Building on its research capability
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is expanding its presence in the burgeoning medtech sector, writes DICK AHLSTROM
THE ANNOUNCEMENT that the prestigious Cleveland Clinic Innovations centre has opted to make its first foreign financial investment in Ireland once more highlights the growth in the Irish medtech sector.
The deal builds on the investment link with Dublin-based i360Medical, itself a spin-out from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).
For the college itself it represents a further accolade in its 228-year history and its role in the burgeoning medtech centre.
At the helm of these developments is the RCSI’s new director of research Prof Ray Stallings. He has set goals to increase levels of research, achieve closer collaborations with other higher education institutions and continue to assemble interdisciplinary teams within the college, but at the end of the day it is still all about the patient. He wants to see research translating into better diagnostics, better treatments, and better quality of care. “All of our work is translational so it is patient-centred,” he says.
He took up his new position at RCSI on October 1st, replacing the retiring Prof John Kelly. He also holds the chair of cancer genetics at the college and is programme leader in cancer genetics at the Children’s Research Centre at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. He has a wealth of experience here and in the US.
Originally from Texas, he completed undergraduate and masters degrees at Texas AM and a PhD in genetics at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Over the next few years he worked in a number of leading medical research institutions in Texas, at UCD and at Crumlin, the universities of Pittsburgh and California and at the Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston.
Stalling is author and co-author of over 150 journal articles, books and book chapters and has built an international reputation in the area of cancer genomics. His focus is on the development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of childhood cancers.
He knows the RCSI’s systems as he assumes his new role, having held a research chair there for the past five years. And he is full of praise for the medical research being pursued by his colleagues. “There is great work being done and the research is being placed in high impact journals,” he says. “That is how you build an international reputation. It is all based on publication output and the quality of publications.”