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Walter Kolch is Director of Systems Biology Ireland (SBI) at University College Dublin (UCD). A leading international proponent of precision medicine, Kolch originally trained as a clinician, subsequently working in the pharmaceutical industry, research institutes, and academia. He is internationally recognised for his cutting-edge research using systems approaches to understand signalling networks, and is ranked 3rd in the world in precision medicine, 8th in personalised medicine, and amongst the world's top 50 in proteomics, systems biology, and signal Transduction (Google Scholar). Through his leading involvement in pan-European strategic initiatives including Coordinating Action Systems Medicine, Infrastructure for Systems Biology Europe, and the ELIXIR research infrastructure for life science information, Kolch has played a central role in the development of precision medicine policy and funding at both national and international level. Kolch has designed, developed and coordinated innovative systems biology, systems medicine and precision medicine programmes of vision, scale and impact throughout his career, with a track record of competitive grant funding of over '200M. Kolch founded the Sir Henry Wellcome Functional Genomics Facility in 2001 - one of the first facilities worldwide that integrated genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and bioinformatics under one roof pioneering multi-omics data integration. From 2005 to 2009, he was Scientific Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) Proteomics Technologies - RASOR, a £15M multidisciplinary project between the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Dundee, which focused on developing innovative proteomics technologies. RASOR produced >180 publications, 6 patents and a spin out company. It also incorporated an associated doctoral training centre. In 2009, he established SBI, a '22M interdisciplinary research centre focusing on the design of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to diseases primarily cancer, based on a systems level, mechanistic understanding of cellular signal transduction networks. An independent review of 2017 ranked SBI as one of the top four research centres that integrate computational modelling with experimental cell biology. Kolch's record of coordinating large scale interdisciplinary initiatives includes one EU Horizon 2020 MSCA training programme, two EU-FP7 health programmes and two large strategic UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded cross-University research collaborations. He has also partnered on 10 EU-FP6/FP7 programmes. His current interest is focusing on using computational modelling and omics approaches to analyse biological networks in order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of disease such as cancer and inflammation (skin, rheumatoid arthritis), and in order to design new approaches to personalised diagnostics and treatment of these disease based on a systems level, molecular mechanistic understanding.
- Research AssistantInstitute of Biochemistry, University of Vienna, Austria1 Jan 1986 - 1 Nov 1986
- Group LeaderBeatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, UK, United Kingdom15 Apr 1999 - 27 Jul 2008
- Professor of Molecular Cell BiologyUniversity of Glasgow, UK1 Apr 2000 - 1 Apr 2009
- Director, Sir Henry Wellcome Functional Genomics FacilityUniversity of Glasgow, UK1 Apr 2001 - 1 Apr 2004
- Director, Systems Biology IrelandUniversity College Dublin1 Aug 2009
- Director, Conway InstituteUniversity College Dublin1 Apr 2010
- Erwin Schrödinger Fellow from the Austrian Science FoundationNational Cancer Institute / National Institutes of Health, Frederick, Maryland, USA1 Jan 1988 - 31 Dec 1988
- Fogarty Visiting FellowIbidem1 Jan 1989 - 31 Dec 1990
- Head of the Department of Molecular BiologyGödecke-Parke Davis, Freiburg, Germany1 Jan 1992 - 31 Dec 1993
- Head of the Signal Transduction GroupGSF Research Centre, Munich, Germany17 Jun 1993 - 17 Apr 1997
- Scientific Director, Interdisciplinary Research CollaborationProteomics Technologies1 Apr 2005 - 31 Jul 2009
- HABILITATIONLudwig-Maximilians U Munich. DE
- MDUniversity of Vienna Austria