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Our People

Core Technology Gateway Staff:

Dr. Tim Yeomans

Centre Manager

Dr Yeomans received his Degree in Industrial Biology from the Institute of Technology Carlow and subsequently completed his PhD in Microbiology at University College Cork. Dr Yeomans 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. Dr Yeomans currently holds the position of Centre Manager with Shannon ABC. Within this role he is responsible for on-going engagement with industry, scientific direction of the Centre as well as commercialisation of research.

Dr. Claire Meaney

Senior Business Development Scientist and Principal Investigator

Dr. Claire Meaney is a Senior Business Development Scientist at Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre in Limerick Institute of Technology. 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.

Dr. Niall Burke

Scientific Project Manager and Principal Investigator

Dr. Niall Burke received his BSc in Physiology, and Research MSc in Microbiology, from University College Cork (UCC). After working as a Research Assistant within the Vascular Sciences Department at Imperial College London UK, he completed his PhD in Cardiovascular Sciences at University College London (UCL), as part of The Hatter Cardiovascular Institute team, while researching the role of mitochondrial dynamics in cardiac ischaemia-reperfusion injury. Dr. Burke then worked as a postdoctoral fellow for a global pharmaceutical company in Cambridge UK, where he was investigating the role of cell signalling kinases in drug-induced structural cardiotoxicity. He has significant in vitro cell culture and molecular cell biology experience. Dr. Burke is currently based at IT Tralee in Co. Kerry where he holds the position of Scientific Project Manager for Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre.

Dr Catherine Collins

Business Development Scientist & Principal Investigator

Dr Catherine Collins is a Business Development Scientist at Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre in Limerick Institute of Technology. Her work focuses on experimental design, costing and delivering industrial projects for companies in sectors such as food and beverage, cosmetic, horticultural and biotechnology. 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.

Dr. Aoife Curran

Research Scientist

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. Her research was part of the Food for Health Ireland program, where she performed a human intervention study to establish the bioavailability of milk bioactives and their effect on glycemic control. In vitro experiments were also an important aspect of her research, to support findings of human studies and to determine mechanisms of action. Dr Curran is first-author on four peer-reviewed publications. More recently, Aoife held a Scientific Writer position with Nuritas, where she gained invaluable experience across several research areas. Aoife currently holds the position of Research Scientist with Shannon ABC and is 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.

Dr. Bibha Kumari

Research Scientist

Dr. Bibha Kumari is a Research Scientist at Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre in Limerick Institute of Technology. Dr. Kumari holds a Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology from Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), India with BSc (Honours) in Agricultural Sciences. She completed her PhD in Agriculture and Food Science from University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland whereby her research was focused on investigating the effects of novel extraction technologies such as ultrasound and pulsed electric field treatments on bioactive compounds from agro-industrial by-products. Her research interests are nutraceuticals, food processing and industrial biotechnology. She has a vast experience in quality assurance, Quality Management System and Laboratory Accreditation (ISO 9001, ISO 22000, ISO 17025) for testing laboratory. Dr. Kumari has specialisation in bioactive characterisation using analytical techniques such as HPLC, LCMS and GCMS. She is currently involved in a variety of industrial research projects dedicated to new product development, nutritional profiling, bioactivity screening, biomolecule characterisation, microbial fermentation and shelf life studies for Biotechnology, Food, Feed, Cosmetics and Life Science industries.

Centre Researchers:

Dr. Jennifer Attard

Researcher and EU Project Manager at IT Tralee

Dr. Jennifer Attard is an EU Project Manager and Circular Bioeconomy Researcher working on the BBI-JU Horizon 2020 project ICT-BIOCHAIN: Digitising Ireland’s Bioeconomy to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of biomass supply chains through ICT / IoT technologies. Her expertise is in circular economy, having worked with several different complex natural mixtures and waste streams including orange-peel waste, shrimp-shell waste, agricultural waste, electronic waste, hemp extracts and algal extracts, recovering materials or creating value through the production of bio-based chemicals and products.

She has worked on industry collaborations with companies such as Unilever, Leo Pharma and Circa Sustainable Chemicals. Dr. Attard received her BSc (Hons) in Chemistry with Materials from the University of Malta and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York, UK, which was funded by the Endeavour Scholarship.

Dr. Maha Attjioui

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC (ITT)

Dr. Maha Attjioui holds a M.Sc.Eng. in agricultural and food industry and a PhD in plant biology and biotechnology from the University of Muenster in Germany. Her PhD research focused on the in depth characterization of marine polysaccharides and oligosaccharides using advanced analytical techniques such as H¹-NMR, HPSEC-UV-RID-MALLS-viscometry and UPLC-ELSD-ESI-MS. She also evaluated these biopolymers for their biological activities as sustainable plant defence enhancers and antimicrobial agents on different crops and micro-organisms. Her research stretched all the way from molecular and bioanalytic work in the lab to applied field work performed in the greenhouses and in the fields.

After her PhD, Dr. Attjioui continued her research as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Muenster before joining Shannon ABC as a Postdoctoral Researcher. Dr Attjioui’s current research focuses on the extraction, characterization and the evaluation of biological activity of bioactive compounds from seaweed. She is also working on parallel research projects including the valorisation of industrial agro-residues into bio-based and highly functional value-added plant biostimulants to increase crop yield and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Dr. Aleksandra Augustyniak

Principal Investigator

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. Dr Augustyniak 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. Dr Augustyniak specializes in mammalian cell culture and in vitro screening for novel compound bioactivity using various cellular models.

Dr. Tanya Beletskaya

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC
Lecturer in Applied Science at Limerick Institute of Technology

Dr Beletskaya received her Batchelor’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). Dr Beletskaya 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. Dr Beletskaya 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. Dr Beletskaya has developed SC-CO2 methods for the extraction of carotenoids from algal cells for Algal Health (Ireland) and Algal Fuel (Portugal). Dr Beletskaya has also a wide range of skills in molecular biology, microbiology, virology, immunology, analytical chemistry and biochemistry. Dr Beletskaya’s current position of Lecturer (Applied Science Department, LIT).

Dr. Bridget Breen

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC (ITT)
Lecturer, Institute of Technology, Tralee.

Dr. Bridget Breen received her Batchelor Degree (BSc) in Neuroscience from the Department of Anatomy, University College Cork (UCC). Dr. Breen completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Dr. Breen’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. Dr Breen 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). Dr. Breen’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. Dr Breen later took up the position of NeuroGraft Project Manager and Industry Liaison Officer at NFB, NUI Galway. Dr. Breen is currently a Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC research centre.

Dr. Orlaith Brennan

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC (ITT)
Lecturer, Institute of Technology, Tralee.

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, Dr Brennan carried out research with industrial collaborators for a number of years before subsequently working as a Clinical Project Manager with Crescent Diagnostics.

Her research interests include orthopaedic biomechanics, in particular osteoporosis and the characterisation of diseased bone tissue and bone cell biology. She is focused on providing solutions to early detection of osteoporosis and techniques to replace diseased or damaged bone in patients.

Peter Downey

PhD Student (LIT)

Peter Downey, a Limerick City resident, began his undergraduate degree in Forensic and Pharmaceutical Analysis in 2003 at the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). 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 the Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre within LIT. He is hoping to graduate in 2013

Dr. Michael Hall

Shannon ABC PI

Academic Director and Head of Department of Health and Leisure (ITT)

Dr Michael Hall received his Degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), an MSc in Advanced Scientific Techniques from Cork Institute of Technology and completed his PhD in Endocrinology and Peptide Characterisation from NUIG. Dr Hall currently holds the position of Head of Department of Health and Leisure at the Institute of Technology, Tralee (ITT), having previously been a Lecturer in Biochemistry, Head of Department of Chemical and Life Sciences and Health and Leisure Studies and Registrar of the Institute. Dr Hall was responsible for the development of research thematic areas for Chemical and Life Sciences in IT Tralee and in the development and implementation of the Institute strategic plan and was thus central in the establishment of Shannon ABC. Dr Hall is also a Principal Investigator with Shannon ABC and has expertise in the areas of oestrogens, oxysterols and lipids in health; biological activities and value-added products from industrial by-produce.

Dr Tracey Larkin

Shannon ABC PI

Lecturer in Analytical science and Quality Management (LIT)

Dr Tracey Larkin is a B.Sc. Ph.D. Biochemistry graduate from the National University of Galway. Following her undergraduate study, Dr Larkin completed a post doctorate with the Life Science Dept. of the University of Limerick in the area of food biochemistry and modified atmosphere packaging. Dr Larkin then worked with Olympus Diagnostica in clinical research and development as a project/program manager for a number of years. Currently Dr Larkin is lecturing a range of subjects including Analytical Techniques and Quality Management. Dr Larkin’s current research focuses on analysis of antioxidants/bio-actives in foods and has an IRC funded project to investigate organic fruits and vegetables. Dr Larkin is also involved in sensory evaluation and is the service director for the Shannon ABC Sensory Evaluation Service. This service supports new product development, product improvement, benchmarking and quality-testing for SME’s.

Dr. Lena Madden

Shannon ABC PI

Researcher at Limerick Institute of Technology

Dr Lena Madden Has completed a degree in Pharmaceutical and forensic analysis from Limerick Institute of Technology. Dr Madden started her career as a student research assistant at Shannon ABC, where she has also completed her PhD in Bio-nano material science on a receipt of an IRC scholarship.

Dr. Madden Have completes two industrial postdoctoral research projects Sponsored by Enterprise Ireland in the areas of Environmental engineering that involved establishment of environmental testing laboratory for measurement of exhaust gases, safety and efficiency of solid fuel burning equipment as well as project bio-mining of valuable compounds from the end-cycle materials, both in Bioinspired Materials Laboratory at Limerick institute of technology. She was employed by Shannon ABC in a capacity of a research scientist and a primary investigator on a number of industrial projects in the area of biotechnology and analytical chemistry.

Dr Madden has a broad range of skills in areas of material science, analytical chemistry, biotechnology and interests in low toxicity bio-nano materials research.

Brendan McCarra

Shannon ABC PI

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC
Lecturer in Biotechnology & Bioprocessing, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Food Science and Technology (ITT)

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. Dr McCarra 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 the Institute of Technology, Tralee 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. Dr Mc Carra’s appointment as Strategic Research Area (SRA) Leader at ITT in 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 fermentations, 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. Dr McCarra remains an advisor to industry in relation to fermentation and biotechnology processes.


Ms. Michelle McKeown-Bennett

Shannon ABC PI

Head Of Department, Applied Science (LIT)

Ms McKeon-Bennett received her Degree in Analytical Chemistry with Quality Assurance from Cork Institute of Technology and completed her MSc in Biochemistry and Enzymology in the University of Limerick; she is currently completing her Ph.D. thesis in Wetland Ecology and Hydroponics. Ms McKeon-Bennett currently holds the position of Head of Department of Applied Science at LIT with responsibility for all aspects of departmental functioning, strategic development and future growth. From September 2003 to August 2004 Ms. McKeon-Bennett was seconded to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre (KSC) to work in collaboration with a number of specialist scientists including Dr. Gary Stutte on investigating the application of Sphagnum moss to Controlled Environment Life Sciences. Upon her return, she continued and developed the relationship with KSC by sending 3 science graduates each year to train as interns with Dr. Stutte and his fellow scientists. As a result of these students returning to Ireland with specialist training, Ms. McKeon-Bennett founded the CELLS Research Group to support & supervise them as postgraduates and secured funding from Enterprise Ireland for Environmental Growth Chambers identical to those in the Space Life Science Laboratory in KSC. Since taking up the post as Head of Department in 2005 she has overseen the development of 9 new undergraduate programmes across the five major disciplines within the Department and 1 postgraduate taught programme. Since 2009 she has acted as an Assessor for IRCSET on both the INSPIRE and EMBARK research grant programmes and an advisor to the IOTI on IRCSET funding.

Dr. Helena McMahon

External Services Manager and Principal Investigator (ITT)

Dr 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 Dr McMahon also completed her PhD in Gene and Cellular Therapeutics from Trinity College Dublin. Dr McMahon 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.

Dr. Siobhan Moane

Shannon ABC PI

New Programme Development and Academic Mobility, Lecturer, Department of Applied Science, Limerick Institute of Technology

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. Dr Moane has since completed a Certificate in Supervisory Management from the Irish Management Institute and a Diploma in Popular Forensic Psychology from Limerick Business School. Dr Moane 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. Dr Moane 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. Dr Moane 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. Dr Moane’s provision of academic leadership for research activities in LIT was vital in her involvement in the establishment of Shannon ABC.

Dr. Patrick Murray

Shannon ABC PI

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC (LIT)
Head of Research and Technology Transfer at Limerick Institute of Technology

Dr. Patrick Murray is the Head of Research and Technology Transfer at Limerick Institute of Technology. Dr Murray is also a Principal Investigator in the Shannon ABC Research group at LIT. Dr Murray previously held the position of research coordinator at Shannon ABC Centre and has a strong track record of collaboration with industry specifically in identification of innovative ingredients and biological products from natural resources using novel state of the art processes to obtain lead molecules for drug development and value added food, flavour and medicinal products. Dr. Murray was the Scientific Coordinator of an EU funded project BAMMBO on extraction of high-value bioactive molecules from marine plants and animals with specific interests on environmentally friendly and sustainable extraction processes. Dr. Murray is currently principal investigator for a number of Industrial Innovation partnership projects funded by Enterprise Ireland. Dr. Murray has also directed projects involved in bioconversion of target biomass streams to fermentable feedstock’s for bioethanol/biodiesel production. Dr. Murray received his Degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) and subsequently completed his PhD in Fungal Glycobiotechnology, also at NUI Galway. Dr. Murray developed the molecular biology laboratory as part of the Molecular Glycobiotechnology Group at NUI Galway, and has previously worked as a visiting scientist at Wallenberg Wood Biotechnology Centre and at VTT research centre in Finland. Dr Murray is also supervising postgraduate students towards their masters and PhD degrees. Dr. Murray is co-owner of 2 patents and the author to a number of peer reviewed scientific articles. Dr. Murray provides scientific leadership to the development of industrially relevant projects as well as technology transfer.

Dr. Shane O’Connell

Shannon ABC PI

Dr O’Connell 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. Dr. O’Connell completed a Diploma in Biomedical Science from the University of Ulster, Coleraine and currently holds the position of Strand Leader with Shannon ABC. He is responsible for the day to day running of the facilities in Tralee, provides scientific leadership and is central to the development of industrially relevant projects as well as technology transfer. Dr O’Connell specialises in enzyme biotechnology, recombinant protein production, screening organic waste for value added bioactives, and developing phenotype microarray technology for bioprocessing.

Patrick Quille

Research Assistant (ITT)

 

Mr 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

Dr. Oscar Goñi Ramos

Senior Researcher (ITT)

Dr Oscar Goñi 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 the purification and characterization of functional proteins, enzymology, chromatography or evaluation of protein and gene biomarkers. Dr. Goñi currently holds the position of Scientific Supervisor with Brandon Products Ltd. and 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.

Dr Joanna Przyborska

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC (ITT)

Dr Joanna Przyborska received her Master’s of Science in Biology (Molecular Biology) from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). She has been worked for five years as a biology and chemistry teacher in junior high school in Poland. In 2008 she started her postgraduate study at Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT). During this time, she investigated a potential pharmaceutical properties of horse chestnut by-product. In 2010 she was awarded IRCSET postgraduate scholarship PG2 Award Type under ‘EMBARK Initiative’, this allowed her to complete PhD study.

Dr Przyborska is currently a Post Doctorate Scientist with Shannon ABC at Institute of Technology Tralee. She is experienced with extraction, separation techniques and characterisation of bioactive molecules obtained from marine algae. Dr Przyborska has been a project team member of Commercialization Fund Project focused on the development of a novel in-feed additive (INDECOCCI) for use in poultry production. She also has the expertise in screening of prebiotic and antimicrobial activity of novel compounds derived from natural sources.

Dr Michelle Ryan

Research Assistant

Dr Michelle Ryan received her BSc (Biochemistry) and her PhD in Anatomy (Neuroscience) from University College Cork (UCC). In 2008 she obtained a Diploma in Quality Assurance and Biotechnology from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). Dr Ryan is currently a research assistant with Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (ABC) where she is responsible for in vitro screening of novel compound activity against protozoan parasites (Apicomplexa). After completion of her PhD, Dr Ryan worked as a postdoctoral researcher on projects in RCSI, UCD, UCC and TCD in the areas of cell biology, biochemistry and immunology. In addition to laboratory techniques her skillset includes lab management from her most recent employment in the Trinity Centre for Health Sciences in St James Hospital where she was responsible for the day-to-day running of the Renal Inflammation laboratory. Dr Ryan is co-author on nine peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Sushanta Kumar Saha

Microalgal Biotechnologist and Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC (LIT)

Dr. Saha and his research team have been working on microalgae, diatoms and marine cyanobacteria for their biotechnological applications. His team have established a unique biobank of marine cyanobacteria and microalgae, which is an on-going research project. These biobank organisms have been explored towards the development of marine biotechnology by involving appropriate stakeholders of aquaculture, cosmetics and food application companies.

His research activities include production and characterisation of carotenoids (astaxanthin, lutein, β-carotene, etc.), bioactive lipids and omega fatty acids, bioenergy (biodiesel, bioethanol) production. He is actively working with Irish companies on collaborative projects for R&D development for natural colourant production from microalgae, cosmetic ingredients production and also nutritionally-rich microalgal biomass production and characterisation. He is also interested on exploring marine cyanobacteria for anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-protozoan activities. For the development of molecular biotechnology, he also has projects on overexpression of targeted gene(s) in heterologous gene expression system and/or knock-out of specific genes for the bio-production of targeted high value-added molecules. The active biomolecules of his research interests have applications as natural colourants (http://sushantasaha.wixsite.com/microalgae/biocosmetics-biocolorant-bioenergy-and-a-c10d6), bio-sunscreens, natural antioxidants, pharmaceutical ingredients and biofuels.

Dr. Saha received his PhD in Microbiology from Bharathidasan University, India; Botany (Hons) degree and MSc in 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. Dr. Saha supervised/supervising research students for MSc and PhD degrees on microalgal biotechnology. He has published peer reviewed research and review articles including book chapters, as main author. He serves as invited reviewer for several research journals, editorial board member for online free-access journals and guest editor for a special issue on microalgae in Sustainability (MDPI journal).

Dr. Joanna Tierney

Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC
Lecturer in Veterinary Biosciences and Biopharmaceutical Sciences (IT Tralee)

Dr. 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, Dr. Tierney 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.

Dr. Tierney 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. Dr. Tierney 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.

Dr. Daniel Walsh

Shannon ABC PI

Lecturer in Biosciences (LIT)

Dr Daniel Walsh received his Degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and completed his PhD in Protein Biochemistry, also at NUIG. Dr Walsh is currently a Lecturer at Limerick Institute of Technology where he lectures in Biosciences, Bio-processing, Biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals, Biochemistry with Toxicology, Advanced and Special Topics, Food Science and Advanced Biochemistry. Dr Walsh is a protein biochemist with experience in the extraction, enrichment, purification, enzymatic hydrolysis, identification, physicochemical and functional characterisation of novel components and derivatives from diverse natural sources. He is a founding member of Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre and is also a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. Dr. Walsh is currently engaged in a variety of academic, national and industrial project collaborations.

Doctoral Scholars:

Hadil Alaydi

Postgraduate Scholar at Limerick Institute of Technology

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 Applied Biotechnology Centre (SABC) and Controlled Environment Laboratory for Life-Science group (CELLS). Her research 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.

Mariana Alves

Doctoral Scholar (LIT)

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 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.

Norma Browne

PhD Student (LIT)

Norma received her Honours degree in Bioanalysis and Biotechnology of which she received the KerryGroup award of excellence for her achievements. Throughout her undergraduate, Norma independently sought an internship with GenCell Biosystems, an innovative microfluidic biotechnology company based in Limerick. GenCell specialise in the research and development of genotyping platforms for library preparation used for next generation sequencing with the aid of composite liquid cell technology. Norma sought a second internship before beginning her PhD at Allied Patent research and development Ltd. As the sole scientist, she collaborated with a wide range of industries for the development of a natural alternative to chemical sweeteners as well as developing cryopreservation technologies for biological specimens.

In 2013, Norma was awarded a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship by the newly amalgamated Irish Research Council. Her research entails an evaluation of Irish marine cyanobacteria for UV-screening compounds under the supervision of Dr Sushanta Kumar Saha. The use of such naturally occurring compounds may offer a safer, natural and more sustainable alternative to current chemical UV filters. Norma is an active volunteer with the Irish Red Cross accredited by PHECC, providing first aid cover at a variety of public events.

Lisa Connole

PhD Student (LIT)

Lisa graduated from LIT in 2008 with a First Class Honours degree in Bioanalysis & Biotechnology. Following this, she was awarded a prestigious internship at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory at Kennedy Space Centre. Her time here was divided between two diverse research projects. Under the guidance of Dr. Gary W. Stutte Lisa took part in a hydroponics study entitled “Defining Sustainable Salad Crop Production for Lunar Surface”. This involved the optimisation of several vegetable growth systems in controlled environment chambers, tailored towards a lunar atmosphere.

The second project was led by Dr Jay Garland and Ms Mary Hummerick, and was of microbiological descent. This study, titled “Microbiological Analysis of Vegetable Production Units for Space Grown Crops”. This project replicated the plant growth conditions on-board the ISS and aimed to investigate appropriate measures to reduce the microbial count of space grown crops. In 2009 Lisa was employed by ALS Food & Pharmaceutical, Clonmel as a Quality Control Technician. She returned to LIT in 2010 to pursue a PhD with CELLS, SABC. Her current research is focused on the optimisation of growth parameters of plants with subsequent extraction of bioactive compounds.

Martin Hayes

PhD Student (LIT)

Martin Hayes 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 (M. Sc.) at Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre (ABC) which focused on increasing crop yields through symbiotic relationships with microorganisms under terrestrial and extra- terrestrial conditions. His M. Sc. 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 is currently (2014 - ongoing) involved in a research project (MuFFLER, funded by the Department of Food, Marine and Agriculture, PhD. Fellowship) at SABC, 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. Taking a molecular approach, his research will investigate the fungal genes involved in pollutant break-down, highlighting them as potential targets for heterologous gene expression and ultimately recombinant protein production for commercialisation.

Jaswinder Kaur

Doctoral Scholar (LIT)

Jaswinder Kaur received her honors degree in Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis from Limerick Institute of Technology in 2012. During her undergraduate, she worked as an analyst for the State Laboratory analyzing biological matrices for detection of alcohol. Her final year project was focused on the development of an analytical method for the detection of drugs abused in sports.

Jaswinder is currently a PhD student at Shannon Applied Biotechnology center at LIT. Her project titled “Mining of fungi found in Irish habitats for industrial enzymes and pharmaceutical compounds” assesses the fungal biodiversity in Ireland for the production of high value bio-active compounds with potential applications in industry. Jaswinder is a winner of the Fulbright-Teagasc Scholarship (2017-2018) and has spent 8 months at Michigan State University, USA developing a method used for the generation of novel fungal metabolites in a yeast host. During her research time in LIT, she has also worked as a Research Assistant on several projects including an Enterprise Ireland Innovation partnership with Carey glass to develop an antireflective coating to enhance efficiency of solar panel glass.

Katrina McPhillips

PhD Student (LIT)

Katrina completed her honours degree in Bioanalysis and Biotechnology from Limerick Institute of Technology in 2010. As part of her degree, she worked on two laboratory projects; one based on purification and characterisation of a molecule belonging to an enzyme family integral to germination in wheat and another based on assessing the effect of commercially available anti-inflammatory drugs on inflammatory response genes in colorectal cancer cells. Katrina is currently working towards her PhD involving the purification, characterisation and application of enzymes from fungal sources with molecular cloning of corresponding genes.

Katrina is also a research assistant to several projects including analysis of anti-microbial surfaces & oils, shelf life assessment of foods and sensory analysis of food products. She has recently published work reporting preservative effects from a naturally derived fungal enzyme in yeast bread (2014). Katrina is also a member of the Chimera research group within Shannon ABC whose aims include screening microbes from varied habitats for bioactive compounds with industrially relevant commercial opportunity.

Postgraduate Scholars:

Felix Akhere

Postgraduate Scholar at Institute of Technology, Tralee

Felix Akhere graduated from University of Benin (UNIBEN) at Nigeria in 2015 with a first class honours degree in Biochemistry of which he received the Dean Student award and best graduating student award for his academic excellence. During his undergraduate, Felix worked on a project that involved using locally available plants extracts to treat type 2 Diabetes caused as a result of oxidative stress using a mice Model. He was able to demonstrate that the anti-hyperglycemic effects of this plant extracts was as a result of stimulation of the production of enzymatic antioxidants (Catalase, glutathione peroxidase) after streptozocin induction of diabetes on Wister albino mice.

Prior to completion of his bachelor degree, Felix received six months training at a laboratory department in a hospital where he gained valuable knowledge on assays or tests performed ranging from hematology to microbiology. After graduating in 2015, He joined the Nigeria Red Cross Society where he contributed to giving back to his community in terms of voluntarily working with some team and going to remote communities to assist in health awareness. With his deep passion in academics, He picked up a lecturing Job in a Sixth form College in 2017 (Global International College) where he was tutoring Molecular biology and Chemistry in various academic programmes (America Foundation program, International medical degree Foundation and Canadian degree Foundation progamme).

He is currently conducting his postgraduate studies in a research that involved using “plant derived lipids for skin barrier repair” in Shannon ABC under the supervision of Dr. Joanna Tierney and Dr. Aleksandra Augustyniak. The aim of his research is to exploit the protective epidermal layer of plant leaves caused by waxy cuticle substance called cutin and also using an invitro inflamed skin cell model to screen for anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities.

Rebecca Coughlan

MSc Student (LIT)

Rebecca Coughlan received her degree from Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in Bio-analysis and Biotechnology in 2015. As part of her degree, she worked on two laboratory projects; “The optimization of Polymerase Chain Reaction” where she developed many skills and gained knowledge of the understanding and workings of DNA. The other project was titled “Post-Harvest Proximate analysis and Microbial load on leafy vegetables” which was a study based on the EDEN project and the Mars One mission; which gave a strong indication to the type of nutritional support the Martians would get from the chosen vegetables. Currently Rebecca is working on her M.Sc in which is she will investigate the physiochemical, biochemical and sensory aspects of Irish rapeseed oil.

Olusoji A. Demehin

Postgraduate Scholar at Institute of Technology, Tralee

Olusoji obtained a B. Tech (Hons) in microbiology from Ondo state university of science and technology, Nigeria in 2016. As part of his degree, he studied the microbial and biochemical aspects of “Ogiri”, an Africa food condiment in the southern region of Ondo state, Nigeria. He also undertook a six months industrial training in the federal institute of industrial research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos, Nigeria. During this period, he participated in various projects such as the production of phytase enzyme from soil microbial isolates, utilization of agro-industrial waste as substrates in the production of the mushroom Plerotus pulmonarius, production and analysis of fermented melon. Upon the completion of his undergraduate degree, Olusoji did a year national service with the federal government of Nigeria during which he worked as a peer educator trainer under the national youth service corps reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention, he also taught chemistry and biology in classes.

In 2018, he received a Master by research scholarship from the Institute of technology Tralee to work on a project entitled “bioconversion of mushroom wastes into value added plant biostimulants” under the supervision of Dr. Maha Attjioui in Shannon ABC. The project involves the production and characterization of plant biostimulants from mushroom waste and their application on different plant systems to improve plant growth and yield and enhance their tolerance to abiotic stresses.

Enya Doolan

Postgraduate Research Assistant at Limerick Institute of Technology

Enya Doolan completed her undergraduate degree in Limerick Institute of Technology and was awarded a BSc. honours degree in Bio-analysis and Biotechnology in 2018. Her final year project was auditing for the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland in the Munster Region, which lead to the desire of a career in Quality Assurance.

Enya is currently working on multiple industry collaborative projects here at Shannon ABC as part of her postgraduate placement, while she is completing her Masters in Biotechnology at NUI Galway.

Elomofe Ikuyinminu

Postgraduate Scholar at Institute of Technology, Tralee

Elomofe Ikuyinminu received her Bachelor degree (BTech) in Microbiology from the department of Biological Science, Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH, Nigeria) in 2016. She then completed an internship in the department of Virology in University College Hospital Ibadan (Nigeria) where she gained valuable experience in serology and molecular biology analyzing different parameters related to infectious diseases (HBsAg, HBcIgM, HCV, HIV). However, the urgency to ensure feed security for the world by 2050, made to Elomofe take a U-turn in her scientific career.

Elomofe is now currently completing her masters in research titled “Crop Salinity Tolerance Induction using Novel Biostimulants (SALTIBIO)” in Shannon ABC supervised by Dr. Oscar Goñi and Dr. Shane O’Connell as part of the Plant Biostimulant Group. Her research involves the development of plant derived protein hydrolysates biostimulants by enzymatic hydrolysis with the ability to stimulate growth and salt stress tolerance processes in plants. This research is focused on using skills and tools from advanced agronomy, plant physiology, biochemistry, enzymology, molecular biology, bioinformatics, transcriptomics and biostatistics.

Emily Panter

MSc Student (LIT)

Katie Shiels

MSc Student (LIT)

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'.

Niamh Tuohy

Postgraduate Scholar at Institute of Technology, Tralee

Niamh obtained her BSc. (Hons) in Genetics from University College Dublin (UCD). During her undergraduate studies she completed a 3-month research project in the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in Bangkok, Thailand. The aim of this project was to validate a molecular marker in rice. In her final year Niamh carried out research to investigate the impact that a novel gene variant had on the function of cilia in C. elegans. This project was carried out in the Blacque group in UCD.

As part of her postgraduate studies, Niamh is carrying out a project titled “Improving vertebral osteoporotic fracture outcome using an injectable biological matrix to promote bone formation” in Shannon ABC. Her research is being carried out under the supervision of Dr. Eilish Broderick and Dr. Orlaith Brennan. The project aims to develop an injectable thermosensitive hydrogel which, when injected in to fractured vertebrae will help to improve healing of the bone. This research is being carried out in collaboration with the Tissue Engineering Research Group (TERG) in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Alumni:

Jessica Quane

Research Assistant

Jessica Quane completed her undergraduate degree in Limerick Institute of Technology and was awarded a BSc. honours degree in Bio-analysis and Biotechnology in 2009. Her final year project was based on a detection system for drugs of abuse in biological samples and from there lead to undertaking a research Masters in the detection of drugs of abuse in oral fluid using Molecularly Imprinted Polymers. Since then, Jessica has transferred to the Doctoral register with her project entitled “The controlled production of bioactive compounds with health applications” encompassing optimised production of bioactive carotenoids and novel extraction techniques of these high valued compounds from marine sources. Simultaneously, Jessica has been involved in two Innovation Partnerships with Enterprise Ireland and has been working as a research scientist at Shannon ABC where her research involved the biological fingerprinting of a hair restoral product and microalgal strain cultivation and growth characterisation under treated glass substrates for the development of a novel anti-reflective glass wash with anti-microbial properties for the horticultural industry.

Sinéad Bennett

MSc Student (LIT)

Sinéad Bennett received her first class honours degree from Limerick Institute of Technology in 2012, where she studied Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis (Level 8). During the four years of her studies she gained valuable knowledge and skills from instrumentation theories and practices to report writing skills, ability to time manage and communication skills. Prior to the completion of her Bachelor’s Degree, Sinéad undertook a six month internship in Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2011. Sinéad is currently conducting her postgraduate studies in Shannon ABC where to date she has investigated the detection and quantification of sugars by HPLC and is currently investigating if any harmful intermediates are produced when illicit drugs cut with sugars are vaporised using e-cigarettes.

Jack Hassett

MSc Student (LIT)

Jack Hassett received his BSc. (Hons) in Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis from Limerick Institute of Technology in 2013. During his degree he studied a wide variety of scientific practices and has experience with an array of various instrumentation. Jack spent six months working in Pfizer Askeaton, where he was part of a team which was awarded the Pfizer International Innovation Award, for their efforts in production optimisation.

Prior to completion of his degree, Jack conducted a study into the “Factors affecting the Transfer of DNA” under criminal circumstances, this study examined the possibility of both primary and secondary transfer of DNA. Jack is currently conducting his postgraduate studies in the “Genetic Analysis of the Irish Honeybee” in Shannon ABC, under the supervision of Dr Mike Geary and Dr Liz Moore. The aim of which is to determine the population and level of hybridisation of the native Irish Honeybee in Ireland. Through his research, Jack has expertise in a diverse range of DNA extraction, amplification and visualisation techniques.

Paul Hogan

MSc Student (LIT)

Paul who completed his degree In Bioanalysis and Biotechnology at Limerick Institute of Technology in 2011. He then went on to work in industry for 3 years, working in Vistakon a division of Johnson & Johnson he worked quality department helping with ongoing projects in Six Sigma nd GLP practices as well as updating SOP's . He then went on to work in Roche Pharmaceuticals Ireland working in upscaling a drug from lab scale to industrial scale production as well as developing the manual and SOP's for this production, also helping implement good documentation practice throughout the site. He has now returned to Shannon ABC to complete his masters in research. He is currently studying the Evaluation of Marine Diatoms for Biofuel Production

Katherina Lucinova

MSc Student (LIT)

Katerina obtained her B.S.c.in Applied Biology and Biopharmaceutical Science in 2014 at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. Whereby her studies encompassed opportunistic pathogens and the use of microorganisms in biopharmaceutical industries, focusing largely on DNA isolation protocols, the effectiveness of the natural remedies versus antibiotics for treatment of E.coli infections and toxicity tests as a measure of the effect of substances discharged to the aquatic environment. Katerina is member of the Environmental Science Association of Ireland (ESAI), Chemical & Molecular microbial biotechnology research group (CHIMERA), Controlled Environment Laboratory for Life Sciences Research Group (CELLS), and Internationalisation Sub-committee of the academic council at LIT. Having had a previous post at City Analysts Limited in Shannon performing culturing and toxicity testing of the Algae such as Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, Skeletonema costatum, Chlorella, and other algal species. As of 2014 she is involved in a research project “Smart Algae” which evaluates the most suitable and effective methods for carotenoids extraction.

Joanne McGushin

MSc Student (LIT)

Joanne McGushin received her degree from Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in Bio-analysis and Biotechnology in 2012. She then completed an internship in the histology/cytology laboratory in Sligo Regional Hospital where she gained valuable experience in histopathology, immunohistochemistry and cytology. Joanne then worked in the INAB Accredited biochemistry laboratory in Mayo General Hospital accessioning, accepting and labelling patient samples. Joanne is now currently completing her masters in research titled "Microalgae-Reference Standards for lipid Analysis" in Shannon ABC as part of the Chimera research group. Her research involves the development and use of extraction, LC-MS and GC-MS techniques of fatty acids from microalgae. Joanne also carries out shelf life assessment of foods (microbial testing) as part of the FoodDS laboratory in LIT. >

Sarah McMahon

MSc Student (LIT)

Sarah Mc Mahon completed her BSc. (Hons) in Limerick Institute of Technology in 2013, where she studied Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis. As part of her undergraduate degree Sarah studied in a range of scientific theories and practices. She also undertook a six month work placement with Pfizer where she was involved in several process improvement studies. During her time with Pfizer Sarah was a member of a team who were awarded the Pfizer International Innovation Award for optimisation of a production method.

Sarah is currently conducting post graduate research with Controlled Environment Laboratory for Life Sciences (CELLS) and Shannon ABC. Her research into plants involves growth optimisation, extraction and analysis of bioactive components with the potential for medicinal application. The main aim of her research is to determine the health benefits which may be within the products especially in the area of cancer treatment as well as potential antimicrobial applications.

Emily Panter received her undergraduate degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She begin her academic career in Marine Science when a passion for palaeontology and sedimentary geology prompted a move to Earth & Ocean Science where she completed her Honours degree specializing in Geological mapping, Oceanography & Sediments and the Biosphere. She is now currently involved in a postgraduate research project MuFFLER, (Mushrooms & Fungi, Functional & life enhancing reservoirs). This project involves the screening and detailed analysis of wild edible Irish mushrooms commonly found in Irish habitats. Bioactivity screens include antioxidant, enzymatic and antimicrobial activity. Crude compositional analysis such as fat carbohydrate and protein are coupled with more detailed compositional analysis using HPLC & LCMS to develop bimolecular profiles of vitamins and key components indicative of antioxidant activity.