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Press Release

Press release

€11 million investment for a new clinical research facility in Cork

28 February 2008

The Health Research Board (HRB) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) announced today that they will jointly fund a new Clinical Research Facility in Cork. The aim of HRB/HSE Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to provide the infrastructure ? the physical space, facilities and the experts - needed to support patient focused research studies.

The Health Research Board (HRB) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) announced today that they will jointly fund a new Clinical Research Facility in Cork. The aim of HRB/HSE Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to provide the infrastructure - the physical space, facilities and the experts - needed to support patient focused research studies.

The investment by the HSE and the HRB will be of the order of €11m over five years. The facility will be built at Cork University Hospital and it is anticipated that it will be completed in 2010. When fully operational, it is anticipated that the new facility will employ 15 people. The research programme will be conducted in a partnership approach between researchers at University College Cork, clinician scientists from Cork University Hospital as well as clinician scientists from throughout the city and the region.

The new facility will concentrate on patient-focused research. Medical doctors and nurses will work with other scientists to improve our understanding of cancer, heart disease and bowel disease and nutrition. Researchers will develop new tests and provide patients with access to the latest advances in treatments to help tackle these diseases.

Commenting on the new initiative, Gerry O?Dwyer, HSE Network Manager said; 'Establishing a HRB Clinical Research Facility in Cork is a major boost for clinical research and patient care in the South of Ireland and it will provide a world-class environment for patient-focused research. The fact that the University and hospital are working so closely together will help to ensure that the latest research discoveries can be rapidly translated into benefits for patients. The HSE is impressed by the determination and innovation of the researchers in both the Hospital and in UCC who have worked so hard to make this new facility a reality'.

Dr Mairead O'Driscoll, Acting Director of Research Strategy and Funding at the HRB said; 'This HRB/HSE Clinical Research Facility will provide a way for clinicians, the health care industry and other key partners to test innovative therapies, technologies and products and increase the speed at which scientific discoveries and innovations can be translated into better patient care. The CRF will also make a real contribution to postgraduate research and training of health professionals. The HRB have a strong track record working in partnership with Universities and Hospitals to support high quality research. We are delighted to engage with the HSE to support this landmark development in Cork', she concluded.

Professor Eamonn Quigley, Department of Medicine, UCC said: 'This award of a CRF to Cork represents a critical step towards the development of a clinical research environment in the region which will facilitate and promote clinical research of an international standard; research which will benefit our patients and provide research career opportunities to medical and other graduates. The provision of a facility of this standard has become an essential component of high quality clinical research programmes world-wide; the Cork CRF will permit the translation of progress in laboratory research by Irish scientists to the bed-side'.

The new facility in Cork will become part of the Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ICRIN), a network of all clinical research facilities across Ireland. The HRB and HSE are funding ICRIN through Molecular Medicine Ireland. ICRIN will coordinate activities and procedures at these facilities to help ensure a greater number of patients can benefit from clinical research in the most cost effective manner. Other partners in this network include the Wellcome Trust/HRB Dublin Centre for Clinical Research, which includes the built of a new CRF on the campus of St James's Hospital, the new HRB CRF at the University College Hospital Galway as well as existing facilities at three other Dublin teaching hospitals.

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

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