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Director of Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network

We are delighted to announce that Dr Maurice O'Kane is the new Director of the NICRN and will take up the post on 1 August 2016.

The Northern Ireland Clinical Research Network (NICRN) is a major investment funded by HSC R&D Division to provide the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research to take place across all Health and Social Care (HSC) structures. This can allow patients in Northern Ireland to particiapte in clinical trials and benefit from new and better treatments. The Network provides skilled health professionals who can help researchers to set up and run clinical studies quickly and effectively and work with patients and the public to ensure their needs are at the centre of research activity.

Dr Maurice O'Kane, supported by the NICRN coordinating centre, will provide leadership to the 12 clinical interest groups that currently make up the NICRN. He will lead the development of the NICRN and its activities, and work with local clinicians and HSC organisations to build upon local clinical strengths and research interests and priorities.

Dr O’Kane graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1985 and undertook postgraduate training in Scotland, N. Ireland and France.  He has been a consultant chemical pathologist in Altnagelvin Hospital since 1996 and has been an Associate Medical Director (Research and Development) since 2007. Other professional roles include: visiting Professor to Ulster University, Director of Clinical Practice at the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine and an associate editor of the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry. His research interests include point-of-care testing and biochemical aspects of diabetes. Since 2009  Dr O’Kane has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) established jointly by the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Ulster University and Derry City and Strabane District Council to foster translational research and promote academic-biobusiness-clinical collaboration.