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Search company appointed to seek national genomics lead

DAVID LYNCH

The search for a national genetics and genomics lead was commenced in recent weeks, this newspaper has been told.

“A search company has been appointed to carry out a formal search campaign for the post of Professor of Genetic and Genomic Medicine,” a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) last month.

University College Dublin (UCD) is leading on this campaign. The person who fills the position will be both Director of the HSE National Genetic and Genomic Medicine Network and a UCD/Trinity College Dublin Full Professor of Genetic and Genomic Medicine.

It was also confirmed that the HSE and National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) are still working on a model of care for the national cancer genetics service. The development of this model has been impacted by the pandemic
“The model of care for a national cancer genetics service is still currently in development, as is the further development of [a] family history services for patients with breast cancer,” the Executive’s spokesperson told MI.

“The NCCP has and continues to significantly support the national Covid-19 pandemic response across the necessary health functions. This therefore has necessarily impacted the pace of development of the workstreams outlined.

“The NCCP will continue to focus appropriately on these work streams, in the context of the dynamic nature of the pandemic and the national response required across all the health service functions.”

Earlier this year, this newspaper reported that the Department of Health was undertaking work assessing the role of genetic and genomic medicine in Ireland.

“As part of its 2020 work programme, the Department is actively considering the role of genetics and genomic medicine within the Irish healthcare system,” a Department spokesperson said in February.

This assessment would include “reflecting on alternative approaches taken in other jurisdictions to advancing their national genomic medicine strategies”.

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