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Enabling Clinical and Translational Research

MMI Education & Training Team

Molecular Medicine Ireland coordinates major collaborative bids for funding in research, education and training and manages key collaborative areas in the resulting programmes. In addition to the involvement of many scientists, clinicians and support staff working in the MMI partner institutions, these collaborative programmes rely on the input and support of numerous external stakeholders including industry, academics and funders.

Dr Mark Watson
Head of Programmes, Molecular Medicine Ireland

As Head of Programmes, Mark Watson works to identify new partnerships, enhance links and exploit synergies in the different activities of MMI, and identify pathways to sustainability from diverse funding opportunities. He is an Investigator in CÚRAM, the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices; project entitled, 'Developing Key Structures and Resources to Support Medical Device Clinical Research in Ireland'.

Mark joined the forerunner of MMI, the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre, in 2003 to develop and lead the collaborative education and training mission and information management. In the ensuing years, Mark and his team have worked with the MMI partners and industry to win funding for, develop and deliver widely-available short courses (over 3800 attendees in 11 years) and innovative structured PhD programmes for medical and science graduates. These include PRTLI-funded programmes with budgets totalling over €15m, faculties of 100-plus PIs and over 25 companies offering research placements and long-term mentoring. Another priority area is e-learning development with academia, industry and regulatory bodies. He was acting Chief Executive of MMI from October 2012 to March 2013.

Mark is passionate about building and nurturing multi-stakeholder research and education partnerships that improve health, increase scientific understanding, develop innovative technologies and produce future research leaders. He is a member of the European Personalised Medicine Association, the Pharmatrain Federation and the external advisory board for the Trinity College Dublin PhD in Molecular Medicine.

Before moving to Ireland Mark worked for the Wellcome Trust, based in the Sanger Institute Cambridge, organising international competitive entry practical courses for researchers. Mark graduated in biological sciences in 1990, after a career in the commercial sector. His postgraduate and postdoctoral research, as a Wellcome Prize PhD Student and Wellcome Research Fellow, focused on understanding complexes that carry out critical cellular functions such as DNA transposition and RNA splicing (publications include Cell 85, 435-445; Nature Genetics 20, 46-50).

For more information, see Mark's LinkedIn profile at: http://ie.linkedin.com/in/mwatsonprofile


Gael Parent
Administrative Coordinator - Education & Website, Molecular Medicine Ireland
In 2001, Gael Parent obtained a Master in Sociology at the University of Nantes, France, with a specialisation in Analysis of Institutional Structures. His final thesis approached the evolution of the professional educational system for adults in France (focusing on the main organisation in the area of continuing professional development, AFPA). His taste for the event management field led him to undertake a diploma in Sales Training Applied to Cultural Events at the Chamber of Commerce of Nantes (2003).

Gael subsequently worked in different businesses in the UK while improving his language skills. This included an administrative assistant position in an International English Language school. In 2006, Gael moved to Dublin and joined Hertz as Reservation Sales Agent and progressed into an Internet Administrator position.

In 2007, Gael joined the DMMC, soon to become Molecular Medicine Ireland, as an Administrator. Both his organisational knowledge and his event management operational skills, strengthened by a further training subsequent to joining MMI (Event Management Diploma, Dublin), are used to support the MMI Education & Training cross-institutional programmes.

Gael's role has evolved to include the coordination of website development and content, where he uses his IT skills to support all the units of MMI and work closely with external website developers.