Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG)

Principal Investigators

 Prof. Fergal O'Brien
Prof. Fergal O'Brien
Head of TERG, Professor of Bioengineering & Regenerative Medicine and Deputy Director of Research, RCSI; Professor & PI, Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE), TCD; Deputy Director & PI, AMBER. E:
Prof. Clive Lee
Prof. Clive Lee
Head of Department of Anatomy, RCSI; Professor of Anatomy at RCSI and the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA); Visiting Professor of Biomechanics,TCD. E:
Photograph Prof. Sally Ann Cryan
Prof. Sally Ann Cryan
Professor in Pharmaceutics, RCSI School of Pharmacy; Founding member and PI of the SFI-funded Irish Drug Delivery Network (IDDN); PI in AMBER and TCBE. E:
Photograph Dr Helena Kelly
Dr Helena Kelly
Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutics, RCSI School of Pharmacy; PI and Deputy Coordinator of two European consortia AMCARE and DRIVE. E:
Photograph Dr Orlaith Brennan
Dr Orlaith Brennan
Lecturer in Physics, RCSI.
Photograph Dr Steve Kerrigan
Dr Steve Kerrigan
Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology, RCSI School of Pharmacy. E:
Photograph Dr Caroline Curtin
Dr Caroline Curtin
Lecturer in Department of Anatomy, RCSI. E:
Photograph Dr Cathal Kearney
Dr Cathal Kearney
Lecturer in Department of Anatomy, RCSI. Heads Kearney Lab, TERG. E:
Photograph Dr Cian O'Leary
Dr Cian O'Leary
Lecturer in Pharmaceutics, RCSI School of Pharmacy. E:
Photograph Dr Oran Kennedy
Dr Oran Kennedy
StAR Research Lecturer, Department of Anatomy, RCSI. E:

Photograph Prof. John O'Byrne
Prof. John O'Byrne
Abraham Colles Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, RCSI Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital
Photograph Prof. Garry Duffy
Prof. Garry Duffy
Honorary Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Dept. Anatomy, RCSI. Professor of Anatomy, NUI, Galway; PI in AMBER and TCBE; Lead Coordinator of DRIVEAMCARE. E:
 Dr Tanya Levingstone
Dr Tanya Levingstone
Lecturer in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, DCU. E:
Photograph Dr Annie Curtis
Dr Annie Curtis
StAR Research Lecturer, Head of Curtis Clock LabMCT, RCSI. E:
Dr Ciara Murphy
Dr Ciara Murphy
StAR Research Lecturer, Anatomy Department, RCSI. E:

Postdoctoral Researchers


  • Dr Alan Hibbitts
  • Dr Alice McCloskey: Alice completed both an MPharm and PhD at the School of Pharmacy, Queen's University Belfast. Her PhD focused on ultrashort self-assembling peptide nanomaterials for biomedical applications. Alice is currently working in the RCSI School of Pharmacy on an industry-based project investigating integrated vibrating-mesh drug delivery for respiratory diseases using nebulisers under the direction of Prof. Sally-Ann Cryan. 
  • Dr Arlyng Gyveth Gonzalez Vazquez
  • Dr Eamon Sheehy
  • Dr Eoghan Cunnane
  • Dr Irina Pascu: Irina is a graduate in Biomedical Engineering (Biomaterials and Prosthetic Devices) and General Nursing from ‘Gr.T.Popa' Medicine and Pharmacy University, Romania. Subsequently, she undertook a MEng in Mechanical Engineering and an IRC-funded PhD in the Materials Processing Research Centre, DCU. Her thesis looked at developing 3D electrospun scaffolds for bone regeneration. She is the winner of ‘Tell the World about Your Research 2011' - an IRC/SiliconRepublic initiative and has extensive expertise as a scientific editor. As a postdoctoral researcher, Irina has worked on both hard and soft tissue biomaterials for numerous medical device applications. She is currently designing and evaluating a collagen-based graft for tympanic membrane repair under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. Cian O'Leary.
  • Dr Kevin Behan
  • Dr Leping YanIn 2004, Leping graduated with a BSc in Polymer Science and Engineering from the South China University of Technology (SCUT). He then went on to complete postgraduate training in Biomaterials (2004 - 2008, SCUT), supervised by Prof. Yingjun Wang. He received his PhD in ‘Silk Fibroin-Based Scaffolds, Hydrogels and Calcium-Phosphate Filled Materials Aimed for Regenerative Medicine Applications' from 3B's Research Group at the University of Minho, under the supervision of Prof. Rui L. Reis and Prof. Ana L. Oliveira. He subsequently carried out postdoctoral research (wound healing) in the University of Sydney, supervised by Prof. Athony Weiss. His current project in TERG, supervised by Prof. Fergal O'Brien, focuses on the development of a gene-activated scaffold for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers; funded by SFI/AMBER.
  • Dr Ronaldo Jose Farias Correa Do AmaralRonaldo completed a degree in Biological Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ, Brazil) in 2008, where he also acquired a Master's degree (2011) and PhD (2015) in Morphological Sciences. During his PhD, Ronaldo spent 2 months in the RCSI TERG (2014) through the SFI funded "Research Brazil-Ireland" Programme. After completing his PhD, Ronaldo worked as a Research and Development supervisor at Excellion Biomedical Services and as a Lecturer of Biomedical disciplines including Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, at Veiga de Almeida University, both in Brazil. 
    In September 2016 Ronaldo returned to the RCSI to work as a research assistant under the direct supervision of Dr. Cathal Kearney in the TERG, where he evaluates the effects of different times and doses of PDGF-BB released from collagen-based scaffolds to enhance vascularization. Ronaldo's expertise is in Morphology, where he is most experienced in histology and stem/progenitor cell biology.
  • Dr Rosanne Raftery: Rosie obtained a BSc in Anatomy from NUIG in 2008, followed by a MSc in Regenerative Medicine from REMEDI, also NUIG. Her PhD, entitled 'Investigating the potential of chitosan and its derivatives for gene delivery in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine', was awarded in 2015 and was carried out in the TERG at RCSI where she is currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher. Rosie is currently working on the development of nucleic acid delivery vectors and gene-activated scaffold systems for tissue engineering applications under the direction of Prof. Fergal O'Brien.
  • Dr Rukmani SridharanRukmani graduated from SASTRA University in Thanjavur, India, in 2010, with a BSc. in Bioinformatics, after which she proceeded to work in the Harvard-MIT division of Health Sciences and Technology, Boston, as a research assistant for 18 months under the supervision of Prof. Jeffrey M. Karp. Here, she worked on understanding the basic biology of mesenchymal stem cells and enhancing their therapeutic efficacy through various engineering approaches. She then moved to Prague, Czech Republic for the first year of her two-year MSc in Bioengineering (CEMACUBE programme) which she completed in the TCBE, developing novel tissue engineered conduits for peripheral nerve regeneration. Rukmani has just received her PhD in the TERG (graduating May 2018), investigating the immune response to implanted biomaterials and cross talk with MSCs, under the joint supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Prof. Danny Kelly, TCD. She is now a post-doctoral researcher in Cathal Kearney's TERG Lab.
  • Dr Tauseef Ahmad
  • Dr William Arthur LackingtonWill received his BSc (Hons) in Genetics and Cell Biology from DCU in 2013. As an undergraduate (2009-13), he completed positions as a research assistant in the National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology Ireland and in the University of Palmero, Italy. He joined the TERG as a PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien in 2013, funded by a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship.The overall objective of Will's project is to develop a natural polymer based composite therapeutic scaffold which incorporates biological, physical and chemical cues for peripheral nerve regeneration. He received his PhD in December 2017 (graduating May 2018) and is now working as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Fergal O'Brien. In addition he is working as an assistant lecturer (Physics; Foundation Year Medicine based in Tralee IT) 
  • Dr Zuzana Koci

Postgraduate Students (PhD)


  • Catherine Sirafim
  • Christina PayneChristina is a graduate of Pharmacy from the RCSI, where she received both a BSc. and Masters in Pharmacy, and subsequently registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. She is now in the third year of her PhD in the areas of Pharmaceutics and Tissue Engineering under the co-supervision of Dr Helena Kelly and Prof. Sally-Ann Cryan. Christina also acts as a Senior Demonstrator in the School of Pharmacy. Her PhD research is focused on the development of a novel polymer-based hydrogel for drug and cell delivery to the distal airways for regenerative purposes. To date, this has involved the development of a thermoresponsive hydrogel, which is biocompatible, biodegradable and supports cell viability and proliferation. Christina has also developed solid lipid nanoparticles, which can encapsulate a signalling molecule of interest, to be suspended in the gel for delivery.
  • David WalshDavid graduated with a BPharm from UCC before subsequently receiving an MPharm from the RCSI. Prior to commencing his PhD David worked in a number of varied environments including roles as a research aide in the School of Pharmacy UCC, an industrial regulatory environment and most recently as a community pharmacist. David is currently in the second year of his PhD in the areas of advanced drug delivery and tissue engineering under the co-supervision of Prof. Sally-Ann Cryan, Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Prof. Andreas Heise (Dept. of Chemistry). His research is focused on the use of novel polymeric materials to delivery therapeutic nucleic acid molecules from biomaterial scaffolds for orthopaedic tissue engineering applications.
  • Domhnall KellyDomhnall obtained his BA (Mod) Biochemistry, Trinity College Dublin, and an MSc in Regenerative Medicine, NUI Galway. Following a placement in the Mayo Clinic, he returned to Ireland to commence a PhD as a member of the RCSI Tissue Engineering Research Group under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. Caroline Curtin in collaboration with Prof. Caitriona O'Driscoll, School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. His research focuses on the development of advanced scaffold based systems incorporating novel nanoparticles for the delivery of RNA-based therapeutics.
  • Emily Ryan
  • Francisco Almeida
  • Francesco Santarella
  • Helena Moreira
  • Joanne O'DwyerJoanne graduated from the RCSI with a BSc. (Pharm), before subsequently receiving her Masters in Pharmacy from same. She worked briefly in community pharmacy before returning to RCSI to begin a PhD under the co-supervision of Profs Sally Ann Cryan, Garry Duffy and Andres Heise. She is currently in the first year of her PhD in the areas of Pharmaceutics and Tissue Engineering. Her research is based on the use of novel polymers to develop gels and nanoparticles for cell and drug delivery to the ischaemic myocardium.
  • Liam McDonough
  • Luwang Laiva
  • Mark Lemoine
  • Nicola Kavanagh
  • Rachel GaulRachel graduated from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, TCD, with a first class honours degree in pharmacy. She then obtained the MPharm from the RCSI. During the Master's programme she spent six months working as a researcher with Professor Sally-Ann Cryan's group in the School of Pharmacy and a further six months working in a community pharmacy. Rachel subsequently registered as a pharmacist with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. In 2015 she was awarded a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship (Irish Research Council) to undertake a PhD in Pharmaceutics. Her project is being carried out under the supervision of Prof. Sally-Ann Cryan, Prof. Catherine Greene and Dr Joanne Ramsey and aims to develop an inhalable gene based treatment for cystic fibrosis.
  • Rachael Power
  • Rita Ibañez
  • Seona RossiSeona completed her BSc (Pharm) in TCD in 2012. She obtained her MPharm from the RCSI in 2013 and subsequently registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. Following a year working as a community pharmacist in Dublin she returned to RCSI to begin a PhD in Pharmaceutics. She is also acting as a Senior Demonstrator in the School of Pharmacy in RCSI. Seona's PhD is supervised by Dr Helena Kelly and Dr Ben Ryan. Her area of research focuses on the development of a novel drug delivery platform for chemotherapeutics.
  • Tatiane Eufrasio da Silva


Clinical Postgraduate Students

Robert Thomas Brady

Robert completed a dual undergraduate degree in Pharmacology and Molecular Genetics at the Conway Institutes of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, UCD. He then obtained his Bachelors of Medicine at RCSI. He returned to the college to peruse a PhD under the guidance of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr David Hoey (TCD). Rob's PhD is focused on bone mechanobiology and osteoporosis where he is investigating factors influencing mechanical loading induced bone formation.

Postgraduate Students (MSc) 2016-2017

Meenakshi Suku, MSc in Bioengineering, TCD


Research Assistants

Lab Manager

Research Coordinator

Clinical Trial Manager