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ICON plc, a global provider of outsourced development services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland’s largest third-level institution and one of Europe’s leading research universities. The partnership supports a shared vision for transforming research, teaching, training and innovation in the sciences in Ireland and aims to strengthen the ties between academic research and industry.
As part of the partnership ICON has established the ICON Newman Fellowship in Genomics, a prestigious two-year post-doctoral fellowship based in the UCD School of Medicine and Medical Science and the UCD Complex and Adaptive Systems Laboratory (CASL). The first recipient of the ICON Newman Fellowship in Genomics is Colm J. Ryan. Originally a software developer, Colm carried out a PhD in bioinformatics and will now conduct research into the control of gene expression by inherited variants, focusing on cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
ICON will also become a benefactor of the new UCD Science Centre, an iconic 67,000 square metre building which will be home to Ireland’s largest science community. ICON and UCD will also collaborate to explore ways of enhancing drug development which has the potential to include tailored teaching programmes and internships in clinical research that will be available in Ireland and internationally through some of UCD’s university partners.
“As a global leader in the field of clinical research, with over 9,100 employees worldwide, ICON is committed to providing innovative solutions that help our customers overcome critical drug development challenges,” commented Ciaran Murray, CEO, ICON plc. “It is important that we continue to develop our scientific capabilities and build a pool of talent that can support our growth plans. Bridging the ties between industry and academic research through our partnership with UCD supports both of these objectives. UCD is at the leading edge of scientific knowledge and discovery in Ireland and shares ICON’s commitment to innovation. The partnership is built on creating an environment that will inspire future generations to engage in science, supporting Ireland’s efforts to develop as an important centre for research and development.”
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Hugh Brady, President, UCD, said: “This strategic partnership with ICON is a model for industry-academia collaborations. The commitment by ICON to invest in both capital infrastructure and young research talent demonstrates their visionary leadership and places ICON in that exceptional group of leaders who appreciate that world class facilities are fundamental for Irish universities to compete globally. UCD is at the forefront of scientific research and innovation and partnerships such as this are an example of how industry and academia can combine their expertise in support of the national economic agenda.”