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Catherine Phillips

Research Fellow
School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science
01 716 3483
University College Dublin, School of Public Health Physiotherapy and Sports Science, Woodview House Belfield Dublin 4


Dr Catherine Phillips a senior research fellow and principal investigator in the HRB Centre for Diet and Health Research with joint appointments at the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin and the School of Public Health, University College Cork. My academic background includes a B.Sc (Hons) in Biochemistry from UCD and a Ph.D in Clinical Medicine (topic diabetic dyslipidaemia) from TCD. My research experience spans the role of dietary, lifestyle, biological, genetic/nutrigenetic and epigenetic factors in cardiometabolic health and disease. My current research interests revolve around life course health and nutrition, in particular the determinants of childhood, maternal, adult and inter-generational obesity (including sub-phenotypes) and cardiometabolic disease risk, with a particular focus on early life programming of childhood and adult health. As PI or co-PI I have been involved in generating grant income of > €4.4 million. I regularly serve as a reviewer for a wide range of international journals, have guest edited 4 journal special issues and since 2012 have been an editorial board member of Nutrients. Research activities in the HRB Centre for Diet and Health Research at University College Cork include investigation of the Cork and Kerry Diabetes and Heart Disease Study (Mitchelstown cohort). This cross-sectional study of ~2000 middle-to-older aged men and women recruited in 2010/11 with follow-up in 2016/17 provides a wealth of dietary, lifestyle, anthropometric, biological, clinical and sociodemographic data and represents a valuable resource to test a range of novel hypotheses relevant to diet-related disease. Current research interests include obesity phenotypes (metabolically healthy obesity), cardiometabolic risk prediction and influence of adverse childhood experiences on adult health. Since Jan 2019 I am the lead PI on a Breakthrough Cancer Research funded project entitled “Contribution of diet and lifestyle factors and metabolic phenotype to cancer risk in a middle-to-older aged Irish population”, in collaboration with the School of Public Health, University College Cork. Since Jan 2017 I am the lead PI and project coordinator of the ERA Joint Programming Initiative Healthy Diet for Healthy Life (JPI-HDHL) and SFI co-funded “Early life programming of childhood health: a nutritional and epigenetic investigation of adiposity and bone, cardiometabolic, neurodevelopmental and respiratory health” (ALPHABET) project which aims to improve our understanding of the relationships between maternal nutrition, offspring health and epigenetics. The consortium includes partners from the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science and School of Medicine, UCD; University of Bristol, UK; University of Southampton, UK; INSERM UMR 1153, France; University Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands; Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Poland and University of South Carolina, USA.


  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry
    University College Dublin
  • PhD (Clinical Medicine)
    Trinity College Dublin
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics
    Trinity College Dublin


  • Certificate in Project Management
    QQI12 Jun 2019