Clinical Industry Liaison Officer Position Available – Closing Date extended to 12 October 2018
September 18, 2018
Irish Cancer Society New Grant Calls Now Open: Stimulus Awards 2018 and Cancer in the Workplace
September 27, 2018
Show all

NBCI launches its collaborative Neonatal Encephalopathy PhD Training Network (HRB NEPTuNE)

HRB NEPTuNE Scholars, from l to r: Tim Hurley, Fiona Quirke, Chelo Del Rosarion, Megan Dibble, Andreea Pavel

HRB NEPTuNE Scholars, from l to r: Tim Hurley, Fiona Quirke, Chelo Del Rosarion, Megan Dibble, Andreea Pavel


HRB Collaborative Doctoral Award trains experts in understanding occurrence of and long-term outcomes of Neonatal Encephalopathy


NBCI, Neonatal Brain Consortium Ireland (NBCI), launched their collaborative Neonatal Encephalopathy PhD Training Network – HRB NEPTuNE – in Trinity’s Biomedical Science Institute on Tuesday 25 September 2018. The training programme will improve understanding of the occurrence of and long-term impacts of encephalopathy in new-borns. Clinical Research Development Ireland (CRDI) is a core partner in the HRB NEPTuNE.

From l to r: Prof Declan Devane (NUI Galway), Prof Geraldine Boylan (UCC), Prof Eleanor Molloy (TCD), Dr Mark Watson (CRDI), Dr Darrin Morrissey (HRB), Prof Arun Bokde (TCD), Prof Jean Quigley (TCD)

The multidisciplinary research training programme aims to produce a cohort of experts who will advance patient-focused research in neonatal encephalopathy. The five PhD scholars recently recruited to the programme will conduct their research in centres of excellence, advancing their knowledge with integrated support for professional development. The result will be better synthesis between research and health care and will have positive impacts on patient care and health.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Darrin Morrissey (pictured below), CEO of the HRB, commended the multidisciplinary approach of the network and acknowledged the importance of such an integrated and inclusive project in advancing patient-focused research.

Neonatal Encephalopathy affects one and a half million babies worldwide. Many cases of NE occur unexpectedly at birth, without any warnings during pregnancy. Instances of NE can have permanent, life changing consequences for the children in question and their families. More than half of medical cases that appear before the High Court are maternity related. High Court awards to families are getting higher as the cost attending to the complex needs of their children rises. The socio-economic cost of NE is profound.

To date, international progress in determining the causes of and further developing treatments for NE has been slow. Ireland is at the forefront of research in neonatal brain injury and has collaborative potential to be an international leader in this area.

Ms Mandy Daly (Irish Neonatal Health Alliance, INHA) voicing the parents/family experience at the HRB NEPTuNE Launch

Led by Professor Eleanor Molloy (Consultant Neonatologist, Chair and Professor of Paediatrics, TCD and Tallaght Hospital) and Professor Geraldine Boylan (Professor of Neonatal Physiology and Director of the INFANT Research Centre, UCC), the programme’s PhD scholars will conduct multidisciplinary research projects in premier research centres in Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and NUI Galway. Scholars will have a holistic overview involving the entire translational research paradigm from basic science research, translational clinical research, clinical trials to epidemiology and population health, while getting in depth expertise in their chosen areas.

The programme has received funding from the HRB’s Collaborative Doctoral Awards in Patient-focused Research which aims to provide structured PhD training to scholars working in a healthcare setting.

Download a full Press release here