Prof. Eugene Dempsey, the new Horgan Chair in Neonatology, Infant Centre and Consultant Neonatologist at CUMH; Prof. John O’Halloran, UCC Interim President; Professor Helen Whelton, Head of the College of Medicine and Health, UCC and, Prof. Geraldine Boylan, Director of the Infant Centre at the donation announcement. Photo: Donagh Glavin

€1m donation for neonatal research

A husband and wife have donated €1 million to support ongoing neonatal research on Leeside.

Infant Research Centre at UCC recently announced the creation of the first ever Chair in Neonatology after alumnus Daragh and Anne Horgan gave €1m to support the Infant centre’s research.

The centre has a focus on research that will improve outcomes for women, babies and young children.

The Horgans sought to support Infant with a commitment to establish a Chair in Neonatology, the first of its kind in Ireland, and to support sustained leadership for the neonatal research programme at Infant. This effort has culminated in the appointment of Prof. Eugene Dempsey as the Horgan Chair in Neonatology following an international search.

Daragh Horgan said: “Research into paediatric medicine generally is significantly underfunded and so supporting neonatal research at the Infant centre is incredibly important.”

Daragh added: “Improving care for newborn or pre-term babies is vital for their longer term outcomes, for the impact it has on their families, and on the cost to society as a whole.

“Infant’s marriage of research and clinical work under one roof is a powerful combination, which gives the centre a significant advantage. We are delighted that Prof. Dempsey will become the new Chair of Neonatology – with his energy and expertise, we are sure that the team will press home this advantage in making Infant a world leader in neonatology,” concluded Daragh.

Infant’s research hub is headquartered at UCC and co-located in Cork University Maternity Hospital and CUH campus.

Prof. John O’Halloran, Interim President, UCC said: “This is a ground-breaking appointment for Cork and Ireland and highlights the transformative impact that philanthropy can have. This extremely generous gift is of strategic importance in terms of our Alumni and Development programme and, enhances academic and clinical research leadership for UCC nationally and internationally.’’

Prof. Helen Whelton, Head of the College of Medicine and Health, UCC said: “The generosity of the Horgans in supporting this chair will add considerable weight to research and teaching in neonatology and enhance the leadership of clinical and translational research at Infant. This chair will also support the college’s ambitions in strengthening the academic-clinical innovation capacity between UCC and the HSE.’’

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