RCSI Crest

FRIENDS OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS IN IRELAND, INC. (formerly The Colles-Graves Foundation) is an independent US not-for-profit corporation. Friends of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Inc., (the Friends) support and advance research and education in medicine and related fields, in the programmes of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and other advanced educational institutions in Ireland, the United States and globally.

The Friends can accept donations by check or credit card as well as appreciated stock, matching gifts, and planned gifts.

Making a Gift

Making a gift online

Make a gift via check and post

Please download and complete the Donation Form (PDF, 175KB) and send your gift via post to -

Dr Helen Towers
Friends of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Inc.
277 West End Avenue, 4C
New York
NY 10023

Stock/Shares, Matching Gifts and Planned Gifts

To make a gift of this kind, please contact us directly via email friendsofrcsi@rcsi.ie

Tax Efficient Giving

The Friends is a publicly supported charity, exempt from Federal taxation under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c) (3). Contributions to the Friends are fully tax-deductible for those who pay USA taxes. You will receive a US tax receipt signed by the Treasurer of the Friends.


You can advise the Friends where you would like your gift to be directed. The Board of Trustees has complete discretion over the distribution of gifts and will consider your wishes when making grants. The Friends will indicate to RCSI that your gift has made a grant possible.

Thank you for supporting Friends of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Inc.

Board of Trustees

Photograph Dr. Nezam Afdhal Trustee Friends of RCSI

Dr. Nezam Afdhal


Nezam H. Afdhal, M.D., is the Senior Physician at the Liver Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Afdhal received his M.D. degree in 1981 from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and did fellowship training at University College Dublin and at Boston University School of Medicine. He is also the Chief Medical Officer of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Afdhal’s clinical expertise focuses on the management of the complications of liver disease, including cirrhosis and portal hypertension. His research has been on liver fibrosis, hepatitis B and C and he was the Chief of Hepatology and Director of the Liver center for 15 years at BIDMC where he led one of the largest liver groups in the United States.

Dr. Afdhal has served on multiple State and National advisory boards for liver disease. He has served as on the Editorial Board and as a reviewer for multiple journals. He has published more than 250 original manuscripts, reviews and editorials in journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Gut, and Journal of Hepatology, as well as 40 book chapters and 2 books. He is the Editor for the Journal of Viral Hepatitis. He has spoken nationally and internationally on chronic liver disease and received many awards, including the American Liver Foundation Award for Excellence, a Fullbright Scholarship and the Mitchell Lectureship of the Royal College of Physicians. He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and the European Association for the Study of the Liver.

Photograph Professor David Birnbach Trustee Friends of RCSI

Professor David Birnbach


David J. Birnbach M.D., MPH is currently Miller Distinguished Professor of Anesthesiology and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is also Director of the University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital Center for Patient Safety. In addition, Dr. Birnbach is also the Vice Provost of the University of Miami. Dr. Birnbach, a consultant to the NIH and FDA, is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, and is the past president of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology.

Dr. Birnbach is the editor of two textbooks and has published more than 250 articles, abstracts and textbook chapters. Dr. Birnbach completed his anesthesiology residency and fellowship training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School and a Masters of Public Health degree at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to relocating to Miami in 2002, he was a professor at Columbia.

Photograph Professor Michael Brennan President Trustee Friends of RCSI

Professor Michael Brennan

President & Trustee

Dr Michael D Brennan, a native of Ireland is a 1969 graduate of RCSI. Following internship in Dublin he completed a residency in Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Upon completion of a fellowship in Endocrinology he was appointed to Mayo consultant staff. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the American College of Endocrinology and is Professor of Medicine (Emeritus) of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

He served on national committees including as a Director of the American Thyroid Associations. Mayo Clinic leadership roles included the President and CEO Leadership Council, Vice Chair Department of Medicine with responsibility for clinical practice and coordination and as Medical Director of the Program in Professionalism and Values. Awards include and the 1975 Travel Grant for Outstanding Medical Resident and 2001 Mayo Clinic Distinguished Clinician Award. In 2010 he was elected President of the Staff of the Mayo Clinic.

He maintains close ties to RCSI and served two terms on the RCSI Advisory Board and was Chair of the Strategic Plan Review Panel. He is a proud recipient of an Honorary Fellowship of RCSI.

Dr. James Dooner Trustee Friends of RCSI

Dr. James Dooner


Dr. Dooner was born in the United States but spent much of his early life, including secondary school, in Ireland. He attended the University of Rochester in New York earning a Bachelor's Degree in Neuroscience with distinction. He graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in 1991. He returned to the US for his ophthalmology training including residency and Retina Fellowship at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He also completed a retina research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.

For the past 20 years he has lived in Austin Texas where he is in private retina surgery practice. In addition to managing patients with retinal diseases he also is actively involved in clinical research. He is the principal investigator for several nationally-recognized clinical trials involving novel medical and surgical treatment for retinal diseases. He is on faculty at Dell Medical School's Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Dooner is the past president of the Austin Ophthalmology Society. He is a member of the American Society of Retina Specialists, Texas Ophthalmology Association in the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has been selected as one of Austin's Super Doctors consistently for over the past 10 years. This annual award is only given to the top 5% of ophthalmologists.

Photograph Dr. Siobhan Gogan Trustee Friends of RCSI

Dr. Siobhan Gogan


Dr Siobhan Gogan graduated from Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1983. For the past twenty eight years she has been a comprehensive ophthalmologist in Southern California with Kaiser Permanente, a large HMO whose goal is to deliver quality medicine at an affordable price with an emphasis of preventative care. In the last three years she has become more involved in the administrative running of this group.

Photograph Mr Michael Horgan President Emeritus & Trustee Friends of RCSI

Mr Michael Horgan

President Emeritus & Trustee

Mr Michael Horgan worked in Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland for over 33 years: starting as Administrative Assistant in 1976 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2003. Mr Horgan holds a BSc in Computer Science, and an MA from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and an Masters in Industrial Engineering from UCD. He is a Chartered Director. He was awarded a number of honorary degrees, including a DSc from the University of Massachusetts, a PhD from Revans University (The University of Action Learning) and an Honorary Fellowship of RCSI. He chairs the Fintech/Global Payments company TransferMate and is a non-executive director of Intuition Ltd and a number of other commercial and charity boards. He was previously a board member of the Rotunda Hospital, of Beaumont Hospital and a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland.

Photograph Dr. Siobhan Kee Trustee Friends of RCSI

Dr. Stephen Kee


Dr. Stephen Kee is Professor of Radiology and Chief of Interventional Radiology at UCLA Medical Center. He received his medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, in 1986 and performed his General Medicine and Radiology residency at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. He then completed a Thoracic Imaging Fellowship at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) followed by an Interventional Radiology Fellowship at Stanford University. Following this he practiced as an Assistant and then Associate Professor of Radiology from 1996-2006. In March of 2006 he took over the role of Chief of Interventional Radiology at UCLA, and in 2008 became Professor of Radiology. Dr. Kee is an active member of the Society of Interventional Radiology and is the Past Chair of the SIR Foundation. He has been Principal Investigator on a number of National and International trials, and has published extensively on Oncologic Interventions.

Photograph Professor Cathal Kelly Offico Ex Trustee Friends of RCSI

Professor Cathal Kelly

Trustee ex officio

Professor Cathal Kelly took up the position of Chief Executive / Registrar of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 2009. A Graduate and Fellow of RCSI, Professor Kelly previously held the post of Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences from 2006 to 2009 Prior to his appointment, Professor Cathal Kellywas a Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon, with a special interest in endovascular surgery, in Beaumont Hospital. In 2005, Professor Kelly was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Education at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2009 he was conferred with a Master of Business Administration Degree by Institutio de Empressa of Madrid.

Photograph Dr. Clare Tempany-Afdhal Trustee Friends of RCSI

Dr. Clare Tempany-Afdhal


Dr. Clare Tempany-Afdhal graduated from RCSI in 1981. She then completed the Federated Hospital’s Dublin SHO two year program and left Ireland to do a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Loyola University of Chicago and fellowship in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore MD. In 1991 she was appointed to the faculty at Harvard Medical School and staff in the department of Radiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston. She has remained there ever since and is currently the Ferenc Jolesz MD Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School (HMS), Vice Chair of Radiology Research, and Medical Director of the Advanced Multi-Modality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

A diagnostic radiologist with expertise in prostate cancer, her research lab is dedicated to MR imaging for detection, diagnosis, staging, treatment, monitoring of prostate cancer, and image guided interventions. Her research on Prostate MR, image-guided interventions and the challenges related to engineering these interventions, has been continuously funded by NIH for over 20 years.

Photograph Dr. Helen Towers Secretary-Treasurer & Trustee Friends of RCSI

Dr. Helen Towers

Secretary-Treasurer & Trustee

Dr. Helen Towers graduated from Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1983. She has been a Board member of Friends of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Inc. since 1995. She pursued postgraduate training in Ireland and subsequently moved to New York City where she completed pediatric residency and Fellowship training in Neonatal Perinatal Medicine. She has been on the faculty of Columbia University since 1995 and is currently Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center and Associate Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York.

Contact Us

Dr Helen Towers
Friends of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Inc.
277 West End Avenue, 4C
New York
NY 10023
Aíne Gibbons
Assistant Secretary-Treasurer
+353 1 402 2729