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

Research Staff

Principal Investigators

   Prof Clive Lee      

   Prof. Clive Lee    

 

  Prof Fergal O'Brien         Dr Garry Duffy

  Prof. Fergal O'Brien            Dr Garry Duffy

Dr Orlaith Brennan          Adolfo Lopez Noriega

  Dr Orlaith Brennan          Dr Adolfo Lopez Noriega

 Dr Sally Ann Cryan          Dr Helena Kelly

  Dr Sally Ann Cryan              Dr Helena Kelly

 

Visiting Research Fellows

 

John Gleeson

Dr John Gleeson

Dr. Gleeson is a graduate in mechanical engineering from Trinity College Dublin (2001) and received his PhD in 2006, investigating the effect of early stage primary osteoarthritis on bone composition and mechanical properties. He is a Principal Investigator and Project and Business Development Manager in the Tissue Engineering Research Group, headed by Prof. Fergal O’Brien, in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. His current role involves the development and commercialisation of novel tissue engineering medical devices for the repair and regeneration of bone and osteochondral tissue. Dr. Gleeson’s research interests include bone and cartilage mechanobiology, biomaterials, osteoarthritis and orthopaedic tissue engineering.

Current Project (Funding Source): Collagen-hydroxyapatite composite scaffolds as bone graft substitutes (Enterprise Ireland)

johngleeson@rcsi.ie

 

 

Postdoctoral Researchers

 

Caroline Curtin

Dr Caroline Curtin

Caroline is a graduate in Biomedical Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI, Galway). She subsequently carried out research for her PhD in the area of adult stem cell therapeutics for osteoarthritic disease under the supervision of Prof. Frank Barry in the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in NUI, Galway. From February 2008 to December 2009, she worked as a research assistant within the Cellular Arthroplasty for Regeneration in Arthritis (CARA) group in NUI, Galway. She joined the Anatomy Department in RCSI as a postdoctoral researcher in January 2010 and her area of research focuses on gene therapy and bone tissue engineering.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Osteoinductive and angiogenic smart scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration (Fergal O'Brien and European Research Council)

carolinecurtin@rcsi.ie

Tanya Levingstone

Dr Tanya Levingstone

Tanya is a graduate in Medical Mechanical Engineering from Dublin City University. She carried out research for her PhD in the area of plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite coatings in the National Centre for Plasma Science and Technology (NCPST) in Dublin City University and was awarded her PhD in 2008. Tanya currently works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Bone and Tissue Engineering Research Group in the RCSI where her main research focus is in the area of cartilage tissue engineering.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Polyphasic collagen-based composite scaffolds for osteochondral defect repair (Fergal O'Brien and Enterprise Ireland)

tanyalevingstone@rcsi.ie

Andrew Cameron

Dr Andrew Cameron

Andrew completed his Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Queensland, with a double major in Chemical and Biological Engineering. Here, he then went on to complete a PhD in the Tissue Engineering and Microfluidics group at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. His thesis analysed the influence of viscoelastic biomaterial properties on mesenchymal stem cell behaviour and phenotype. While finishing his PhD, Andrew also completed a Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation. His primary area of research at the RCSI is the development of films from natural materials for use in corneal tissue regeneration.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Fabrication of Carriers for limbal stem cell transplantation (Fergal O'Brien and SFI TIDA)

andrewcameron@rcsi.ie

 Amro Wadaai

Dr Amro Widaa

Amro Widaa received his B.Sc. (Hons) in Molecular & Cellular Biology from NUI Maynooth. He then went on to the Regenerative Medicine Institute in NUI Galway, in which he obtained his M.Sc. in Regenerative Medicine. Currently Amro is undertaking a multi-disciplinary Ph.D. under the co-supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. Steve Kerrigan. His research focus is bone infections caused by staphylococcus, specifically Osteomyelitis. His Ph.D. is entitled "The Pathogenesis of Staphylococcal Induced Osteomyelitis".

Current Project (Supervisors and Funding Source): The Pathogenesis of Staphylococcal Induced Osteomyelitis (Fergal O'Brien, Steve Kerrigan and Science Foundation Ireland)

amrowidaa@rcsi.ie

 Tara McFadden

Dr Tara McFadden

Tara is a graduate in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Tara is part of the HRB Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Human Disease scholars programme where she is doing a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O’Brien and Dr. Garry Duffy. Her area of research is in the pre-vascularisation of collagen-GAG scaffolds in order to enhance bone tissue regeneration in critical sized defects.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Vascularisation within a Collagen-GAG scaffold with human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (Garry Duffy/Fergal O'Brien and Health Research Board)

taramcfadden@rcsi.ie

 Amos Matsiko

Dr Amos Matsiko

Amos is a graduate in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Sheffield where he attained an MEng. His thesis was on the mechanical stimulation of bone cells using bioreactor systems. During his course, he took up an undergraduate research placement in the Kroto Research Institute, University of Sheffield investigating the potential of polymers in peripheral nerve repair applications. His current research interest at RCSI is on cartilage defect repair using poly-phasic collagen scaffolds under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. John Gleeson.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Polyphasic collagen-based composite scaffolds for osteochondral defect repair (Fergal O'Brien/John Gleeson and Enterprise Ireland)

amosmatsiko@rcsi.ie

  

Postgraduate Students

 

 Conn Hastings Conn Hastings

Conn is a graduate of Biomedical Science in NUI Galway. He subsequently enrolled in the HRB Scholars Programme in RCSI and after completion of the first year of the programme has begun his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. Garry Duffy. His area of research is therapeutic angiogenesis, in terms of both ischemic disease and bone regeneration.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Investigation of the angiogenic potential of genetically modified human mesenchymal stem cells (Garry Duffy/Fergal O'Brien and Health Research Board)

connhastings@rcsi.ie

  Cai Lloyd-Griffith

Cai Lloyd-Griffith

Cai is a graduate in Biomedical Sciences from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM). He was part of the final intake of scholars for the HRB-funded Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Human Disease programme. He later began a PhD project under the supervision of Professor Fergal O'Brien and Dr. Garry Duffy. His current area of research concerns the effect of external stimuli on the capabilities of amniotic fluid-derived stems cell to differentiate down angiogenic and osteogenic lineages.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Investigation into the effect of external stimuli on the induction of osteogenic and angiogenic differentiation in human amniotic fluid derived stem cells (Garry Duffy/Fergal O'Brien and Health Research Board).

Cailloydgriffith@rcsi.ie

 Peter Mauer Peter Mauer

Peter did a four year apprenticeship as a technical draughtsman in a medium-sized company in the German textile industry. He went on to study Mechanical Engineering in Regensburg, Germany, and specialised in Design and Development. He started in the HRB founded, structured PhD program "Diagnostics and Therapeutics in Human Disease" and is doing his thesis on the structural and mechanical properties of osteoporotic ovine bone.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Changes in the ultrastructural design features of osteoporotic bone (Clive Lee and Health Research Board)

petermauer@rcsi.ie

  Elaine Quinlan

Elaine Quinlan

Elaine is a graduate in Genetics from University College Dublin. She then went on to receive an M.Sc. in Regenerative Medicine from NUI Galway. Her current PhD research at RCSI is on the development and structural, in vitro and in vivo characterisation of smart scaffolds as bioactive, controlled release growth factor delivery systems for tissue repair in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy in RCSI.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Osteoinductive and angiogenic smart scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration (Fergal O'Brien and European Research Council)

elainequinlan@rcsi.ie

  Rosie Raftery

Rosanne Raftery

Rosie received her B.Sc. (Hons) in Anatomy from NUI Galway. She then went on to obtain an MSc in Regenerative Medicine from the Regenerative Medicine Institute, also at NUI Galway. Currently Rosie is undertaking a Ph.D. under the co-supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien, Dr. Sally Ann Cryan and Dr. Garry Duffy. Her PhD research focuses on the development of a gene activated collagen scaffold for bone regeneration.

Current Project (Supervisors and Funding Source): Development of an Osteogenic and Angiogenic Gene Activated Smart Scaffold for tissue regeneration (Fergal O'Brien, Sally Ann Cryan and Garry Duffy and Science Foundation Ireland)

rosanneraftery@rcsi.ie

 Alan Ryan

Alan Ryan

Alan is a graduate in Biomedical Engineering from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He then went on to receive an M.Sc in Bioengineering from Trinity College Dublin. Currently he is undertaking a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien where his research focuses on utilising collagen as a basis for tissue engineered vascular grafts.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Design and evaluation of a novel collagen-based tissue engineered vascular graft (Fergal O'Brien and European Research Council).

alanryan@rcsi.ie

 Stephen Sheridan

Stephen Sheridan

Stephen is a graduate of NUI, Galway where he received a B.Eng in Biomedical Engineering. He spent three years working as a research engineer in medical device design in NUI, Galway and later began a PhD under the supervision of Dr Garry Duffy and Dr Bruce Murphy (TCD). His current research is in the field of vascular tissue engineering using decellularized porcine tissue.

Current Research (Supervisor and Funding Source): Utilising novel micro-injection techniques for bulk cell seeding decellularized porcine carotid arteries for use as a scaffold for tissue engineering small diameter graft applications (Dr Garry Duffy and Dr Bruce Murphy and the Dept. of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin).

stephensheridan@rcsi.ie

Erica Tierney 

 

Erica Tierney

Erica is a graduate in Genetics & Cell Biology from Dublin City University. She is currently undertaking a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. Garry Duffy. Her PhD research focuses on the combination of gene therapy and collagen based scaffolds for bone tissue regeneration.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Osteoinductive and angiogenic gene and growth factor delivery mechanisms in a Collagen GAG scaffold for bone tissue regeneration (Fergal O'Brien/Garry Duffy and European Research Council)

ericatierney@rcsi.ie

Cian O'Leary

Cian O'Leary

Cian is a graduate of Pharmacy from University College Cork and subsequently went on to receive a Masters in Pharmacy from the RCSI. He is a postgraduate student in the BioAT PhD Scholars Programme and, having completed his laboratory rotations, has begun a project under the supervision of Professor Fergal O'Brien and Doctor Sally-Ann Cryan. His current area of research concerns the development of collagen-based scaffolds for use in 3D airway modelling and regeneration.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source):
The Development of "Smart" Collagen Scaffolds for Application in Airway Modelling and Regeneration (Fergal O'Brien and Sally-Ann Cryan; funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle 5. The PRTLI is co-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Union Structural Funds Programme 2007-2013).

cianoleary@rcsi.ie

Irene Castano

Irene Mencia Castano

Irene is a graduate in Pharmacy from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, where she subsequently attained an M.Sc. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biomedicine. Her thesis was on the Development of Drug-Delivery Systems based on Magnetic Nanoparticles, which she carried out at the National Centre for Biotechnology (C.N.B.) Spain. She then enrolled in the BioAT PhD Scholars Programme at RCSI and after completing the laboratory rotations has begun her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Fergal O'Brien, Dr. Garry Duffy and Dr. Caroline Curtin. Her area of research is in the use of scaffolds as delivery systems for microRNA in tissue regeneration.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): The Development and Characterisation of microRNA delivery scaffold systems for tissue engineering applications (Fergal O'Brien, Garry Duffy and Caroline Curtin); funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle5. The PRTLI is co-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Union Structural Funds Programme 2007-2013).

imenciacastano@rcsi.ie

Clive Curley

Clive Curley

Clive Curley graduated from Mechanical Engineering in Trinity College Dublin. He then went on to work briefly at the aerodynamics lab of Helsinki University of Technology and in the microfluidics and medical device design groups at the HSG Institute for Microsystems Technology in Germany. He is currently a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Garry Duffy and Dr Bruce Murphy (TCD) where his research focuses on the development of a medical device capable of injecting heat responsive gels loaded with therapeutics to the heart.

Current research (Supervisor and Funding Source):
Development of a temperature controlled catheter based injection system to deliver thermoresponsivegels loaded with therapeutics to the heart. (Dr. Garry Duff, Dr. Bruce Murphy (TCD) and the PRTLI GREP programme)

clivecurley@rcsi.ie

Hugh O'Neill

Hugh O'Neill

Hugh received his B.Sc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM). He was awarded a postgraduate position in the BioAT PhD Scholars programme and having completed his laboratory rotations has begun his PhD project under the supervision of Dr. Garry Duffy, Dr. Helena Kelly and Prof. Fergal O'Brien.
His current area of research looks at gene therapy using ultrasound mediated microbubbles: applications for in-stent restenosis treatment.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source):
Developing on demand microRNA delivery systems for the treatment of in-stent restenosis using microbubble therapeutics and targeted ultrasound. (Dr Garry Duffy, Dr Helena Kelly and Prof. Fergal O'Brien; funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) Cycle 5. The PRTLI is co-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of the European Union Structural Funds Programme 2007-2013).

hughoneill@rcsi.ie


Research Engineers

 

Niamh Porteous

Niamh Porteous

Niamh is a graduate in Chemical Engineering from University of Washington in Seattle. She then went on to receive an MSc in Bioengineering from University College Dublin. Currently she is working as a Research Engineer under the supervision of Dr. Garry Duffy, Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. Bruce Murphy (TCD). Her current research is focused on medical device design for delivery of a cardiac patch used to promote regeneration after heart failure.

Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): CardioColl - a collagen-alginate composite scaffold to enhance the cardiac stem cell response and promote healing in heart failure (Garry Duffy, Fergal O'Brien, Bruce Murphy and Enterprise Ireland).

niamhporteous@rcsi.ie

Nicholas Hitchins

Nicholas Hitchins

Nicholas completed his Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Aston, Birmingham in Mechanical Engineering with a speciality in fluids. He spent time working in a engineering firm in the greater manchester area with a focus in hydraulics. Then went on to complete a master of science in Imperial College, London in Biomedical Engineering where his specialities were Orthopaedic and Cardiovascular devices. While at Imperial, Nicholas worked in Harefield hospital in Uxbridge in a clinical environment monitoring and assessing the condition of patients fitted with Left Ventricle Support Devices (LVADs) before joining RCSI in the field of Orthopaedics. While at the college Nicholas is working as a Research Engineer bring to market a novel bone retracting device.

Current Project: Research, Design and Commercialisation of a novel bone retracting device (Prof. John O'Bryne, i360medical, Enterprise Ireland).

nicholashitchins@rcsi.ie

 

Clinical Postgraduate Students

 

 

Dr Robert Thomas Brady

Robert completed a dual undergraduate degree in Pharmacology and Molecular Genetics at the Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research,  University College Dublin. He then obtained his Batchelors of Medicine at RCSI. He returned to the college to pursue a PhD under the guidance of Prof. Fergal O'Brien and Dr. David Hoey with research focussed on bone mechanobiology and osteoporosis.


Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Factors influencing mechanical loading induced bone formation (Fergal O'Brien, David Hoey and European Research Council)

 

robertbrady@rcsi.ie

 

Emmet Thompson

Dr Emmet Thompson

Emmet is a medical graduate of the RCSI (Mb BCh BAO LRCPI [Hons]) and has obtained his membership exams of the RCSI (MRCSI). He undertook his Internship in Medicine and Surgery in Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown followed by his Basic Surgical Training in Beaumont Hospital and St. Vincent's University Hospital. Since 2010 he has been pursuing a PhD with the Tissue Engineering Research Group coupled with anatomy demonstration to the Undergraduate Medical and Pharmacy students. His research focuses on Tissue Engineering applications of a number of novel collagen-based scaffolds for bone and cartilage regeneration in Orthopaedic repair.
Current Project (Supervisor and Funding Source): Intramembranous and Endochondral ossification approaches to bone generation in collagen based scaffolds. (Fergal J. O'Brien, Amos Matsiko; Health Research Board).

ethompson@rcsi.ie

 


MD Researchers

 

 

Phoebe Roche

A graduate of University College Dublin, School of Medicine, Phoebe is currently in training as a Specialist Registrar in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the Mater Hospital. In 2012, having completed an MCh in Surgery, Phoebe joined the research group. Her area of research is olfactory neuroepithelial neurospheres and collagen scaffolds.

Current Project (Supervisor): Regeneration of Ablated Motor Nerves Using Olfactory Neuroepithelial Stem Cells In The Adult Rat Model (Professor Michael Walsh, Professor Fergal O Brien, Dr Garry Duffy)

phoebeeroche@rcsi.ie

 


 

Masters of Surgery

 

Ashwanth Ramesh

Hassan Jamil