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TILDA Nutrition Researcher wins Prestigious Best Short Talk Award

TILDA Nutrition Researcher, Deirdre O’Connor has been selected as the winner of a Best Short Talk Award at the internationally renowned FASEB Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and One-Carbon Metabolism Conference, which took place on August 17th to 19th.

Deirdre was one of eleven applicants selected to deliver a short talk at this year’s virtual conference and received the award for presenting her work, entitled "Do variations of plasma folate concentrations predict cognitive decline among Older Irish Adults at 8-year follow-up? Evidence from TILDA."

The Best Short Talk Award is bestowed to individuals judged, by the selection committee, for their contribution to novel research and delivery of a presentation to a uniquely diverse, interdisciplinary group of basic scientists, clinical investigators, and public health experts whose focus is the basic aspects of one-carbon metabolism and their relation to health and disease.

This year's conference Chair, Professor Jesse Gregory of the University of Florida said of Deirdre’s presentation :

“The quality of the short talks overall was excellent, and yours was judged to be outstanding. I offer my sincere congratulations on your novel research and very high-quality short talk presentation. Also, I hope this selection benefits you as you go forward in your career.”

Deirdre’s presentation demonstrated that amongst older adults in Ireland baseline low folate was associated with worsening memory, over 8-year follow-up, and high folate was associated with improved cognitive performance. In an area of research that is often controversial internationally, the study did not demonstrate any negative associations between baseline high folate and cognitive function. These provisional findings suggest that in the Irish context, early identification of sub-optimal folate status may allow for targeted intervention to delay or prevent the progression of cognitive decline.

The FASEB Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and One-Carbon Metabolism Conference was hosted virtually this year, convening the world's leading scientists and young investigators to address developments related to B-vitamins and one-carbon metabolism. All presentations at the conference, including those by invited speakers and the short talks, were pre-recorded and featured a live Q and A virtual format.

For more information on the FASEB please click here.

Read more about Deirdre's research and find her recently published work here.