Dr. Tim Yeomans received his Degree in Industrial Biology from the Institute of Technology Carlow and subsequently completed his PhD in Microbiology at University College Cork. Tim has completed postgraduate diplomas in Technology Commercialisation and Innovation Management. Tim has previously held the position of Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Centre for Medical Genetics, Crumlin and the Dublin Dental School and Hospital. He has held various industrial based roles and more recently provided technical and commercial input as Laboratory and Research Manager for a contract research and development company. Tim has been Centre Manager for Shannon ABC since 2011, within this role he is responsible for on-going engagement with industry, scientific direction of the Centre as well as commercialisation of research.
Tim’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3, 9 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; and Life Below Water).
Dr Emma MurphySenior Business Development Scientist
Dr Emma Murphy holds a Degree in Bioanalytical Science, Degree in Toxicology and a Ph.D. in Microbiology. During her PhD, Emma investigated the therapeutic effect of fungal polysaccharides in bacterial-induced lung injury. This work was carried out in Athlone Institute of Technology and National University of Ireland, Galway. Emma has completed a postdoctoral research project in the area of bioactive (microalgae) and immunology.
At present, Emma is employed as a Business Development Scientist in Shannon ABC. Emma previosuly worked as a postdoctoral scientist on the BIM-funded M-Factories project which was based on the development of an innovative microalgal commercialization pipeline. Emma is an Associate Researcher with the Materials Research Institute in the Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone and her research interests are microalgae, bioactive polysaccharides, and immunomodulation in hyperinflammatory microenvironments in lung injury.
Emma’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being.
Dr Niall Burke Scientific Project Manager / Cell Biology Specialist
Dr. Niall Burke holds the role of Scientific Project Manager and Principal Investigator with Shannon ABC at MTU. Dr. Burke received both his BSc in Physiology and his MRes in Microbiology (yeast physiology) from University College Cork. He completed his PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences at The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute of University College London, while researching the role of mitochondrial dynamics in cardiac ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Niall then worked as a postdoctoral fellow for Astrazeneca in Cambridge UK, where he was investigating the role of cell signalling kinases in drug-induced structural cardiotoxicity. Niall uses his cell culture and molecular cell biology experience to contribute to the planning and troubleshooting of Shannon ABC’s mammalian and microbial cell culture research projects for both the biotechnology industry and academia. He is currently PI on numerous industrial client projects and lead supervisor for two postgraduate academic projects.
Niall’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDGs 3 and 12 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Dr Hande Ermis received her degree in Bioengineering where she studied two years in Istanbul Technical University and two years in Montana State University; and received double diplomas. She holds a Master’s degree in Bioengineering, where she worked on algal biogas production. Hande completed her PhD in Environmental Engineering where she focused on wastewater treatment with microalgae at lab-scale and pilot-scale systems along with observation of positive effect on algal biomass. She worked as a Research Assistant and Research Scientist at Shannon ABC, TUS in industrial research projects for over 2 years. Currently, she is working as a Business Development Scientist at Shannon ABC, TUS as part of a multidisciplinary team undertaking industrial collaborative research projects.
Hande’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDGs 7, 12 and 14 (Affordable and Clean Energy; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life Below Water).
Dr. Jennifer Attard Circular Bioeconomy Researcher
Dr Jennifer Attard is a Research Project Manager within the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group. She currently works on the Horizon 2020 project agroBRIDGES, empowering farmers through Short Food Supply Chains; and the DAFM-funded Surplus Redistribution from Irish Horticulture Sector. Jennifer lectures and supervises students on Biobased Value Chains as part of Ireland’s first post-grad course in Bioeconomy with Business. She was previously a Principal Investigator on the EPA-funded Efficient Food project; quantifying and understanding national food loss and waste from primary production in Ireland. Other projects have included a Socio-economic study of seaweed harvesting in Ireland (Marine Institute-funded) and ICT-BIOCHAIN: Digitising Ireland’s Bioeconomy (BBI-JU funded). Jennifer received her BSc (Hons) in Chemistry with Materials from the University of Malta and her PhD in Chemistry from the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York.
Jennifer’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11, 12 and 13 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Climate Action).
Dr. Aleksandra Augustyniak received her Master Degree in Biology from the Department of General Genetics and Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Łódź, Poland. Subsequently, she completed her PhD in Biological Sciences from the Laboratory of Cytogenetics at the University of Łódź, whereby her research focused on the evaluation of the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Angeli’s salt-derived nitroxyl. Aleksandra joined Shannon ABC in 2015 and since then she has worked on a number of projects with a variety of industrial clients, including nutraceuticals, medical devices and cosmetics. Currently, she holds the position of Postdoctoral Scientist. Her main research interests focus on various aspects of cell culture technology and carcinogenesis. Aleksandra specializes in mammalian cell culture and in vitro screening for novel compound bioactivity using various cellular models.
Aleksandra’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 12 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Dr Camila Bibiano is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre in Limerick Institute of Technology, and she is currently working on a Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership project that aims to develop novel agro-industrial products based on the principles of the circular economy. Camila received her bachelor’s honours degree in Agriculture Science from the Federal University Vales Jequitinhonha e Mucuri-UFVJM, Brazil in 2012. Between 2009 to 2012, she was awarded Junior Scientist- CNPq scholarship where she assisted part-time in two main projects related to herbicides phytoremediation and soil quality and intercropping systems.
Camila achieved her master and PhD in Agrotechnology of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants from the Federal University of Lavras-UFLA, Brazil; whereby her research focused on crop management, secondary metabolites: production and evaluation, and bioactivity of natural compounds and its applicability in agroscience. Her main research projects, she tested different sources and doses of organic fertilisers and their effects in the quantitative and qualitative plant metabolites content. Additionally, she tested the insecticidal effect of essential oils and their major compounds, against fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda L.) and its selectivity to non-target organisms (Trichogramma pretiosum).
-Effect of growing Brachiaria brizantha on phytoremediation of picloram under different pH environments.
-Organic manure sources play fundamental roles in growth and quali-quantitative production of essential oil from Dysphania ambrosioides L.
-Soil microbial activity, weed control and growth of cassava after application of herbicide.
-Microbial activity of soil cultivated with cassava in an intercropping system.
Camila’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 2, 12 and 15 (Zero Hunger; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life on Land).
Dr. Catherine Collins is a Research Scientist at Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre in TUS. Her work focuses on exploring the role of fungi in the bioremediation of plastics as part of the Horizon 2020 BioICEP project https://www.bioicep.eu/. Catherine has a degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Fungal Biotechnology. She had worked on a number of fungal projects both in Ireland and the U.K. prior to joining Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre. While working at Shannon ABC, she has established her own research group which focuses on investigating mushrooms and fungi as functional foods and as sources of enzymes and other bioactives.
Catherine’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 12 (Good Health and Well Being; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Dr. Aoife Curran Network and Innovation Support Officer
Dr Aoife Curran received her BSc (Human Nutrition) and PhD from University College Dublin (UCD). Aoife’s PhD research focused on pancreatic beta cell function- where she investigated factors related to beta cell function and determined nutrition strategies to improve it. Aoife previously worked as a Research Scientist with Shannon ABC (Apr 2019- Aug 2021) and was responsible for the design and execution of biotechnology and cell culture based projects, recruitment of volunteer panel for skin probe testing and proactive delivery of projects for companies in the biotechnology, food and cosmetic sectors.
At present, Aoife currently holds the position of Network and Innovation Support Officer on the Natural Future of Cosmetics (NACO) project. She is responsible for developing the network of cosmetic companies, organising training and networking events, liaising with partners in Finland and contributing towards cosmetics expertise in Shannon ABC.
Aoife’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 12 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Carmen Giron-Dominguez is a Researcher and Project Manager in Sustainable Biomass Supply Chain and Logistics for the INFORMBIO project, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of Ireland. She holds a Biology degree, with specialisation in Ecology and Botany, and a MSc in Environmental Biotechnology, with specialisation in Circular Economy for agriculture, biostimulants and biofertilizers. Carmen has almost 4 years of experience in bioeconomy European R&D projects (H2020, BBI-JU and ATLANTICO) and have worked with bio-based businesses and entrepreneurs as an Innovation Consultant in Spain. She is also a member of the Bioeconomy Education for Systemic Change (BE CHANGE) community of practice.
Carmen’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11, 12 and 13 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Climate Action).
James Gaffey is Co-Director of the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group (CIRCBIO) at Shannon ABC in MTU. James is Principal Investigator on the BBI JU ICT-BIOCHAIN and BIOSWITCH projects and currently coordinator of the EIP-Agri Biorefinery Glas, small-scale grass biorefinery demonstration project. He is academic collaborator in the SFI BiORBIC Research Centre and part of the SFI Farm Zero C team.
Additional new projects include H2020s COOPID and AgroBridges. James is part of the core programme development team and lecturer on the Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business co-developed by MTU, UCD and Teagasc. He has been a regular contributor to European-level studies into circular bioeconomy and is currently a member of the Expert Panel for the Impact Assessment of the European Partnership for a Circular Biobased Europe under the future Horizon Europe programme. James joined MTU in 2016, working as biorefinery specialist on the EU Horizon 2020 AgriForValor Project. Prior to this, James worked in the biorefinery industry since 2009 with Sustainable Biopolymers, Cellulac Ltd and the Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (NUI Galway) and through projects including Bio-Eire, Future European League for Microalgal Energy (FUEL4ME) and Sustainable Polymers from Algae Sugars and Hydrocarbons (SPLASH).
James’ research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11, 12 and 13 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Climate Action).
Dhanyamol George received her MSc in Immunotherapeutics from Trinity College Dublin in 2020. She also holds a postgraduate degree in Biotechnology from Bangalore University, India. She received a BiSEP scholarship in 2015 from the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, for an advanced postgraduate diploma in Fermentation and Bioprocessing from Mangalore University.
Dhanyamol has both theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in the quality control and microbiological aspects of pharmaceutical industry. Her research-based projects have involved recombinant expression and purification of therapeutic proteins, and determining the immunogenicity of therapeutic protein aggregates. She is familiar with the upstream and downstream processing steps involved in the development of many biopharmaceuticals, and has training experience in the technical challenges involved in fermentation and bioprocessing.
Dhanyamol is currently working as a Research Assistant at Shannon ABC on the Interreg project ‘BioWILL’, using mammalian skin cell culture models and bioassays to assess the bioactivity of willow bark extracts.
Dhanyamol’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Dr. Amita Jacob Guneratnam is currently working as a Research Project Manager within the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group at Shannon ABC in MTU. She completed her graduation in Chemical Engineering at R.V.C.E, Bangalore and later worked as a Research Executive for UNILEVER in India. To pursue her higher studies, she moved to Ireland where she completed her PhD in Energy Engineering specializing in Biofuels under the supervision of Dr Jerry Murphy at the Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork. Her research interests include biofuels, sustainable bioprocesses, bio-methanation. She is currently managing the FANBEST (Funding Atlantic network for Blue Economy Technology Transfer) project which is funded by INTERREG and European Regional Development Fund. She ranked 2nd at the University for Chemical Engineering.
Amita’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 7 and 14 (Affordable and Clean Energy; and Life Below Water).
Dr Mohsen Setayesh Mehr received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in chemistry from the Department of Polymer Chemistry, University of Isfahan, Iran. Subsequently, he started working as a researcher and director of the plastination laboratory in the medical school, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, for five years. After that, Mohsen completed his PhD in Tissue engineering at the Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, where his research focused on chondrogenesis of the adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells on the ECM derived hybrid scaffolds for cartilage tissue engineering applications. In addition, Mohsen spent eight months as a visiting researcher at MERLN Institute, Maastricht University, the Netherlands, where his research focused on cartilage bioprinting. Subsequently, Mohsen joined Isfahan University of Medical Sciences as a researcher and academic staff member in 2019. Meanwhile, he has worked on several projects, including cartilage and bone tissue engineering, 3D printing and bioprinting.
Dr Setayesh Mehr joined Shannon ABC in 2022 where here holds the position of postdoctoral researcher. His primary research focuses on vascularity affinity precursor (VAP) structure for musculoskeletal tissue healing with PBC BioMed and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, project targeting solutions for avascular necrosis. Dr Setayesh Mehr specializes in scaffolds design and characterization, mammalian cell culture and in vitro and in vivo screening for novel scaffolds bioactivity.
Mohsen’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well Being).
Maria Nipo is a Research Assistant at Shannon ABC at TUS. Maria is currently working on an Innovation Partnership, involved in the enrichment of topsoil using novel soil improvers and fertilisers for horticultural applications. Maria received her bachelor’s in Biochemistry and holds a master’s degree in Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Bioentrepreneurship in Plants, both from the University of Minho in Portugal. Both her Bachelor’s and Master’s projects focused on bioactivities of grape berry extracts, from cultivars grown in Portugal. She was also involved in a project, entitled ‘Identify the causes that lead to the darkening of wood’, proposed by iSci- Science Interface Initiative and organized by the School of Science of the University of Minho (ECUM), in partnership with Fibromade. In Addition, she had experience working in a greenhouse environment and tutored kids in the fields of science and chemistry.
Maria’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 2, 12 and 15 (Zero Hunger; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life on Land).
Dr. Tracey O’Connor is a post-doctoral researcher in the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group at Shannon ABC, MTU. Tracey is working on the “Surplus Food Redistribution from the Horticulture Sector” project, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland, and “Socio-Economic Study of Seaweed Harvesting in Ireland” project funded by the Marine Institute, Ireland and the European Maritime Fisheries Fund. Her primary expertise is in sustainable food production, including farming and fishing practices, livelihoods, environments, and governance. Tracey holds a BAgrSc. (Hons) in Agri-Environmental Science from University College Dublin (UCD), and MSc. in Environmental Sciences, specialising in Environmental Policy, from Wageningen University. Tracey received her PhD in Rural Development from the School of Agriculture and Food Science at UCD, which was completed during a Walsh Fellowship at UCD and the Teagasc Rural Economy and Development Programme, funded by Teagasc and the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland.
Tracey’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11, 12 and 13 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Climate Action).
Dr. Rajeev Ravindran completed his PhD in Food Science at the Technological University of Dublin. Rajeev has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin and as a Research Project Manager with the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group in Shannon ABC at MTU. Rajeev is currently employed as a Postdoctoral Researcher on an IRC funded project: Development of an industrial scale extraction process for beta glucans from brown macroalgae.
Rajeev’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3, 12 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life Below Water).
Dr Theresa RubharaAgricultural economics and climate change
Theresa is an agricultural economics researcher with experience in: farm level economics, food security, sustainability of food value chains and climate change. Currently, Theresa is a researcher at the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group, Shannon ABC, MTU. Theresa is part of a team working on the SFI Farm Zero Carbon project which aims to develop a model farm with a neutral greenhouse gas emission based on the Irish pasture-based livestock systems. Collaborating with researchers from TCD and UCD, Theresa forms part of a team developing the social innovation blueprint with a business model for farmers to mitigate climate change. The blueprint will contain important resources and economic analysis of specific mitigation strategies including the green biorefinery which farmers can use to ensure carbon neutrality on the farm. Prior to joining MTU, Theresa worked as a post-doctoral researcher on the CAPRI Green project at Teagasc, a project involving validation of the CAPRI economic model with farm survey data for estimating economic, environmental and social sustainability on Irish farms. Theresa also worked on projects involving sustainability of the pork value chain and climate change for small scale farmers in South Africa. Theresa received a Phd in Food Security from University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in 2018 and her research was focused on the economics of small-scale farm level crop production choices. She also has a master’s in rural development from Van Hall Larenstein University, Netherlands and a Bachelors in Agricultural economics from Bindura University, Zimbabwe.
Theresa’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11, 13 and 15 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; Climate Action; and Life on Land).
Dr. Sushanta Kumar Saha Microalgal Biotechnologist
Dr. Sushanta Saha is currently working as a Microalgal Biotechnologist at Shannon ABC with twenty years of research experience in cyanobacteria and microalgal biotechnology. He holds a PhD degree in Microbiology from Bharathidasan University, while he was working on a collaborative project with the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong to establish a unique marine epilithic cyanobacterial biobank. His academic degrees include BSc Botany (Hons) and MSc Botany from Gauhati University, India. Dr. Saha has held a range of postdoctoral research positions in National Facility for Marine Cyanobacteria, India; Department of Biology, Texas A&M University and Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, USA.
Sushanta and his team have established a unique biobank of Irish marine cyanobacteria, marine diatoms and microalgae, which is an on-going research project. These biobank organisms have been explored for the production of carotenoids (astaxanthin, lutein, β-carotene, fucoxanthin), bioactive lipids and omega fatty acids, bioenergy (biodiesel, bioethanol) and other value-added molecules for anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-protozoan activities. He is actively working with Irish companies on collaborative projects for R&D development using cutting-edge industrially relevant microalgae cultivation for natural colourant, cosmetic ingredients and also nutritionally-rich microalgal biomass production and their biochemical characterisation. His research uses conventional photobioreactor plus custom-designed photobioreactor with LED lighting technology to enhance biomolecules production. He is also establishing a “Food-grade Microalgae Cultivation Suite” as indoor sustainable cultivation platform for the production of microalgal biomass suitable for food, cosmetics, aquaculture and feed applications.
In parallel, he is researching on cyanobacterial molecular biotechnology for enhanced metabolites production. This research applies overexpression of targeted gene(s) from native or strong promoters on shuttle plasmids or integrated to the genomes by homologous recombination; heterologous gene expression; knock-out of specific genes; reporter fusions for transcriptional and translational analysis by Fluorescence Microscope for basic understating of gene expressions of a specific metabolic pathway. Sushanta also supervises postgraduate students for Research Master and PhD degrees on microalgal biotechnology. He has published several peer-reviewed research and review articles including book chapters. He serves as an invited reviewer for about 50 research journals, editorial board members for two online journals and guest editor for a special issue on microalgae in Sustainability (MDPI journal). The outcome of his research activities has applications as natural colourants (http://sushantasaha.wixsite.com/microalgae/biocosmetics-biocolorant-bioenergy-and-a-c10d6), bio-sunscreens, natural antioxidants, pharmaceutical ingredients and biofuels.
Sushtanta’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3, 11 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; Sustainable Cities and Communities; and Life Below Water).
Katie Shiels received her BSc. (Hons) in Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis from Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in 2015. During her degree she studied a wide variety of scientific practices and has experience with an array of various instrumentation. She also undertook a six month work placement with Reagecon where she was involved in several research and development studies. During her time with Reagecon Katie was a member of a team who were awarded INAB accreditation for a testing method, which she helped develop and validate. Kaite is currently working as a Research Assistant in Shannon ABC while carrying out her postgraduate studies part-time. As part of her post-graduate project, Katie is working on a research project with the CHIMERA research group and Shannon ABC. Under the supervision of Dr. Sushanta Kumar Saha, Katie is researching cyanobacteria in a project is entitled ‘Non-proteinogenic amino-acids GABA and Ergothioneine bioproduction in cyanobacteria for human health applications’.
Katie’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3, 11 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; Sustainable Cities and Communities and Life Below Water).
Dr Ashley Sullivan Cell Culture Research Scientist
Dr Ashley Sullivan joined Shannon ABC in 2021 where she holds the position of Cell Culture Research Scientist, based at Shannon ABC, MTU. Ashley received her BSc. (Hons) Microbiology degree from University College Cork. This degree focused on the theoretical and practical knowledge of industrial, medical, molecular and food microbiology. She completed her PhD in Medicine and Health at APC Microbiome Ireland and University College Cork where her research focused on translational medicine with respect to the microbiome in asthmatic patients. Here she gained experience in patient cohort studies and her research focused on the characterisation of the lung microbiota in adult asthmatic patients, the evaluation of lung microbiota changes pre and post immunotherapy and the investigation of host microbe interactions in BEAS-2B bronchial epithelial cells. This research lead to a number of publications in Allergy, Respiratory Research and Chest and the presentation of findings at international conferences including the European Respiratory Society Congress. She was awarded a European Respiratory Society (ERS) Short Term Research Training Fellowship in 2018 where she received training in primary cell culture techniques including submerged and 3D Air Liquid Interface (ALI) culture methods at the Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, UK. She has an interest in the interplay present between science and business and has obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation, Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship from University College Cork.
Ashley’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Jessica Walshe received her BSc. (Hons) in Bio-analysis and Biotechnology in 2019, while also winning an Award of Excellence from Serosep Ltd for coming top of her class. As part of her degree, Jessica completed two research projects centred on the biochemical and antioxidant activity of various seaweeds.
Currently Jessica is working as a Research Assistant in Shannon ABC, focusing on a range of projects based on microbiology, analytical science and biochemistry. Jessica has extensive knowledge in the area of chromatography, particularly working with LCMS-QTOF, LCMS-QQQ and GCMS.
Jessica is also undertaking her postgraduate studies at Shannon ABC, investigating the optimal extraction and analysis techniques of cannabinoids from Irish Cannabis sativa plants, under the supervision of Dr. Lena Madden and Dr. Patrick Murray.
Jessica’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Dr Prachi Varshney Marie Sklodowska-Curie “Career-FIT PLUS” fellow
Dr Prachi Varshney is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie “Career-FIT PLUS” fellow at Shannon ABC, TUS. She holds a PhD in Microalgal Biotechnology and Ecophysiology from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India (IITB) and Monash University in Australia (Joint Degree) and a master’s and bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the eminent institutes of India. During her PhD, Prachi identified and studied several extremophilic microalgal strains for the biofixation of high concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO) found in industrial flue gases. She investigated the effects of various gas concentrations on the macromolecular composition of algal cells using both conventional ‘wet chemistry’ and ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. She used a range of chlorophyll a fluorescence techniques and oxygen electrode measurements to study the physiology and photosynthetic performance of the selected strains under different stress conditions. Post her PhD; Prachi worked for more than three years as a Senior Research Scientist at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a Fortune 500 corporation and India’s second-largest downstream oil company. She has extensive experience in various microbiological, biochemical, and analytical techniques and bioprocess development. Prachi has leveraged her expertise in developing biotechnological processes for converting algal and lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels & high-value biochemicals and bioremediation of industrial wastewater & stack gases. She has published several research articles, chapters in high-impact international peer-reviewed journals and books and supervised several bachelor’s and master’s students’ research projects. At Shannon ABC, she is investigating the commercialisation potential of selected in-house intellectual properties (IP) related to the production of high-value products (natural colourants, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, phycobiliproteins, etc.) from microalgae, as well as analysing and licensing microalgae-based IP from other institutes utilising their EU-funded initiatives for possible scale-up and taking the research to the next level.
Prachi’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDGs 3, 13 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; Climate Action; and Life Below Water).
Dr. Yin Zhu has received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering from Nanjing Agricultural University, China. He participated in several industrial wastewater and sewage sludge treatment projects during this period. Afterwards, he obtained a scholarship from China Scholarship Council to study at the Laboratoire de Génie Chimique of Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier, France, for his doctorate. He obtained PhD in science for engineering in 2020. His research focuses on the valorization of biomass from domestic waste fermentation broth by membrane filtration processes, including the effect of feed components on membrane separation and the mechanism of membrane surface charge on the retention of weak electrolytes. Following PhD graduation, Dr. Zhu worked as a research engineer at Guangdong Academy of Sciences on a project focused on the treatment of gemstone processing wastewater and the resource utilization of solid waste.
As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Yin Zhu joined Shannon ABC in 2022. His main research project is the extraction, separation, and purification of value-added biomass from by-products of the meat industry through a clean, environmentally friendly process for use as an animal feed additive, dietary supplement, and even pharmaceutical ingredients. Dr. Yin Zhu specializes in separation and purification, pursuing a higher value of molecules by improving their yield and purity using membrane processes.
Hadil Alaydi received her Degree in Bioanalysis and Biotechnology from Limerick Institute of Technology (2016). During her four-year period, Hadil studied and trained in a wide range of biological and instrumentation theories and practices. During her undergraduate, she spent 3 months working as a microbiologist with Dar Aldawa in Jordan (2014), where she worked on various microbiological testing for pharmaceutical products. Hadil received Beckman Coulter Biomedical Ireland Award of excellence for her achievements (2014). Her final year project was based on ‘Novel microalgal Lutein extraction for nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals application’ with Dr. Patrick Murray.
In 2016, Hadil was awarded postgraduate studies with Shannon ABC and the Controlled Environment Laboratory for Life-Science group (CELLS). Her research was entitled ‘Novel Environmentally Friendly Supercritical Fluid with Carbon Dioxide (SC-CO2) Extraction, Identification, and Quantification of Polyprenols- as Health Promoting Bio-actives from Plant Tissues’. During her research, she has undertaken an academic position as an Assistant Lecturer within the Department of Applied Science in LIT. She also worked on several projects where she looked at the effect of water purification to enhance crops growth under controlled environment systems and performed analytical screening of extracts for bioactive properties for EDEN-ISS project.
Hadil’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Mariana AlvesDevelopment and Optimization of Biological Nanoparticles
Mariana Fuinhas Alves received her degree in Chemical Engineering in 2015 from the Universidade Federal the Viçosa (UFV), Brazil. In 2013, she made an academic exchange, through the Brazilian program named Science Without Borders, to Ireland to join the third year of the academic course Sustainable Buildings and Renewable Energy in the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). After graduation in 2015 Mariana worked as Innovation Local Agent in SEBRAE, a Brazilian government agency, focused on the dissemination of the innovation culture among entrepreneurs.
In 2016 Mariana was granted a LIT scholarship to do her master research in Applied Science under the supervision of Dr Patrick Murray. In 2019 she academically transferred to a PhD research. Her work focus is on biological production of nanoparticles, cytotoxicity and their potential applications.
Mariana’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 12 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Anne Anagha holds a B.Sc honors degree in Biochemistry from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Nigeria. During Anne’s undergraduate, she undertook a six months internship in a medical laboratory in Nigeria where she gained valuable and practical knowledge on conducting various Biochemical assays and laboratory tests. Her final year project was focused on evaluating the phytochemical constituents and the antioxidant activity of Trichilia prieureana (a medicinal plant).
Anne is currently a postgraduate student at Munster Technological University (MTU) Kerry. She is working on a research-based project titled “Fabrication of Epidermal-Dermal Skin Tissue Substitute with 3D Scaffolds” at Shannon ABC supervised by Dr. Joanna Tierney, Dr. Bridget Breen, and Co-supervised by Dr.Orlaith Brennan. Her project Skin-Scaff aims to create 3D human epidermal-dermal skin constructs on biological scaffolds fabricated from natural polymer biomaterials.
Anne’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Naomh BurkeMicrobead Encapsulation of Plant-Derived Compounds
Naomh Burke is a postgraduate student in Shannon ABC, TUS. Naomh’s project, “Microbead Encapsulation of Plant-Derived Bioactive Compounds”, is based on studying microbead encapsulation of plant-derived bioactive compounds. Her supervisors are Dr. Peter Downey and Dr. Siobhan Moane.
Naomh completed her undergraduate degree in Limerick IT and received an honours degree in Pharmaceutical and Forensic Science in 2019. Her final year project was to determine the concentration of calcium in food and drink samples using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.
Naomh’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Ciara DavisBiofortification of Plants with Mineral Nutrients using Hydroponic Methods
Ciara Davis is a postgraduate student with the CELLS group at TUS. Ciara’s project will aim to increase the nutritional profile of plants using hydroponic methods under the supervision of Dr. Peter Downey and Dr. Siobhan Moane. Ciara finished her degree in Pharmaceutical and Industrial Chemistry at the University of Limerick with first class honours. As part of her degree, Ciara undertook her final year project on synthesising nanoparticles through redox reactions. Ciara has also undertaken a 7 month placement at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Brisbane, where she worked on synthesising antibiotic peptides.
Ciara’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well Being; and Life on Land).
In 2019, Stephen Evans received his BSc (hons) in Bioanalysis and Biotechnology in Limerick Institute of Technology. Stephen is a postgraduate student in Shannon ABC, TUS. His project is on “The production of plant bioactive compounds using controlled environment systems” under the supervision of D. Siobhan Moane and Dr. Peter Downey. The project aims to quantify bio active compounds produced by medicinal plants grown under controlled conditions. His final year project was on “The effect of a range of moss endophytic bacteria on plant growth and development”.
Stephen’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Shadrach Wisdom Eveshoyan, graduated from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in Nigeria in 2017, with a Bachelor’s and Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In his final year undergraduate thesis, Shadrach carried out a project on “Antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of bacterial isolates from ulcers”. The study involved the collection of wound swabs from patients at a secondary health facility in Benin-City Nigeria, culturing of wounds swabs obtained at the laboratory, identification of micro-organism present, and the antimicrobial susceptibility patterns shown by the organism cultured. From the study, Shadrach was able to conclude that Staphylococcus aureus was the most prevalent micro-organism encountered and that the Fluoroquinolones group of antibiotics had the best observed antimicrobial activity.
During his internship year (2018), at Garki general hospital, Abuja Nigeria Shadrach took part in a clinical trial as a data collector on a novel recombinant human epidermal growth factor bio therapeutics called Heberprost-P for chronic ulcer, the findings from this trial shown a marked improvement in wound cicatrisation for patients with diabetes foot ulcer and other kinds of ulcers as well, also in 2019/2020 Shadrach joined the Nigeria Red Cross Society as part of his community development services during his year of national service and engaged in some health sensitization activities. He was awarded the Best Young Pharmacist at his place of primary assignment for the year 2019.
Shadrach is currently conducting his postgraduate studies in the “Characterization of mammalian and insect cell performance in Laboratory and Pilot scale bioreactor for biopharmaceutical applications” at Shannon ABC under the supervision of Dr. Niall Burke and Dr. Joanna Tierney. The aim of this research is to examine performance levels of industrial relevant cell line (Mammalian and insectan cell line) across both stirred tank bioreactor and single cell bioreactor. The mammalian cell line uses is the Chinese hamster ovary cell, while the insect cell line use is the Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells.
Shadrach’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Zeba Haseeb received her bachelor degree in Environmental Sciences, From University of the Punjab, Pakistan in 2016. She then, started working in Environmental Consultancies where she gained valuable knowledge related to Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Management and Monitoring Services, Bioeconomy Plans and Occupational Health and Safety. Along with her job, she completed her Master’s in Environmental Sciences in 2019.
Zeba is now conducting her postgraduate research master at MTU. Under the supervision of James Gaffey, Jennifer Attard, Helena McMohan and Johan Belfrage, she is working on a project titled as “Identification of high potential regional value chains for Ireland’s bioeconomy”. The project involves the identification of potential regional value chains and focusing on their composition, fate, existing cost, freight cost and using bioresource modelling tool to allocate resources on a regional level. Her study will participate to generate a road map to minimize the environmental impacts and highlight the bioeconomy potential of Ireland.
Zeba’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11 and 12 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Alice Hand graduated from IT Tralee in 2019 with a BSc Honours degree in Wildlife Biology. Through the degree, she gained skills in Geographic Information Systems, habitat mapping and species identification. Her final year project was based on determining the impact of agricultural lime on the invertebrate communities of grasslands.
She is currently carrying out her MSc by Research at the Circular Bioeconomy Research Group in Shannon ABC (MTU). The focus of her study is to map potential Green Biorefineries in Ireland through GIS, under the supervision of James Gaffey, Dr Paul Holloway, Dr Helena Mc Mahon, Dr Abhay Menon and Emily Marsh. The aim of the project is to create more sustainable diversification opportunities for farmers, and to reduce emissions in agriculture.
Alice’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11 and 12 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Martin HayesFungal Bioactives, Bioremediation, Plant and Microbe Interactions
Martin received his Degree in Bioanalysis and Biotechnology from the Limerick Institute of Technology (2011). After which he received six months training in microbiology and hydroponics at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, Florida as part of an internship programme (2011). From 2012 – 2014 Martin carried out post graduate research (MSc) at Shannon ABC which focused on increasing crop yields through symbiotic relationships with microorganisms under terrestrial and extra- terrestrial conditions. His MS. research lead to his involvement in a collaboration between LIT and CSS-Dynamac (SyNRGE3), which was designed to ‘unmask’ the effect that gravity has on specific microbe/ plant host colonisation and was investigated on board the International Space Station (2014). Martin was subsequently involved in a research project (MuFFLER, funded by the Department of Food, Marine and Agriculture, PhD. Scholar) at Shannon ABC, investigating the metabolic properties of fungi derived from Ireland with the aim of identifying valuable bioactive compounds for pharmaceutical and industrial applications. His focus is now on the degradation of pollutants and potentially toxic wastes from industrial practices by using MuFFLER’s fungi as a biological control agent. This current research allowed for the collaboration between Shannon ABC (TUS) and Federal University of São João Del-Rei (UFSJ) Brazil (Erasmus) whereby Martin spent 7 months in the city of Divinopolis Brazil evaluating the potential of fungi for their ability breakdown industrial textile waste, sourced from a local textile manufacturer.
Martin’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Akanksha Joshi received her bachelor of engineering (B.tech) degree in Biotechology from University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Kurukshetra, India (2014- 2018). During her undergraduate programme, she also joined Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, India (CSIR), a premium national R&D organization as a summer intern in the year 2015 and 2016. She worked there in microbiology lab and bioinformatics lab. She was presented with best paper award by the journal for the research paper published in Biosciences Biotechnology Research Asia on the topic “Molecular Docking Studies, Bioactivity prediction, Drug likeness analysis of GSK-3β inhibitors: a target protein involved in Alzheimer’s disease”.
Akanksha then started working as a Junior Research Associate in Azista Industries Private Limited- Hetero Healthcare Limited (2018-2019). She was responsible for the formulation and development, proximate analysis of the nutraceuticals, performing microbial analysis of the drugs, and documentation.
She is now conducting her postgraduate research MSc in Shannon ABC, TUS. Akanksha’s project entitled “Biochemical Characterization of Smallanthus sonchifolius (yacon) root and yacon products and in vitro investigation of their prebiotic effect”. Her project supervisors are Dr. Tanya Beletskaya and Dr. Catherine Collins.
Akanksha’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Arnold Marisa is a postgraduate student in Shannon ABC, MTU. He received a B.Sc Honors degree from the University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe in 2016. As part of his studies, he worked on a project which focused on phytochemical profiling of Ganoderma mushroom. He then started to work as a Graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Biochemistry. Arnold received a studentship award to which he completed an M.Sc degree in Biotechnology in 2019, working on a project which focused on the isolation of lectins from indigenous Zimbabwean mushroom for clinical use in blood typing.
Arnold is currently working on a project entitled “BioWill – Characterising Willow Bark Bioactives for Skin Therapies” under the supervision of Dr. Niall Burke and Dr. Joanna Tierney in Shannon ABC. The project aims to assess the impact and mode of action of willow bark bioactives on human cell culture models of skin injury and disease. This will grant the potential utilisation of willow bark extracts in skin healthcare products.
Arnold’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3, 12 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life on Land).
Morgan McNamara is a postgraduate student in Shannon ABC, TUS. Morgan’s project is ‘Microbead encapsulation of proteins and select nutrients of relevance to sport nutrition’ and is based on studying microbead encapsulation of proteins and nutrients of relevance to sports and exercise. His project supervisors are Dr. Peter Downey and Dr. Siobhan Moane. Morgan completed his undergraduate degrees in Limerick IT and received an honours degree in Bioanalysis & Biotechnology in 2019. His final year project was ‘Characterisation and Monitoring of Growth Conditions and Product Production of CHO Cells’.
Morgan’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Gavin O’Donnell is a postgraduate student in the CELLS group in Shannon ABC, TUS. Gavin’s project is “Determination of glucosinolate compounds found in plants” and aims to optimise the extraction and analysis of glucosinolate compounds found in plants. His supervisors are Dr. Siobhan Moane and Dr. Peter Downey. Gavin completed his undergraduate degree in Limerick IT and received an Honours BSc Degree in Bioanalysis and Biotechnology in 2020. His final year project was “Characterisation of enzyme-based assay kits for the determination of carbohydrates”.
Gavin’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Kornelia Przychodnia received her BSc (Hons) in Forensic and pharmaceutical Science from Limerick Institute of Technology (2020). During the four-year degree she studied a wide variety of scientific practises and worked on a wide-ranging instrumentation. As part of her course, she completed a six-month work placement in Reagecon Diagnostics Ltd., which came with a job opportunity once she graduated. There she gained experience testing products under INAB accreditation, as a quality control lab technician.
Currently Kornelia is a postgraduate student with Shannon ABC, under the supervision of Dr. Lena Madden, Dr. Hande Ermis, Dr. Peter Downey, Dr. Siobhan Moane and Dr. Sushanta Kumar Saha. Her project aims to develop a sustainable and circular Anaerobic Digester-Energy Generator-Photo-bio reactor (AGP) bio-refinery concept which can be implemented in a real-life scenario.
Kornelias research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Nesreen Ramdan is a postgraduate student in Shannon ABC, Limerick IT. Nesreen’s project,” Isolation and optimisation of Irish microalga Porphyridium sp. for enhanced nutritional composition” is under the supervision of Dr. Sushanta Saha.
Nesreen completed her undergraduate degree in Limerick IT and received an honors degree in pharmaceutical and forensic science in 2019. Her final year project was conducted using the Design of Experiment analysis to optimize the yield of synthesis of Aspirin and to improve the resolution of co-eluted drugs in HPLC. She also undertook a six-month work placement with Shannon ABC.
Nesreen completed a master’s degree in Gazera University, Sudan in 2011 her project was the degradation of hydrocarbon by isolated Soil Bacteria. As part of her master’s degree she completed Training course on research on health effects of integrated water sanitation and hygiene education interventions provided by University of Gezira -faculty of Medicine, the Blue Nile National Institute for Communicable Diseases (BNNICD), The SNOWs, EHG and LSHTM. In April -May 2011
Nesreen completed her first undergraduate degree in Gazera University, Sudan and received an honors degree in the faculty of Engineering and Technology, Food Engineering Technology in 2008. Her final year project was the production of Ethanol and Acetic acid from pumpkin fruit.
Hannah J. Ring completed her undergraduate in University College Cork with a first-class honours degree in chemistry in 2020. As part of her final year project, she had the opportunity to work with Tyndall National Institute and Cork University Hospital to develop a smart probe for real-time breast cancer detection. During the summer of 2021, Hannah secured a short-term contract with EPS to work as a laboratory technician in a wastewater treatment plant. Currently, she is completing a research masters with Shannon ABC under the supervision of Dr Joanna Tierney, Dr Aleksandra Augustyniak and Dr Ronan Lordan. The project entitled ‘Dairy By-product Derived Cardioprotective Lipids’ aims to investigate the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of phospholipids extracted from buttermilk on immune, endothelial and cardiac tissue cell lines.
Hannah’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Katie ShielsCyanobacteria and their use in Biotechnology
Katie Shiels received her BSc. (Hons) in Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis from Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in 2015. During her degree she studied a wide variety of scientific practices and has experience with an array of various instrumentation. She also undertook a six month work placement with Reagecon where she was involved in several research and development studies. During her time with Reagecon Katie was a member of a team who were awarded INAB accreditation for a testing method, which she helped develop and validate. As part of her post-graduate studies, Katie is currently undergoing a research project with the CHIMERA research group and Shannon ABC. Under the supervision of Dr. Sushanta Kumar Saha, Katie is researching cyanobacteria in a project is entitled ‘Non-proteinogenic amino-acids GABA and Ergothioneine bioproduction in cyanobacteria for human health applications’.
Katie’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDGs 3 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life Below Water).
Ruth Smith received her BSc (hons) in Herbal Science from Cork Institute of Technology in 2019. During the course of her degree she undertook a three month internship at the Université de Bourgogne (UB), Science de Santé, Dijon, France, where she worked on extracting and purifying saponins from plants. Her final year research project was focused on analysing the antimicrobial activity of European propolis against antimicrobial resistant microbes.
Currently, Ruth is working on the project titled ‘Opti-biome: Natural extracts for dermo-cosmetic skin health’ as part of her postgraduate study under the supervision of Dr. Joanna Tierney and Dr. Bridget Breen. The aim of the project is to evaluate the role of natural extracts to support the skin’s microbiota and enhance skin health.
Ruth’s research interests and experience are aligned with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Dr. Beletskaya received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry (specialising in Microbiology) from the Belarus State University and completed her PhD in Virology and Molecular Biology at Belarus Research Institute for Epidemiology and Microbiology (RIEM). Tanya has previously held Research Scientist roles with Serosep, Ireland (Biotechnology Diagnostics) and with Shannon ABC as part of an EU FP7 research project (BAMMBO) which was co-ordinated by LIT. Tanya worked as Postdoctoral Researcher with Shannon ABC. She is involved in a variety of industrial related research projects dedicated to the development of new processes and novel products to the Biotechnology, Food and Life Science industries whereby she is involved in the development, management and timely delivery of projects. She is principal investigator of Innovation Partnership project with Gadera (horticulture company) and co-principal investigator of Innovation Partnership project with Cara Partners (pharmaceutical company). She was involved in a wide range of Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher projects and was principal investigator of one of them co-principal investigator of three of them. Her particular specialization is in Super Critical CO2 extraction (SC-CO2) of bioactive compounds from natural sources. Tanya has developed SC-CO2 methods for the extraction of carotenoids from algal cells for Algal Health (Ireland) and Algal Fuel (Portugal). Tanya has also a wide range of skills in molecular biology, microbiology, virology, immunology, analytical chemistry and biochemistry. Tanya current holds the position of Lecturer in the Applied Science Department, TUS.
Tanya’s research interests and experience aligns with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Dr. Bridget BreenNeuroscience and Cell Culture Specialist
Dr. Bridget Breen received her Bachelor Degree (BSc) in Neuroscience from the Department of Anatomy, University College Cork (UCC). Bridget is currently a Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC research centre and Lecturer in the Department of Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences in MTU. Bridget completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Bridget’s PhD research was focused in the fields of Apoptosis, Acidosis, Inflammation, in vitro and in vivo models of motor neuron degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Motor Neuron Disease (ALS/MND) and Behavioural Neuroscience. Bridget continued her research in Neuroscience as a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Anatomy and Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway). Bridget’s post-doctoral project was completed in collaboration with an industry partner, Covidien, New Haven, CT, USA, and was co-funded by the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), this research project was focused on neuronal regeneration following Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). During her post-doctorate fellowship she was involved in applying for an FP7-Health-2012-Innovation-2 project entitled NeuroGraft, which was subsequently funded and coordinated by NFB, NUI Galway. Bridget later took up the position of NeuroGraft Project Manager and Industry Liaison Officer at NFB, NUI Galway.
Bridget’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Dr. Orlaith Brennan is a Lecturer in Medical Physics in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in Experimental Physics before continuing to do an MSc in Biomedical Engineering after which she worked in marketing for a number of years. She returned to academia to carry out a PhD in RCSI. On completion she took up a number of postdoctoral positions in the UK and Australia before returning to Ireland. On her return, Orlaith carried out research with industrial collaborators for a number of years before subsequently working as a Clinical Project Manager with Crescent Diagnostics. Orlaith is based in MTU as part of the RCSI International Medical Commencement Program and collaborates with Shannon ABC on industry projects and postgraduate student supervision.
Orlaith’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Dr. Peter Downey, a Limerick City resident, began his undergraduate degree in Forensic and Pharmaceutical Analysis in 2003 at Limerick Institute of Technology. During this four-year period, Peter studied and trained in a wide range of chemical and instrumentation theories and practices. Within this time he also spent six months working with GxP Systems, a contractor for Boston Scientific, Galway, as a computer systems validation engineers and technical writer. This oppertunity gave him invaluable experience with good documentation practices and validation techniques.
After graduating in 2007, Peter returned to GxP Systems as a validation engineer for four months before being selected for a six month government sponsored internship with Dynamac Corporation; at that time a contractor for NASA based at the Space Life Science Laboratory (SLSL) in NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida. During these six months Peter worked on two projects concerned with Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems. The first investigated the action of Fava bean stomata when exposed to super-elevated levels of carbon dioxide and the role of hormonal action during this exposure. The second involved the investigation of a new IR technique (Encoded Photometric Infrared) for volatile organic compound (VOC) determination in air – for specific use onboard the International Space Station.
On his return from the internship, Peter was awarded an IRCSET grant under the Enterprise Partnership Scheme; in partnership with Dynamac Corporation, which allowed him to begin is postgraduate studies in LIT in 2008. Six months after beginning his PhD at LIT, Peter was awarded another opportunity to travel to the SLSL in Florida for a year in order to intensify and improve his controlled environment systems (CES) training and research skills. While there Peter worked under the guidance of Dr. Lanfang Levine and was responsible for projects, as part of his PhD, which investigated the effects of gravity on bioactive compounds in soybean and brassicas.
Having up-skilled in areas prevalent to his research, Peter returned to LIT and became one of a group of postgraduates that formed a new, dedicated research group with LIT’s Department of Applied Sciences, the CELLS Research Group. Peter is now finishing his PhD within the CELLS research group at Shannon ABC within LIT.
Peter’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3, 12 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life on Land).
Dr. Oscar Goñi Scientific Supervisor with Brandon Biosciences
Dr. Oscar Goñi is Scientific Supervisor with Brandon Biosciences, a seaweed biotechnology company. Dr Goñi collaborates closely with Shannon ABC and supervises postgraduate students with Shannon ABC staff. He received his Degree in Chemistry from the University of Navarra (Spain), an MSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Complutense University of Madrid (Spain) and completed his PhD in Plant Protein Biochemistry at ICTAN-CSIC (Spain) and Complutense University of Madrid (Spain). Dr Goñi has previously worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Max Planck Institute of Plant Breeding Research (Cologne) and as Postdoctoral Researcher in Shannon ABC / IT Tralee. He is a protein biochemist with experience in development of chromatographic techniques, purification and characterization of functional proteins, enzymology, or evaluation of protein and gene biomarkers. Dr. Goñi’s current role specialises in the production of plant biostimulants for crop quality, nutrient use efficiency and stress protection. He is also named inventor on a number of patents and has also published and presented widely in the field of phytochemistry, plant physiology and agriculture.
Oscar’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 2, 13 and 15 (Zero Hunger; Climate Action; and Life on Land).
Dr. Lena MaddenResearch Development Officer and Principal Investigator
Dr Lena Madden – Research Development Officer and Principal Investigator at Technical University of the Shannon (TUS) – Midwest. Experience in Design and development of industrial research projects in Science and Engineering areas. PhD in Bio-nano Material science and two degrees – Pharmaceutical and Forensic analysis (analytical chemistry) from TUS and Economics with Production Management from Donetsk Technical University, Ukraine. Have completed a number of Industrial research projects in a capacity of a postdoctoral researcher and research fellow Have a broad range of skills and experiences in Project/process design and management. Has secured funding, developed and supervised industrial projects in a capacity of principal investigator. Managed all aspects of research laboratory operations. Areas of research expertise: material science, environmental engineering with focus on gas emissions, soil remediation and waste valorisation, biochemistry and analytical chemistry, focus on extraction, purification, Identification and quantitation of nutraceuticals and building blocks from any biological material.
Dr Michael HallHead of School of Health and Social Sciences
Dr Michael Hall received his honours degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), an M.Sc. in Advanced Scientific Techniques from Cork Institute of Technology and completed his Ph.D on natural peptides in reproductive endocrinology from NUI Galway. In 2007, Michael originally proposed the development of a natural products themed strategic research area in the Institute of Technology Tralee and was later a co-founder of the Shannon ABC with colleagues from the Institutes of Technology in Tralee (now MTU) and Limerick (now TUS).
Michael has been a Lecturer in Analytical Biochemistry, Head of the Departments of Chemical and Life Sciences, Health and Leisure Studies and International Medical Commencement Programs. He was also seconded for four years to the position of Registrar of the Institute. He is Head of School of Health and Social Sciences in MTU and continues as a Principal Investigator with Shannon ABC and with the University’s UNESCO Chair. Dr. Hall has expertise in the areas of oestrogens, oxysterols and lipids in health; applications of bioactives in nutrition and pharma and in exercise in health and disease.
Michael’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Dr. Tracey LarkinLecturer in Quality and Analytical Techniques
Dr. Tracey Larkin is a B.Sc., Ph.D. Biochemistry graduate from the National University of Galway. Tracey is involved in sensory evaluation and is the service director for the Food@LIT Sensory Evaluation Service and is a PI with Shannon ABC. This service supports new product development, product improvement, bench-marking and quality-testing for SME’s. Following her undergraduate study, Tracey completed a post doctorate with the Life Science Dept. of the University of Limerick in the area of food biochemistry and modified atmosphere packaging. Tracey then worked with Olympus Diagnostica in clinical research and development as a project/program manager for a number of years. Currently Tracey is lecturing a range of subjects including Analytical Techniques and Quality Management. Tracey’s current research focuses on analysis of antioxidants/bio-actives in foods and has an IRC funded project to investigate organic fruits and vegetables.
Tracey’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Dr Brendan McCarraLecturer in Biotechnology, Chemical & Life Sciences Department
Dr. Brendan McCarra received his Degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and completed his MSc in Biotechnology, also at NUIG. He obtained his PhD for the investigation of the effect of biochemical inductors on autolysis of spent yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus and the production of flavoured compounds. Brendan previously worked with the Quest International Group (Unilever) as Project Manager with responsibility for optimization, automation and control of microbial fermentations for the production of natural flavours and industrial enzymes. He is currently a Lecturer at MTU where he lectures in Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, GMP and Food Science and Technology. He is also involved in supervision and delivery of Government funded training programs including the Springboard funded Biopharma processing program in cooperation with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT) facility and the Biopharma Training Facility, Cork. Other industrial programs include the Certificate in Validation and Certificate in Brewing and Distilling Operations in cooperation with CIT. Brendan’s appointment as Strategic Research Area (SRA) Leader at IT Tralee in the area of Natural Products & Environmental Management enabled him to play a vital role in the establishment of Shannon ABC and he is currently a Principal Investigator with expertise in the areas of yeast fermentation, enzyme applications & bioreactor technology. He has successfully received funding for the completion of Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships and a number of MSc and PhD projects and is currently cooperating with industry on Enterprise Ireland funded projects which include optimisation of brewing yeast fermentation processes and bioprocessing of natural bioingredients using enzyme technology. Brendan remains an advisor to industry in relation to fermentation, bioprocessing of natural feedstocks and biotechnology processes.
Brendan’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 12 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Responsible Consumption and Production).
Dr. Helena McMahon External Services Manager at Institute of Technology
Dr. Helena McMahon received her Degree in Biomedical Science from University College Dublin and completed an MSc in Molecular Medicine at the Trinity College Dublin. Following this Helena also completed her PhD in Gene and Cellular Therapeutics from Trinity College Dublin. Helena currently holds the position of Postdoctoral Researcher with Shannon ABC and specialises in the pre-commercial evaluation of algal derived pre-biotic poly and oligosaccharides using phenotypic microarray analysis screening. She is also experienced in the development of gene therapeutics utilising RNAi technology and human stem cell culture, development of gene delivery technology and transcriptomics.
Helena’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 11, 12 and 13 (Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Climate Action).
Dr. Claire MeaneyLecturer in Mechanical & Automobile Engineering
Dr. Claire Meaney is a Principle Investigator at Shannon ABC, TUS. Claire holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering and Ph.D. in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine from the University of Limerick, Ireland. As part of Claire’s post-doctoral work, she was been funded by the Irish Health Research Board to complete a Masters of Public Health at University College Dublin (Ireland) as part of the US National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Prevention Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and spent 4 years at the United States National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, conducting research at the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis and Division of Cancer Prevention. Claire returned to the Irish health research setting to support Shannon ABC in planning, managing, and delivering research projects for companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic sectors. Claire has an on-going funding award from The Health Research Board to conduct research in biomarkers of lung cancer.
Claire’s research interests and experience align with UN SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being).
Dr. Siobhan Moane received her Degree in Analytical Science from the Dublin City University (DCU) and completed her PhD in Analytical Chemistry, also from DCU. Siobhan has since completed a Certificate in Supervisory Management from the Irish Management Institute and a Diploma in Popular Forensic Psychology from Limerick Business School. Siobhan currently holds the position of Head of Research and Technology Transfer at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), having previously been held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Toxicology Department in the State Laboratory, as well as the position of Biochemist at the Medical Bureau of Road Safety. Siobhan is responsible for the implementation of the strategic research areas of LIT and support and development of the link between teaching and research, as well as the identification of technology transfer opportunities. Siobhan is also a PI for research in the design, production and application of molecularly imprinted polymers to the analysis of drugs of abuse in biological specimens for forensic analysis and also in the development of novel analytical methods (HPLC, GC/MS) for the detection of drugs of abuse in addition to the detection of date-rape drug GHB in alcoholic beverages. Siobhan’s provision of academic leadership for research activities in LIT was vital in her involvement in the establishment of Shannon ABC.
Siobhan’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; and Life on Land).
Dr. Patrick Murray Head of Research and Technology Transfer
Dr. Patrick Murray is a molecular biotechnology researcher and has a strong track record of collaboration with industry. His research areas involve identification of innovative ingredients and biological products from natural resources particularly marine and fungal microorganism libraries using novel state of the art processes to obtain lead molecules for drug development and value added food, flavour and medicinal products. His research includes fungal and marine biotechnology, protein and glycoconjugate biochemistry, gene cloning, and molecular enzymology. He is also strongly involved in the production, purification, characterization and genetic aspects of fungal polymer-degrading enzymes (i.e. carbohydrases, proteinases/peptidases) and oxidoreductases etc. His research also involves development novel green biotechnological pathways for nanoparticle and bio-nanoparticle conjugate molecule production for health applications. He also directs projects involved in bioconversion of target biomass and plastic pollutant streams to feedstocks for biodegradable packaging/bioethanol/biodiesel production. His work explores sustainable circular bioeconomy pathways from these natural resources employing a cradle to grave life cycle assessment approach. His research employs Shannon ABC state of the art analytical and biotechnological instrumentation to develop in line bio-analytical and biotechnology techniques in particular with the use of analytical instrumentation such as SCFE, HPLC, LCMS, GC, AAS, CE, UV-Vis spectroscopy etc. as applied to the analysis of biological samples. To further that end we have also developed state of the art capabilities in analytical based molecule identification, extraction, purification and enrichment. Patrick has over fifty research publications and supervises research students at masters and PhD levels.
Patrick’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 3, 12 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life Below Water).
Dr. Shane O’Connell is the R&D Manager with Marigot Ltd, a seaweed biotechnology company. Shane collaborates closely with Shannon ABC and supervises postgraduate students with Shannon ABC staff. Shane previously held the position of Strand Leader with Shannon ABC where he was responsible for the day to day running of the facilities in Tralee, providing scientific leadership and developing industrially relevant projects as well as technology transfer. Shane received his Degree in Industrial Biochemistry from the University of Limerick (UL) and subsequently completed his PhD in Enzymology and Protein Biochemistry, also at UL. Shane completed a Diploma in Biomedical Science from the University of Ulster, Coleraine and specialises in enzyme biotechnology, recombinant protein production, screening organic waste for value added bioactives, and developing phenotype microarray technology for bioprocessing.
Shane’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 2, 13 and 15 (Zero Hunger; Climate Action; and Life on Land).
Patrick Quille Research Scientist & Principal Investigator
Mr. Patrick Quille received his Degree in Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds from University College Cork in 2007. He has since completed an MSc in Biotechnology in the Shannon ABC laboratories at IT Tralee on a project entitled: The preparation of an alginate with a hydrophobic moiety that retains its biocompatibility and immunosuppressive properties while remaining suitable for cellular encapsulation. He has previously worked in Astellas as a Process Technician and in Shannon ABC as a Biochemical Technician. He currently holds the role of Research Assistant with Shannon ABC and is developing a commercial focus to the use of bioassays in the assessment of different components of seaweed and the impact of seasonality.
Patrick’s research interests and experience align with UN SDGs 2, 13 and 15 (Zero Hunger; Climate Action; and Life on Land).
Dr. Gaurav RajauriaLecturer in Bioeconomy and Biopharmaceuticals
Dr. Gaurav Rajauria is a Lecturer at the Munster Technological University – Kerry Campus, where he lecturers in Bioeconomy and Biopharmaceuticals. He has multidisciplinary teaching, supervision and research experience in the area of bioeconomy & biotechnology, pre-treatment and valorisation, microbiology, bioprocessing, bioactive, nutritional chemistry and analytical science.
Gaurav has been a Principal Investigator (PI) and Collaborator of a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) grant, European Regional Fund, Enterprise Ireland (EI) Innovation Grant and EI Feasibility Grant. He has extensively published in his area of research, have edited books and journals and delivered keynote and invited talks. He holds 2 patents one of which was selected as Irish Research Council (IRC)’s best commercializable research idea in Ireland and also chosen by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as Top 50 Global Ideas for Entrepreneurship Programme. He is an elected member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) UK, member of the Phytochemical Society of Europe and Management Committee member of a European COST Action programme.
Gaurav completed his PhD in Food and Analytical Science from Technological University Dublin (Formerly DIT) for Screening, Purification and Characterization of Bioactive Compounds from Irish Seaweed for Nutraceutical and Pharmaceutical Applications. Following his PhD, he joined University College Dublin as Research Technologist working on a range of industry and academic led research projects focusing on food quality, food security and environmental sustainability. He holds a Degree in Biosciences and MSc in Biotechnology from Agra University, India and has worked as a Research Fellow in the Industrial Research and Development Unit at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi), India where he explored cell culture and bioprocessing (upstream and down-stream processing) for the production of biopharmaceutical compounds using lab to pilot scale bioreactors.
Gaurav’s research interests and expertise are aligned with UN SDGs 3, 12 and 14 (Good Health and Well-Being; Responsible Consumption and Production; and Life Below Water).
Dr. Joanna Tierney Lecturer in Biological Sciences
Dr. Joanna Tierney received her Ph.D. in Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, from University College Dublin and has worked on national and international biotech projects in both industry and research organisations encompassing the fields of cell biology, immunology, infection and disease with applications in biopharmaceutical, medicine and veterinary sciences. Previously, Joanna worked for Olympus Life Research GmbH in clinical assay research and development; as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Wellington, New Zealand in autoimmunity; Bioresearch Ireland on vaccine development; Scottish Agricultural College Veterinary Services, in parasitic helminths; and Capital Diagnostics, Scotland in disease diagnostics.
Joanna has coordinated a trans-national biopharmaceutical bioprocessing project in the EU FP7 Capacities scheme; directed a Science Foundation Ireland TIDA project looking at novel bioactives for parasite control which has evolved through Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund supports to progress to the marketplace. Joanna is actively involved as Principal Investigator on several small to large scale industry funded biotech projects and her current biotech programme revolves around infection and inflammation and the sourcing of new agents that can modulate both biological processes. She has developed specific expertise in animal pathogen research in the context of bacterial and parasite infections and skin research in close collaboration with industry. She has active projects ongoing in skin healthcare including three-dimensional skin tissue modelling on novel extracellular matrices for cosmetic testing, biomimetic cell barrier models and in-vitro models for veterinary transdermal delivery.
Joanna’s research interests and expertise align with UN SDGs 3, 14 and 15 (Good Health and Well-Being; Life Below Water; Life on Land).
Dr Josephine Treacy, is a lecturer with the Department of Applied Science, and a member of Shannon ABC and Development Studies Association of Ireland, DSAI-TUS branch. Previous employment, post doctorate researcher investigating water and soil remediation using supercritical fluid technology at University College Cork, Quality Control Technician Tipperary Co-Op., Quality Control and Research Technician with Biocel LTD., Co. Cork, Executive Technician with the Environmental Section of Cork County Council working in environmental management and analytical chemical and microbiological testing of water ecosystems. Research interests include analytical monitoring and management of environmental ecosystems, education, and academic writing. Recently published reviews under the topics; environmental hydrology and climate change, water stewardship, water challenges in developing countries and flood water sampling and analysis.
Josephine’s research interests and experience align with SDGs 6, 11, 13, 14 and 15 (Clean Water and Sanitation; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Climate Action; Life below Water and Life on Land.
Dr. Daniel Walsh Head of Department of Applied Science