Cerebral Palsy Foundation awards €1.6 million funding to University College Cork to support cerebral palsy education and research

  • Funding of €1.6 million will support UCC’s appointment of a Chair in Early Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy.
  • The Cerebral Palsy Foundation Chair will lead research in early brain injury and cerebral palsy at the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research (INFANT), UCC.

University College Cork (UCC) and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation today announced the creation of a new Chair in Early Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy.

The new ‘Cerebral Palsy Foundation Chair’ is made possible thanks to generous support of €1.6 million from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, a global not-for-profit organisation committed to creating positive change for those with Cerebral Palsy and related disabilities. The appointed Chair will lead a programme of research and public engagement that will empower the voice of young children and families living with cerebral palsy.

Currently the most common lifelong physical disability acquired during childhood, cerebral palsy is diagnosed in approximately 150 children each year in Ireland. Early diagnosis in babies can lead to much better outcomes. The Cerebral Palsy Foundation’s partnership with UCC will enable researchers at INFANT to generate critical knowledge that will transform outcomes for children with Cerebral Palsy and their families.

On behalf of UCC, I sincerely thank the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for their transformational funding. With this generous support, UCC can be a catalyst for change for people with cerebral palsy today and for future generations,” said UCC President, Professor John O’Halloran.

The Cerebral Palsy Foundation looks forward to working with UCC and is so thankful for the funding it has received from donors to drive forward the CP Programme of Excellence in Ireland. We are excited that UCC will lead research and clinical care to change the trajectories of lives of infants with early brain injury and CP,” said Rachel Byrne, Executive Director of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

I would like to sincerely thank the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for this very generous funding. We are committed to working in partnership with the Foundation to make a real difference for people with Cerebral Palsy. Early detection is critical for early intervention and this support will allow INFANT to fast track the translation of research and innovation in early brain injury and Cerebral Palsy to clinical care,” said INFANT and UCC Futures Children Director, Professor Geraldine Boylan.

This generous support will enable us to build on and translate two decades of interdisciplinary research within our INFANT research Centre with a focus on Cerebral Palsy.This exciting development will undoubtedly enhance the very important areas of prevention, early detection and management of Cerebral Palsy. Philanthropy such as this can ensure that our research can be translated into real-world change, improving maternal and child health,” added Professor Helen Whelton, Head of College of Medicine and Health.

The creation of a new Chair at UCC in Early Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy will build on an existing collaboration between the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the INFANT Centre on the “Early Detection and Intervention for Cerebral Palsy in Ireland” study. This is a national, multi-centre cohort study led by INFANT and coordinated by In4kids, the HRB Irish Network for Children’s Clinical Trials.

This generous support was facilitated by Alumni and Development UCC and Cork University Foundation. “This funding from the Cerebral Palsy Foundation is a testament to the value of philanthropy in advancing healthcare solutions that benefit everyone,” said Kerry Bryson, CEO of Cork University Foundation.