RCSI appoints innovation director
Royal College of Surgeons Ireland has appointed Professor Fergal O’Brien as its new Director of Research and Innovation. Under Professor O’Brien’s leadership, RCSI’s research community will advance its efforts to deliver scientific breakthroughs, innovations and insights that enhance patient treatment and care globally.
Professor O’Brien’s appointment follows a period of significant growth in RCSI’s research capability, competitiveness and impact. RCSI’s field-weighted citation impact is the highest in Ireland and twice the world average, indicating the growing impact of RCSI researchers on the international health sciences landscape.
Welcoming the appointment, Professor Cathal Kelly, RCSI CEO, said: “Professor O’Brien brings proven leadership and management experience from his role as Deputy Director of Research and Innovation at RCSI since 2013, which included responsibility for research strategy across the entire institution. This experience, coupled with his track record as a highly cited researcher and spin-out company founder, places him in a unique position to transform research operations and further develop a culture of innovation and impact in RCSI.”
Following a degree in mechanical engineering and a PhD in bone bioengineering, Professor O’Brien was a Fulbright Scholar in tissue engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. He is currently Professor of Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine and is the founding head of the Tissue Engineering Research Group in RCSI. He is also Deputy Director of the SFI Research Centre for advanced materials and bioengineering.
Since his faculty appointment in 2003, he has published more than 200 journal articles in leading peer-reviewed international journals and filed numerous patents, resulting in the successful translation of technologies from his labs to the clinic. He is dedicated to postgraduate training and has supervised 40 doctoral students to completion as well as mentoring more than 50 postdoctoral fellows during his career to date. Professor O’Brien commented: “Our small size and sole focus on health sciences, together with our overseas campuses ensures a unique dynamic environment for interdisciplinary translational research. Our ties with our clinicians and hospitals present the opportunity to deepen engagement between basic scientists, clinicians and our industry partners, which, as well as leading to high-impact research, helps facilitate translation of scientific breakthroughs for the benefit of human health.”