Dr Mark Watson is Head of Education and Development at Clinical Research Development Ireland (CRDI), an Investigator in CÚRAM, leading the project entitled 'Developing Key Structures and Resources to Support Medical Device Clinical Research in Ireland’, a Co-Director of the Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) programme and a Core Partner in the HRB Neonatal Encephalopathy PhD Training Network (NEPTuNE).
Clinical Research Development Ireland is a not-for-profit partnership of NUI Galway, TCD, UCD, RCSI, UCC and UL. CRDI's mission is to advance patient care and health service delivery by supporting the development of clinical and translational research across our partner academic institutions, their medical schools and associated hospitals.
Dr Watson joined the founding directorate of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre in 2003 to develop and lead the collaborative education and training mission and information management. In the ensuing years, through the transition to Molecular Medicine Ireland and latterly CRDI, Mark and his team have worked with the partners to win funding for, develop and deliver widely-available short courses 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. A long-term focus is clinician scientist training, currently via a prestigious Wellcome-HRB all-Ireland Programme. Another priority area is e-learning development with academia, industry and regulators.
Before moving to Ireland Dr Watson worked for the Wellcome Trust, based in the Sanger Institute Cambridge, organising international competitive entry practical courses for researchers. Dr Watson 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 Travelling Research Fellow, focused on understanding complexes that carry out critical cellular functions such as DNA transposition and RNA splicing.
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