Prof. Patricia Kearney

Prof. Patricia Kearney

Executive Management Committee
Diabetes Collaborative Clinical Trial Network

Patricia Kearney obtained a medical degree from University College Cork in 1998, graduating first in her class. She completed training in internal medicine in Ireland and the US. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake a MPH in Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and she subsequently completed a PhD in Public Health.

In 2003 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Cardiovascular Research Initiative Junior Research Fellowship to work as a Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. She worked at the Clinical Trial Services Unit & Epidemiological Studies Unit and her work focused on tabular and individual patient data meta-analyses. In 2007 she was awarded a Beeson Fellowship (NIH funded career development award) to work on TILDA, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing and during her fellowship she worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Centre of Aging and Population Health at the University of Pittsburgh as well as a Clinical Research Fellow in Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork. In 2008 she was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Public Health in University College Cork. Her research interests are in primary and secondary prevention of traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, lifecourse epidemiology and clinical trials. She is the Irish lead PI for TRUST, an EU funded FP7 clinical trial in subclinical hypothyroidism in healthy older adults. She leads a Health Research Board funded Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) award that is utilizing data from 9 Irish observational studies to look at lifestyle transitions across the lifecourse. She is a member of the national steering committee for TILDA and chairs the cardiovascular working group. She has over 200 publications, including over 50 articles in peer reviewed international journals with approximately 35,000 citations, a h-index of 39 and an i-10 index of 98 She has generated ~€5 million in research grant funding since her appointment to UCC in 2008 and supervises a multi-disciplinary research team including post-doctorates, research assistants and research students and she also supervises 5 PhD students. In 2013 she was one of six recipients nationally of the prestigious HRB Research Leader Award to undertake a project on a population approach to the prevention and control of diabetes and was appointed as a Research Professor in UCC. In May 2016 she was appointed Professor of Epidemiology. She was elected International Epidemiological Association (IEA) Regional Councillor for Europe in February, 2017 and named UCC Researcher of the Year for 2018.

I am an experienced Cardiovascular Epidemiologist and Clinical Trialist with an outstanding record in Population Health and Health Services Research and its effective translation for improved health. I have over 155 publications, including over 50 articles in peer reviewed international journals with approximately 10,000 citations, have generated ~€5 million in research grant funding since my appointment to UCC in 2011 and supervise a multi-disciplinary research team of 15. I have a background and training in clinical medicine, epidemiology and public health and during my training have been the recipient of prestigious Wellcome Trust and Paul Beeson (NIH K08 career development award) Fellowships. Since my appointment at UCC I have developed links with clinical colleagues in primary care, public health and hospital medicine including diabetes medicine and I have been successful in obtaining funding based on these multi-disciplinary teams (HRB/ICE/2012/12 and HRB/HPF/2012/14).

I have extensive experience in chronic disease epidemiology and global burden of disease. I have a long standing interest in improving outcomes for people with diabetes and previous work resulted in a landmark Lancet publication which demonstrated the benefit of statins in reducing morbidity and mortality in people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. In 2013 I was one of 6 recipients nationally of a HRB Research Leader Award in partnership with the National Clinical Programme in Diabetes. The overall vision for the programme of research is to improve care for people with diabetes in Ireland and to reduce the preventable economic and societal burden of diabetes.

I am an experienced clinical trialist and am particularly interested in primary prevention based interventions. I worked previously as a co-investigator on the NIH funded ASPREE trial (role of aspirin in primary prevention among older people at risk of CVD) and I am currently the Irish lead PI for a multi-centre EU FP7 funded clinical trial, TRUST (placebo controlled trial of thyroxine in community dwelling older people with subclinical hypothyroidism). My role as a recognised leader in population research in primary care in Ireland is evidenced by the appointment of Dr. Audrey Russell, the first Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) academic GP, who is working on TRUST under my mentorship. I have developed a network of over 200 primary care physicians who are interested in research and who are actively involved in recruitment for TRUST.

I have extensive expertise and experience in systematic reviews and meta-analysis and encourage all of my PhD students to undertake a review at the outset of their programme of research. This has resulted in a large number of publications in peer reviewed journals and the development of additional expertise in this area in our department including the recent award of a Cochrane Fellowship.

I am a co-PI of TILDA (the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing) and am currently involved in the analysis of data from TILDA and the Mitchelstown cohorts. Research projects in this area have included the impact of early life experiences on adult physical and mental well-being as well as the impact of diet and physical activity on health outcomes.

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