University of Galway to lead on clinical trials of the future

Noreen Doyle with Professor Peter Doran at University of Galway for the launch of the Institute for Clinical Trials. Credit: Andrew Downes/Xposure.
May 31 2023 Posted: 11:08 IST

Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials established with a focus on benefit and impact for patients


University of Galway has today announced the establishment of Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials.

The new institute will transform the clinical research landscape by creating an environment where scientific advances are translated into improved care for patients. 

The Institute for Clinical Trials will transform lives by ensuring patients get access to the latest medicines and treatments in a timely way. 

Through its ambitious programme of research excellence, the Institute will position Ireland at the forefront of clinical and biomedical discovery. 


University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “As a university for the public good, led by our values, including excellence and openness, the establishment of the Institute for Clinical Trials will chart new paths in research for the benefit of the health and well-being of people at their most vulnerable time, in Ireland and internationally. This is a shining example of our ambition and a manifestation of University of Galway looking beyond the horizon, forging breakthroughs in science and in research, in the world and for the world." 


Director of the Institute, Professor Peter Doran, outlined the ambition for the Institute, said: “Research is critical to the healthcare ecosystem. Patients who attend hospitals that are research active have better outcomes, due to both increased access to early lifesaving treatments, and through the culture that pervades when research and inquiry are at the core of the health systems. By increasing clinical research activity, which is at the centre of the institute ambition, we will drive outcomes for patients.

“We also know that indigenous companies, particularly in the medtech sector, struggle to conduct clinical evaluations in Ireland, which is essential for market access. We are setting in motion a strategy to address the barriers which limit the conduct of clinical trials in Ireland.”  


A major component of the Institute’s activity will be to improve how trials are done, integrating innovative methodologies, with enhanced technologies and better molecular analysis to create the trial of the future and position Ireland as a leader in clinical trials.


Professor Doran continued: “The cross-sectoral activities of the Institute for Clinical Trials will be nationally distinctive, will align with Ireland’s regional development strategies and will enhance economic competitiveness by attracting investment, jobs and talent, in addition to its core mission of improving the health of the population.”


 The institute was officially launched this morning by Noreen Doyle, an entrepreneur and mother of four children, two of whom are childhood-cancer survivors. 


Speaking at the launch, Ms Doyle said: “In 2007 we entered our two year-old son, James into a clinical trial following is diagnoses of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) with the hope that it would help children in the future to fight cancer. Little did we know then that it would actually be his little sister, Kate, 10 years later, who would be one of those children to benefit greatly from this exact trial.”


The Institute will be led from University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.


Professor Martin O’Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Galway and Consultant, said: “This institute will consolidate our areas of considerable strength in clinical trials, ensure the rapid translation of medical discoveries to clinical evaluation and ultimately improve the lives of patients and health of our population, leveraging the academic strengths of our University and its healthcare partner Saolta University Healthcare Group. The Institute will also focus on developing sustained, mutually advantageous partnerships with industry and academic partners, positioning our region as a leader in health and med tech research.” 


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