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Dr David O'Connell


David O'Connell

Lecturer/Assistant Professor
School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science
University College Dublin, School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Conway Institute Belfield Dublin 4


I am a research scientist who is deeply fascinated by the behaviour of proteins in cells, in living systems and in recombinant engineered systems. The junction of biology, chemistry and physics is of particular interest to me and is manifest in my many collaborative relationships in Europe and the US. I am also a Science Foundation Ireland funded investigator with BEACON, the Bioeconomy Research Centre, that enables me to use my expertise in protein engineering to drive creation of value in the circular economy, ensuring that excellent science creates products and technologies with sustainable properties, and to further enhance the reputation of UCD as Ireland’s number one university. I have developed an internationally recognised research group in the past 6 years which has made valuable, patented contributions in the area of protein engineering and biotechnology. I train PhD students and postdoctoral scientists and regularly host visiting scientists for research visits. I direct two taught MSc programmes I established for my school in 2015, the MSc in Biotherapeutics and the MSc in Biotherapeutics and Business run in collaboration with the Michael Smurfit Business School. I win research funding support from a range of funding sources, e.g., Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, with fundamental research projects and applied industrial collaborations e.g., with Novartis AG and Astra Zeneca. I publish in leading high impact journals including: Nature journals; Nature Biotechnology (5-year Impact Factor: 43.271) and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology (5-year Impact Factor: 12.816) , Cell journals; Cell Metabolism (5-Year Impact Factor: 21.398) & Developmental Cell (5-Year Impact Factor: 9.611), and the National Academy of Sciences USA journal Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (5-Year impact factor: 10.359) as some examples. I have patents granted in the EU (European Patent No. 2800757) and USA (US Patent No. 9676872) in novel protein engineering technology for the study and production of high value proteins. I am a specialist in proteomic technologies e.g., LC-MS/MS and array based proteomics, and have significant expertise in biophysical measurements of protein interaction with antibodies, small molecules and other proteins e.g., surface plasmon resonance, ITC and MST. I manage a core facility in molecular biophysics at my research institute with a BiaCore T200 instrument. I look forward to exploring new collaborations as well as developing existing ones. Research Links: SBBS Research | Biotechnology & Synthetic Biology Research in SBBS | Mechanisms of Disease Research in SBBS


  • Assistant Professor
    University College Dublin, University College Dublin, dublin, Ireland1 Apr 2013


  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist
    University College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland1 Sep 2004 - 31 Dec 2012
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    University of California at San Francisco, United States30 Dec 1998 - 1 Mar 2002


  • Valleylab Product Specialist
    Tyco/Fannin Joint Venture.30 Dec 1999 - 30 Dec 1999


  • PhD
    University College Dublin
  • Prof Cert University Teaching & Learning
    University College Dublin