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

Staff Profiles

Division of Population Health Sciences Staff List & Profiles

Staff are listed by Department and Alphabetical Order

PHS Department of Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine

Head of Department (Head of Division of Population Health Sciences)

Professor Ruairí Brugha MB, BCh, BAO, MD, FFPHMI, MSc, DCH, Dip Obs, Dip Humanities

AssociateProfessor, Professor in Biostatistics and Research Methods 

Ronán Conroy BA, MusB, DipEd, DSc

Senior Lecturers

Dr. Paul McKeown MB, FFPHM(I), MPH, DCH 

Dr. Emer Shelley MD, FRCPI, MSc, FFPH, FFPHMI, MSc Dip Med Ed


Dr. Regien Biesma BA, MSc, MPH,PhD

Patrick Dicker BA, MA, MSc, CStat


Dr. Sara McAleese MBiochem, MSc

Dr. Myles Balfe B.A., M.A., Ph.D

Dr. Elaine Byrne BA, MLitt, PhD 

Jakub Gajewski MSc

Dr. Niamh Humphries BSocSc. MPhil. PhD

Dr. Tracey McCauley BSc, MSc, PhD

Aisling Walsh BA,MSocSc

ChRAIC PhDScholars


Anna Awor MStat

Everd Maniple Bikaitwoha MBChB, MPH

John Kadzandira MSc, BSc

Diane Nurse B.Sc; BA Hons; M.Phil

Departmental Administrators (

Mary O'Connell  

Fiona Wright ( )


PHS Department of Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine - Profiles

Professor Ruairí Brugha MD, FFPHMI, MSc, DCH, Dip Obs, DipHumanities


Head of Department

Ruairi's Publications

E-mail: Ruairi

Professor Ruairí Brugha qualified as a doctor at UCD in 1980 and spent six years in Africa in the 1980s-90s as a clinician, public health specialist and researcher. He completed his public health medicine training in the UK and joined the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1996 as a lecturer and then senior lecturer. He was co-editor of Health Policy and Planning from 1999 and Head of the Health Policy Unit from2003. In 2005, he joined the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland as the first full time Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine. He conducts health policy and health systems research, mainly in Africa and Ireland. See for outputs from a multi-country network researching the effects of global initiatives on recipient country health systems, which he co-coordinates, and see Pubmed for journal publications.

Professor Ronán Conroy BA, MusB, DipEd, DSc


Associate Professor, Professor in Biostatistics and Research Methods

Ronan's Publications

E-mail: Ronan

Ronán Conroy is the Associate Professor of Biostatistics. He was educated in Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, and obtained his Higher Doctorate from the National University of Ireland. He is the module co-ordinator for the Evidence Based Health module, which combines research methods, critical appraisal and research ethics. He teaches hands-on statistics courses on the PhD programmes. In addition, he provides statistical advice and analysis to College researchers.

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. He was responsible for the development of the SCORE risk chart, a simple chart used to estimate risk of cardiovascular disease which is part of the European Task force Guidelines on Cardiovascular Prevention. He also carried out the first public health trials of solar disinfection of drinking water. Together with his wife, Jeannette Golden, he has published research on mental health of the elderly in Ireland.


Dr. Paul McKeown MB, FFPHM(I), MPH, DCH


Senior Lecturer

Email: Paul

Paul is a consultant in public health medicine and a part-time lecturer in epidemiology and public health at the RCSI. His speciality is infectious disease epidemiology and environmental issues. He trained in General Practiceand moved to Public Health in 1991. He is head of the Gastrozoonotic Unit at the Health Protection Surveillance Centre in Dublin which is Ireland's specialist agency for the surveillance of communicable diseases. He serves on a number of national and international committees concerned with foodborne illness. His research interests include gastrointestinal disease, outbreak management and the epidemiology of emerging infections.

Dr. Emer Shelley MD, FRCPI, MSc, FFPH, FFPHMI, MSc Dip MedEd


Senior Lecturer

Email: Emer

Emer is a consultant in public health medicine and a part-time lecturer in epidemiology and public health at the RCSI. Her speciality is cardiovascular epidemiology; she was Project Director of the Kilkenny Health Project (1984-1992) and was subsequently Medical Director of the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF). From 2000 to 2006 she was National Heart Health Advisor at the Department of Health and Children. Emer is now the public health lead for the Stroke Programme in the Quality and Clinical Care Directorate of the Health Service Executive. She is Convenor of Examinations for the Faculty of Public Health Medicine and has served on international and national committees, for example in the Irish Heart Foundation. Her research interests include an alysisof trends in mortality, morbidity and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and establishing data standards for modules of cardiovascular registers.


Dr. Regien Biesma BA, MSc, MPH, PhD



Regien's Publications

E-mail: Regien

Regien Biesma is a lecturer in epidemiology and public health medicine in RCSI and coordinates the Population and International health module in the undergraduate and graduate program (GEP). She obtained her doctorate in Public Health fromMaastricht University, the Netherlands and holds Master's degrees in Epidemiology and Public Health. Regien worked as a coordinator of international academic cooperation in Eastern Europe, the New Independent States, and Mongolia and was involved in a cohort study on Diet and Cancer at Maastricht University. In her current position, Regien is involved in two research projects: a collaborative study on the effect of Global Health Initiatives on health systems in Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Angola and in the Ireland-Africa Partnership for Health Research Capacity Strengthening. Research interests include constraints to scale up of health programmes in low income countries, such as HIV/AIDS, maternal health and chronic diseases and changing patterns of diseases.


Patrick Dicker BA, MA, MSc, CStat



Pat's Publications

Email: Patrick

Patrick Dicker is a lecturer and statistician in the departments of epidemiology and public health medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology (Rotunda) in the RCSI. Patrick obtained his primary degree in pure mathematics and statistics from University College Dublin in 1992, where he subsequently obtained his master's degree in statistics. He also has a master's degree in bioinformatics from Dublin City University. Prior to working in the RCSI, Patrick spent 10 years working as a consultant biostatistician in the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland, France and Switzerland, where he obtained extensive experience in clinical trials. His research interests cover broad areas, from molecular and cellular therapeutics to public health epidemiology and health systems research. His current collaborations include: intra-uterine growth restriction and neonatal outcomes, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder proteomics, skin cancer in renal transplantation, platelet aggregometry and cardiovascular disease, psychiatric profiling of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, global HIV/AIDS initiatives and health systems in Africa. He is currently on the research board of the Irish Epilepsy Association.


Dr. Elaine Byrne BA, MLitt, PhD


ChRAIC ResearchProgramme Coordinator

Elaine's Publications

E-mail: Elaine

Elaine's general research interest areas are: information systems and social development; qualitative research methodology, and; health information systems, in particular around HIV and AIDS. She obtained her doctorate from the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa in Public Health on the design and development of community based health information systems. Her Masters and undergraduate degrees in economics were obtained fromTrinity College Dublin, Ireland. Elaine recently left the University ofPretoria as senior lecturer in Information Systems (March 2008) and is currently Research Programme Coordinator for the Ireland-Africa Partnership for Health Research Capacity Strengthening in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.


Dr. Myles Balfe B.A., M.A., Ph.D.


Senior Research Fellow

Myles's Publications

Email: Myles

Dr Myles Balfe is a Senior Research Fellow who has authored over 30 journal articles, mainly as first author. He is currently working on a Diabetes Ireland funded project, ‘what factors influence the self-care practices of young adults with type 1 diabetes?' Prior to this he worked in the UK for 2 years researching child abuse, violence and sexual offending, before which he was based in RCSI for three years as the lead Post-Doc researcher on the Irish National Chlamydia Screening study.  Myles obtained a first class honours degree (BA) in Geography from UCC, first class honours Master's degree from the University of Nottingham; and his Ph.D. from the University of Sheffield.


Dr. Niamh Humphries BSocSc, MPhil, PhD


Senior Research Fellow

Niamh's Publications

Email: Niamh

Niamh holds a degree from UCD, a Masters from TCD and a PhD in Sociology from UCD and has fifteen years experience in applied social research (qualitative and quantitative). She joined RCSI in 2006 as a postdoctoral researcher on the HRB funded Nurse Migration Project which examined the impact of international nurse recruitment on the Irish health system. Niamh currently works as Senior Research Fellow on a number of projects relating to health worker migration and health workforce planning including the HRB funded Doctor Emigration and Doctor Migration Projects. Her research interests include: health-worker migration, human resources for health and migration (see publications).

Dr. Tracey McCauley BSc, MSc, PhD

Tracey McCauley

Researcher Staff

Tracey's Publications

Email: Tracey

Tracey Mc Cauley is a Post Doctoral Researcher on the Clinical Officer Surgical Training in Africa project (COST-Africa). COST-Africa is a collaborative project between the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Surgical Society in Zambia, the University of Malawi, and Stichting Katholieke Universiteit, Nijmegen Netherlands. Tracey obtained her doctorate in Exercise Physiology from Loughborough University, UK, as well as an MSc in Physical Activity and Health. Prior to working on COST-Africa Tracey worked in the School of Community Health Sciences, Division of Primary Care, University of Nottingham, UK working on the largest randomised control trial (RCT) in the UK: ProACt65+ the promotion of physical activity in older adults. In her current position Tracey is involved in this 5 year RCT which will design, implement and evaluate the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and impact of a clinical officer surgical training programme at the district hospital level in Malawi and Zambia.


Jakub Gajewski MSc


Research Officer

Email: Jakub

Jakub Gajewski is a health sociologist who has previously worked at National University of Ireland in Galway at Health Promotion Research Centre. Prior to this he worked as a researcher in the Mother and Child Research Institute in Warsaw. He has been involved in several population based studies, including the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study. The aim of this study is to gain insight into young people's well-being, health behaviours and their social context. This research collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for Europe is conducted every four years in 43 countries and regions across Europe and North America. He was also working as a researcher on several studies focusing on the impact of social factors on people living with chronic illness - particularly Type 1 Diabetes. He is a PhD student at the University of Wroclaw in Poland.

Aisling Walsh BA, MSocSc


COSYST-MCH Coordinator

Aisling's Publications

Email: Aisling

Aisling Walsh is a researcher and coordinator of Community Systems Strengthening for Equitable Maternal and Child Health (COSYST-MCH). Through a partnership of development workers, researchers and practitioners, COSYST-MCH aims to strengthen community systems and increase health equity so as to achieve better maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes in Malawi and Zambia. COSYST-MCH will explore causal chains that influence the utilisation or not of MCH services by vulnerable mothers and children in the first 1,000 days of life. Prior to working on COSYST-MCH, Aisling was a researcher on the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN), a network of researchers studying the effects of global HIV/AIDS initiatives on health systems in 22 countries. Aisling is also a PhD candidate in RCSI, undertaking a socio-cultural analysis of researchers' experiences of international collaborations for health research involving Zambia and the global north. She obtained a degree in Sociology and History; and a Masters degree in Social Science (M.Soc.Sc) from University College Dublin. Aisling is an honorary research fellow in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Aisling's primary research interests are in health systems research in Africa, in particular the role of the community and voluntary sector. She previously worked as policy and research manager in Disability Federation of Ireland and as a research analyst in the Disability Database Division of the Health Research Board.


Dr. Sara McAleese MBiochem MSc PhD


Researcher, RCSI

Email: Sara

Sara joined the Doctor Migration project in January 2013 and is Postdoctoral Researcher on the project. She holds a Masters degree in Biochemistry (Oxon), a Masters in Immunology and Global Health (NUIM) and recently completed the HRB Scholars programme in Health Services Research. Her PhD is focussed on implications of the feminisation of medicine for the Irish medical Workforce and will be submitted in the coming weeks. Her research interests include human resources for health, human resource management, global health and qualitative research methods.

Dr. Samuel E. Anya BMedSc, MBBS, MRCOG


PhD Researcher ChRAIC Programme

E-mail:  Sam

Samuel Anya obtained BMedSc (Pharmacology) and MBBS degrees from University of Port Harcourt Nigeria. He undertook postgraduate training in obstetrics and gynaecology and qualified as a Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons. In 2002, he moved to Gambia as a lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology and honorary consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist. Having experienced first hand how short comings in the health system contribute to poor maternal and new born outcomes, he has now committed himself to understanding and seeking solutions to these challenges. Samuel regards the PhD programme as an opportunity to further his understanding of health systems and reflect on options for strengthening them.

Anna Awor - MStat


PhD Researcher ChRAIC Programme

E-mail: Anna 

Anna C. Awor is a CHRAIC PhD Scholar in HealthSystems Research. Anna has a Bachelor Degree in Statistics and Masters Degree in the Biostatistics, both from Makerere University, Uganda. Prior to commencing her PhD she received a McGoldrick Biostatistics fellowship Scholars Award from Harvard School of Public Health. She worked as a Statistician for the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-Uganda) where she was involved in the protocol writing and analysis of research data and has co-authored a number of peer reviewed papers. For her PhD she will be working on integration of family planning and PMTCT services, her PhD supervisor is Dr.Elaine Byrne.


Everd Maniple Bikaitwoha MBChB, MPH


PhD Researcher ChRAIC Programme

E-mail: Everd

Everd is a lecturer in Health Services Management at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi, in Uganda. He has a diverse research background on several aspects relevant to Health Systems Research, ranging from Human Resources for Health (training, workload, productivity, HIV/AIDS, motivation); Health Systems Development (public-private partnership for health, decentralization); hospital organization, management, and efficiency (strategic planning, cost analysis); Equity in health (access determinants); Health Financing (health insurance) and quality of care (prescription practices, patient safety). He is a medical doctor with MPH both qualifications obtained from Makerere University, Kampala. He has worked in rural health services in Uganda and Rwanda, initially as a hospital-based clinician and later as a manager at district and regional levels. He also has a long working experience with international NGOs and universities in Uganda.

Diane Nurse B.SC; BA Hons; M.PHil


PhD Researcher

Email: Diane

Diane qualified as an Occupational Therapist at the University of Cape Town and worked in various settings in South Africa before moving to the Western Cape Department of Health as Assistant Director for Rehabilitation. In 2001, she moved to Ireland and was employed in the former Eastern Regional Health Authority as a Service Planner for Disability and for Social Inclusion. With the establishment of the Health Service Executive, she took on the role of National Specialist Planner for Social Inclusion. In this capacity, she has led on development of the HSE National Intercultural Health Strategy and has responsibility for coordinating its implementation. She presently heads the National Social Inclusion Unit of the HSE, which has a strategic remit including Addiction, Homelessness, Intercultural Health (including asylum seekers and refugees), Traveller health, LGBT health, and Community Development.  Her interests are in the area of health and social exclusion, with an emphasis on working towards improving access to health services by people from disadvantaged groups. 


Mary O'Connell


Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine Assistant

Tel: 01 402 2434

E-mail: Mary

Responsible for admin across teaching, exams and research within the department.


Fiona Wright


Global Health & Development Administrator

Tel: +353-1-402 2733

Email:  Fiona

To be updated 










PHS Department of Psychology

Head of Department

Professor Anne Hickey BA (Mod.), PhD, RegPsychol.AFPsSI

Professor of Psychology, current Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences

Professor Hannah McGee BA(Mod.), PhD,RegPsychol. FPsSI, FBPsS, FEHPS 

Senior Lecturers 

Dr. Frank Doyle BA, MLitt, PhD


Dr. Mary Clarke BA, MSc, PhD

Dr. Sally Doherty BSc(Hons) PhD  

Dr. Caroline Kelleher 

Dr. Lisa Mellon PhD, Reg. Psychol PsSI

Karen Morgan PhD, Reg Psychol PsSI


Research Staff



Department Secretary 

Carole Carolan 




PHS Department of Psychology - Profiles

Carole Carolan


Department Secretary

Tel:+353-1- 402 2428

E-mail:  Carole

First point of contact for the Psychology department. Administrative support to Head of Department.  Responsible for admin and secretarial duties across teaching and exams (5 year, GEM, HBS Physio, HBS Pharmacy). Assisting with research admin and conference organisation.


Dr. Mary Clarke BA, MSc, PhD



E-mail:  Mary

Mary Clarke is a lecturer in psychology in RCSI. She was educated in Trinity College Dublin and  The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She teaches neuroscience to medical and physiotherapy undergraduates. Her area of research is psychiatric epidemiology, especially 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 Helsinkishe 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. She is involved in two projects looking at risk and  protective factors for mental illness among young Irish adolescents. These projects examine the neurocognitive, psychiatric and electrophysiological profile of young adolescents at risk for the development of psychotic disorder in adulthood.


Dr. Sally Doherty BSc(Hons) PhD CPsychol

Sally Doherty

Email:  Sally

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. Sally’s research interests are in cardiovascular disease, cardiac rehabilitation and sexual health

Dr. Frank Doyle BA, MLitt, PhD


Senior Lecturer

Frank's Publications

E-mail:  Frank 

Frank Doyle is a senior lecturer in psychology in RCSI. He co-ordinates and teaches behavioural sciences and statistics to medical, physiotherapy, pharmacy and other health professionals at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is the Associate Editor of Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine: An Open Access Journal (  He has also acted as a statistical consultant on several research projects. He is particularly interested in the fields of psychosomatic medicine and cardiovascular disease, and has published in international journals in this area. Other research interests include cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention behaviours. Frank has won awards for his research presentations at national and international conferences.


Professor Anne Hickey BA (Mod.), PhD, RegPsychol.AFPsSI


Head of Department

Anne's Publications

Email:  Anne

Anne Hickey is Head of the Department of Psychology at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 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.


Dr. Caroline Kelleher 



Email:  Caroline

Caroline is a lecturer in psychology in RCSI. She is involved in teaching Behavioural Sciences to medical, physiotherapy and pharmacy students at undergraduate level. She has a BSc in honours Psychology. A previous IRCHSS scholar recipient, Caroline completed her PhD in 2010 at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Her doctoral research examined the psycho-social impact of rape and sexual assault in a sample of Irish women and she has consistently engaged in health-related research with a range of vulnerable populations since the beginning of her career (e.g. palliative care, falls prevention in older people). As well as lecturing within the Department, Caroline has just completed work as the lead postdoctoral researcher on an IRCHSS-funded  project (PI: Dr. Karen Morgan) exploring trends in sexual activity, contraceptive use and pregnancy experiences in Ireland over the last decade.


Professor Hannah McGee BA(Mod.), PhD,RegPsychol. FPsSI, FBPsS, FEHPS


Professor of Psychology

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Hannah's Publications

E-mail:  Hannah

Professor Hannah McGee is a health psychologist, Professor of Psychology, founding director of RCSI's Health Services Research Centre - the first such centre in Ireland, established in 1997; and current Dean of the Faculty of HealthSciences of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Her research interests are in psychosocial aspects of health and illness and in health services research. She has led on national research programmes including on cardiovascular issues (acute coronary syndromes, cardiac rehabilitation, stroke); on vulnerable populations (older people, hepatitis C patients) on sexual health (population profiles of sexual health and sexual violence); and on professional issues (management of complaints against doctors; public perceptions of biomedical research). Among leadership roles, she has been president of the Psychological Society of Ireland and the European Health Psychology Society and is currently Chair of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Section, European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. She has been a member of national boards or committees including the National Cardiovascular Advisory Forum. She was appointed in 2009 by the Minister for Health and Children to lead a Cardiovascular Policy Group in developing national policy.


Dr. Lisa Mellon PhD, Reg. Psychol PsSI 

Lisa Mellon


E-mail: Lisa

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


Karen Morgan PhD, Reg Psychol PsSI 


Senior Lecturer Psychology

E-mail: Karen

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


Natasha Rafter

Clinical Research Fellow

Email Natasha

Dr Natasha Rafter is a specialist in public health medicine and clinical research fellow on the Irish National Adverse Events Study, undertaking an MD. She graduated in medicine from Otago University and worked in hospital and GP settings for five years before commencing specialist training. During her training she worked in communicable disease, reviewed the regional asylum seeker mental health service, did a cost utility analysis of anti-inflammatory medication, and developed a business case for district wide cardiovascular (CV) risk assessment. Prior to joining RCSI Natasha was the senior research fellow on two randomised controlled trials of CV combination medication in high risk patients at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland. Her research interests include patient safety, pharmacovigilance, CV risk assessment, access to treatment, and adherence. Natasha has also worked in medicine and medical devices safety at the Irish Medicines Board and the New Zealand medicines regulator Medsafe.






PHS Divisional Staff

Division Research Manager

Laura Méchineau Phelan, BSc, MSc, MEcon, MSc (Hons)(Leadership & Management)

Dr. Fiona Boland, BSc (Statistics), MSc. in Statistics, PhD


SPHeRE- Structured Population and Health-services Research Education


SPHeRE Programme Staff

Carlos Bruen BA, MSc - SPHeRE Programme Administrator

Elaine Healy, MSc by Research, PG Dip. Stats, B.A. (Mod) - Programme Coordinator

Rebecca Kirrane B.Sc.

Ciaran McCarthy BA, MPhil, Grad Dip Sc Database Manager, SPHeRE Programme  

Dr. Amanda Slevin BA Hons, HDip, MA, PhD SPHeRE Scholars

Annette Burns

Suzanne Brennan

Orla Caffrey BA (Hons); HDip (Finance); Msc (Health Economics) 

Antoinette Copley, BSc, MSc 

Nora-Ann Donnelly, MA (SocSci), MSc

Yvonne McGowan BA, MSc

Louise McMahon

Frank Moriarty

Mary Morrissey

Mark Murphy

Sarah Murphy B.A., M.Soc.Sc.

Mary-Ann O’Donovan MPhil, BSc (Mng)

Niamh O'Rourke, RGN, MPH,MSc

Daniela Rohde

Aine Ryan

Eithne Sexton MSc, MPhil, B.A.(Mod)

Emma Wallace MB, BAO, Bch(Hons), B MedSci(Hons), MICGP, DCH FPC



PHS Divisional Staff - Profiles


Laura Méchineau Phelan BSc, MSC, MEcon, MSc (Hons) Leadership & Management

Research Manager Division of Population Health Sciences

Email:  Laura

Laura Méchineau Phelan is the Research Manager for the Division of Population Health Sciences of the RCSI. She qualified in Ireland (MSc(Hons) LMD first class 1.2 honours) and in France (BSc, MSc, MEcon) and did authorship two thesis: "Efficience des Marchés Financiers" (Paris XII, 1995) and "Research Governance: Development and Implementation of Research Data Handling Policies for the Division of Population Health Sciences of the RCSI" (NUI, 2009). She is currently finishing a LLB (Hons) in Irish Law with the University of West England, Bristol. After working as a researcher for the Banque de France and publishing two main reports she joined a trading room as a Risk Manager Assistant and Back Office Manager (commodities and currencies markets). She moved to Ireland in 1999 to become Director of an Irish Company and manage its national and international operations. She joined the RCSI in 2006 and has contributed towards coordinating and securing research funding and subsequent (€85m,HRB,FP6,FP7,Others). Her main responsibilities include writing and coordinating proposals and reports to sponsors; general administrative management of ongoing research grants in particular financial and legal matters. Her interests are governance and general management including legal matters.



Dr. Fiona Boland, BSc (Statistics), MSc. in Statistics, PhD



Email: Fiona

Fiona is a lecturer in Biostatistics and Research Methods. She graduate with a BSc. in Statistics in 2004 from University College Dublin (UCD), where she subsequently obtained her MSc. in Statistics and her PhD in 2009. For 3 years, prior to working in the RCSI, Fiona lectured in Statisitics in the School of Mathematical Sciences in UCD. Fiona was also a postdoctoral research fellow in the Health Research Board (HRB) Centre for Primary Care.

Fiona's research interests include development and application of statistical modelling techniques to complex problems, clinical prediction rules and randomised controlled trials. Fiona's current projects include investigating practice level variation, paediatric epidemiology and examining drug related mortality during methadone maintenance treatment.

Fiona teaches statistics courses for the Masters in Surgery (MCh) and supervises students on the completion of a minor thesis. Fiona also teaches on the Practical Course in Health Research Methods and coordinates RCSI's Biostatistical Consulting and Support Service which provides statistical advice and support to college researchers.


HRB PhD Scholars in Health Services Research - Profiles


Suzanne Brennan

Suzanne Brennan

HRB PhD Scholar

E-mail Suzanne


Suzanne is a HRB PhD Scholar in Health Services Research. She has a B.A. in History and French from U.C.C. and an M.A. in Politics from U.C.D. Suzanne currently works as an Assistant Principal in the Dept. of Social Protection. She has worked in a number of government departments over the past 14 years, in a range of areas including the area of policy development (Strategic Policy Unit, Dept. Education & Skills) and cross-sectoral issues (Cosc, The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence).  Suzanne's research interests include health policy development, policy responses to cross-sectoral issues  and health sector reform.


Carlos Bruen BA, MSc


SPHeRE Programme Administrator

E-mail: Carlos

Carlos Bruen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health Medicine. He is also Programme Administrator for the Structured Population and Health-Services Research Education (SPHeRE) Programme.
He previously worked as a researcher on the Global Health Initiatives (GHIs) in Africa research consortium (, a project exploring the health systems-effects of GHIs in southern African countries and the impact of GHI finance on the health and wider aid landscape. He has also contributed to the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN), a network of researchers from 22 countries, as well as to a number of other health-systems research commissioned projects with non-governmental organisations and multilateral agencies. His research focuses on the politics of policy making in global health organisation and governance. Prior to this he completed an MSc (UCD), after which he worked for several years as a Teaching & Research Fellow in the Equality Studies Centre, UCD, coordinating and contributing to modules in global politics and development, and postgraduate research methods training.

Annette Burns BA (Psychology); MSc (Applied Social Research)


Email: Annette

Annette Burns is a scholar on the HRB SPHeRE PhD Programme in Population Health and Health Services Research. Annette has a first class honours degree in Psychology (NUI, Galway) and a first class honours MSc in Applied Social Research (Trinity College Dublin). Her research interests include psychometric measurement, smoking cessation and behaviour change. She gained practical experience in the area of behaviour change while employed at a specialist research company, where she worked on national and European-level projects employing interventions to change behaviour in the areas of travel, sustainability and physical activity. More recently, she worked as a Research Assistant within the General Practice department of RCSI assisting with a study on multimorbidity in a general practice setting by interviewing older patients about medicine management and adverse events. Annette has also worked with the Tobacco Free Research Institute, assisting with funding applications, survey design and analysis.

Orla Caffrey, BA (Hons); HDip (Finance); Msc (Health Economics)      


 HRSI/ HRB PhD Scholar

Email Orla

Orla has a strong economic background. In 2005, she graduated, with honours, from the National University of Galway, Ireland where she studied Maths and Economics. Before moving into the field of health economic in 2007, she worked as a hedge fund accountant. In 2008, she obtained a Masters in Health Economics from the University of York.


Antoinette Copley BSc, MSc


PHD Scholar in Health Services Research

Email:  Antoinette

Antoinette Copley is a HRB PhD Scholar in Health Services Research. Antoinette has an honours degree in Psychology (Open University - UK) and Research Masters degree Psychology from Trinity College Dublin. Prior to commencing her PhD, she worked as an Assistant Psychologist and a Data Manager in a large teaching hospital in Dublin. During this time her main area of work was in the field of challenging behavior in dementia. She supported a multidisciplinary team in their desire to improve the quality of care given to people with dementia. She is a PhD student with the Psychology department.  


 Nora-Ann Donnelly MA (SocSci), MSc 

Nora Ann Donnelly

HRB PhD Scholar

E-mail Nora-Ann

Nora-Ann is a HRB PhD Scholar in Health Services Research. Nora-Ann has an honours Masters Degree in Politics from the University of Glasgow and a first class honours MSc in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin.  Prior to commencing her PhD Nora-Ann worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator with an International Humanitarian NGO for several years. Following this Nora-Ann worked with the Economic and Social Research Institute and the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science at University College Dublin. Before joining the Scholars Programme Nora-Ann worked with the National Centre for the Protection of Older People at University College Dublin.

Elaine Healy, MSc by Research, PG Dip. Stats, B.A. (Mod)

Elaine Healy

Email: Elaine 

Elaine Healy is the Programme Co-ordinator for the SPHeRE Programme and joined RCSI  in Feb 2011. Elaine leads the administrative team on the SPHeRE Programme and co-ordinates internal and external communication and events for the Programme. Elaine graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an MSc by Research in Behavioural Science, a PG Dip Stats and a B.A. (Mod) in Natural Science. She has previously worked in both undergraduate and postgraduate programme administration in Trinity College and Dublin City University.


Rebecca Kirrane, B.Sc.

Rebecca Kirrane

Learning Technology Officer, SPHeRE Programme

Email: Rebecca

Rebecca is the Learning Technology Officer for the SPHeRE programme, a HRB structured PhD Scholars Programme in population health and health-services research. Her professional background is in media education and she has taught art, multimedia, animation, video and design to students from ages 5 - 25. A self-confessed new millennial learner who lives online, she is fascinated by the challenge of capturing and maintaining the attention of contemporary learners in a fast-paced, online environment.

Rebecca holds a B.Sc. in Multimedia (DCU) and is currently completing an M.Sc in Technology and Learning with the School of Computer Science and Statistics, TCD.


Ciarán McCarthy BA, MPhil, Grad Dip Sc


Database Manager, SPHeRE Programme  

Email: Ciarán

Ciarán is the Database Manager for the Structured Population and Health-services Research Education (SPHeRE) programme, a structured HRB funded PhD programme. Prior to joining RCSI in early 2014 as the Programme Co-Ordinator on SPHeRE, Ciarán completed a Grad Dip (Education & Training Management) at Dublin City University, an MPhil (Applied Linguistics) at Trinity College and a BA in Italian & Linguistics at University College Dublin.

Ciarán's professional background includes programme management on international postgraduate sales programmes and as Academic Director on an international foundation programme; with a background as an international Sales Director in EMEAA for a number of multinational educational organisations, he also has experience as Director at a number language training organisations.


Yvonne McGowan B.A. MSc


HRB PhD Scholar in Health Services Research

Email:  Yvonne 

Yvonne is a HRB PhD Scholar in Health Services Research. She has a BA in Psychology from DBS and an MSc in Applied Social Research from TCD. Prior to joining the Scholars Programme, Yvonne was a Research Officer within the Psychology department of RCSI. She led on a systematic review of quality of care, as part of the ORCAB programme (Improving quality and safety in the hospital: The link between organisational culture, burnout, and quality of care). She also worked on the Health Behaviour of Young People in Ireland study along with secondary analysis of SLÁN 2007 (Survey of Lifestyle Attitudes and Nutrition, 2007). Yvonne has also worked as a field researcher for the Economic and Social Research Institute on the Growing up in Ireland Longitudinal Survey. Her research interests include cardiovascular disease, quality of care and workforce planning.


Louise McMahon


HRB PhD Scholar

E-mail  Louise

Louise McMahon is Director of Performance and Service Improvement with the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Board since September 2010.  The Board is responsible for Performance, Commissioning and effective Financial Management of all heath and social services contracting with the six Health and Social Care Trusts and a range of other statutory, voluntary and private sector providers.  Louise joined the health service as an NHS Graduate Management Trainee and worked in the former Western and Eastern Health and Social Services Boards and the North and West Belfast Community Trust. In recent years she worked as Senior Commissioner with the Eastern Regional Health Authority, and latterly with the Health Service Executive with particular focus on acute hospital services in Dublin. Louise is a graduate of Queen's University, Belfast, P.G.C.E., Dip. HSM, MBA and has studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Sarah Murphy, B.A., M.Soc.Sc.


PHD Scholar in Health Services Research

Email: Sarah

Sarah Murphy is a part-time student on the HRB PhD scholars programme in Health Services Research and is currently working as a Policy Manager in the Health Information and Quality Authority. Sarah graduated from University College Dublin with a B.A. in French and Sociology and a Masters degree in Sociology (Health and Illness) and has extensive experience working in health and social services research and policy and standards development in both academia and the public sector in the fields of child health, reproductive health, disability, social care and social inclusion.  Her areas of interest include the social determinants of health, international developments in health and social care policy and research methodologies.


Frank Moriarty

Frank Moriarty

HRB PhD Scholar

E-mail Frank

Frank is a HRB PhD scholar in Health Services Research. Frank qualified as a pharmacist having obtained a Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters of Pharmacy from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Prior to commencing his PhD, he worked in the community pharmacy setting and areas of research experience include pharmacy-based smoking cessation programmes and organisational change management.


Mary Morrissey BA (Hons), Dip (SMG), MSc


Email: Mary

Mary Morrissey is Head of Psychology in Health Intelligence (HI), Health Service Executive (HSE) based in Dublin. Health Intelligence involves the development and use of knowledge to support decision making to improve the health of the population.  Her role in Health Intelligence allows for an enhanced interface of policy and service provision and strengthens decision making through the application of evidence and the development of innovative and best practice solutions across the health care sector including generation of a shared vision/statement of purpose, mentoring and facilitation.

She holds an adjunct Lecturer position with the Dept of Public Health and Primary Care Trinity College Dublin.  She also works clinically providing Psychological intervention for the Diabetes Clinic in Connolly Memorial Hospital, Dublin.

Mary holds an MSc Research from Trinity College Dublin and a BA (Hons) from University College Cork. She holds a Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy and Senior Managers in Government (SMG) diploma from Harvard (2006). She has previously served on the Change Management Team for the interim Health Service Executive; Regional Director of Services for Children on the Autistic Spectrum in Dublin Mid-Leinster Region; and Head of Psychology, Cheeverstown House, Dublin. She was president of the Psychological Society of Ireland  2010-2011. 


Niamh O'Rourke RGN, MPH, MSc Part time student


Email:  Niamh

Niamh O'Rourke is a part time student on the HRB PhD scholars programme in Health Services Research. Niamh qualified as a Registered General Nurse from St Vincent's University Hospital and has a Masters in Public Health Medicine from UCD and a Masters in Health Services Management from TCD. Niamh has worked in health services overseas in Germany, Australia and Cambodia in the areas of nursing, community development and primary health care. In Ireland, Niamh has worked as Project Manager in the areas of Health Promotion, Tobacco Control, Cardiovascular Health, Cancer, Palliative Care and Primary Care.


Mary-Ann O’Donovan MPhil, BSc (Mng)


PhD scholar in Health Services Research

Email: Mary-Ann

Mary-Ann is a HRB PhD scholar in Health Services Research. Prior to this she was employed as research officer in the Disability Databases Team of the Health Research Board. In this role she was responsible for the management of the National Physical and Sensory Disability Database (NPSDD). Previously Mary-Ann was employed as research officer by the National Disability Authority as part of the 6th Framework EU funded project ‘Measuring Health and Disability in Europe (MHADIE)’ and also worked as research officer for Rehab Group. Her MPhil thesis explored the absence of disabled people from commercial advertising and its impact on the disabling experience.


Daniela Rohde

Daniela Rohde

HRB PhD student SPHeRE

Email: Daniela

Daniela is a HRB PhD scholar in Population Health and Health Services Research. Daniela holds a BA (Hons) in Psychology and an MSc in Applied Social Research, both from Trinity College Dublin. She has several years' experience working with homeless persons with severe and enduring mental health and addiction problems. More recently she worked as a Research Assistant in the UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems on a number of different projects, including a national review of the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework. Her research interests include quantitative methodologies, mental health, cardiovascular disease, secondary prevention and health behaviours.


Áine Ryan, MSc, BSc (Hons) Physio., MISCP.


Email: Áine

Áine is a HRB PhD scholar in Population Health and Health Services Research (SPHeRE). She graduated from Brunel University, London in 2003 with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy. Prior to commencing the SPHeRE programme she worked clinically for nine years in a variety of clinical areas in the Irish Health Service as part of Physiotherapy and interdisciplinary teams. She has held senior roles in Rheumatology, Orthopaedic Triage, Musculoskeletal Outpatients and Pain Management. Áine completed her Masters in Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy in 2010 in University College Dublin. Areas of research experience include function and morphology of spinal muscles in Low Back Pain along with communication style and exercise compliance in Physiotherapy. Her areas of research interest are non-invasive interventions (physical activity and exercise promotion) and adherence to lifestyle modifications in individuals with multimorbidity.


Eithne Sexton  


Email: Eithne 

Eithne Sexton is a PhD Scholar on the HRB Scholar's Programme in Health Services Research. Eithne has an honours degree in Psychology and Philosophy, and an MSc in Applied Social Research, both from Trinity College Dublin. She worked previously as a Data Analyst in the Health Research and Information Division of the Economic and Social Research Institute. Her PhD research focuses on the measurement of quality of life at older ages, and the relationship between quality of life and chronic disease. She is a PhD student with the Psychology department. 


Dr. Amanda Slevin BA Hons, HDip, MA, PhD

Amanda Slevin

Assistant Director - Academic Affairs, SPHeRE Programme

Email: Amanda

Amanda is the Assistant Director for Academic Affairs on the Structured Population and Health-services Research Education (SPHeRE) programme, a HRB funded PhD Scholars Programme. Prior to joining RCSI in late 2013, Amanda completed an IRCHSS funded PhD in Sociology (UCD), a MA and HDip in Adult and Community Education (both with First Class Honours, NUIM), and a BA Hons in Community Development (with First Class Honours, LYIT). Amanda's professional background spans education (third level, adult, and community), qualitative research, research administration, and community development. Her research interests include policy-formation and decision-making within the Irish State, Irish State hydrocarbon management, social movements, education, and the impacts of hydrocarbon exploitation on communities.