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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. MMI Education & Training is successful because it attracts top quality candidates for structured PhD Programmes and highly motivated participants for continuing professional development training in clinical and translational research.

Dr Mark Watson
Head of Programmes, Molecular Medicine Ireland

Mark Watson joined the forerunner of MMI, the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre, in 2003 to develop and lead the collaborative education and training mission as a member of the founding directorate. In the ensuing years, Mark and his team have worked with the partner academic institutions and industry to develop and deliver widely-available short courses and innovative structured PhD programmes for medical and science graduates. Mark is a passionate advocate for excellence in training. He is a member of the external advisory board for the Trinity College Dublin PhD in Molecular Medicine, a national contact for EMTRAIN (European Medicines Research Training Network) and a member of the PharmaTrain Federation.

Mark also manages the communications activities of MMI, including development of the MMI website, production of an online newsletter and annual reports. He was acting Chief Executive of MMI for five months to March 2013. Mark's current role, as Head of Programmes, focuses on building new partnerships across multiple organisations, enhancing links and exploiting synergies in the different activities of MMI and identifying pathways to sustainability from diverse funding opportunities.

Before moving to Ireland, Mark worked for the Wellcome Trust, based in the Sanger Institute Cambridge. He graduated in biological sciences in 1990, after a career in the commercial sector. His postgraduate and postdoctoral research, as a Wellcome Trust Prize PhD Student (Molecular Genetics, Glasgow) and Travelling Research Fellow (Canada, Dundee, Bristol), 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.