News and Views

College of Medicine and Health generated €28.5 million in research income

30 Oct 2018
Dr. Jonathan Sheffield, CEO of the National Institute for Health Research UK, and Professor Helen Whelton, Head of the College of Medicine and Health, UCC. Photo: Daragh McSweeney/Provision.

University College Cork’s College of Medicine and Health has generated €100 million in research income over the last five years through research centres like APC Microbiome Ireland.

UCC College of Medicine and Health generated €28.5 million in research income in 2017, according to a recently launched report, ‘The Research Impact Anthology: Research for a Healthier Future’.

College researchers have pioneered the fields of ‘psychobiotics’ (the study of how certain bacteria can benefit the brain), ‘electrochemotherapy’ in cancer treatment and nanotechnology in gene therapy. They developed new gene therapy techniques and ‘smart antibiotics’ to combat antimicrobial resistance.

  • UCC creates more primary degree health and welfare graduates than any other Irish university.
  • UCC College of Medicine and Health hosts several of Ireland’s elite research centres, including APC Microbiome Ireland, ranked number one globally for research in antimicrobials and probiotics.
  • APC alone supports 270 highly skilled jobs, is responsible for €46.3 million in leveraged funding, and has 39 current industry projects.
  • Companies spun out from the College of Medicine and Health include Atlantia Food Clinical Trials, 4D Pharma and Artugen Therapeutics, which employ 40 highly skilled people in the local economy.

The future is now

Professor Helen Whelton, head of the UCC College of Medicine and Health, said the Government must ensure that Ireland’s health and medical research ecosystem remains as open and attractive as possible to foreign investment, especially in the face of Brexit.

“We can do more. Brexit presents new opportunities for Ireland’s medical and health research community. Many life sciences companies and researchers are likely to choose to relocate to Ireland, which will soon be the only English-speaking EU member state.

To incentivise this migration, Ireland must put in place structures and systems responsive to medical and healthcare research needs by developing a more robust national clinical trial framework which would be a revenue earner.

More opportunities for research can create highly skilled jobs and lay the groundwork for new business creation.

By facilitating large-scale public trials of treatments and drugs, the HSE would also be in a better position to negotiate drug price reductions from pharmaceutical companies involved in the trials, thereby reducing the costs of its medicines budget.”

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF