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UCC experts appointed to lead Covid-19 response

University College Cork experts have been appointed to lead key areas of Ireland’s national public health response to Covid-19.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly recently announced the appointment of Professor Mary Horgan, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and Dean of the UCC School of Medicine, as Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Testing.

Meanwhile, the Government’s Expert Group on the Role of Ventilation in Reducing Transmission of COVID-19 - chaired by UCC Professor of Chemistry/ERI John Wenger - has published its initial reports and recommendations. This group also counts Prof Mike Prentice, Chair of Medical Microbiology at UCC, as a member.

Congratulating both on their appointments, Interim President, Prof O’Halloran said;

 “I am delighted that the expertise of both Prof Horgan and Prof Wenger have been recognised by their appointment to chair of these Expert Groups.
"As an expert on infectious diseases, and a Principal Investigator in the new research initiative to inform infection rapid testing and surveillance systems in Higher Education, Prof Horgan has the knowledge and experience to be an excellent chair of the group to progress use of rapid antigen testing among the wider public.
"Prof Wenger has long been an advocate of the role adequate ventilation has to play in curbing the spread of Covid-19. He has engaged widely with the public through the media in furthering our understanding as to how this disease is spread through the air. As a specialist in atmospheric chemistry and air quality, he is ideally positioned to inform public policy in this regard.
"The sharing of their expertise is just the latest example of how the UCC community has made a collective effort in the fight against Covid-19. We have hosted contact tracing, pop-up testing on our campus as well as hosting displaced HSE services. Our students have shown remarkable resilience and have limited their social contacts during a formative time of their lives, and our staff have adapted with agility to deliver teaching at a consistently high standard. Our academics' input to the public policy on beating this virus is another example of how UCC continues to contribute to the national cause.
"I want to congratulate Mary and John on their respective appointments and wish them all the best in the important work they are undertaking".