Dr Shane Comer

Sanofi Newman Fellow in Haematology

Dr Shane Comer received a BSc in physiology from UCD and an MSc in immunology from TCD. He returned to UCD to study for his PhD in molecular haemostasis, which he completed at the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research in 2019.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the leg (deep vein thrombosis) and travels through the circulatory system to lodge in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). The condition affects millions of individuals worldwide every year and is the third most common cause of death from cardiovascular disease, after heart attack and stroke. Enoxaparin is one of the most widely used anticoagulants for the prevention of VTE, and Shane is using his Fellowship to investigate how various factors related to obesity – including changes in coagulation, inflammation, and renal and hepatic function – influence the response to enoxaparin in obese individuals.

Shane is supervised by Professor Patricia Maguire and co-supervised by Professor Fionnuala Ní Áinle and Dr Kate O’Reilly. Shane is based at the UCD Conway Institute and UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science with the Fellowship is supported by Sanofi.

Dr Jane Cudmore

AbbVie BowelScreen Newman Fellow in Gastroenterology

Dr Jane Cudmore graduated from UCC in 2015 with a degree in medicine and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2019. She is currently working as a Gastroenterology Research Registrar in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital.

Jane will use her Newman Fellowship to continue the work that Dr Timothy Ryan commenced to evaluate the current approach to the management of familial colorectal cancer in Ireland, which has one of the highest mortality rates for the disease in Europe. Jane will expand the work into primary care and will also look critically at the modelling to maximise the incorporation of Clinical Genetics into cancer screening in general with a focus on colorectal cancer.

Jane is supervised by Professor Padraic MacMathúna in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital and UCD School of Medicine with the Fellowship supported by AbbVie and BowelScreen.

Dr Sarah Cullivan

Janssen Pharmaceuticals Newman Fellow in Pulmonary Hypertension and Translational Medicine

Dr Sarah Cullivan graduated from UCD in 2013 with a degree in medicine and became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2015. She has since gained extensive clinical experience in respiratory medicine, with a particular interest in pulmonary hypertension.

Sarah will use her Newman Fellowship to carry out a detailed characterisation of blood clotting and plasma extracellular vesicles in patients with pulmonary hypertension and in healthy control volunteers. Ultimately, these data may improve clinical management of patients with competing thrombotic and bleeding risks.

Sarah is supervised by Professor Sean Gaine and Professor Fionnuala NíAinle, at UCD School of Medicine, the Conway Institute and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. The Fellowship is supported by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Dr Jayne Doherty

INITIative Newman Fellow in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr Jayne Doherty graduated from NUIG with a degree in Medicine in 2013. Jayne has held Specialist
Registrar posts in Gastroenterology in St James Hospital in Dublin, Cork University Hospital and St.
Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin.

Jayne will use her Fellowship to focus on the research projects in the Centre for Colorectal Disease
and on understanding which cellular and molecular factors drive disease progression and condition
response to treatment in inflammatory bowel disease.

Jayne is supervised by Professor Glen Doherty in the UCD School of Medicine and the Centre for
Colorectal Disease, St Vincent’s University Hospital. The Fellowship is supported by INITIative.

Dr David Doolin

Kevin Brabazon Newman Fellow in the History of Rugby in Leinster

Dr David Doolin has a primary degree from Manchester Met University and a Masters from the University of Glasgow. He spent a number of years researching and working in Japan and then Washington DC, before pursuing a PhD in the University of Hawaii at Manoa. David moved to Boston, MA, before eventually returning to Ireland to take a teaching post at Maynooth University and Dublin Business School. With a keen interest in Irish and American history and global, social and cultural contexts, David has significant research and writing acumen within his discipline and from his own lived experience to date.

David will use his Newman Fellowship to undertake a comprehensive look at the history of rugby in Leinster incorporating the social and cultural context of Irish history, through which one can better understand both the place of rugby in people’s lives and the factors that influenced rugby’s development over time. It will document the place of rugby in the life of the province and its meaning for generations of Irish people for whom it has played a central part in their lives. 

David is supervised by Associate Professor Paul Rouse in the UCD School of History.

Dr Roland Gjoni

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Newman Fellow in Constitutional Futures

Dr Roland Gjoni is a constitutional law scholar and a legal reform expert, and is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade supported Newman Fellow in Constitutional Futures. He has worked in team-leading and advisory positions with the UN, EU, OSCE and USAID among others.

Roland will use his Newman Fellowship to explore a range of discrete research areas arising from the IBIS Constitutional Futures project. This will involve analysis, deliberation and public policy together with a view to improving public knowledge of and preparedness for the political and constitutional futures arising from Brexit in Ireland and Britain.

Roland is supervised by Dr Dawn Walsh and Professor Ben Tonra and is based in the UCD School of Politics and International Relations, and the Institute for British-Irish Studies.

Dr Áine Gorman

AbbVie CARD (Centre for Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease) Newman Fellow in Rheumatology

Dr Áine Gorman has a degree in medicine from NUI Galway and specialist training and experience in rheumatology. She also holds a master’s degree in clinical education.

Rheumatoid arthritis affects 2.3 million EU citizens and some 40,000 people in Ireland, and many of these will receive expensive treatments that have sub-optimal or adverse effects. Áine’s Newman Fellowship project will investigate the underlying mechanisms of disease onset and progression in patients with early inflammatory arthritis, leading to the development of a more efficient and affordable precision medicine approach to identify appropriate treatments for individual patients at an earlier stage of the disease.

Áine is supervised by Professor Doug Veale, UCD School of Medicine and St Vincent’s University Hospital. The Fellowship is supported by AbbVie and CARD.

Dr Felipe Guth,

Origin Enterprises Newman Fellow in Agri-systems Modelling

Dr Felipe Guth received a BSc in information systems and an MSc in computer engineering in Brazil before moving to Ireland to study for a PhD in biosystems engineering at UCD, which he completed in 2019.

Grassland is Ireland’s main agricultural crop, underpinning Ireland’s beef, sheep and dairy sectors. It requires very careful management to achieve efficient production with minimal environmental impacts. While the science of grassland management is well developed, there is considerable potential to improve system efficiency. Digital Agriculture provides the opportunity to harvest data on a vast scale and at a level of precision not previously possible. Felipe is using his Fellowship to work on a project known as GrassLogic. He will capture and analyse large volumes of high-quality data from farms across Ireland, and develop algorithms to optimise grass production systems. He will work in close collaboration with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Northern Ireland.

Felipe is supervised by Professor Jimmy Burke, and co-supervised by Professor Shane Ward. He is based at the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. The Fellowship is supported by Origin Enterprises.

Dr Peter Hession

R. Dudley Edwards Newman Fellow in Irish History

Dr Peter Hession received a PhD in Modern Irish History from the University of Cambridge. He has since carried out postdoctoral research at the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool.

Peter is using his Fellowship to explore the role of technology during the Great Irish Famine (1845–1852). By examining new and innovative technologies of exchange (rail, steam, road infrastructure) and relief (vats, mills, scales), he is investigating how the crisis of scarcity experienced in Ireland can be explained as much in terms of technical competence as ecological breakdown.

Peter is supervised by Professor John McCafferty and is based in the School of History at UCD.

Dr Yasmine Jnaid

CARA Newman Fellow in Plant Sciences

Dr Yasmine Jnaid received a PhD in plant biotechnology from Damascus University. During her PhD she developed innovative techniques for micropropagation and the synthesis of effective compounds found in medicinal plants.

The anti-inflammatory molecule astaxanthin is used as a health supplement for human consumption, as well as an important feedstuff for farmed salmon. During her Fellowship, Yasmine aims to show that cell suspension cultures can be used to grow astaxanthin cells in large volumes, with identical chemical and biological characteristics to that of astaxanthin produced naturally by algae. This project may establish a framework for future studies using similar technology for the production of other commercially and medically important proteins.

Yasmine is supervised by Associate Professor Paul McCabe and is based at the UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. The Fellowship is supported by CARA.

Dr Daniel Johnston

AbbVie Newman Fellow in Dermatology

Dr Daniel Johnston graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA (Mod) in biochemistry with immunology in 2012, and a PhD in immunology in 2017. He subsequently held the Bryan Warren Junior Research Fellowship at Linacre College, Oxford, and carried out postdoctoral research at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at the University of Oxford.

Daniel’s research as a Newman Fellow aims to examine the systemic and local (hair follicle-associated) inflammatory environment in the severe cutaneous immune-mediated inflammatory disease hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Systemic inflammation is a recognised feature of this disease. The project will examine the body-wide inflammation status of patients with HS and assess skin-specific inflammation that targets the hair follicle – the origin site of the disease.

Daniel is supervised by Professor Desmond Tobin and Professor Brian Kirby, UCD School of Medicine and Charles Institute of Dermatology. The Fellowship is supported by AbbVie.

Dr Fiona Jones

Pfizer Newman Fellow in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr Fiona Jones completed her undergraduate degree in medicine at UCD, and became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2012. She has worked as a Gastroenterology Registrar in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, and as a Gastroenterology Specialist Registrar in St Vincent’s University Hospital and Beaumont Hospital.

Fiona is using her Fellowship to investigate how existing medications can be repurposed for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the large bowel. In particular, she is focusing on the way these drugs enhance the activity of the chemical messenger Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 alpha (HIF1-alpha), which is naturally produced in greater quantities when bowel tissue senses low oxygen levels, and has a protective effect on the bowel.

Fiona is supervised by Professor Glen Doherty, and co-supervised by Professor Cormac Taylor and is based in the UCD School of Medicine. The Fellowship is supported by Pfizer.

Dr Amina Jouida

Baraka Iftekhar Khan Newman Fellow in Lung Cancer

Dr Amina Jouida received a PhD in biology from INSERM, France, in 2017.

About 2,200 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in Ireland each year, and more Irish men and women die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Lung cancer cases can be divided into two types: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Most lung cancers are of the non-small cell type. NSCLCs can be further divided into adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma. Researchers are currently examining many mutations that occur in lung cells, which can contribute to the development of lung cancer. Two proteins can become involved in cancerous mutations: epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Amina aims to determine the frequency of EGFR and ALK mutations in an Irish population, and correlate this with clinical outcome, cancer stage and smoking status. This translational medicine project aims to use exosome biology to identify potential biomarkers to allow the potential development of targeted therapies defined by the patient’s tumour profile. The ultimate aim is to improve patient care.

Amina is supervised by Professor Michael Keane and based at the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research.

Dr Niamh Kirk

Microsoft Newman Fellow in Digital Policy

Dr Niamh Kirk is a communications and sociology scholar. She completed post-doctoral research on the Horizon 2020 RePast project examining post-conflict societies and European integration, with a specific focus on news and social media, at University College Dublin’s School of Information and Communication Studies. Niamh has led projects reviewing European policies on online platform regulation and compliance as well been lead author on several Digital News Report for Ireland focused on digital media consumption.

Niamh will use her Newman Fellowship to advance the development of the field of digital policy in Europe and in Ireland by asking the question: How do we begin thinking about developing an approach to digital policy that refuses the bipolarity between stringent regulation that stifles innovation and a free-for-all that affords few if any protections to end users? The project will research this important area of digital policy and develop a three-pronged approach: mapping the terrain, identifying omissions and priorities, and suggesting approaches.

Niamh is supervised by Professor Eugenia Siapera and Professor Kalpana Shankar and is based in the School of Information and Communication Studies.

Dr Mags Liddy

Nano Nagle Newman Fellow in Education

Dr Mags Liddy received a PhD in Education from the University of Limerick in 2016. Her research interests lie broadly in international development, activism and social change, and she has focused in particular on the impact of overseas volunteering on volunteers’ professional lives and identity.

Through her Fellowship, Mags is investigating the higher education and training needs of a sample of female educators in India and Pakistan. She aims to identify how female teachers can be supported effectively to attain leadership positions in their communities, and this research will address social inequalities and contribute to global efforts to achieve gender equality.

Mags is supervised by Professor Deirdre Raftery and co-supervised by Professor Marie Clarke and is based at UCD School of Education. The Fellowship is supported by PBVM.

Dr Viviana Marzaioli

UCB Pharma Newman Fellow in Rheumatology

Dr Viviana Marzaioli graduated from Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, in Italy, with a BSc in Health Biotechnology and an MSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, before completing her PhD in rheumatoid arthritis in UCD. She has carried out postdoctoral research in Germany and France, and most recently at Trinity College Dublin.

Active arthritis in pregnancy is associated with a number of potential problems for both mother and baby, and managing reproductive health in patients with rheumatic disease is becoming increasingly complex, with an expanding range of therapies for the disease along with advances in assisted reproductive technology. Viviana is using her Fellowship to develop a healthcare model for women with rheumatic disease – from pregnancy planning to breastfeeding and beyond – to optimise their reproductive health and ensure the best outcomes for mothers and their babies.

Viviana is supervised by Professor Douglas Veale and co-supervised by Professor Ursula Fearon and is based in the Department of Rheumatology at St. Vincent’s University Hospital. The Fellowship is supported by UCB Pharma.

Dr Hugo Moireras

Janssen and City of Dublin Skin and Cancer Hospital Charity Newman Fellow in Dermatological Sciences

Dr Hugo Moreiras graduated with a BSc in biotechnology in 2012 and an MSc in genetics and molecular biology in 2015. In 2013 he was conferred with a PhD from NOVA Medical School, Lisbon, for his research on ageing and chronic diseases.

Hugo’s Newman Fellowship project will focus on vitiligo, the most common skin pigmentation disorder, affecting 1% of people worldwide. Vitiligo is difficult to treat and carries a significant psychological burden and social stigma, especially in those with skin of colour. Melanocyte damage/death in vitiligo appears to be due to a defective redox balance in the epidermis and associated (auto)immune factors. Hugo aims to explore how melanocyte-maturation status (including redox-reactive melanin synthesis) may trigger cytopathic change in vitiligo skin.

Hugo is supervised by Professor Desmond Tobin, UCD School of Medicine and Charles Institute of Dermatology. The Fellowship is supported by Janssen and City of Dublin Skin and Cancer Hospital Charity.

Dr Julie Morrissy

John Pollard Newman Fellow in Creativity

 

Dr Julie Morrissy is an Irish poet, academic, critic, and activist. She is a recipient of the Next Generation Artist Award from the Arts Council. Her first collection ‘Where, the Mile End’ is published by Book*hug (Canada) and tall-lighthouse (UK & Ireland). Her debut poetry pamphlet I Am Where (Eyewear, 2015) was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards 2016.

Julie holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Ulster University, and degrees in Literature, and Law. Her creative and critical work has been published in Ireland, Canada, the US, and the UK, and she has represented Ireland at O, Miami Festival, and the Toronto International Festival of Authors. Morrissy lives and works in Dublin.

Julie is mentored by Professor Ian Davidson in the UCD School of English. The Fellowship is supported by the John Pollard Foundation.

Dr Shane O'Donnell

Aoife Galvin / AIB Newman Fellowship in Frontline and Adolescent Mental Health

Dr Shane O’Donnell received a PhD in sociology from University College Dublin in 2014. His research focuses broadly on health inequalities, digital health and patient activism and he has a particular interest in how patient-led open-source movements are transforming healthcare in the 21st century.

Shane will use his Fellowship to document the psychosocial impacts of COVID-19 on healthcare workers. The project will utilise a suite of participatory, co-creation methods to develop a toolkit aimed at helping individuals cope with both the short and longer-term psychological consequences of delivering healthcare during a pandemic.

Shane is supervised by Associate Professor Blanaid Gavin in the UCD School of Medicine. His Fellowship is supported by Donal Galvin and the AIB Together Fund.

 

Dr Dáire O'Leary

AbbVie SOBI Nordic Pharma Newman Fellow in Paediatric Rheumatology

Dr Dáire O’Leary studied medicine at UCD and graduated with an MB BCh BAO in 2006. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in child health and a master’s degree in clinical education, and has completed specialist training in paediatrics.

Dáire’s Newman Fellowship project will examine the molecular pathogenesis of chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis (CNO), a rare autoinflammatory bone disease that predominantly affects children and adolescents. She will investigate whether there is an association between genetic variants found in patients with CNO, their bone biopsy findings and disease severity. This work will increase understanding of the cause of the disease and ultimately allow the personalisation of treatments to suit individual patients and control the disease more effectively. .

Dáire is supervised by Professor Gerry Wilson and Dr Orla Killeen, UCD School of Medicine and Conway Institute. Her Fellowship is supported by AbbVie, SOBI and Nordic Pharma.

Dr Shameer Rafee

Merrion Neuroscience Newman Fellow in Cervical Dystonia

Dr Shameer Rafee studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and subsequently worked as a senior house officer in neurosurgery in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.

Shameer’s Newman Fellowship research will inform the development of appropriate treatments for patients with cervical dystonia, a condition characterised by muscle spasms and pain in the head, neck and shoulders; most commonly the head and neck twists to one side. It is proposed that people with cervical dystonia have a disorder in a neural pathway between the colliculus and the amygdala, which may be relevant to disordered social cognition and perhaps result in a secondary mood disorder. Shameer will investigate the functioning of this pathway in cervical dystonia patients.

Shameer is supervised by Professor Michael Hutchinson, UCD School of Medicine and St Vincent’s University Hospital. His Fellowship is supported by the Merrion Neuroscience Foundation.

Dr Roisin Stack

Pfizer Newman Fellow in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr Roisin Stack was conferred with a degree in medicine from NUI Galway in 2011. She has a special interest in gastroenterology and has gained extensive clinical expertise in this field of medicine.

Roisin’s Newman Fellowship project will investigate the impact of dietary supplements on intestinal microbial diversity and quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. There is no known cure for these diseases, but dietary supplements could potentially improve how leaky the gut is, stimulate a more normal variety to gut bacteria and improve patient wellbeing overall.

Roisin is supervised by Professor Glen Doherty, UCD School of Medicine and St Vincent’s University Hospital. Her Fellowship is supported by Pfizer.

Dr Darragh Storan

Boston Scientific Newman Fellow in Colorectal Disease

Dr Darragh Storan received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from UCC in 2012, and became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2015. He has completed training in Gastroenterology in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, University Hospital Galway and St Vincent’s University Hospital.

Darragh is using his Fellowship to conduct research into psychological disability in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a chronic condition that affects over 20,000 people in Ireland. Current treatments for the disease include immune modulators, biologic agents, and steroids, all of which have known side effects. Steroids can result in many physical changes, including hair loss, acne, facial hair growth, and weight gain, which can give rise to stress, anxiety, and negative body image in patients. Darragh is investigating the effect of steroid medications, as well as the effect of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), on psychological disability in IBD patients.

Darragh is supervised by Professor Hugh Mulcahy in the UCD School of Medicine. His Fellowship is supported by Boston Scientific.

Dr Sonia Sundanum

Janssen Newman Fellow in Rheumatology

Dr Sonia Sundanum graduated with an MB BCh BAO in 2013 and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2016. Sonia is due to complete a Masters in Clinical Research and Translational Medicine in UCD in 2022. Her main research interests are in Rheumatology and general internal medicine.

Inflammatory arthritis (IA) such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are the two most common autoimmune diseases. Sonia’s Fellowship project will contribute to ongoing research in identifying the cellular mechanisms both circulatory and site of inflammation (synovium) that differentiate RA and PsA response and progression, to allow for the identification of new disease markers and
drug-candidates for the treatment of RA, PsA and possibly other autoimmune diseases. This project which will contribute to basic knowledge of the disease pathogenesis.

Sonia is supervised by Professor Douglas Veale, and will be based in the UCD School of Medicine and Centre for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, and will collaborate with the Department of Molecular Rheumatology in TCD with co-supervision from Professor Ursula Fearon.

Dr Meera Tandan

Centric Health Newman Fellow in General Practice

Dr Meera Tandan holds a PhD in Medicine from NUIG and has a masters degree in Public Health from B.P Koirala Institute of Health Science in Nepal. Dr Tandan’s main research areas are Public Health, Epidemiology, Antimicrobial Resistance, Primary Care and Health Service research.

Dr Tandan will use her Fellowship to explore and examine the challenges, solutions and change mechanisms required to deliver enhanced, team-based healthcare to the Irish population. The project will examine current general practice team-working and clinical care initiatives and evaluate their impact and seek to develop solutions for healthcare workers.

Dr Tandan is supervised by Professor Gerard Bury and is based in the UCD School of Medicine in the Centre for Emergency Medical Science. Her Fellowship is supported by Centric Health.

Dr Mei Yap

Novartis Newman Fellow in MS

Dr Mei Yap studied medicine at UCC, and became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians Ireland in 2014. Since then she has gained extensive clinical experience, most recently as Neurology Registrar in Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin.

About 65% of people with multiple sclerosis develop secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) approximately 15 years after diagnosis. It is characterised by a gradual progression of the condition and an incomplete recovery from relapses. Mei is using her Fellowship to evaluate the role of multimodal evoked potentials, posturography, neurofilament level and magnetic resonance (MR) volumetric analysis as potential prognostic and treatment response biomarkers for people with progressive multiple sclerosis. She will measure the level of disability accumulation in MS over time using four novel methods that reflect various aspects of the disease process in MS.

Mei is supervised by Dr Christopher McGuigan, UCD School of Medicine and St Vincent’s University Hospital. Her Fellowship is supported by Novartis.

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