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Meet the staff
Division of Population Health Sciences staff
Staff are listed by department and alphabetical order
- Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
- Department of Psychology
- Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Unit
- HRB Research Leader Unit
- Divisional Research Manager
Head of Division - Population Health Sciences
Professor Anne Hickey, Head Population Health Sciences (PHS) and Head Department of Psychology
Anne Hickey is Head of the Department of Psychology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the serving Head of the Division of Population Health Sciences. She is involved in coordinating and teaching health psychology to health professionals at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including medical, physiotherapy and pharmacy students. Anne has extensive experience in research in healthcare, particularly with neurological patient populations (stroke, multiple sclerosis), including terminal conditions (motor neurone disease); stigmatised groups (e.g., HIV and hepatitis C); and carers of people with stroke. Anne has considerable expertise in the area of method development and, as part of a research team, developed the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL), an individualised measure of quality of life that has received international acclaim. Anne is the RCSI Director of the Health Services Research Institute (HSRI), the first HRB structured PhD scholar's programme in Health Services Research, established in October 2007. She is immediate past Chair of the Division of Health Psychology of the Psychological Society of Ireland, a member of the Council of the Psychological Society of Ireland and Chair of the Scientific Affairs Board of the Psychological Society of Ireland.
Tel: 402 2433, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
See Anne's ResearchGate profile
Professor Ruairí Brugha, Head of Department
Ruairí has been at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland since 2005 and is the first full time Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine. He lectures on the Population Health Epidemiology undergraduate Medicine module. He conducts health policy and health systems research, mainly in Africa and Ireland.
Tel: 402 2733, Email: email@example.com
Dr Regien Biesma, Lecturer
Regien is a lecturer in epidemiology and public health medicine in RCSI and coordinates the Population Health Epidemiology module in the undergraduate and graduate program (GEM). Research interests include constraints in scaling up of health programmes in low income countries, such as HIV/AIDS, maternal health and chronic diseases and changing patterns of diseases.
Tel: 402 8584, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Ronán Conroy, Associate Professor
Ronán is Associate Professor of Biostatistics. He lectures on the Evidence Based Health undergraduate Medicine module. His research interests are broad, with publications in the areas of health psychology, psychiatry, cardiovascular disease and low-technology approaches to infectious disease prevention in developing countries.
Tel: 402 2431, Email: email@example.com
Patrick Dicker, Lecturer
Pat is a lecturer and statistician in the departments of epidemiology and public health medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology (Rotunda). His research interests cover broad areas, from molecular and cellular therapeutics to public health epidemiology and health systems research.
Tel: 402 2435, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Patricia Kennedy, Lecturer
Patricia Kennedy teaches qualitative research methods on the Structured Population and Health Services Research Education (SPHeRE) Programme. She is the Principal Investigator on the National Needs Assessment of Roma in Ireland (in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Equality and Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre).
Tel: 402 2769, Email: email@example.com
Dr Natasha Rafter, Senior Lecturer
Dr Natasha Rafter is a public health medicine physician and senior lecturer in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine. Her research interests include healthcare quality and adverse events, medication safety, cardiovascular risk assessment, access to treatment, and medication adherence. She is currently analysing data from the Irish National Adverse Events Study, a retrospective patient chart review study of adverse events in acute Irish hospitals.
Tel: 402 5197, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Emer Shelley, Senior Lecturer
Emer is a consultant in public health medicine and a part-time lecturer of Public Health Epidemiology modules on the undergraduate and graduate entry medicine programmes. Her research interests include an analysis of trends in mortality, morbidity and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and establishing data standards for modules of cardiovascular registers.
Mary O’Connell, Department Coordinator
Mary is responsible for coordinating teaching and exams of the JC3 module Evidence Based Health and Population Health Sciences for the undergraduate and graduate entry medicine programme. She also provides general administrative support to the department.
Tel: 402 2434, Email: email@example.com
Kayleigh Woods Harley, Department Coordinator
Kayleigh looks after the coordination of the JC3 module Evidence Based Health and Population Health Sciences for the undergraduate and graduate entry medicine programme. She also provides general administrative support to the department, including departmental research activities.
Tel: 402 2733, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Margaret Fitzgerald, Honorary Senior Lecturer
Dr Siobhan Jennings, Honorary Senior Lecturer
Dr Paul Kavanagh, Honorary Lecturer
Paul is a Specialist in Public Health Medicine with the Health Service Executive and Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine, RCSI. He has worked extensively in the area of clinical and professional governance between the Department of Health, HSE and Medical Council in Ireland. Currently, he is Public Health Lead for the implementation of Tobacco Free Ireland in the HSE and for population health planning in primary care. He is interested in secondary analysis of routine data and large health surveys to better inform policy and practice, and is currently estimating tobacco-attributable morbidity and mortality in Ireland and utilising Health Behaviour of School Children, Healthy Ireland and The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) surveys to evaluate progress and determine priorities for tobacco control in Ireland.
Dr Nicholas Clarke, Post-doctoral Researcher
Nick Clarke co-ordinates the Health Research Board funded MedTrack study. MedTrack is Ireland's first medical graduate career tracking study and aims to report, analyse and track the specialty choices, career intentions and early career decisions made by Irish medical graduates, including decisions to work full or part-time, leave medicine, or emigrate.
Sophie Crowe, Research Assistant
Sophie Crowe is research assistant on the Health Research Board funded Doctor Emigration study.
Tel: 402 2346, Email: email@example.com
Dr Aisling Walsh, Research Fellow
Aisling is working on The Brain Drain to Brain Gain project, supporting the implementation of the WHO Code of Practice on the recruitment of health personnel in Ireland. She also worked on the development and delivery of a technology enhanced learning Masters in Community Systems Health Research. Aisling's primary research interests are in health systems research, maternal and child health, the ethics of health research partnerships between the higher income countries and lower income countries, and reproductive technology.
Tel: 402 8657, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Jakub Gajewski, Post-doctoral Researcher
Jakub is a post-doctoral health sociologist. He is currently working on the Clinical Officer Surgical Training in Africa (COST-Africa) project, which aims to provide proof-of-concept that surgery can be delivered cost-effectively and safely in district hospitals in Africa.
Tel: 402 2418, Email: email@example.com
Dr Tracey McCauley, Post-doctoral Researcher
Tracey is a post-doctoral Researcher on the Clinical Officer Surgical Training in Africa (COST-Africa) project. COST-Africa is a collaborative project, which aims to provide proof-of-concept that surgery can be delivered cost-effectively and safely in district hospitals in Africa.
Tel: 402 2413, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD and MD students
Kate Gajewska, PhD Scholar
Supervisor: Dr Regien Biesma
Samira Jabakhanji, PhD Scholar
Samira has been a PhD candidate in RCSI since October 2015. Making use of the Growing Up in Ireland National Longitudinal Study of Children, she is investigating early life risk factors of childhood obesity across the first five years of children’s lives.
Molly Mattsson, PhD Scholar
Supervisor: Dr Regien Biesma
Sarah Murphy, PhD Scholar
Supervisor: Dr Regien Biesma
Dr Samuel E. Anya, PhD Researcher
Samuel Anya has a background in obstetrics and gynaecology and is now working as a PhD scholar on the Connecting Health Research in Africa and Ireland Consortium (CHRAIC), which seeks solutions to poor maternal and new born outcomes in African countries.
Anna Awor, PhD Researcher
Anna C. Awor is a PhD Scholar in Health Systems Research as part of the Connecting Health Research in Africa and Ireland Consortium (CHRAIC). Anna has a Bachelor Degree in Statistics and Masters Degree in the Biostatistics.
Louise Mullen, PhD Scholar
Louise works in the National Cancer Control programme and is a part-time PhD scholar focusing on a Health Research Board funded policy analysis of the development and implementation of the 2006 National Cancer Strategy.
Diane Nurse, PhD Scholar
Diane works for the Health Service Executive in Ireland and is completing a part-time PhD. Her PhD will be in the area of improving access to health services by refugees and other disadvantaged groups.
Carole provides support to the Department / Divisional Head and academic and research staff. First point of contact for health and safety issues and other services for Division.
Tel:+353-1- 402 2428 ,
Dr Mary Clarke BA, MSc, PhD.
Senior Lecturer and Vice-Dean for International Citizenship
Mary Clarke is a lecturer in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry and the Vice-Dean for International Citizenship. She was educated in Trinity College Dublin and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She coordinates and teaches neuroscience to medical and Physiotherapy undergraduates. Mary is a member of the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research across the Lifespan Group (PERL) http://rcsi.ie/perl. Her area of interest is the role of early life experiences in the aetiology of schizophrenia. In collaboration with colleagues from RCSI and The National Institute of Public Health in Helsinki she examines the effect of prenatal and neonatal risk factors for psychotic disorder, particularly prenatal infection, prenatal stress and the attainment of motor and language developmental milestones. Mary is also involved in projects looking at risk and protective factors for mental illness among young Irish adolescents. These projects examine the psychiatric, neurocognitive, electrophysiological and neuroimaging profile of young adolescents at risk for the development of psychotic disorder in adulthood.
Sally completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and PhD in the University of Ulster. She worked as a post doctoral researcher in the School of Psychology, NUI Galway on a HRB funded study exploring the impact of CHD on sexual functioning. She is involved in teaching health psychology at undergraduate level to medical, physiotherapy and pharmacy students. Sally has completed a post graduate certificate in teaching and will complete a masters in Healthcare Ethics and Law in July 2015. Sally’s research interests are in cardiovascular disease, cardiac rehabilitation and sexual health. Sally is currently on secondment to MUB (Medical University of Bahrain), where she is the Academic Lead in Pscyhology and Behavioural Science.
Dr Frank Doyle, BA(Hons), MLitt, PhD, RegPsycholPsSI
ResearchGate: See Frank's ResearchGate profile;
Frank Doyle is a senior lecturer in psychology in RCSI. He co-ordinates and teaches behavioural sciences and statistics to health professionals at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is the Associate Editor of Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine: An Open Access Journal, and has also acted as a statistical consultant on several research projects. He has published in prestigious international journals on areas such as depression, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cardiac rehabilitation, health behaviours such as smoking and physical activity, quality of life, pain and stress. He is also interested in systematic reviews, meta-analyses and psychometrics. He was Chair of the Division of Health Psychology from 2013-2015.
Dr Caroline Kelleher BA(Hons), PhD
ResearchGate: See Caroline's ResearchGate profile;
Caroline is a lecturer in psychology in RCSI since 2012. She is involved in teaching Behavioural Sciences to medical, physiotherapy and pharmacy students at undergraduate leveland is the module coordinator for pharmacy students. She has also been involved in module development at postgraduate level and acted as a methodological supervisor for students enrolled in the Masters in Surgery. She has a BSc in honours Psychology and is a previous Irish Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) postgraduate scholar. Caroline completed her PhD in 2010 at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
She joined the Department as a postdoctoral researcher on an IRCHSS-funded project (PI: Dr. Karen Morgan) entitled;Exploring trends in sexual activity, contraceptive use and pregnancy experiences in Ireland over the last decade, and has consistently engaged in health-related research with a range of vulnerable populations (e.g. palliative care, falls prevention in older people) since the beginning of her career. Her research interests include STIs/HIV, sexual health, sexual violence, behavioural surveillance and health-related research aimed at informing policy and service provision.
Dr Lisa Mellon BA MSc PhD, Reg. Psychol PsSI
ResearchGate: See Lisa's ResearchGate profile;
Lisa Mellon is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. Prior to this she was a post-doctoral researcher on a project assessing the quality of care for smoking cessation services in Irish hospitals. Prior to this, she held a post-doctoral position with the ASPIRE-S Study (Action on Secondary Prevention Interventions and Rehabilitation in Stroke). Lisa has a BA in Psychology and an MSc in Health Psychology, both from National University of Ireland, Galway. Prior to commencing her PhD on the HRB PhD Scholars Programme in Health Services Research, she worked in frontline hospital departments, and was a research assistant on case control and RCT studies in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Monash University, Melbourne. Her research interests include the examination of help-seeking behaviour during onset of an acute medical event, the provision of comprehensive post-stroke rehabilitation to stroke survivors and assessment of post-stroke cognitive impairment, and behaviour change interventions for risk factor management and secondary prevention. Lisa is the current Honorary Secretary of the Division of Health Psychology in the Psychological Society of Ireland.
Senior Lecturer Psychology
ResearchGate: See Karen's ResearchGate profile;
Karen is a senior lecturer in psychology in RCSI. She teaches psychology, behavioural science and research methods to both undergraduate and postgraduate students (medicine, physiotherapy and pharmacy) as well as healthcare professionals. Karen has a background in health and organisational psychology. She has a BA in psychology and an MA in social and organisational psychology. Her PhD (health psychology) was completed as part of the Healthy Ageing Research Programme at RCSI. Karen's research interests include population health, ageing, sexual health and quality of care. She is the current President Elect of the European Health Psychology Society. Karen is currently on secondment to Perdana University (PU-RCSI School of Medicine) in Malaysia where she is the Academic Lead in Psychology and Behavioural Science perdanauniversity.edu.my
Maria Pertl, BA BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD
ResearchGate: See Maria's ResearchGate profile;
Maria Pertl is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. Before coming to RCSI, she worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience where she led a cohort study funded by The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Health Research Board, which examined relationships between stress and cognitive function in spousal dementia caregivers. Maria previously held a postdoctoral position in the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), investigating decision making among people with depression. Maria completed her PhD, MSc, and undergraduate degree in Psychology in TCD. Her doctoral research, conferred in 2013, investigated the contributing factors to cancer-related fatigue and evaluated the effectiveness of a psychological intervention for cancer survivors with persistent fatigue. Maria has taught health psychology and research methods to students in various health-related disciplines in TCD, University College Dublin, and St Patrick’s College and has carried out several research projects on cancer screening and prevention. Her research interests include the impact of stress on health, cognitive aging,caregiving, psycho-oncology, cancer-related fatigue, and models that conceptualise the development of chronic conditions. Maria is the current Honorary Secretary of the Division of Health Psychology in the Psychological Society of Ireland.
Niamh Merriman, BA (Hons), PhD
Dr Niamh Merriman is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology at the Division of Population Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She is working on a Health Research Board (HRB) funded project called StrokeCog, which aims to model and modify the consequences of stroke-related cognitive impairment through intervention. Prior to this Niamh worked as a Senior Research Associate in Disney Research, Los Angeles. This research investigated factors which may improve the experience of guests in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts through the use of behavioural and virtual reality techniques. Niamh holds a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience in Trinity College Dublin. Her doctoral research investigated factors that mediate spatial navigation abilities in older adults, with the over-arching aim of developing and testing a multicomponent training intervention to improve spatial navigation abilities in healthy and fall-prone older adults. Niamh obtained a BA in Psychology from NUI Maynooth in 2009. Research interests include ageing, cognitive impairment,spatial navigation, cognitive interventions, multi-sensory integration, and balance control.
Eithne Sexton, PhD
ResearchGate: See Eithne's ResearchGate profile;
Eithne Sexton is a Postdoctoral Researcher working on the StrokeCog study. The study aims to profile cognitive function in acute and long-term stroke patients and to test the impact of a brief intervention, and is funded by a Health Research Board Inter-Disciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) grant. Eithne is responsible for Work Package 1 which aims to build an innovative epidemiological modelling platform that enables evaluation of the effects of interventions to rehabilitate cognitive impairment post-stroke. Eithne completed her PhD in 2015 as part of the HRB PhD Scholar’s Programme in Health Services Research at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Her thesis focussed on evaluating the complex relationship between chronic conditions and quality of life at older ages. She also holds a BA (Mod) in Psychology and Philosophy and an MSc in Applied Social Research, both from Trinity College Dublin. Prior to joining StrokeCog, she worked as a Research Fellow in the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin, and as a post-doctoral researcher in health systems for the RCSI Hospitals Group. She also previously worked as a Data Analyst in the Health Research and Information Division of the Economic and Social Research Institute.
Ross Brannigan, BA(Hons), Psychology
Ross Brannigan obtained his Bsc in Psychology from Maynooth University in 2016. Additionally, Ross has carried out research in various areas through internships while completing his degree,these areas ranged from fear generalization and avoidance to circadian rhythms and the effects of social jetlag. Ross began his PhD in RCSI in September 2016 in order to further his education and continue researching interesting areas within psychology and epidemiology.
Garrett Greene B.A. (Mod.), Ph.D. B.A. (Mod.), Ph.D.
Garrett is a postdoctoral researcher in the division of Population Health
Sciences. His research focuses on developing novel statistical methods for
analysing complex patient adherence data as part on the INCA project.
Mary Elizabeth Walshe PhD, BSc Physiotherapy, MISCP
Dr Mary Walsh is an affiliate postdoctoral researcher to the Division of Population Health Sciences, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She also works as a postdoctoral researcher in Health Systems Research and Development with the RCSI Hospitals Group. Working with Professor Anne Hickey, she is currently involved in a number of research projects in the area of stroke rehabilitation. Mary was awarded her PhD in 2016 through the School of Physiotherapy, RCSI. Her doctoral research explored falls-risk after stroke and included a prospective cohort study, validation of risk prediction models and a qualitative component. Mary also holds a BSc in Physiotherapy from UCD (2009), a Postgraduate Certificate in Older Person Rehabilitation from UCC (2012), and has international clinical experience as a physiotherapist in acute care.