Dr Mark Watson

Dr Mark Watson


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 and UCC, their medical schools, associated academic hospitals and clinical research facilities, with the objective of accelerating the translation of biomedical research into improved diagnostics, therapies and devices for patients. CRDI develops and supports collaborations that are building the infrastructures and environment for translational/clinical research and precision medicine. These include the Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training programme and HRB Clinical Research Coordination Ireland.

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 Clinical Research Development Ireland, Mark and his team have worked with the partners to win funding for, develop and deliver widely-available short courses (over 4600 attendees in 14 years) 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. Another priority area is e-learning development with academia, industry and regulatory bodies. He was acting Chief Executive of MMI from October 2012 to March 2013.

Dr Watson is passionate about building and nurturing multi-stakeholder research and education partnerships that improve health, increase scientific understanding, develop innovative technologies and produce future research leaders. He is a member of the European Personalised Medicine Association and the Pharmatrain Federation.

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 Research Fellow, focused on understanding complexes that carry out critical cellular functions such as DNA transposition and RNA splicing (publications include Cell 85, 435-445 and Nature Genetics 20, 46-50).

Additional Information