Surgical technology fellowship goes to Irish doctor

30 Nov 2011

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland's historic building, just opposite Dublin City's St Stephen's Green park

Dr Christina Buckley has won the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland’s inaugural fellowship to focus on innovation in surgical technology. Healthcare provider Covidien is sponsoring the €200,000 grant for the fellowship, with the research having the scope for technological advancements in the global surgical arena.

Covidien will provide a grant of nearly €200,000 over two years to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) for the development of the first-ever Research Fellowship in Postgraduate Surgical Training & Education.

The RCSI chose Buckley for the fellowship following a rigorous application and interview process.

Speaking today in Dublin, she said she will focus her research on innovation in surgical technology, with an emphasis on the safe introduction of new technology into surgical practice.

Buckley will be based primarily at the National Surgical Training Centre (NSTC) within the RCSI. She will also potentially have clinical engagements at various stages of the research programme.

She will work under the supervision of a clinical academic supervisor, Prof Oscar Traynor, head of NSTC, and Paul Neary, consultant colorectal surgeon, Tallaght Hospital.

Buckley graduated from Medicine with an honors degree from Trinity College Dublin. She is taking a year off from her surgical training in order to do the fellowship. She was appointed as the Covidien Research Fellow in Postgraduate Surgical Training and Education in July 2011.

Buckley will report to the head of the Centre for Innovation in Surgical Technology (CIST), Derek Young.

Surgical technologies to advance healthcare

Speaking about RCSI’s involvement in the fellowship, Young said this morning that surgical research is imperative to the future of the healthcare industry.

“As new technologies are continually developed, it is important to understand how they are best adopted. The research that Dr Buckley will undertake will help to identify the learning curves associated with the adoption of new technologies in the surgical realm.” 

Medical devices sector thriving in Ireland

Also at today’s announcement was Ireland’s Innovation Minister Séan Sherlock, TD.

He spoke about how the fellowship will help to ensure Ireland continues to produce high-quality researchers who pioneer patient health and safety innovations.

Sherlock also spoke about how the medical devices industry is an important one for Ireland, and he thanked Covidien for supporting this particular fellowship.

“I wish Dr Buckley all the best on the fellowship and congratulate her on being chosen for this excellent opportunity,” said Sherlock.

Fiona Morrison, director of Professional and Clinical Education for EMEA, Covidien, also reflected on Ireland’s thriving medical devices sector, with its strong track record of innovation and its critical importance to the country’s economic recovery. 

Covidien itself has a long history in Ireland, having manufactured in the country for more than 30 years. Earlier this month, Covidien announced that six research and development projects will be undertaken in partnership with the company’s facilities in Galway and Athlone. Covidien and the Irish Government via IDA Ireland are jointly supporting the projects, which represent an investment of more than €25m.

In advance of Dublin City of Science 2012, is hosting Science November, a month dedicated to news, reports, interviews and videos covering a range of Irish science, research and innovation.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic