Dean's Report 2006

9th December 2006

The past year has been a significant one for IICN. It’s role in aiding neurology teaching has been expanded and it has also become more of an advocate for the maintenance of high clinical standards and the further development of academic neuroscience on this island.

I wish to thank all those who organised scientific meetings for the IICN during 2006. We are also grateful to those who hosted teaching events during the year. I wish to acknowledge the very high standard of scientific and didactic presentations at the various IICN meetings held during 2006.

I wish to acknowledge in particular, the invaluable contribution of our Administrator, Colette Fitzpatrick, to our organisation.

The main IICN events and activities of 2006 can be summarised as follows:

Scientific and Educational events:
  • Dr Katy Keohane hosted the Neuromuscular meeting in January 2006 in Killarney
  • Dr Michael Hennessy, ably assisted by Dr Tim Counihan, hosted the 42nd INA meeting in the Connemara sunshine in May 2006. A notable event at this meeting was the inaugural Callaghan lecture presented by Prof Robert Griggs. We look forward to visiting Belfast for the 2007 meeting, to be hosted by Dr Mark Gibson.
  • The 5th Neurology Update meeting in September 2006 on the theme of neurological emergencies was organised by Dr Norman Delanty.
  • Dr Orla Hardiman organised another IICN Diaspora meeting, along with a Registrar’s Prize meeting, in November 2006.
  • Two IICN MRCP / MRCPI teaching courses were held in 2006: (a) January in Beaumont Hospital, coordinated by Dr Norman Delanty and (b) May at St Vincent’s University Hospital, directed by Dr Niall Tubridy. It is intended that the latter will become an annual course.
Advocacy / Public Awareness activities:
  • Dr Orla Hardiman represented the ICCN in a submission, and the subsequent presentation of this week, to the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Health & Children on the case for integrated neurological care in Ireland. This initiative was undertaken with the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) and the Irish Society for Quality & Safety in Healthcare.
  • A press release was issued by the IICN in March 2006, warning of the inappropriate administration of, as yet, unproven Stem Cell treatments for disabling neurological illnesses.
  • Representatives of the IICN have had meetings with Heads of Schools of Medicine at QUB, TCD, UCD & UCC universities since October 2006, with the aim of advocating the establishment of Chairs in Clinical Neuroscience at these institutions.
Research funds:
  • A fund was donated to the IICN by the family of Aideen Clarke. A decision on how best to use this donation will be made in early 2007.
  • Serono Pharmaceuticals have agreed to fund a new one-year neurology research fellowship, to begin in July 2007.
  • A Sanofi-Aventis travel grant was awarded in December 2006.
IICN website:

A revision of the website is approaching completion and is expected to be online in early 2007.

IBRF:
  • The Irish Brain Research Foundation ceased to exist in May 2006, and the IBRF assets and “Brain Research – finding answers” are now owned by the IICN. I wish to express the gratitude of the IICN to the past board members and employees of the IBRF for their valuable contribution to academic neuroscience on this island, and I hope they continue to consider themselves as friends of the IICN.

I look forward to further success for our organisation in 2007.

Sean Connolly (Dean IICN)

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