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Press Release

Press release

€26 million investment to transform health care delivery

9 September 2010

Fifty new research projects will receive a total of €13.2 million funding today following a highly competitive selection process by international experts. Clinical innovation, changing the way we deliver health care and how we organise our health services are the focus of a new €26million investment programme in health research announced today by the Health Research Board (HRB).

An additional ?12.6 million is also being announced for a new round of funding which researchers will now be eligible to compete for before the end of this year.

Announcing the funding at the new Convention Centre in Dublin, Minister Mary Harney said, 

'I anticipate we will see a great return on this investment.  Firstly, this research will generate new treatments and new ways to care for patients. Improving outcomes for patients is our primary goal.

Many of the projects will also provide clear evidence about changes in health care practice that can create efficiencies and help transform the health system. This is a welcome, timely and important focus of HRB funding programmes. Importantly, this funding will also support jobs, create training opportunities or develop career paths for 80 highly skilled people in the health sector.  It will add to the international standing of Ireland in health research and increase our attractiveness as a location for research and development in the life sciences'.

According to Enda Connolly, Chief Executive at the HRB,

'We ensure that the research we support is of the highest quality. But it must also be capable of being applied in practice for maximum benefit to the patient and health care system. This is paramount in determining how we allocate funding today'.

Just some examples of the focus of research projects supported by the HRB in this round of funding are outlined below.

  • Identification of new therapeutic options for patients with chronic lung disease.
  • Development of optimum display of key indicators on digital mammograms to maximise correct interpretation and reduce incidence of error.
  • A cost-benefit analysis of providing PSA testing for secondary prevention of prostate cancer.
  • Developing a best practice model for day surgery in Ireland to guide future service development.
  • A measurement of the extent of inequality in child health and what determines this.
  • Development of a practical intervention to increase tooth brushing and reduce high incidence of tooth decay and tooth extraction in Irish children under the age of four.
  • Finding out if we can manage schizophrenia by controlling iron levels in the brain
  • Potential development of a non-antibiotic treatment for rosacea - a red facial skin disease known as the 'curse of the celts' as it is so common in the Irish population. 
  • An assessment of factors that regulate tumour progress and the incidence of blood clots in throat cancer in order to reduce risks and develop new therapeutics.
  • Rehabilitation advice for physiotherapists on how inner ear problems can affect walking and balance.
  • Estimating the role of genes in motor neuron disease and clarify how the genes are passed on through the family.
  • Gaining a greater understanding of how men cope with becoming a first time father to inform clinical practice on how first time dads can be supported effectively.
  • A better understanding of what clinical, genetic and other factors can help predict the outcome or effectiveness of electroconvulsive therapy among people with severe depression.

For more information contact:
Gillian Markey, Communications Manager
Health Research Board
m 00353 87 2288514
t 00353 1 2345103
e gmarkey(at)




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