UU and Randox to create new Derry medical school role
Ulster University has received £1.2 million in funding for medical education and research from Randox Laboratories Ltd.
Thanks to the donation, the University is creating its first Professor of Medicine post at its new School of Medicine in Derry.
The ‘Randox Professor of Medicine’ will be a clinical and academic post so the appointee to the Randox Professorship will provide educational leadership, teaching and training, inspiring the next generation of doctors and researchers in the area.
Alongside education, the post holder will develop a research portfolio in line with the research strategy of the new Derry-based School of Medicine and ambitions included in the Health Research Institute-THRIVE (HRI-THRIVE) Project as part of the Derry and Strabane City Deal.
The successful appointee to the Randox Professorship will have an outstanding track-record in medical research with the experience, vision and enthusiasm to build on current strengths in the University and develop a leading research presence in the School of Medicine.
The Randox Professor will be part of a vibrant and intellectually stimulating translational research community both within the School of Medicine and C-TRIC - located at Altnagelvin Hospital - and will have access to the leading research facilities which the University offers. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with existing researchers in personalised medicine and influence the research and innovation direction of the proposed THRIVE Research Units that currently include: Blood Cancer; Cardiovascular Research and Improvement Science; Neuromuscular Health (Motor Neuron Disease, MS, Parkinson’s Disease); Brain Health (Depression, psychosis, Alzheimer’s Disease); Orthopaedic and Rheumatic Health; and Multiple Long-term Conditions.
The Randox professor will deliver clinical care within the Western Trust, contributing directly to patient care and improving health outcomes for our local community.
Dr Catherine McDonnell, Medical Director at the Western Trust, is excited at the new appointment: “This is a unique opportunity, and shows what can be achieved with collaborative working and by forging partnerships between organisations,” she said. “The Randox Professorship will play a crucial role in the delivery of patient care in the months and years ahead, and will help us bring in fresh expertise to what is already a very strong team on the ground.
“We would like to thank both Ulster University and Randox Laboratories for partnering in this exciting venture, which we believe will have a very positive impact on our patients and the Western Trust overall.”
The post will report into the Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine and recruitment will commence in the coming weeks.The role will be supported by Randox Laboratories for a period of 5 years.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director, Randox Laboratories, said: “At this time of rapid and significant change within medicine, it is imperative that industry, academia and medical education are aligned to improve both patient outcomes and the efficiency of healthcare services. The announcement of the new post of Randox Professor of Medicine within the new Ulster University School of Medicine shows our commitment to these critical national priorities. Ulster University and Randox are both renowned globally for healthcare research and education, particularly in the field of diagnostics, and together provide a vital platform to support the next generation of aspirational clinicians - to develop critical skills, make a positive difference to patient healthcare around the world, and cement Northern Ireland’s reputation as a global hub for life sciences.”
Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor at Ulster University, added: “By opening the School of Medicine in August, we are committing to address the acute shortage of doctors in Northern Ireland and to recruit students and staff who will be locally focused yet globally ambitious. The appointment of the Randox Professor of Medicine will enable us to further this ambition and allow us to enhance the University’s existing expertise and research excellence in personalised medicine diagnostics and contribute to expanding the medical diagnostics sector. With the strong emphasis on personalised medicine in the Derry and Strabane City Deal, the Randox Professor of Medicine will join us at an exciting time for the region.
“The University sees the ground-breaking Randox Professorship as an opportunity to further our long standing partnership with Randox so that we might together have a unique opportunity to support clinical medicine, enhance the quality of patient care through highly relevant translational research and inspire the next generation of doctors.”
Professor Louise Dubras, Foundation Dean, School of Medicine at Ulster University, added: “As we look forward to our first students arriving in August this year, we are excited to be progressing this role, the first of our ‘second wave’, to complement the exceptional staff team in place to deliver the first year of the programme. This is a unique and exciting opportunity for an inspirational academic clinical leader to shape the direction of clinical and translational research within the School of Medicine. I’m looking for an outstanding candidate with a wealth of teaching experience and a passion for related research which will inform teaching. This candidate will join me and the incredible team we have put together to teach the doctors of the future.”