Suzanne Bracken Joins ToPCaP as Research Coordinator
November 13, 2013

Suzanne Bracken Joins ToPCaP as Research Coordinator

Following her graduation from a PhD in Immunology, Suzanne pursued research in an industry setting, taking up a position in the R&D department of an Irish diagnostics company, which had originally spun out of Trinity College Dublin. During her 5 years there, the company was bought by a multinational corporation which changed the focus of the R&D department from developing immunoassays to developing molecular diagnostics. Thus, Suzanne got to experience many types of research, from feasibility testing and market research right through to post-market design changes.

After working in industry for 5 years, Suzanne realised she missed academia and being surrounded by cutting-edge research and wanted to find a position where she could use her research background and contacts while at the same time build upon the skills and training she gained from industry. Thus, Suzanne moved to Molecular Medicine Ireland in June 2011, taking a position as Programme Officer for translational research as part of the ICRIN (Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network) team.

One of her responsibilities was to provide support to the Prostate Cancer Research Consortium (PCRC), a coordinated group of researchers and clinicians from universities and hospitals in Dublin, established in 2003, whose aim is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. In April 2011, Prostate cancer researchers from across the island of Ireland came together to form an expanded collaborative group to maximise the potential for prostate cancer research in Ireland. This new group, called the National Prostate Cancer Research Consortium (NPCRC) was established through a series of meetings involving the scientific and clinical community across population health, translational research and clinical research. The ICS agreed to fund a part-time research coordinator position for the NPCRC and Suzanne was appointed to this post in March 2012 with her remaining time still dedicated to her other Translational Research Programme responsibilities. Her role with the NPCRC included strategic planning for the group, coordinating group activities, facilitating both funding applications and the implementation of successful funding awards.

Many of the members of the NPCRC are also ToPCaP members, including Stephen Finn a founding member and steering committee member of ToPCaP. The concept of having a coordinator for ToPCaP on both sides of the Atlantic had been previously proposed. Thus, it was agreed in 2013 that the NPCRC coordinator role could include working with ToPCaP to act as EU coordinator, in particular supporting EU research proposals. Suzanne is looking forward to working with the ToPCaP team and meeting more of the International members in due course.