22 new NREC members appointed

The National Office for Research Ethics Committees is pleased to announce the appointment of 22 new National Research Ethics Committee (NREC) members. The new members were appointed by the Minister for Health Mr Stephen Donnelly following an expression of interest campaign which ran during August and September 2023. The NRECs for Clinical Trials (NREC-CT) have welcomed 17 new members, while the NREC for Medical Devices (NREC-MD) has welcomed 5 members.

This most recent expression of interest campaign sought specific areas of expertise and experiences to broaden and strengthen the capacity of the existing NRECs, supporting robust ethical reviews of regulated research studies conducted in Ireland. Key areas included bioengineering, cardiology, genetics, pharmacology, neurology, nursing and midwifery, orthopaedics and respiratory medicine.

“We are delighted to be welcoming these new NREC members, who will bring a complementarity of experience and expertise to the essential work of the Committees,” comments Dr Emily Vereker, Head of the National Office. “It has been really positive to see the enthusiastic response to the membership campaign. This is a testament to the high level of engagement of the research community and vested interest in the national research ethics system – underlining the commitment to our shared goal of ensuring the safety, dignity and well-being of research participants.”

The NREC-CT welcomes the following new members:

  • Dr Andrew Lindsay
    Director of Genetics Programme, University College Cork; Senior Lecturer in Genetics
  • Prof. Andrew Smyth
    Professor Clinical Epidemiology, University of Galway; Consultant Physician (Nephrologist), Saolta
  • Dr Maeve Kelleher
    Consultant in Paediatric Allergy, Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin
  • Prof. Fionnuala Breathnach
    Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist, Associate Professor Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Maternal Foetal Medicine Specialist)
  • Prof. Cathal Walsh
    Professor of Biostatistics, Trinity College Dublin
  • Dr Katherine Benson
    Lecturer in computational biology, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland
  • Dympna Devenney
    Practicing Barrister, Practicing Paediatric Nurse and Occasional Lecturer Law Library, Temple Street, University College Dublin
  • Dr Sean Lacey
    Research Integrity & Compliance Officer, Munster Technological University, Cork
  • Dr Dawn Swan
    Consultant Haematologist, Beaumont Hospital
  • Dr Susan Finnerty
    Former Inspector of Mental Health Services, retired
  • Prof. Lina Zgaga
    Associate Professor of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin
  • Prof. Deirdre Murray
    Director, National Cancer Registry of Ireland
  • Dr Geraldine O’Dea
    Former Medical Assessor with Health Products Regulatory Authority, retired
  • Jasmine Joseph
    Dementia trial Clinical Nurse Manager, Tallaght University Hospital
  • Dr Steve Meaney
    Head of Research Ethics and Integrity, Technological University Dublin
  • Niall Mc Guinness
    Semi-retired self-employed clinical research scientist, Cork
  • Dr Deborah Wallace
    Assistant Professor in Clinical Research, Director, Graduate Programme in Clinical and Translational Research, Clinical Research Centre, School of Medicine, University College Dublin

The NREC-MD welcomes the following new members:

  • Dr Daniel Coakley
    Consultant Ophthalmologist, Cork University Hospital
  • Dr James Gilroy
    Specialist Registrar, Public Health Medicine, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland
  • Prof. Cara Martin
    Assistant Professor in Molecular Pathology Tumour Biology and Cancer Prevention, at Trinity College Dublin, and St. James’s Hospital
  • Prof. James O’Neill
    Associate Professor of Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist, Connolly and Mater Hospitals
  • Ms Simone Walshe
    Programme Manager for the Irish Research Nurse and Midwives Network

Dr Emily Vereker concludes: “The National Office team would like to congratulate the new members on their appointment, and together with the Committee Chairs and current members we look forward to working together to shape Ireland’s research ethics landscape for the benefit of patients and the public.”

Read more about the work of the NREC for Clinical Trials and the NREC for Medical Devices.

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