Meet the Team

 

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Dr Rita Hickey
Teagasc
rita.hickey@teagasc.ie
Dr. Rita Hickey is a senior research officer in the Food Biosciences Dept. at Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark. Rita was awarded a First class honours degree in Science from UCD and successfully completed her PhD research in Teagasc in 2003. She was subsequently employed as a Research Officer by the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre. Rita then worked for Abbott Diagnostics as a Process Specialist in Sligo before returning to Moorepark for her current role. Her main research interests are: investigating the biological properties of sugars isolated from food sources. She is the lead PI on the FHI Infant Nutrition workpackage.
Contact Details

Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork

Email:

rita.hickey@teagasc.ie

Telephone:

+ 353 (0)25 42227

       
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Dr Christine Loscher
Dublin City University
christine.loscher@dcu.ie
Dr Christine Loscher is the Director of the Health Technologies Research and Enterprise Hub in Dublin City University (DCU), and a Principal Investigator on FHI’s Infant Nutrition workpackage. Her main research interests lie in mechanisms of action of anti-inflammatory therapies, inflammatory disease and understanding the immunomodulatory properties of dietary nutrients.
Contact Details:
School of Biotechnology, DCU, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
Email:
christine.loscher@dcu.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 1 7005224
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Dr Sandra O'Neill
Dublin City University
sandra.oneill@dcu.ie
Dr Sandra ONeill is a lead PI on the FHI Infant Nutrition workpackage. She is a senior lecturer in Biosciences at Dublin City University and her expertise is in the area of allergy, M2 macrophages and mast cell biology. Her research within FHI is to fully assess the effects of the hydrolysates on all key aspects of allergy and imunomodulation.
Contact Details
School of Nursing, DCU, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Email:
sandra.oneill@dcu.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 1 7005455  
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Dr Torres Sweeney
University College Dublin
torres.sweeney@ucd.ie
Dr Torres Sweeney is a Principal Investigator on FHI’s Infant Nutrition workpackage. An Associate Professor of animal genomics at UCD, Torres’ main research interests lie in molecular genetics and immunogenomics of host-pathogen interactions in farm animal species. Her research also focuses on developing markers susceptibility to disease, meat quality and feed intake.
Contact Details:
UCD Veterinary Science Centre, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Email:
torres.sweeney@ucd.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 1 7166244
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Professor Jonathan Hourihane
University College Cork
j.hourihane@ucc.ie
Professor Jonathan Hourihane is a lead PI on the FHI Infant Nutrition workpackage. He is Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at UCC and his primary area of clinical and research interest is in paediatric food allergy and anaphylaxis, including the use of pre- and probiotic-enhanced infant formulae in food allergic children.
Contact Details:
Email:
j.hourihane@ucc.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 21 4901237
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Dr Karen English
NUI Maynooth
karenenglish08@gmail.com
Dr Karen English is a Starting Investigator at The Institute of Immunology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, and a Principal Investigator on FHI’s Infant Nutrition workpackage. Her main research interests focus on mechanisms of action of immune modulatory cell therapies, inflammatory disease and the development of novel humanized mouse models of inflammatory diseases. Dr English’s role in the Infant Nutrition workpackage is to develop a novel humanized mouse model of cow’s milk protein allergy as a platform for testing functional foods.
Contact Details
Institute of Immunology, Dept. of Biology, NUI Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
Email:
Karen.english@nuim.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 1 7086350
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Professor Lokesh Joshi
NUI Galway
lokesh.joshi@nuigalway.ie
Professor Lokesh Joshi is the VP of Research at NUIG. Professor Joshi's research centres on complex sugars (glycans) which are present on every living cell and are key modulators of chemical communication between molecules and cells. He joins FHI-2 as a lead PI on the Infant Nutrition workpackage and his role will be to lead a team to bring high throughput screening assays for anti-infective studies.
Contact Details

Room 225, Research Office, Research and Innovation Centre, NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland

Email:

lokesh.joshi@nuigalway.ie

 
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Dr Andre Brodkorb
Teagasc
andre.brodkorb@teagasc.ie
Dr Andre Brodkorb is a research officer at TFRCM and he is a lead PI on the Infant Nutrition workpackage. His reseach areas of interest are in Protein-Structure function and bioencapsulation. Within FHI he is working on the identification and selection of appropriate nutri-bio markers in Irish whey based ingredients.
Contact Details:
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Email:
andre.brodkorb@teagasc.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 25 42431
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Dr Paul Simpson
Teagasc
paul.simpson@teagasc.ie
Having gained a B.Sc. in Biology (Hull University, 1986) and a M.Sc. in Biotechnology (University College Cork, 1986-1988), Paul began his career with the Medical Research Council Radiobiology Unit as a Research Officer and latterly as a Higher Research Officer (1991). His work mainly studied X-ray induced chromosome aberrations. He joined Teagasc Food Research Centre (1999) as a contract researcher, gained a PhD in Microbiology (2005), and became permanent in 2008. His research interests include probiotics, dairy processing, molecular genetics and microbial fermentations. Within FHI he is involved in generating microbial induced protein digests through the fermentation of milk-based substrates.
Contact Details
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
Email:
paul.simpson@teagasc.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 2542621
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Dr Mariarosaria Marotta
Teagasc
mariarosaria.marotta@teagasc.ie

Mariarosaria Marotta was awarded a Masters degree in Biological Sciences from Università di Napoli ‘Federico II’, Italy in 1997. Subsequently, as a Research Scientist at Seconda Università di Napoli, Italy, she investigated glucosidases for application in the food industry. She completed a PhD entitled ‘Biotechnological processes in the dairy industry’ in 2005, from Seconda Università di Napoli in collaboration with University College Cork and Teagasc Food Research Centre Moorepark (TFRCM). In 2008, she was employed as a Research Officer by TFRCM where her area of research was the enrichment of bioactive components from dairy streams. In 2009 she joined FHI and she is currently working as the Programme Manager for the Infant Nutrition workpackage. Her research focus is on sourcing milk carbohydrates with health promoting properties to be included in infant formula.

Contact Details:
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Email:
mariarosaria.marotta@teagasc.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 25 42438
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Dr Anindya Mukhopadhya
University College Dublin
Anindya.Mukhopadhya@ucd.ie
Anindya's research interests include studying the underlying molecular mechanisms of bioactive food ingredients. He was awarded his PhD in Veterinary Medicine from University College Dublin in 2014. He was involved in the first phase of FHI and worked on the screening of several milk hydrolysates in in-vitro and ex-vivo models to identify their inflammatory activity. While in FHI-1 he worked one milk hydrolysate, with high anti-inflammatory activity and took it to a commercial anti-inflammatory product in an animal trial. Currently, he is a Post-Doctoral fellow within the Infant Nutrition work-package of FHI and is working on the beneficial effects of milk peptides from both maternal and infant nutrition point of view as well and identify a nutritional supplement with commercial interest.
Postal Address:
Room No. 248, School of Veterinary Medicine, UCD, Belfield, Dublin-4
Email:
Anindya.Mukhopadhya@ucd.ie
Telephone:
+353 (0) 1 7166240
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Shane Maher
University College Dublin
shane.maher@ucd.ie
Shane graduated from Waterford IT with a B.Sc in Agricultural Science in 2015, and a  B.AgrSc (Hons) in Animal Science (UCD) in 2017. Shane joined the team in August 2017. He is currently based at UCD Lyons Research Farm as a research assistant to the FHI Maternal Nutrition Project.
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Dr Mozhgan Mirzapour
Teagasc
mozhgan.mirzapour@teagasc.ie
Dr Mozhgan Mirzapour is a postdoctoral researcher at Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark.  She completed a PhD in Food Science and Technology from Tehran University.  Her research interests are bioactive compounds and functional foods.  Her role within the Infant Nutrition work-package involves investigation of Nutri-Bio Markers in Irish Whey-based Ingredients.
Contact Details:
Address:
Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Email:
Mozhgan.Mirzapour@teagasc.ie
Telephone:
+ 353 (0) 76 111 2804
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Sheila Santos
Teagasc
sheila.santos@teagasc.ie

Sheila completed her BSc degree in Biology from University of Navarre, Spain in 2011 and a Master’s degree in Food Quality and Food Security from University of the Basque Country in 2013. She worked as a Technician in the Quality Department with Berlys and ACPG Laboratories in Spain. Her role within FHI is focused on the humanisation of bovine milk fat through enzymatic modification.

Contact Details:

Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland

Email:

sheila.santos@teagasc.ie

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Richard Lalor
Dublin City University
richard.lalor2@mail.dcu.ie
Richard completed a degree in Biochemistry and Immunology in 2012 from Trinity College Dublin. After the completion of his undergraduate degree, Richard took a research assistant position with the Viral Immunology group in DCU with research focussing on the immunomodulatory effects of Influenza virus which predisposes individuals to secondary infection. Richard then completed a masters degree in biomedical diagnostics from DCU in 2014, with a thesis on the drug screening applications of a ‘Lab in a Trench’ microfluidic platform. He is currently working on a PhD with Dr. Sandra O’Neill in DCU, in the FHI Infant Nutrition workpackage, investigating possible beneficial immunomodulatory effects of hydrolysates in vitro and in an in vivo model of Cows Milk Allergy Protein (CMPA).
Contact Details

Parasite Immunomodulation Group,

School of Biotechnology,

Dublin City University

Ireland

Email:

richard.lalor2@mail.dcu.ie

Telephone:

+ 353 (0) 1 700 7851

 
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Niamh Hunt
Dublin City University
niamh.hunt5@mail.dcu.ie
Niamh completed her degree in Genetics and Cell Biology in 2013 from DCU. She is  now carrying out her PhD with Dr. Christine Loscher in DCU. Her role within the Infant Nutrition workpackage involves identifying compounds with beneficial immunomodulatory properties in vitro which will go on to be tested in vivo in a mouse model of Cows Milk Allergy Protein (CMPA) in order to assess the ability of these compounds to induce tolerance in infants with CMPA.
Contact Details

Immunomodulation Research Group, School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Email address:

niamh.hunt5@mail.dcu.ie

Telephone:

+353 (0) 17005139