Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences
Mary McCarron, PhD, MSc, BNS, RNID, RGN, F.T.C.D is Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor of Ageing and Intellectual Disabilities, School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies at Trinity College Dublin, a leader in multidisciplinary health sciences and an international expert in the fields of intellectual disability, ageing, dementia, and palliative care. The award of a Chair in Ageing and Disability reflects Prof McCarron’s visionary leadership of this critical research area focused on a too often and too long neglected population, people with an intellectual disability.
She undertook her initial nursing education at Stewarts Hospital in Palmerston and James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin. She was awarded National Nurse of the Year in 1989. Prof. McCarron completed her degree in Nursing at Dublin City University and was awarded one of the first Clinical fellowships in Nursing and Midwifery from the Health Research Board and completed her PhD at Trinity College in 2002. Prof. McCarron was appointed to the lecturing staff at the school of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College in 2003. From 2005 to 2011 she took up senior leadership roles including Director of Research and Head of School. In 2011 she was awarded Honorary Fellowship of Trinity College and was elected Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
As the first Nurse Leader appointed to the Role of Dean of the largest faculty of Health Sciences in Ireland Professor McCarron has been instrumental in leading the related schools of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dental Science to develop creative responses to health challenges.
Professor Mary McCarron, is heading up the first ever longitudinal study of Ageing in Persons with an Intellectual Disability (IDS TILDA) conducted in tandem with a general national Ageing study. As well as tracking the key determinants of health and wellness for people with an intellectual disability as they age, the IDS-TILDA team’s innovative and inclusive approach of involving participants from the design stage of the study to dissemination has been recognised as an exemplary model.
A growing research agenda includes world leading and internationally recognized work on dementia in persons with Down syndrome, spanning brain training for older adults with Down syndrome in collaboration with Cambridge University and Down syndrome Ireland; assessment and diagnostics; and person centred and end of life care. This work has informed the design of the Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service Willow View and Meadow View House for people with intellectual disabilities and dementia which received the 2014 Specialist Care Centre of the Year and the 2014 Building Project of the Year Irish Healthcare Centre Awards.
Professor McCarron is a consultant and spokesperson on ageing related issues for key organizations and her research is a source of data for the Irish Government supporting evidence based policy making and the tracking of policy outcomes for persons with an Intellectual disability.
An active member of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD), Professor McCarron has taken a leadership role in establishing the European Research Group on Palliative Care and Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.
Professor McCarron holds a research Professorship at the Centre for Excellence in Ageing & Community Wellness at the University at Albany NY. She also actively supports building humane responses to people who are ageing with an intellectual disability in Hong Kong, Taiwan and India. Her work is widely published.