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Professor Cathal McCrory

Professor Cathal McCrory is Professor of Life Course Development and Ageing within the Department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and Co-Principal Investigator of the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). A psychologist by disciplinary background, he is an established inter-disciplinary researcher with prior experience leading large multi-cohort projects of scale. Since 2006, he has been heavily involved with the two flagship longitudinal studies of development (Growing Up in Ireland) and ageing (TILDA) in Ireland, and is also a lead investigator on a pan-European funded project entitled LIFEPATH ( Here he discusses social differences in children's BMI across Europe His research utilises population-level cohort data to explore social differentials in health and longevity across the life course, applying cutting-edge insights and methodological innovations from the social sciences to the study of biological ageing. Over the past six years, he has been involved with projects securing €31 million in grant income.

He has an international profile as a life course scholar with expertise in the social epidemiology of ageing and his academic papers have received a number of awards and distinctions. He holds a prestigious Emerging Investigator Award from the Health Research Board to explore social differentials in health and longevity using putative biomarkers of biological age acceleration including allostatic load, telomere erosion, and epigenetic clocks. He is also Co-PI of a US-Ireland Partnership award funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to examine cross-country differences in epigenetic ageing in the US, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. He is an Editorial Board Member of the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences; a Research Affiliate of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI); a Member of the Expert Advisory Group to Growing Up in Ireland; and a Scientific Advisory Network member to the UK Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS). He is a visiting scientist at the Center for Population and Development Studies at Harvard University and contributor to Imperial College London’s Environmental Epidemiology research group.

His research with the Growing Up in Ireland ( and TILDA ( studies has been widely reported in national print and broadcast media and through social media channels, including podcasts ( He has presented to the Oireachtas - joint houses of the Irish Parliament - on the topic of childhood obesity (

Teaching Profile

Professor McCrory currently teaches across a number of departments and courses in the School of Medicine and the School of Psychology at Trinity College Dublin, including:

  • Lecturer: The Biology of Ageing [MG6004], Dept of Medical Gerontology. TCD
  • Lecturer: Quantitative Analytic Tools [MG6006], Dept. of Medical Gerontology, TCD
  • Lecturer: How to Live Long and Prosper [TEU00402], Dept. of Medical Gerontology, TCD
  • Lecturer: Public Health, Primary Care and Epidemiology [MDU44004A], Dept. of Public Health and Primary Care, TCD
  • Lecturer and Module Co-Ordinator: The Structure and Measurement of Human Mental Abilities [PSU34690], School of Psychology, TCD
  • Lecturer: 1st Year Undergraduate Medical Degree Program, TCD

Funding Record

Project Title Funding Source Amount (Euros) Role Project Description
NIA 19/US/361 5
Social epigenomics promoting health in three countries
National Institutes of Health (NIH) / Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) 4,500,000 Co-PI Explores socio-economic variation in the distribution of health and longevity among older cohorts in the US (Health and Retirement Study), Ireland (TILDA), and Northern Ireland (NICOLA).
EIA-2017- 012
An allostatic load framework for understanding social differences in health and mortality
Health Research Board (HRB) 743,000 PI Explores the utility of allostatic load as a biological intermediary between SEP and health and longevity using international cohort studies
22-0345 HRB GUI
A single supplier framework agreement for Secondary data analysis of GUI datasets for an alcohol and other drugs study under a three-year agreement to the HRB
Health Research Board (HRB) 200,000 Co-applicant
ILP-PHR- 2022-008
Health Research Board (HRB) 357,057 Co-applicant This project examines sex- specific socioeconomic pathways to cardiovascular disease risk across the life course
TILDA- 2017-1
TILDA core funding: waves 5-6
Health Research Board (HRB) 10,000,000 Co-applicant Provided the survey and administrative infrastructure for waves 5-6 of the TILDA study
APA-2017- 029 Health Research Board (HRB) 199,942 Co-applicant Examined Premature Ageing in Long-term Homeless Adults (PATH) – an excluded population that is characterised by biological age acceleration

Select recent publications

  • Editors Choice: McCrory C, McLoughlin S, Layte R, NiCheallaigh C, O'Halloran AM, Barros H, Berkman LF, Bochud M, M Crimmins E, T Farrell M, Fraga S, Grundy E, Kelly-Irving M, Petrovic D, Seeman T, Stringhini S, Vollenveider P, Kenny RA (2023). Towards a consensus definition of allostatic load: a multi-cohort, multi-system, multi-biomarker individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2023 Jul;153:106117. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2023.106117.
  • McLoughlin S, Präg P, Bartley M, Kenny RA, McCrory C. (2023). Intergenerational Social Mobility and Allostatic Load in Midlife and Older Ages: A Diagonal Reference Modeling Approach. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 78(1):154-166. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbac122.
  • Azizi Z, Hirst RJ, O' Dowd A, McCrory C, Kenny RA, Newell FN, Setti A. (2023). Evidence for an association between allostatic load and multisensory integration in middle-aged and older adults. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 116:105155. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2023.105155.
  • De Looze C, Demnitz N, Knight S, Carey D, Meaney J, Kenny RA, McCrory C. (2023). Examining the Impact of Socioeconomic Position Across the Life Course on Cognitive Function and Brain Structure in Healthy Aging. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2023 Jun 1;78(6):890-901. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glad068.
  • Cappozzo A, McCrory C, Robinson O, Freni Sterrantino A, Sacerdote C, Krogh V, Panico S, Tumino R, Iacoviello L, Ricceri F, Sieri S, Chiodini P, McKay GJ, McKnight AJ, Kee F, Young IS, McGuinness B, Crimmins EM, Arpawong TE, Kenny RA, O'Halloran A, Polidoro S, Solinas G, Vineis P, Ieva F, Fiorito G. A blood DNA methylation biomarker for predicting short-term risk of cardiovascular events. Clin Epigenetics. 2022 Sep 29;14(1):121. doi: 10.1186/s13148-022-01341-4.
  • Fiorito G, Pedron S, Ochoa-Rosales C, McCrory C, Polidoro S, Zhang Y, Dugué PA, Ratliff S, Zhao WN, McKay GJ, Costa G, Solinas MG, Harris KM, Tumino R, Grioni S, Ricceri F, Panico S, Brenner H, Schwettmann L, Waldenberger M, Matias-Garcia PR, Peters A, Hodge A, Giles GG, Schmitz LL, Levine M, Smith JA, Liu Y, Kee F, Young IS, McGuinness B, McKnight AJ, van Meurs J, Voortman T, Kenny RA; Lifepath consortium; Vineis P, Carmeli C (2022). The Role of Epigenetic Clocks in Explaining Educational Inequalities in Mortality: A Multicohort Study and Meta-analysis. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 1;77(9):1750-1759. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glac041.
  • McCrory C, Fiorito G, O'Halloran AM, Polidoro S, Vineis P, Kenny RA (2022). Early life adversity and age acceleration at mid-life and older ages indexed using the next-generation GrimAge and Pace of Aging epigenetic clocks. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2022 Mar;137:105643. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105643.
  • Editor’s Choice McCrory C, Fiorito G, Hernandez B, Polidoro S, O'Halloran AM, Hever A, Ni Cheallaigh C, Lu AT, Horvath S, Vineis P, Kenny RA. GrimAge Outperforms Other Epigenetic Clocks in the Prediction of Age-Related Clinical Phenotypes and All-Cause Mortality. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 Apr 30;76(5):741-749. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glaa286.
  • McCrory, C, Fiorito, G, McLoughlin, S. Polidoro, S, Ni Cheallaigh, C, Bourke, N, Karisola, P, Alenius, H, Vineis, P, Layte, R, Kenny, R.A. (2020). Epigenetic clocks and allostatic load reveal potential sex-specific drivers of biological ageing. Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, 75(3) 495-503. PMID:31603985. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz241.
  • McCrory, C, McLoughlin, S, O’Halloran, A. (2019). Socio-economic position under the microscope: getting ‘under the skin’ and into the cells. Current Epidemiology Reports, 6(4), 403-411. 10.1007/s40471-019-00217-1
  • Editor’s Choice McCrory, C, Fiorito, G. Ni Cheallaigh, C. Polidoro, S. Karisola, P. et al. (2019). How does Socio-Economic Position (SEP) get biologically embedded? A Comparison of Allostatic Load and the Epigenetic Clock(s). Psychoneuroendocrinology, 104, 64-73. PMID: 30818253. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.02.018.