Leading Renal Expert Appointed as Professor of Medicine at UL

The University of Limerick (UL), Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS) have appointed Professor Austin G. Stack, as the first Foundation Chair and Professor of Medicine and Consultant Nephrologist at University Hospital Limerick. A native of Cromane, Co. Kerry, he has trained in Ireland and the United States with previous academic appointments at the University of Michigan and the University of Texas Medical School.

Head of the Graduate Entry Medical School, Professor Michael Larvin welcomed the appointment; “The Graduate Entry Medical School counts itself very fortunate to have attracted an individual of the calibre of Professor Austin Stack to its inaugural Chair in Medicine.  Professor Stack brings a wealth of clinical, research and educational experience to the University of Limerick and to its associated teaching hospitals.  His international reputation in the implementation of multidisciplinary healthcare and data systems provides a marvellous opportunity for collaboration between HSE clinical services and the University of Limerick.  Professor Stack is a dynamic, dedicated clinical academic who will strengthen further the University’s reputation for international excellence in research and education”.

A graduate of University College Dublin, Professor Stack went on to complete a fellowship programme in Nephrology & Transplantation at the University of Michigan. He completed a Masters in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis at the Rackham School of Public Health and joined the research teams at the University’s Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Centre (KECC) and US Renal Registry. In 2002, he joined the Renal Division at the University of Texas Medical School as Assistant Professor of Medicine to lead the clinical and epidemiological research program.  

Speaking on his appointment, Professor Stack said; “I feel incredibly privileged and honoured to be given this opportunity to contribute to the development and expansion of the educational and research programmes within the Graduate Medical School and the University Hospital Network in the Midwest Region. We have huge opportunities and responsibilities to produce mature and competent doctors that are equipped for a modern health system. In July 2013, almost 90 doctors will graduate from our Medical School in Limerick and begin careers in medicine across Ireland, Canada and North America. The UL Medical School has done a wonderful job in bringing together an extraordinary team of dedicated health professionals and academics who are leading major developments in medical education and research. It is my goal to continue this mission. Through collaborations with national and international academic partners, we are developing research teams to improve our understanding and treatment of kidney failure and lead efforts in its prevention.”

Since his return to Ireland in 2005, Professor Stack has established an integrated nephrology programme across the Northwest region and supported several national strategic initiatives. As Consultant Nephrologist, at Letterkenny and Sligo General Hospitals, he founded a multidisciplinary renal care programme across the Northwest, advanced cross border partnerships and was instrumental in the implementing the first integrated renal information system across the Northwest region which has now become the blueprint for a National Renal Information System and a Renal Registry.

Professor Stack's research addresses the impact of kidney disease in large populations. He currently is exploring methods of predicting kidney disease progression and the identification of novel biomarkers that may facilitate earlier diagnosis of cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease. He has published on treatment strategies for end-stage renal disease; cardiovascular health and cardiovascular risk assessment in chronic kidney disease; disparities in healthcare provision; and more recently the application of IT communications systems in clinical and epidemiological research.  His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Heart Association, National Kidney Foundation, Renal Research Institute and industry. He is the recipient of several awards including: Sandra Daugherty Award and National Scientist Development Award both from the American Heart Association and the Patrick Meenan Medal in Medicine, University College Dublin. He was awarded his MD in Medicine (Epidemiology) in 2005 and was elected to the Clinical Advisory Committee of the American Society of Nephrology in 2006.

He was recently appointed to the Research team of the Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Centre (KECC), University of Michigan, and is co-investigator in the National Kidney Disease Surveillance Program funded by the Centre for Disease Control in the U.S. For further information about the Graduate Entry Medical School go to www.ul.ie/medicalschool