MMI Education & Training Team
Dr Mark Watson (Programme Manager – Education & Training)
Dr Mark Watson
Programme Manager – Education & Training, Molecular Medicine Ireland
Mark Watson graduated in biological sciences after a previous career in technical graphics in the commercial sector. His postgraduate and postdoctoral research, as a Wellcome Trust Prize Student and Travelling Research Fellow, was in the broad area of functional analysis of cellular nucleoprotein complexes that bring together distant sites in DNA and RNA (e.g. see Cell 85, 435-445; Nature Genetics 20, 46-50).
In 1999, Mark moved into scientific administration with the Wellcome Trust, based in the Sanger Institute Cambridge, organising the Advanced Courses (international competitive entry residential courses for researchers). Mark arrived in Ireland in 2003 to take up a position with the newly created Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (DMMC), where he worked with staff from University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to develop a state-of-the-art cross-institutional education and training programme for postgraduate students and postdoctoral staff.
In 2008 NUI Galway and University College Cork joined the DMMC partners to form Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI), where Mark heads an Education & Training Team that currently coordinates a collaboration of five medical schools in a 3-year structured PhD for medical graduates, the MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme and a collaboration of four universities and industry partners in a 4-year structured PhD, the MMI Clinical & Translational Research Scholars Programme. The MMI Education & Training Team continues to develop the widely-available and well-regarded MMI Courses & Workshops, and coordinates major collaborative funding applications.
Mark also works in an organisation-wide role managing the communications activities of MMI, including the development of the MMI website and its use as collaborative tool (with Gaël Parent) and production of an online newsletter and annual reports (with Virginia Walls). Mark is the national contact for EMTRAIN (European Medicines Research Training Network) and he was acting Chief Executive of MMI from October 2012 to March 2013.
Dr Claire Twomey
Programme Officer – Education & Training, Molecular Medicine Ireland
Claire Twomey graduated with a PhD in Organic Chemistry from University College Cork. Subsequently she was employed as a Scientific Editor with Thieme Publishers in Stuttgart, Germany, working on a 48-volume reference work, Science of Synthesis, published both in print and as an online product.
On returning to Ireland, Claire took up the position of Communications Officer at the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB), a collaboration in the chemical sciences between UCD, TCD and RCSI. Here she was involved in developing and delivering a successful Outreach programme for the CSCB and was responsible for managing communications across the partner institutions and externally.
Claire joined Molecular Medicine Ireland in June 2008. She is part of the team responsible for coordinating and administering the MMI Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme and MMI Continuing Professional Development courses. Her responsibilities include developing and delivering the curriculum for the national structured training for MMI Clinician Scientist Fellows, coordinating Annual Meetings, and providing interim reports on the programme to the funding body. She also develops content and schedules for MMI Courses & Workshops, with cross-institutional faculty and industry input, and is involved in maintaining and developing the MMI website.
Administrative Coordinator – Education & Website, Molecular Medicine Ireland
In 2001, Gaël 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).
Gaël 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, Gaël moved to Dublin and joined Hertz as Reservation Sales Agent and progressed into an Internet Administrator position.
In 2007, Gaël 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.
Gaël’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.