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Full NameProfessor Samuel McConkey
Department:International Health and Tropical Medicine
Organisation:Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- infectious disease and the immune system
Postgrad Medical Specialties
- Public Health
- Clinical Trials
- Infectious diseases
Evaluating new vaccines in clinical trials to measure safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy is what I've been doing in UK, Gambia and Ireland from phase I - phase III, particularly vaccines of relevance for resource-poor areas.
A second stream of my work is about understanding how health systems planners and managers can use scientific results and tools to create good public policy, for migrants, ARV therapy or for malaria control, topics which have been developed by three doctoral students that I have supervised.
References: de Barra E, ... , McConkey SJ, Hill AV. A phase Ia study to assess the safety and immunogenicity of new malaria vaccine candidates ChAd63 CS administered alone and with MVA CS. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 18;9(12):e115161. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115161. eCollection 2014.
SJ McConkey, et al. Enhanced T-cell immunogenicity of plasmid DNA vaccines boosted by recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara in humans. Nature Medicine Published online: 25 May 2003, doi:10.1038/nm881
By conducting early-stage clinical research in Ireland, first-in-human vaccine studies and phase I trials, I have pioneered in Ireland this essential stage in translational research, the gap between pre-clincial proof of concept studies in a model system, and that of efficacy trials in humans.
The RCSI's clinical research centre in Beaumont was the first such unit in Ireland, and is an excellent place and organisation within which to perform novel clinical trials. We have there in place detailed SOPs for a very wide range of kinds of activities. There is training and support for clinical research nurses. The human resource and financial structures are in place for trials. We have a track record of successful applications to HPRA for regulatory review, audit and inspection of both trial and site. We have proven rapid recruitment into Phase I trials. We have proven high quality data from the work. In Ireland we have a vast scale of manufacturing of vaccines for sale abroad, for example the conjugated-pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar, is made in Grange Castle in Clondalkin by Pfizer.
Given this context, I propose to support a clinical doctoral student to work with the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland to perform the early, first-in-human research studies of novel products from the pharmaceutical industry here in Ireland, based on our proven track record of clinical research which is described above.