Professor), Assoc. Prof Gerard Sheehan (UCD Associate Clinical Professor), Assoc. Prof Aoife Cotter and Dr Tara McGinty (UCD Medicine 2006).

Dr Sheehan was the first consultant in infectious disease medicine in Ireland when he took up his consultant post at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.   In the intervening years, he has guided the country through responses to AIDS, and preparations for potential SARS and Ebola outbreaks.  Dr Sheehan set up the National Isolation Unit in 2008 and is leading the fight against Covid-19 at the Mater Hospital24/7.

Another early leader in infectious diseases in Ireland was Prof Mary Horgan (UCD Medicine 1986, MD 1995), President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.  Prof Horgan has used her role and authority to great effect explaining the nature of pandemics and essential public health measures.

The Covid-19 Testing Team at St Michael's Hospital Dublin

One of the first Covid-19 testing hubs established outside of SVUH and MMUH was the centre at St Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire established by Dr Cathal O’Broin and his colleagues.  In an RTÉ News report, Dr O’Broin offered a very insightful explanation of how these Covid-19 sampling points operate and what the public can present.

These infectious disease consultants are each quick to point out that they are only members of a much larger team of doctors, nurses and other health professionals who are working together to deliver Ireland’s response to Covid-19.  However, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their clinical service and their calm, confidence-inspiring advice.

We know that there will be many heroes of this emergency and we hope to profile some of them in the coming weeks.  We’d be happy to receive your nominations and testimonials for inclusion in our #FrontlineFriday.  Suggestions to comms.medicine@ucd.ie.