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Affiliated Researchers

Kwadwo Owusu AkuffoKwadwo Akuffo

Kwadwo Akuffo is a PhD student with the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG;, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. He joined the MPRG in August 2012 after successfully winning a PhD scholarship from the European Research Council to work on the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST) Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) project. The CREST AMD project aims to investigate the impact of macular carotenoid (lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin) supplementation on visual function in subjects with early AMD. He has been trained in retinal photograph grading at Reading Centre, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK. With this training, he is grading approximately 10,000 standard colour fundus images of subjects taken as part of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) for AMD, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Kwadwo is an optometrist by profession. Prior to starting his studies, he worked as a Teaching and Research Assistant at the Department of Optometry and Visual Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana.  From 2005 to 2011, he studied Doctor of Optometry (OD) at KNUST, graduating with distinction. During his studies at KNUST, he was on the Faculty of Biosciences Dean’s Honours List on three consecutive occasions for outstanding academic performance. In his final year at KNUST, he was appointed President of the Dr. D.B. Kumah Research Group, Department of Optometry and Visual Science, KNUST, during which he coordinated the activities of his colleagues working on various projects in vision science.

Kwadwo is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) and the Society for Clinical Trials (SCT). His interests include counselling, vision screening and prevention of blindness.

Bláithín Ní Bhuachalla

Dr. Bláithín Ní Bhuachalla is currently Lecturer in Medical Gerontology (School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin). She also is a Specialist Registrar in Geriatric Medicine / General Internal Medicine and is taking time out of this programme to undertake dedicated research. Her research interests include falls, syncope, neurocardiovascular instability and vision, supervised by Professor Rose Anne Kenny. She continues also to work clinically in the Falls and Blackout Unit in St. James’s Hospital.

Antoinette Copley

Antoinette Copley

Antoinette Copley is a HRB Ph.D. Scholar in Health Services Research at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  Antoinette has an honours degree in Psychology (Open University - UK) and Research Master's Degree in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin. Prior to commencing her PhD, she worked as an assistant psychologist and a data manager in a large teaching hospital in Dublin. During this time her main area of work was in the field of challenging behaviour in dementia. She supported a multi-disciplinary team in improving the quality of care given to people with dementia.  Her research interests include the self-perceptions of ageing across the lifespan of middle-aged to older adults and the relationship between ageing perceptions and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Grainne Cousins

Grainne is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research, RCSI. Grainne is interested in the quality and standard of drug prescribing in vulnerable groups, particularly older people and drug users. In relation to TILDA, Grainne is interested in estimating the prevalence and correlates of at risk drinking, which is defined as excessive consumption or potentially harmful in combination with select comorbidities or medications. She is also interested in estimating the prevalence of opioid analgesics for non-malignant pain and concurrent gastrointestinal medications in the TILDA sample. This work is being carried out in collaboration with colleagues in the HRB Centre and the School of Pharmacy, TCD.

Eva Flahavan

Eva Flahavan is an Irish Cancer Society Research Scholar. Eva is a registered pharmacist and is undertaking a PhD in pharmacoepidemiology under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen Bennett, Dr Ian Barron (both TCD) and Dr Linda Sharp (National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI)). Her research is focused on exposure to cardiovascular medications and their effects on the outcomes of prostate cancer patients.  Eva is using the TILDA database, in combination with the NCRI database, to obtain information on the use of cancer screening for these observational studies.

Tim Foran

Tim is a Senior Medical Physicist with the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, St. James's Hospital, and is Course Co-ordinator for the M.Sc. Physical Sciences in Medicine, TCD. His research interests broadly encompass the application of novel technologies for the measurement of physical health in longitudinal and community settings. He is currently completing PhD studies within the Department of Medical Gerontology, evaluating gait and mobility patterns in the context of falls risk and independent living in older adults. His supervisors are Prof. Richard Reilly and Prof. Rose Anne Kenny.

Mary-Claire Kennedy

Mary-Claire Kennedy is undertaking a PhD through the Health Research Board Ph.D. Scholars Programme. Mary Claire holds a B.Sc. (Pharm) and is a PhD student at the School of Pharmacy, TCD. She is supervised by Dr. Martin Henman, Dr. Grainne Cousins and Professor Charles Normand. Mary-Claire is interested in the pharmacotherapeutic management of chronic non-malignant pain conditions, particularly in older people.  In relation to TILDA, Mary-Claire is interested in determining the prevalence of opioid analgesic usage in chronic non-malignant pain conditions in the elderly. 

Isabelle Killane

Isabelle Killane

Isabelle Killane’s research focus is biomedical engineering. She holds a B.A., B.A.I. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.Sc. in Bioengineering from Trinity College, Dublin, and is currently a Ph.D student at Trinity Centre for Bioengineering, researching neurological disease/neurodegeneration and locomotion. She is involved with the gait research group in The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing and was previously involved in a Parkinson's Disease freezing of gait research project with the Dublin Neurological Institute. During her doctoral studies, Isabelle has also completed the M.Sc. in Neuroscience Neural Engineering and Neural Imaging courses and the M.Sc. in Bioengineering Neural Engineering course and gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics.

Isabelle's research interests are: (1) Locomotion and Cognitive Function in Ageing Populations (links between measures of gait, cognition and executive function); (2) Locomotion and Attention in Ageing Populations (division of attention, dual task changes); (3) Effect of Age and Cognitive Decline on Variability of Gait; (4) Higher Control of Gait (Internal Rhythmicity of locomotor system); (5) Locomotion and Cognitive Function in Parkinson's Disease, in particular Freezing of Gait; (6) Movement Disorders (TDT, Parksinson's Disease); (7) Gait Analysis, Ambulatory EEG.

A list of publications and conference presentations can be found here.

Olga McDaid

Olga McDaid

Olga McDaid holds a B.A., M.A. & H.Dip. She is a HRB Ph.D. Scholar in Health Services Research at the Centre for Health Policy and Management, Trinity College Dublin. She is supervised by Prof. Charles Normand.  Olga previously worked with the National Council on Ageing and Older People, coordinating the National Healthy Ageing Programme from 2005 to 2008.  Her interests lie broadly in the areas of healthy ageing, inequalities in health, multi-morbidity and health services research. Specifically, her Ph.D. focuses on the examination of contributing factors to multi-morbidity in Ireland's ageing population and its corresponding impact on health care services. 



Corrina Maguinness

Corrina Maguinness

Corrina Maguinness is currently a Ph.D. researcher within the Institute of Neuroscience and School of Psychology in Trinity College Dublin. She holds both a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Cognitive Science. She has also worked as a research assistant on the Perceptual Function strand of the Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) project. Her main research interests focus on multisensory processes in social cognitive functioning in relation to ageing. She is particularly interested in face, speech and biological motion perception in healthy ageing and also with older adults who have a history of falling/fear of falling. Within the TILDA project, she is studying how global cognition, memory and the senses impact on speech processing and other social cognitive function measures. She will be one of the first students to graduate this year with the newly launched Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, offered jointly by the TCD-UCD Innovation Academy. Her research is supervised by Prof. Fiona Newell within the Multisensory Cognition Research Group and by Prof. Rose Anne Kenny.

Aoife McNamara

Aoife McNamara is a student on the HRB Scholar Ph.D. Programme in Health Services Research. She has an undergraduate degree in Commerce (with Economics specialism) and a Master's in Health Economics - both from the National University of Ireland, Galway.  Aoife’s main research interests are: economics of palliative care, public expectations about end-of-life care issues, inequities regarding access to palliative and end-of-life care services, discrete choice experiments, health care utilisation and health policy.

Rachel Moran

Rachel Moran

Rachel Moran is a postgraduate research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG) in Waterford Institute of Technology. She is currently working on a project entitled “Plasma antioxidant status in Irish Adults: The Irish LongituDinal Study on Aging (TILDA)”, a position she successfully attained through competitive interview. She completed a BSc (Honours) degree in Applied Biology with Quality Management in Waterford Institute of Technology and was recognised as AIB student of the year in 2011. Rachel has assisted research on the GMSAFOOD project entitled: “Biomarkers for post market monitoring of short and long-term effects of genetically modified organisms on animal and human health” and worked independently, while under the supervision of two experienced researchers, on a research project entitled: “Isolation and characterisation of endospore-forming bacteria isolated from pig manure-derived compost”.  She has also gained industry experience as quality assurance administrator in Genzyme.

Aoife Ní Chorcoráin

Aoife Ní Chorcoráin is a Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry. She is interested in factors associated with resilience to late life adversity, and is undertaking a Ph.D., supervised by Dr. Patricia Kearney.

Jure Peklar

Jure Peklar

Jure Peklar is currently undertaking a Ph.D. within the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His main interest is in drug utilisation research, particularly in older people. In relation to TILDA, Jure is interested in determining the prevalence of food supplement use and the possible consequences of concurrent medicine use in the elderly. Part of his research will be done in The Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.  His Ph.D. is supervised by Dr. Mitja Kos, University of Ljubljana and Dr. Martin Henman, Trinity College Dublin.



Kathryn Richardson

Kathryn Richardson

Kathryn recently completed a Ph.D. within the Department of Medical Gerontology, TCD. She joined the TILDA project following two years in ageing research as a statistician at the University of Cambridge, and four years in pharmacoepidemiological research as a statistician at the University of British Columbia. She completed her first degree in Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics, and Economics at the University of Warwick, followed by an M.Sc. in Statistics from the University of British Columbia.  Her Ph.D. projects focused on the application of pharmacoepidemiological methods to examine the consequences of multiple medication use in the older population. Her Ph.D. was supervised by Professor Rose Anne Kenny and Dr. Kathleen Bennett.

Roman Romero-Ortuno

Roman is a Post-doctoral researcher at St. Vincent's University Hospital, Department of Geriatric Medicine. Research interests: orthostatic hypotension, orthostatic intolerance, fainting syndromes and frailty syndrome. Current research project: investigation of the biopsychosocial correlates of having a history of fainting in youth and analysis of the longitudinal trajectories of fainting from middle age onwards. Supervisors: Dr. Diarmuid O'Shea and Prof. Rose Anne Kenny.

Eithne Sexton

Eithne Sexton

Eithne Sexton is a Ph.D. student on the HRB Scholars Programme in Health Services Research at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2005 with a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy, and later completed an M.Sc. in Applied Social Research, also in TCD. She then spent two years working as a Data Analyst in the Health Research and Information Division at the Economic and Social Research Institute. Her research interests include the measurement of quality of life at older ages, and the relationship between quality of life and chronic disease.


Christopher Soraghan


Christopher Soraghan is a Biomedical Engineering Research Fellow working with the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering at Mercer's Institute for Successful Ageing in St. James's Hospital, Dublin. His primary focus is on technologies for older people. He is involved in the development of a testbed at St. James's Hospital for validating industry technology solutions in the community and the clinical environment. Chris is working with TILDA on data preparation and signal processing of health assessment data - principally continuous blood pressure measurement data. His research interests include: connected health, cerebrovascular measurement, biomedical signal processing, m-health (iPad/iPhone development), and brain-computer interfacing.

Chris's Ph.D. at NUI Maynooth looked at the development of a multichannel optical brain-computer interface for exploiting neural plasticity processes in the brain for potential applications in stroke rehabilitation and augmentative communication for users with little or no volitional motor activity. Chris completed a B.E. in Electronic Engineering at NUI Maynooth. After his Ph.D., Chris worked as an Innovation Facilitator with the University of Ulster and an industrial partner in the Republic of Ireland.

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Last updated 3 February 2014 by TILDA - Web Administration (Email).