I joined the School of Veterinary Medicine in 2016, where I am a lecturer and researcher in the Veterinary Biosciences section. Prior to this I was a Senior Research Fellow in the laboratory of Prof Breandan Kennedy in UCD's Conway Institute. I have a background in genetics, pharmacology and drug discovery and development with a constant focus on vision research. I am particularly interested in blindness: both inherited retinal degeneration and acquired (age-related forms of blindness and those occurring as a complication of diabetes). More recently, I have expanded my focus to include dry eye disease. I am interested in understanding how and why a blinding disease progresses and in seeing whether we can apply that knowledge to drug discovery to prevent blindness. I have a PhD in Ocular Genetics from Trinity College, where I studied under Professor Pete Humphries. This research involved studying how genetic background influences visual function, our ability to see. More recently in UCD's Conway Institute, I studied visual function in zebrafish and applied a drug discovery model to uncover a novel family of anti-angiogenic drugs. As part of an Enterprise Ireland funded commercialisation fund, I developed these novel drugs, including being awarded a number of patents. I am currently in the process of establishing my own team. We are evaluating novel drugs to see whether they could be used for dry eye disease. We are trying to establish zebrafish models of inherited retinal degeneration. We are investigating a number of drugs from a retinal toxicology perspective. In December 2018, I won the School of Veterinary Medicine's annual Excellence in Research Award.
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN APPOINTMENTS
- Conway Junior FellowUniversity College Dublin, Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, Dublin, Ireland1 Sep 2018
- Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Veterinary BiosciencesUniversity College Dublin, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ireland24 Oct 2016
- Non-funded Investigator, 3D NEONET Project (Marie Curie RISE Partnership)University College Dublin, Drumcondra, Ireland1 Sep 2017
- Research Supervisor Support & Development ProgrammeUniversity College Dublin31 May 2018Attended the UCD Research Supervisor Support & Development Programme
- Professional Certificate University Teaching & LearningUniversity College Dublin1 Sep 2018 - 30 Sep 2019Achieved the Prof Cert University Teaching & Learning (15 ECTS) currently studying for the Professional Diploma in University Teaching & Learning