The first integrated paediatric academic unit in Ireland was officially opened on June 18 by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, TD. Following a multi-million euro investment by University College Cork (UCC), Science Foundation Ireland and a generous philanthropic donation, the new unit is located in an exceptional tri-location between Cork University Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital and University College Cork.
The new unit has a substantial footprint of 1400m2 covering 32 rooms, including state of the art assessment rooms for clinical studies, seminar rooms, clinical skills rooms, tutorial rooms, offices and laboratory spaces. The unit is the new home for both Paediatric Academic training and the paediatric clinical research arm of the world leading SFI-funded INFANT Centre. The unit will facilitate a range of clinical research programmes that will improve children’s health and support the exploration and development of new innovations by industry.
Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health, Jonathan Hourihane noted: “This facility in the School of Medicine is integrated with the Cork University Hospital paediatric outpatient departments on the floor below. This will allow tomorrow’s doctors to see research-led healthcare being developed and delivered and will make patient research more understandable and accessible for children.”
“The development of clinical research infrastructure and research studies for children and infants is absolutely vital and will result in better outcomes for Irish children. Recruitment and retention of patients to clinical studies here in Cork leads the way in Europe. We are incredibly grateful to the Irish families who participate in our research and would like to take this opportunity to thank them sincerely for their dedication and support.” said Geraldine Boylan, Co-Founder and Director of the INFANT Research Centre and UCC Professor of Neonatal Physiology. “We would also like to sincerely acknowledge the support of UCC, SFI and the generosity of donors in enabling this vision to be realised”.