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Trinity Reunion Weekend August 2015

Medical Alumni Symposium
Friday, 21 August 2015, 13.50 to 17.00

Stanley Quek Lecture Theatre, Level - 1
Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute
152 - 160 Pearse Street

To book a place please email


Download the Programme (PDF 439 kB)

Chair Dr. David Orr, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Surgery and Paediatrics, TCD, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at St James’s Hospital and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Dublin
13.50 Opening remarks by the Chair

The Brain in Everyday Life Keynote Lecture
Professor Shane O’Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research, Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience


Trinity School of Medicine: Achievements and Plans
Professor Paul Browne, Professor of Haematology; Consultant Haematologist and Director of the National Adult Stem Cell Transplant Programme at St. James's Hospital Dublin; Head of School of Medicine, TCD


Mayo Clinic Children’s Center: Innovations in Practice
Dr Siobhan Pittock, Vice-Chair in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic; Chair of Practice for Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, in Rochester, Minnesota, USA


Epilepsy Surgery for Children
Dr Sophia Varadkar, Consultant Paediatric Neurologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer; Specialty Lead for the Epilepsy Unit and Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service; Great Ormond St Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust & University College London Institute of Child Health, UK


Sports Hip Surgery….It is all about Preservation
Professor Max Fehily, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Spire Manchester Hospital, UK


Denis Burkitt: 80 years a graduate – Irish by birth, Trinity by the grace of God
Professor Owen Smith, Regius Professor of Medicine, Professor of Haematology Trinity College Dublin, Department of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Dublin

17.00 Closing Remarks by the Chair
17.05 Tea/Coffee

General TCD Alumni Events

Profiles of Speakers

Paul Browne, MB, FRCPI, FRCPath

paul-brownePaul Browne is Professor of Haematology at Trinity College Dublin, and Consultant Haematologist and Director of the National Adult Stem Cell Transplant Programme at St. James's Hospital Dublin. He is currently also Head of the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, where he graduated in 1986. He trained first in Dublin, and then as a Fellow at the University of Minnesota, USA. Since returning to Ireland in 1997, he has led the development of therapeutic programmes for leukaemia and myeloma, with a special interest in stem cell transplant and novel therapeutics. He is a member of several international working groups, including the European EBMT Working Party for Leukaemia / Myeloma, and the International PNH Consortium. He has collaborated on laboratory studies of myeloma biology, including a focus on genetic susceptibility in DNA repair pathways, in work funded by the HRB and the Irish Cancer Society. He was Chair of the Irish Cooperative Oncology Research Group (ICORG) from 2008 to 2012, leading the successful ICORG international peer-reviewed HRB multi-million euro grant renewal to support clinical translational research in cancer. Recently, he has led a TCD group in conjunction with colleagues in Cork and Galway which will now commence a major programme on cellular therapy funded by the National Blood Centre

Max Fehily, BA, MB, BAO, FRCSI, MSc Orth Eng, FRS (Tr&Orth)

max-fehilyProfessor Max Fehily is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Spire Manchester Hospital.  He studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and completed his initial surgical training both here and in the UK, before undertaking specialist orthopaedic training in the North West of England.  During his training, he gained a Masters in Orthopaedic Engineering and published in the leading orthopaedic journals.  He completed fellowship training in knee and hip surgery. Professor Fehily specialises in surgery of the Hip and has a particular interest in young athletes with soft-tissue hip problems as well as complex reconstruction of the hip in the older patient.  He performs high volumes of hip arthroscopy (keyhole) procedures and has designed a comprehensive rehabilitation program to complement surgery.  He regularly treats high level athletes, ranging from dedicated amateurs to commonwealth/world championship competitors.  Professor Fehily is an Honorary Professor at Salford University.  He regularly teaches on hip arthroscopy within the UK and is a member of the faculty of national and international courses teaching hip arthroscopy to orthopaedic surgeons.

Shane O’Mara, MA (j.o.), FTCD A, MA (NUI), DPhil (Oxon)

shane-o-maraShane O'Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin, Principal Investigator and Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NUI Galway and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin (FTCD), and was the first Ireland-based elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (FAPS) and is an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA).  His research work is supported by industry, philanthropy and biomedical charities. He has raised in excess of €55 million in grant funding while at Trinity. He was the first recipient in Ireland of a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award, which are provided to “support exceptional, world-class researchers, who already hold a recognised academic position and whose research will address the most important questions about health and disease.”  He has published more than 110 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of his research interests, including brain systems supporting learning, memory, cognition and decision-making; brain systems affected by stress, anxiety, depression and motivation; and the application of brain science to business and organisations and to public policy issues. His forthcoming book Why Torture Doesn't Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation, published by Harvard University Press, will be released in November 2015.

David Orr, MD MSc FRCSI (Plast)


David Orr has been a consultant plastic surgeon and clinical senior lecturer in surgery and paediatrics at St James’s Hospital and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital since 1998, specialising in cleft lip and palate surgery. He qualified in medicine from Trinity College Dublin in 1986 and completed basic surgical training in Ireland. His MD thesis, based on work carried out at the University of Wales College of Medicine in Cardiff, explored epithelial--‐mesenchymal interactions in cancer and its parallels in wound healing and development. He trained in plastic surgery in London, Oxford and Manchester before further fellowship training at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Australian Craniofacial Unit. He recently completed the MSc programme in evolutionary biology at University College Dublin. He is currently involved in the development of cleft surgery services in low income countries. His research interests include developing prediction models for the outcome of cleft surgery and the evolutionary and developmental background to cleft palate.

Siobhan Pittock, MB, BCh


Siobhan Pittock is currently vice-chair in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and chair of practice for Mayo Clinic Children’s Center (an organizational structure which manages the care of all children across the Mayo Clinic enterprise). She received her medical training at Trinity College Dublin (class of 1995); she then went on to pediatric residencies initially in Dublin and subsequently at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.  Residency was followed by joint fellowship and clinical investigator program training in pediatric endocrinology at Mayo Clinic where she is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. She has been in leadership roles in the department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine since 2008; her main interest is in the science of healthcare delivery. She has focused her efforts on innovation and practice improvement with specific goals of developing family-focused, affordable, efficient, high value care. Her projects are varied and include those related to improving access to appropriate care for patients; use of innovative practice models including telemedicine; development of multispecialty clinics to optimize care for medically complex children; developing IT alert systems in the electronic health record to improve patient safety; and standardization of outpatient clinic processes to optimize efficiencies in clinical operations.

Owen Patrick Smith, MA, MB, BA Mod. (Biochem), FRCPCH, FFPRCPI, FRCP (Ire., Edin., Lon., Glasg.), FRCPath, FFpathRCPI,, DHMSA, Hon. FTCD


Professor Smith is a Consultant Paediatric Haematologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Dublin, and is Professor of Childhood Blood Disorders and Regius Professor of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin. Since returning from postgraduate training at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, London in the early 1990’s he has devoted the last twenty five years of his career to caring for neonates, children and adolescents with cancer and blood disorders. One of his main areas of research has been in evidence-based randomised peer-reviewed paediatric haemato-oncology clinical trials, focusing on clinical questions within all domains of paediatric blood and cancer. He is a member of numerous associations and societies, including; the Medical Research Council Childhood Leukaemia Working Party, the International Berlin Frankfurt Munster Study Group for Childhood Leukaemia, and the United Kingdom Children’s Cancer Group. Professor Smith was awarded the St Luke’s Medal by the Royal Academy of Medicine and St Luke’s Hospital for his work on improving outcomes in adolescent cancers with specific reference to the haematological malignancies.

Sophia Varadkar, MRCPI, MSc, PhD


Sophia Varadkar completed her undergraduate degree at Trinity College Dublin and her postgraduate medical training in Dublin and London.  She is a Consultant Paediatric Neurologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, where she is the Head of Clinical Service for Neuroscience Medicine, Specialty Lead for the Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service and clinical lead for the Vagus Nerve Stimulation therapy programme.  Dr Varadkar sits on the NHS England National Clinical Coordinating Group for the Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Programme. She is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL Institute of Child Health and an Honorary Consultant at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where she has an epilepsy transition clinic with her colleague adult epileptologists.  She has a PhD in neuroscience and her current research interests are in complex epilepsy, epilepsy surgery, Rasmussen syndrome, and metabolic causes of childhood epilepsy.  She is an enthusiastic teacher and is a regular faculty member of various training programmes, including the British Paediatric Neurology Association Paediatric Epilepsy Training (PET) courses (for which she is a member of the PET steering committee and chairs the organising group for Expert-to-Expert: Epilepsy, a course for consultant paediatric neurologists).  



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