Health at the heart of a collaboration between RCSI and the University of Montpellier

On Tuesday 28th June a day was organised around the collaboration between the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the University of Montpellier in the field of health sciences, on-going for several years now.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the RCSI and the University of Montpellier was at the heart of the day. On this occasion, Prof. Brian Harvey, essential instrument to this Franco-Irish cooperation, was presented with the insignas of the Academic Palms’ order. Dr. Philippe Marre presented the history of the French National Academy of Surgery, of which he is the Secretary General.

Renewing health research cooperation
The MoU between RCSI on the one hand and the University of Montpellier and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) on the other hand, was signed on Tuesday 28th June, as a renewal of the 2009 MoU. It specifies the two concerned laboratories’ (Dr. Mollard’s and Prof. Harvey’s) research thematic focus, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or women’s thyroid defects, especially. What’s more, both RCSI and Montpellier’s teams are being encouraged to take advantage of their complementary skills and apply for European funding. Finally, regarding the training segment, the agreement stipulates the implementation of joint supervised thesis and the organisation of joint conferences – like the ones already organised by the RCSI and Montpellier (BioPIC conference in 2015).
The French party was composed of Dr. François Pierrot (Vice-President of the University of business relations) and Dr. Patrice Mollard (Director of Research at CNRS and head of the research team concerned by the MoU). The Irish party was composed of Prof. John Hyland, President of RCSI, Prof. Cathal Kelly (CEO of RCSI), Prof. Hannah McGee (Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) as well as Prof. Raymond Stallings (Director of Research).

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Dr. Philippe Marre telling the story of the French National Academy of Surgery

Historical Franco-Irish links
Dr. Philippe Marre, surgeon and Secretary General of the French National Academy of Surgery, highlighted the historical links between France and Ireland in the field of health sciences. Indeed, George Mareschal, first surgeon to King Louis XIV and Louis XV and son of an Irish officer (Mr. John Marshall, Irish officer of the Crown of France, the surname was francised into “Mareschal”), funded the National Academy of Surgery of France in 1731, with his student François Gigot de la Peyronie (born in Montpellier). The “Consilio Manuque” motto on the French Academy coat of arms was adopted by RCSI, when it was later founded in 1784.

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Dr. Eamon Maher (AMOPA), Prof. Brian Harvey (RCSI) and H.E J-P Thébault, Ambassador to France in Ireland

Recognising Prof. Brian Harvey’s precious merits
To end the day, Prof. Brian Harvey was presented with the insignas of the Academic Palms by H.E. the Ambassador to France in Ireland, Mr. Jean-Pierre Thébault. Indeed, Prof. Harvey has a strong relationship with France, as he pleasantly recalled during his acceptance speech: he spent many years as a young researcher in Villefranche-sur-Mer and is regularly invited as a Visiting Professor to University Paris 5. His collaboration with Dr. Mollard is at the origins of this MoU. He is a strong asset to the Franco-Irish scientific and academic cooperation.
Dr. Eamon Maher, representing the AMOPA (Association of the Members of the Order of the Academic Palms) was there as well.

Published on 20/10/2016

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