Speakers 2014

Sarah Gilgunn          Sarah Gilgunn – Dublin City University

‘Getting to the bottom of prostate cancer diagnostics’

Ms Sarah Gilgunn graduated with a B.Sc. in both Biomedical Science (2006) and Pharmaceutical Science (2007) from Institute of Technology, Sligo. From 2007-2010 Sarah worked as a Pharmacy Technician for Baxter Healthcare. Ms Gilgunn was also awarded a Master’s Degree in Molecular Medicine (2011) from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently a postgraduate student in the fourth year of her PhD studies in the school of Biotechnology in Dublin City University, under the supervision of Prof. Richard O’Kennedy. Ms Gilgunn’s research interests include antibody engineering for diagnostic use, protein expression and purification and glycoanalysis.

UCD Electricity Research Centre, Alison O'Connell          Alison O’Connell – Engineers Ireland

‘Residential Electricity Grid Management’

Alison O’Connell received a B.E degree in Electrical Engineering from University College Dublin in 2011. She is currently in the final year of her Ph.D. at University College Dublin with the Electricity Research Centre. Her research interests include distribution network modelling, unbalanced load flow, electric vehicles, and distributed energy resources.

Doireann          Doireann Joyce – NUI Galway

‘It’s what’s inside that counts’

Doireann Joyce is a research fellow in the Discipline of Surgery, National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). She graduated with an honours degree from the School of Medicine, NUIG in 2009. Doireann has completed her basic surgical training and was appointed to the higher surgical training scheme in the Royal College in Surgeons this year. She is currently undertaking full-time research in the Discipline of Surgery, NUIG in the field of breast cancer, for which she was the recipient of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) Tricia McCarthy Memorial Scholarship. She has presented her research both nationally and internationally, and has published her work in peer-reviewed international journals. She was awarded the plenary prize for her novel research in the XXXIXth Sir Peter Freyer Surgical Symposium in September 2014. Her current research focuses on the development of a blood test for breast cancer, which has the potential to revolutionize the way in which we diagnose and manage this disease.

AoifeKehoe          Aoife Kehoe – Trinity College Dublin

‘Eternal Sunshine of the Electric Kind’

Aoife Kehoe is a 4th year postgraduate student in the School of Chemistry and CRANN in Trinity College Dublin under the supervision of Prof. Graeme Watson. She graduated from the Chemistry with Molecular Modelling course in TCD with a first class honours degree in 2011 and was awarded the Cocker Prize in Chemistry for her final year research project. Her research focuses on the computational modelling of novel solid state materials for use in environmental and energy applications such as solar cells, catalytic converters, and transparent conducting oxides. She is the recipient of an IRC EMBARK scholarship and a BOC Gases postgraduate bursary and is the author of seven peer-reviewed publications in journals including Chemistry of Materials, the Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Chemical Communications, and Physical Review Letters.

Ruairi Robertson Thesis in 3          Ruairi Robertson – University College Cork

‘From Belly to Brain’

Ruairi is a third year PhD student in the School of Microbiology in University College Cork and Teagasc Moorepark Food Research Centre. Having completed a B.Sc in Human Nutrition in University College Dublin, Ruairi developed a passion for food and health (sometimes food more so than health…). His PhD research examines the appetising link between our bellies and our brains. More specifically, Ruairi examines the effects that certain foods have on our gut bacteria and the subsequent consequences for our intestinal and brain health.

Darragh Whelan National Thesis in 3 Bio Pic          Darragh Whelan – University College Dublin

‘Predicting the Future with Technology*’      

*without a Delorean or flux capacitor

Darragh qualified as a physiotherapist from Trinity College Dublin in 2009 and following this he worked in a clinical setting at home and abroad. He returned to Trinity to complete an MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine in 2012, where he investigated the effect of different types of warm-up on sporting activity. He is beginning his second year as a PhD candidate in UCD under Professor Brian Caulfield in the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science in UCD and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. Darragh’s main research focus is the use of sensor technology in analysing human movement within a variety of populations.

JoeMurphy           Joe Murphy – University of Limerick

‘Stress Studies in Thin Film Technologies’

Joe obtained a bachelor of science in Applied Physics at the University of Limerick. After brief stint as a physics postgraduate studying particle physics, he went to work in physics education at the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning (NCE-MSTL) working on physics project for second level education. Joe is currently undertaking a Phd in the department of Physics & Energy, studying copper metallization and thin film technologies.

Jennifer Gaughran          Jennifer Gaughran – Dublin City University

‘Spinning a Yarn: Quick and Easy Disease Detection’

Jennifer is a Ph.D. student on the BioAnalysis & Therapeutics (Bio-AT) programme in the School of Physical Sciences and the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute in DCU, working under the supervision of Prof. Jens Ducrée. She is in her fourth year and her research focuses on the inter-disciplinary area of biomedical diagnostic devices. Specifically, she is interested in the design of compact point-of-care devices for disease detection. Jennifer completed her undergraduate degree in Physics with Astronomy in DCU.

Karen          Karen Hannigan – Dundalk IT

‘New treatments for erectile dysfunction’

Karen is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and joined the Smooth Muscle Research Centre in November 2012. She is studying the role of BK channels in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Sara Vero          Sara Vero – NUI Galway

The Soil Water Retention Curve – An Unexpected Discovery’

Sara Vero is a third year PhD student with the National University of Ireland, Galway and Teagasc Environmental Research Centre. After studying agricultural science at UCD, she completed an MSc on soil compaction. Sara’s current research uses soil analysis and computer modelling to predict improvements in groundwater quality in response to agricultural practices. She was awarded the 2014 CIWEM Student Environmental Award in recognition of this work.

DinorathOlvera photo          Dinorath Olvera – Trinity College Dublin

‘Growing Ligaments, Get Back In The Game!’

Dinorath is a PhD student in the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering in Trinity College Dublin. As part of the Regenerative Medicine team, her research focuses on a fibre reinforced hydrogel to engineer the interface between soft and hard tissue. Dinorath was awarded an Irish Research Council scholarship to carry out her PhD studies. She graduated with first class honours from Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM), Mexico and was a recipient of the Discovery Scholarship from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia to pursue a MSc in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She has participated as a visiting researcher in various centres such as the Research Chair of Biomedical Devices in ITESM and in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA, where she worked on cornea tissue engineering and mechanical testing of soft tissues, respectively.

Eileen         Eileen Russell – University College Cork

‘Teaching an Old Drug New Tricks’

In 2011 I graduated from BSc Pharmacology in UCD. The same year I began my PhD in UCC where I am now in my final year. My project examines the effect of novel compounds on leukaemia. In my spare time I enjoy running and cycling.

Humberto Corona          Humberto Corona – University College Dublin

‘The iPod is dead.  Now what?’

Humberto is a PhD student at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics in UCD, working with Dr. Michael O’Mahony in the recommender systems group. His research has been focused in music classification to enhance music discovery. While not in the lab, Humberto is usually attending music hackatons in Europe, building prototypes for music recommendation apps.

MarieTravers          Marie Travers – University of Limerick

‘Software Quality In Healthcare: Why Should We Care?’

Marie is a software engineer with over 10 years of industry experience as a software designer and also experience in teaching IT. The BioInnovate Fellowship programme opened new opportunities for Marie to research where Software and Healthcare sectors converge. The Fellowship Programme’s innovative delivery has benefited Marie in her current role as a doctoral researcher with Lero. Lero, the Irish software engineering research centre, has raised the level and profile of Irish software engineering research that it is now one of the best known and highly regarded SE research centres in the world. Marie, a native of Co. Limerick, holds a degree in Information Systems, a Masters in Computing in Education from the Limerick Institute of Technology and also a masters in Software Engineering from the University of Limerick.

Claire O'Connell          Claire O’ Connell – Dublin City University

‘Lighting up the Way To Earlier Cancer Diagnosis’

Claire graduated with a BSc in Physics with Biomedical Sciences from Dublin City University in 2013. After obtaining an Irish Research Council scholarship in the same year, she returned to the school of physical sciences in Dublin City University and Biomedical Diagnostics Institute to pursue a research masters in optical sensing. She is currently in her second year and is focusing her research on dye doped particles for cancer cell detection.

Killian O’Brien          Killian O’Brien – NUI Galway

‘The Best Gifts Come in Small Packages’

My name is Killian O’Brien. I am from Cork City and began my third level education in University College Cork where I graduate with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry. From here I attended the National University of Ireland, Galway where I completed an M.Sc. in Regenerative Medicine. As part of this course I was given the opportunity to carry out research in the Discipline of Surgery under the supervision of Dr. Roisin Dwyer and Prof. Kerin. I was fortunate enough to carry on my research in this laboratory in the form of a Ph.D. I have just begun the second year of my Ph.D. which is funded by the Irish Cancer Society as part of the Breast-Predict initiative.

Christian          Christian Wirtz – Trinity College Dublin

‘Protecting the light’

Almost anything about science will get you the word “fascinating” from Christian. Be it lasers, jet engines, gravity or how a spider manages to coordinate its slightly too many legs. When it came to university time, Christian chose a combination of physics and chemistry in Trinity College Dublin for his undergraduate degree (now called “nanoscience”) from which he graduated with a first class honours degree with distinction. This is now followed by a PhD in chemistry in the field of carbon-based nanomaterials at the same university. Some of these materials have really cool properties and will find their way into everyday electronic items over the next few years. However, handling things on a scale that makes a virus seems like a mountain can also be very frustrating at times so regular activities away from lab are recommended. Outside the lab he is very active in sports with passions for water polo and hiking, both of which have led him far around the world. Besides that he enjoys musicals and concerts but of course stereotypes also have to apply so he spends quite some time reading sci-fi and fantasy, playing games (both on computer and on boards) and a healthy dose of dungeons and dragons.

my_photo          Gangotri Dey – University College Cork

‘The Journey of Copper from Coins to Chips’

Born in a city named Kolkata, India. After completing her masters in 2010 from the university of Poona, Gangotri went to Berlin, Frie University for a small project. The same year 2010 in November she joined the Thin Film Group under Simon Elliott for the PhD studies. Gangotri’s basic interest is in computational studies of transition metals.’

Aoife murphy          Aoife Murphy – University College Dublin

‘Obesity, it’s inFATuating!’

Aoife is originally from Cork and has a BSc. in Human Nutrition from UCD. She is currently in the 3rd year of her PhD with the Nutrigenomics research group in the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and the UCD Institute of Food and Health. Her research investigates the interactions between diet, obesity and inflammation on metabolic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.

Catríona_Picture          Catríona Dowling – University of Limerick

‘Disrupting The Winning Team’

Catríona has a BSc in Science Education and an MSc in Behavioural Science. After completion of her MSc Catríona wanted to pursue a career in Cancer Research and applied for an Irish Cancer Society Scholarship. In 2012, Catríona was one of five researchers awarded this prestigious scholarship to carry out her studies in the University of Limerick under the supervision of Dr. Patrick Kiely. Now in 3rd year, Catríona has been investigating differential gene expression in colon cancer and is working with several other cancer researchers in Ireland and Overseas.