Professor Ruairi Brugha
Head of Department of Epidemiology and Pubic Health Medicine
Ruairi Brugha is Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine at RCSI. He is a medical doctor and public health specialist with 25 years’ experience in international and national health systems, public health and policy research. He spent six years in Africa in the 1980s and 1990s as a clinician, public health specialist and researcher at the district level. He was a lecturer and senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1995-2005 where he was Head of the Health Policy Unit 2003-05 and editor of Health Policy and Planning. In 2005 he moved to RCSI as the first full-time Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Professorship by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Ruairi has had research grants from the European Union, Irish Health Research Board (HRB), bilateral donor agencies and Wellcome Trust, and has published extensively. He published two first-authored papers in the Lancet, 2002 and 2004, on multi-country scaling up of global vaccine and HIV initiatives in Africa. He coordinated two multi-country, north-south global health research networks, 2005-13, and is currently PI on a cluster randomised controlled trial in Malawi and Zambia: http://www.costafrica.eu. Since 2006, he has had 4 research grants funded by the HRB and one from the WHO / EC FP7 on health worker migration – see http://www.doctormigration.com. He is also supervising PhD students who are undertaking policy analyses of national and global health policies.
Dr Frances Cronin
Frances is the Post Doctoral Researcher on the MedTrack project. She holds a BSc(Hons) in Psychology, and obtained her PhD in Public Health from University College Dublin. Her research experience is varied and ranges from researching determinants of health in early childhood through to factors influencing cause of death. Her Post-Doctoral work with the University of Montreal examined sex-specific duration of breastfeeding, and the epigenetic effects of bullying. Prior to this, she worked as Study Co-ordinator and Research Scientist on the HRB-funded ETSEA (ESPRiT* Twins at School Entry Age) study – an Ireland-wide study that completed a 5-year follow up of the ESPRiT birth cohort (1,000 twin pairs). The ETSEA study investigated the early-years environmental determinants of physical development and mental health. Recently, working with a large Dublin-based historical cohort, she was responsible for linking - for the first time - early adult anthropometric measurements recorded in the early 1900s to archived lifetime health records. The resulting dataset provides a unique insight into the physical condition of over 4,500 young men during the years of 1912 through 1922 and will be used to facilitate further research – including the association between BMI in early adulthood and health in later years.
* Evaluation of Sonographic Predictors of Restricted Growth in Twins (HRB-funded)
Dr Aisling Walsh
Aisling Walsh is a Research Fellow on The Brain Drain to Brain Gain project, supporting the implementation of the WHO Code of Practice on the recruitment of health personnel, which aims to generate momentum and accelerate progress in Global Code implementation in Ireland. She was previously a Research Fellow and coordinator of Community Systems Strengthening for Equitable Maternal and Child Health (COSYST-MNCH), which to achieve a better understanding of community systems factors underpinning maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services in Malawi. This project undertook research case studies of community settings in Malawi, in order to understand how community systems impact on MNCH service utilisation. The second component was the development and delivery of a technology enhanced learning Masters in Community Systems Health Research. Prior to working on COSYST-MNCH, Aisling was a researcher and coordinator of the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN), a network of researchers studying the effects of global HIV/AIDS initiatives on health systems in 22 countries. She holds a PhD in Global Public Health from RCSI, a Master’s degree in Social Science (M.Soc.Sc) from University College Dublin, and BA in Sociology and History from UCD. Aisling’s primary research interests are in: health systems research, maternal and child health, the ethics of health research partnerships between the higher income countries and lower income countries, and reproductive technology. She previously worked as policy and research manager in Disability Federation of Ireland and as a research analyst in the Disability Database Division of the Health Research Board.
Professor Ronán Conroy
Professor of Biostatistics and Health Research Methodology
Ronán Conroy is the Professor of Biostatistics and Health Research Methodology. He was educated in Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, and obtained his Higher Doctorate from the National University of Ireland. He is the module co-ordinator for the Evidence Based Health module, which combines research methods, critical appraisal and research ethics. He teaches hands-on statistics courses on the PhD programmes. In addition, he provides statistical advice and analysis to College researchers and is also the Director of the M.Sc. in Health Research Methods at Penang Medical College.
His research interests are broad, with publications in the areas of health psychology, psychiatry, cardiovascular disease and low-technology approaches to infectious disease prevention in developing countries. He was responsible for the development of the SCORE risk chart, a simple chart used to estimate risk of cardiovascular disease which is part of the European Task force Guidelines on Cardiovascular Prevention. He also carried out the first public health trials of solar disinfection of drinking water. Together with his wife, Jeannette Golden, he has published research on mental health of the elderly in Ireland.
Patrick Dicker is a lecturer and statistician in the departments of epidemiology and public health medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology (Rotunda) in the RCSI. Patrick obtained his primary degree in pure mathematics and statistics from University College Dublin in 1992, where he subsequently obtained his master's degree in statistics. He also has a master's degree in bioinformatics from Dublin City University. Prior to working in the RCSI, Patrick spent 10 years working as a consultant biostatistician in the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland, France and Switzerland, where he obtained extensive experience in clinical trials. His research interests cover broad areas, from molecular and cellular therapeutics to public health epidemiology and health systems research. His current collaborations include: intra-uterine growth restriction and neonatal outcomes, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder proteomics, skin cancer in renal transplantation, platelet aggregometry and cardiovascular disease, psychiatric profiling of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, global HIV/AIDS initiatives and health systems in Africa. He is currently on the research board of the Irish Epilepsy Association.
Nick Clarke is a post-doctoral researcher who is providing technical support to the HRB funded MedTrack study. Nick obtained his primary degree in Anthropology (DBS) and obtained an MSc in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin in 2002. Previously Nick worked with the National Cancer Registry where he received an Irish Cancer Society scholarship to complete his PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health (UCC) on factors associated with participation in colorectal cancer screening in Ireland. Prior to this Nick was a Men’s Health researcher with the Centre for Men’s Health and co- ordinated projects on the excess burden of cancer in men and best practice in suicide prevention in young men.