Appointments to the Health Research Board

Following a Public Appointment Service (PAS) advertising campaign, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, has appointed the following persons as members of the Health Research Board. These appointments are with effect from 18 January 2018 to 17 January 2023

Professor Tom Fahey

Professor Fahey is Professor of General Practice in RCSI and Principal Investigator for the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research ( A 1986 graduate of UCD, he trained in General Practice and Public Health Medicine in the UK. He has held academic posts in Oxford (Lecturer), Bristol (Senior Lecturer) and Dundee (Professor) medical schools. His research interests are in evidence-based medicine, drug safety, medical practice variation and appropriate care.

Dr Máiréad Harding BDS, MFGDP(UK), MDPH, PhD, PgDipTLHE
Dr Harding is senior lecturer in dental public health in Cork University Dental School and Hospital, University College Cork (UCC), senior dental surgeon with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Deputy Director of the Oral Health Services Research Centre, UCC. She is currently the programme coordinator on the Fluoride and Caring for Children’s Teeth (FACCT) a six-year collaboration between UCC and the HSE dental services with Health Research Board (HRB) funding (FACCT: ). Máiréad is a BDS (NUI) graduate of UCC, she also obtained her Masters in Dental Public Health (MDPH) and PhD in Dentistry from UCC. Areas of research include fluorides and health, epidemiological measurement and health services research.

Dr Susan Steele

Dr. Susan Steele (PhD, MBA, MEd, BSc) is executive chair and CEO of the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) since 2013. Dr. Steele works with the senior management team providing through a combination of leadership, commitment and clear direction excellence in the SFPA while ensuring employees of the SFPA, as respected professionals with a diverse range of skills and experience, continue to protect our marine resources. Steele comes from Castletownbere and decided at the age of the three to become a marine biologist. The sea has been her passion since then. She has worked in both academic and private and public sector appointments. Her last appointment involved developing BIM’s Seafood Development Centre as Head of Innovation.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, has appointed the following person as Chair of the Health Research Board. This appointment is with effect from 5 February 2018 to 4 November 2020.

Professor Jane Grimson

Professor Grimson graduated in Engineering from the University of Dublin, Trinity College following which she obtained her masters and doctorate in Computer Science from the Universities of Toronto and Edinburgh, respectively. She returned to Trinity as a lecturer in 1980 where she also served as Dean of Engineering, Pro-Dean of Research and Vice Provost.

From 2006, she was seconded as Director of Health Information and then as Acting Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority. She has published widely in the field of health informatics and led a number of national and EU-funded research projects principally in the area of electronic health records. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by NUI Galway in 2017 in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of gender equality in higher education and in engineering.

Professor Grimson is also a Past President of Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy of Engineering, the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland and the Irish Computer Society. She is a member and Vice President of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She chaired the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (now incorporated into the Irish Research Council) from 2005-2010. Professor Grimson has been a board member of the Health Research Board since November 2015.