UPMC Forms First Cancer-Focused Research Partnership in Ireland

By: Wendy Zellner

In its first cancer-focused academic partnership in Ireland, UPMC announced today that it is collaborating with University College Cork (UCC) to train medical oncologists and to advance cancer research in the southwest of the country.

As part of this partnership, UPMC will provide funding to help support two UCC academic medical oncology positions for at least five years, with the goal of establishing cancer research projects with UCC, Cork University Hospital (CUH), UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh.

“These new co-funded positions will establish a two-way exchange of expertise between UCC, CUH and UPMC, ultimately driving progress in finding treatments and cures for cancer patients in Ireland and beyond,” said Chuck Bogosta, president of UPMC International and a board member at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Part of an ongoing process to develop an internationally recognized Cancer Research Institute at UCC, these two positions are being created in collaboration with Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE), the National Cancer Control Program and Ireland’s South/South West Hospital Group. The HSE and UCC also recently hired a chair of cancer research, Dr. Roisin Connolly, to develop and expand research at the university.

“UPMC has a long history of partnering with organizations in Ireland to expand access to high-quality health care in communities close to where they live,” said Mary Hickey, director of oncology services for UPMC in Ireland. “This latest collaboration will fuel our efforts to expand life-changing cancer research in Ireland.”

The partnership will appoint a steering committee composed of representatives from UCC, CUH, UPMC and Pitt, with the goal of developing a mutual research vision and establishing collaborative cancer research projects, potentially in such areas as cancer immunology, cancer genetics and early phase clinical trial development. A national and international recruitment effort supported by UPMC will start in the coming weeks.