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Dr Michelle Downes


Michelle Downes

Lecturer/Assistant Professor (Ad Astra Fellow)
School of Psychology
+353 (0)1 7168410
University College Dublin, School of Psychology, Newman Building Belfield Dublin 4


Dr Michelle Downes is an Assistant Professor and Ad Astra Fellow in the School of Psychology at UCD. Prior to joining UCD in 2016 she worked as a research associate at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health where she also obtained a PhD in developmental cognitive neuroscience. Her PhD investigated the development and assessment of executive functions in typically developing children as well as preschool children with sickle cell disease using electroencephalography, eye-tracking, and behavioural methods. She completed an MSc in Paediatric Neuropsychology at University College London (with distinction) and holds a 1.1 BA (Hons) degree in Psychology from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She completed a neuropsychology research internship at the Brain Tumour Clinic at Childrens Hospital Boston in 2010. Her research focuses on the impact of disease-related and environmental factors, such as sleep and family factors, on healthy brain and behaviour development in children. She is particularly interested in the development of executive functions and early learning skills and how these can be assessed in young children in an ecologically valid way. She investigates brain and cognitive development in typically developing children and paediatric patient populations (including ADHD, epilepsy, pre-term, obstructive sleep apnoea, sickle cell disease). She is also very interested in the public engagement of neuroscience. In particular, she has co-developed projects such as Beyond My Brain and Beyond Seizures that focused on engaging the public with the developing brain and the science and stories behind brain-related disorders. LAB WEBSITE: PUBLIC ENGAGMENT


  • MSc
    University College London
  • BA
    NUI Galway IRL
  • PhD
    University College London
  • Prof Cert University Teaching & Learning
    University College Dublin