Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) new School of Medicine was officially opened today by the Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock. Set in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, the school got funding of just over €21m from the Higher Education Authority/Department of Education & Skills.
For the first time in the School of Medicine’s history, all pre-clinical medical education and training activities are now situated in the one building.
The School of Medicine delivers multidisciplinary education across all levels of health care to 750 medical undergraduate and 550 postgraduate students, including PhD and MD students.
The school is also set to benefit from the collaborative nature of the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, which brings together research activities across five schools to drive biomedical research.
Right now, medicine at TCD is ranked in the top 100 Schools of Medicine globally. Based on the QS world rankings (2011) for medicine, TCD is ranked between 51-100.
Some of the innovations the new School of Medicine features include teaching laboratories equipped with new technologies, 300-seat lecture theatres, seminar rooms and a specially designed anatomy dissection room with audio video equipment facilities to enhance the learning experience.
Welcoming the initiative, Minister Sherlock spoke today about how Ireland’s future doctors and medical scientists will benefit from teaching facilities in the state-of-the-art building. He said that "leading technology and bespoke setting will augment quality teaching, research and learning for generations to come".
Professor Dermot Kelleher, the head of the School of Medicine and vice-provost for Medical Affairs, pointed to the uniqueness of having "medical students benefiting from the high-level multidisciplinary research environment".
He said the medical students will be able to learn first-hand the bench-to-bedside approach to research and how it translates to the patient.
Professor Kelleher touched on how the School of Medicine has been garnering internationally recognised research excellence in the area of immunology, cancer, infectious diseases, psychiatric genetics and public health.
He also spoke about the major scientific discoveries in medical research that TCD scientists have come up with in recent years.
For instance, Professor Kelleher touched on how TCD researchers in the biomedical sciences have delivered the technologies that underpinned the nicotine patch, as well as identifying new genes for diseases such as childhood eczema.
"The primary aim of Trinity’s School of Medicine is to develop medical graduates who will contribute to patient care and medical science. Our students have the advantage of leading edge facilities for medical education and research in this magnificent new building, which will have a real impact on the training of future generations of doctors and researchers and ultimately improved healthcare," TCD’s provost Dr Patrick Prendergast added.