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Posted: 06 Sep 2012

ICON forms strategic partnership with University College Dublin

Partnership includes establishment of ICON Newman Fellowship in Genomics

ICON plc a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with University College Dublin, Ireland’s largest third-level institution and one of Europe’s leading research universities.

The partnership supports a shared vision for transforming research, teaching, training and innovation in the sciences in Ireland and aims to strengthen the ties between academic research and industry.

As part of the partnership ICON has established the ICON Newman Fellowship in Genomics, a prestigious two-year post-doctoral fellowship based in the UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science and the UCD Complex and Adaptive Systems Laboratory (CASL).

The recipient of the ICON Newman Fellowship in Genomics is Colm J. Ryan. Originally a software developer, Colm carried out a PhD in bioinformatics and will now conduct research into the control of gene expression by inherited variants, focusing on cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

ICON will also become a lead benefactor of the new UCD Science Centre, an iconic 67,000 square metre building which will be home to Ireland’s largest science community. ICON and UCD will also collaborate to explore ways of enhancing drug development which has the potential to include tailored teaching programmes and internships in clinical research that will be available in Ireland and internationally through some of UCD’s university partners.

“Bridging the ties between industry and academic research is essential to provide innovative solutions to global health challenges,” commented Ciaran Murray, CEO, ICON plc. “UCD is at the forefront of scientific knowledge and discovery in Ireland, supporting world-class research across a wide spectrum of disciplines. Our partnership is based on a mutual commitment to innovation and creating an environment that will inspire future generations to engage in science.”

Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Hugh Brady, President, UCD, said “This strategic partnership with ICON is a model for industry-academia collaborations. The commitment by ICON to invest in both capital infrastructure and young research talent demonstrates their visionary leadership and places ICON in that exceptional group of leaders who appreciate that world class facilities are fundamental for Irish universities to compete globally. UCD is at the forefront of scientific research and innovation and partnerships such as this are an example of how industry and academia can combine their expertise in support of the national economic agenda.”


About ICON plc

ICON plc is a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. The Company specialises in the strategic development, management and analysis of programs that support clinical development - from compound selection to Phase I-IV clinical studies. ICON currently has approximately 8,800 employees, operating from 84 locations in 40 countries. Further information is available at


About University College Dublin

UCD is Ireland's largest university with 25,000 students, including 30% of all international students in the country. UCD educates the largest number of science and engineering graduates in Ireland, including over 31% of the science and engineering PhDs in the country, making it the national leader in fourth-level education. UCD has been ranked number one in research funding in Ireland for the last two years. UCD is currently constructing an iconic Science Centre for teaching and research - the largest science capital development project in the history of Irish third-level education.

In recent years, UCD has fostered over 250 industry partnerships and is the national leader in technology transfer and university spinouts. Supported by the expertise of NovaUCD - the University's hub for knowledge transfer and commercialisation activities - many of these start-ups have gone on to develop new and game-changing products and services.

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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