• Dr Marie Claire Van Hout - Doctoral Supervisor and NRCI Collaborator


    Dr Marie Claire Van Hout is a collaborator of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland and is currently a Professor of Public Health Policy and Practice at Liverpool's John Moore University. Dr Marie Claire Van Hout has over 15 years research experience in the field of substance misuse, participatory health, pharmaco and addict-vigilance. She is an Associate Member of staff at the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (MRC), Visiting Research Professor Virginia Commonwealth University, and Visiting Professor University of Lisbon. She has 111 peer-reviewed publications and secured a total of €3.5million in research funding to date. She has consulted as Training Specialist for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), as Expert Evaluator for the European Research Executive Agency (REA-EC) on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions "RISE" (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange), as Vice Chair for the ITN (Innovative Training Networks) 'Life' panel H2020-MSCA-ITN 2016-2017, and as Independent Project Evaluator for United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). She is currently Editor in Chief of the Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse.

  • Professor John Nolan


    Professor John Nolan is the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG, www.mprg.ie). His research group studies the role of eye nutrition for vision and prevention of blindness, and current studies are investigating the link between nutrition and brain health and function. He has presented at over 100 international scientific conferences and has published over 76 peer-reviewed scientific papers on his area of research (2956 = citations, H index = 34). He is the editor of a CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group book publication entitled “Carotenoids and Retinal Disease.”  He also has editorial roles at the European Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Nolan is also Chair of the International Macular Carotenoids Conference, which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University, UK., see www.macularcarotenoids.org, and is also Chair of the ARVO Macula and Nutrition Group.

  • Professor John Wells


    Professor John Wells was educated at Henry Thornton School, London and holds degrees from King's College London (PhD in Nursing); London Guildhall University/ London Metropolitan University (MSc in Care Policy and Management); Manchester University (BA Hons in History) and Southbank University (Post Graduate Diploma in Education). He trained as a mental health nurse at St George's Hospital School of Nursing at Springfield Hospital in London. He then held a number of clinical and management positions in mental health services including Staff Nurse in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Community Mental Health Nurse, and Ward Manager, Acute Psychiatric Admissions at the Maudsley and Bethlem Hospital and Springfield Hospital in London. He took up his first academic appointment in 1991 as a lecturer in mental health nursing at the Maudsley Hospital School of Nursing. This was followed in 1993 with an appointment as a lecturer in nursing at King's College, University of London, where he remained until 1998 when he moved to Ireland and took up a lectureship in Psychiatric Nursing based in WIT. Professor Wells was awarded a PhD by research from King's College London in 2004 with a thesis entitled ‘Community Mental Health Policy In The 1990s: A Case Study In Corporate And ‘Street Level’ Implementation’. Supervisor: Professor Dame Jennifer Wilson-Barnett (KIng's College London); Examiners: Professor Edward Peck (University of Birmingham) and Professor Jennifer Secker (Anglia Ruskin University). Professor Wells' principal hobby outside of his academic interests is military history and wargaming, specialising in the Peloponnesian and Greco-Persian wars, the Peninsular Campaign in the Napoleonic Wars and World War 2. For more information please go to https://www.wit.ie/about_wit/contact_us/staff_directory/john_wells#tab=directory_biography

  • Professor Riona Mulcahy


    Professor Ríona Mulcahy was appointed Consultant Physician in General and Geriatric Medicine at University Hospital Waterford in 2000 and Undergraduate Dean, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland in 2011. Her areas of specialist interest include Dementia, Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease and Poly pharmacy in the Elderly. She has also extensive ongoing research including collaboration with Professor John Nolan in Waterford Institute of Technology looking at the role of nutrition in Dementia and Age related Macular Degeneration.

  • Professor Stephen Beatty


    Professor Stephen Beatty is the Director of the Macular Pigment Research Group. He graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1990, and trained as an ophthalmic surgeon in Dublin, Manchester, Birmingham, London and Geneva. He has been a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with a special interest in retinal disease since 2001.

    Stephen Beatty has a strong track record in research, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications (2,332 citations, H index 22), and his research interest include cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Stephen Beatty was appointed Professor at Waterford Institute of Technology in 2010 and Adjunct Professor at Trinity College Dublin in 2011.

  • Dr Michael Bergin


    Dr Michael Bergin is a lecturer at the Department of Nursing & Healthcare, WIT since 2002. He holds degrees from the University of Lincoln, UK (PhD in Nursing); University College Dublin (MMedSc) and University College Cork (BSc Hons in Nursing and Diploma in Professional Studies). He trained as a psychiatric nurse at Waterford Regional School of Psychiatric Nursing while clinically based at St. Canices Hospital, Kilkenny. He also trained as a general nurse having undertaken his postgraduate programme at Waterford Regional School of General Nursing, University Hospital Waterford from 1989-1991. He then held a number of clinical and management positions in the mental health services in the south east including Staff Nurse and Clinical Nurse Manager in the Acute Psychiatric Admissions, Community Mental Health Nurse and Project Manager for the Integration of the Carlow/Kilkenny Acute Psychiatric Services. He took up his first academic appointment in 2002 as a lecturer in Nursing at the Department of Nursing, WIT. He has a particular interest in the Productive Ward initiative having undergone training in the Productice Series, University of Warwickshire, UK. Dr Bergin was awarded a PhD by research from the University of Lincoln, UK in 2012 with a thesis entitled ‘Realist Social Theory, Gender Awareness and Irish Mental Health Care: An Exploratory Analysis'. His Supervisors were: Professor John S. G. Wells (Head of School of Health Sciences, WIT) and Professor Sara Owen (Pro Vice Chancellor / Head of College of Social Science, University of Lincoln, UK). Examiners were Professor Alan White (University of Leeds) and Dr Dave Piggott (University of Lincoln, UK).

  • Dr Lorna Doyle


    Dr. Lorna Doyle is a lecturer in Nutrition in the Dept. of Health Sport and Exercise Science at Waterford Institute of Technology. She is a registered nutritionist with nutrition specialism in Sport and Exercise. She has been a lecturer at WIT for over 11 years and supervised several research students investigating aspects relating to: protein supplementation and bone health, low carbohydrate diets and its effect on weight loss, bone health and cardiovascular effects. She is also investigating the effect of low carbohydrate diets on health and sports performance with athletes. Dr. Doyle is interested in any type of research which affects the health of individuals and/or their performance in sport. Teaching: Subjects taught • General Nutrition • Clinical Nutrition • Sport and Exercise Nutrition • Research Methods • Advanced Research Methods & Statistics • Biomolecules and Cells • Introduction to Exercise Science • Supervised ~ 20 MA Sport Psychology Dissertations • 4th Year Health Promotion/Exercise and Health Dissertation Supervision (4-8/year) Scientific Skills: • Dietary analysis • High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) • Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy • Flame Spectroscopy • Conducting human and animal research trials • Blood pressure measurement on rats Education: 1995: Batchelor of Science and Education (BSc Ed) University of Limerick, 1st class honours, first place in faculty. 1998: Masters in Nutrition (MSc) University College Cork: Effect of magnesium supplementation on bone health and blood pressure in healthy young adult females. 2004: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) University College Cork: Whole diets and bioactive nutrients effects on bone health and blood pressure. Membership: Member of the Nutrition Society

  • Dr.  Suzanne Denieffe


    I am Head of Department of Nursing and Health Care since 2014. Prior to that, I was Programme leader for the BSc in Nursing (Psychiatric) and MSc in Nursing. I am a registered psychiatric nurse, general nurse and nurse tutor. I hold a BSc (Hons) in Nursing and an MSc in Nursing (Education and Research) from University College Dublin and a PhD from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. I have worked at WIT since 2002 and served on Academic Council from 2004 - 2007. I am a member of the Post-Registration Screening Group at WITsince 2008.

  • Dr David Phelan


    Dr David Phelan is a Cambridge funded Howard Fellow and Senior Scientist with the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG) in the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (www.nrci.ie). His research is focused on the origins and occurrence of macular carotenoids, specifically meso-zeaxanthin. He has 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience across a variety of roles from new product development to quality assurance and laboratory management. David received a BSc (Honours) Degree in Applied Chemistry with Quality Management in 1998. He returned to academia in 2011 to pursue a research PhD at WIT. This project focused on the fabrication of polymeric ocular drug delivery vehicles, He graduated in 2015. He is also an associate lecturer in IT Carlow.

  • Dr Alfonso Prado Cabero


    Alfonso Prado-Cabrero is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Macular Pigment Research Group. He received his BSc Degree in Biochemistry from University of Navarra (Spain) in 1999.

    He joined the department of Genetics of University of Seville to start his PhD research on the genes involved in carotenoid biosynthesis in the fungus Fusarium fujikuroi. During this period he was awarded with an EMBO short term fellowship to complete his research at the department of Cell Biology of the University of Freiburg (Germany).

    After completion of his PhD in 2006 he worked for three years in the Unit of Immunology of Hospital de la Princesa (Madrid, Spain) to investigate the effect of mild hypoxia on PPARalpha and lipid catabolism in heart.

    By the end of this period he was awarded with a Juan de la Cierva Fellowship from the Government of Spain to join the department of Molecular Biology of Cancer at IIB (CSIC, Madrid), where he investigated the involvement of Ephrin-A3 on metastasis progression.

    In 2013 he joined the Centre for Desert Agriculture of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST, Saudi Arabia) as Research Scientist. There he developed his research on the biosynthesis of the plant hormones Strigolactones and Abscisic acid, both derived from carotenoids.

    In 2014 he was awarded the Howard Fellowship at the Macular Pigment Research Group, Waterford Institute of Technology, to work as a postdoctoral research scientist, and is currently studying the "the occurrence of the macular carotenoids in nature".

  • Dr. Rachel Moran


    Dr. Rachel Moran, an American/Irish scientist, is a Howard Postdoctoral Researcher at the NRCI. Prior to this current position, she completed her PhD entitled "Non-dietary determinants and correlates of plasma concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin in an Irish population" within NRCI and under the supervision of Professor John Nolan and Professor Stephen Beatty. She was part of the first WIT Presidential PhD Scholarship Programme. Rachel believes that lifestyles and behaviours towards nutrition have a major impact on the prevention and progression of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. In 2010, she obtained a BSc (Honours) degree in Biotechnology with Quality Management from WIT and also gained pharmaceutical experience in Genzyme, Sanofi. She is a first author on two publications (one under review). She is also a co-author on 11 publications and has attended 8 national and international conferences. Rachel has attended many workshops and courses including level 3 phlebotomy, Advanced Vision Optometric Tests (AVOT), Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), Heidelberg Spectralis and Advanced Chromatographic Techniques. She is currently project managing three new clinical trials in Waterford, Coordinating a cross-sectional study in Mexico and supervising two PhD candidates. When she is not in the chemistry or vision lab, she enjoys reading, baking and spending time with her family.

  • Laura Corcoran


    Laura is currently employed at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland as a Research Assistant. Laura was first employed on the ERC funded CREST project in 2014, and has since secured a new contract as Research Assistant on the Enterprise Ireland funded LEAF project. Laura works as point of contact for Professor Nolan for all WIT related queries. Laura graduated from WIT with an Honours Degree in Business Studies in 2012.

  • Rafael Herena


    Rafael was born in Barcelona in 1985, he studied Marine Sciences at the University of Cádiz, obtaining a background as oceanographer and marine biologist. Afterwards, he completed a Masters in Industrial Biotechnology at the University of Almeria,  where he specialized in microorganism bioengineering and bioprocessing.

    During his bachelor degree and thanks to a Seneca grant he worked in the L’Oceanografic de Valencia as a marine biologist.  In 2011 he completed a Masters thesis at PharmaMar biopharmaceutical company (Madrid) about the development of antitumoral compounds from marine actinobacteria.

    In 2012 Rafa started working in The Netherlands with a Leonardo Da Vinci grant  at FeyeCon CO2 technologies, in a FP7 project call “All-Gas” (biodiesel from microalgae grown in wastewater). Since then he has been working for C2circle as a biotechnologist in the bioenergy and green chemicals group.

  • Ganjar Saefurahman


    Ganjar Saefurahman is a postgraduate research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group, Waterford Institute of Technology. He is currently working on the project entitled Lutein Algae Feasibility funded by the European Research Council. He completed a BSc degree in Marine Science in the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Science, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia in 2008. He worked as a laboratory and lecturer assistant at the Laboratory of Ichthyology, Marine Biology, Chemical Oceanography, and Aquatic Ecology, Bogor Agricultural University between 2005 and 2008. He continued to work as a researcher with the Microalgae R&D Laboratory, Surfactant and Bioenergy Research Center, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia from 2008 to 2011. His research group conducted various projects of microalgae R&D funded by government institutions, e.g. the Ministry of Research and Technology, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, private industries, and international institutes.

    In 2011, Ganjar became an Australian Development Scholarships Awardees from Indonesia. He continued a M.Phil study of Biological Sciences as a research student at Algae R&D Centre, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Australia from 2012 to 2014. His research thesis was the effects of different light spectra on the growth, composition and productivity of microalgae. In 2013, he was one of the Junior Research Award nominees in the 7th International Algae Congress, Germany. Ganjar is a member of the International Society for Applied Phycology, the Asia-Pacific Society for Applied Phycology and the Royal Society of Western Australia. His area of R&D is microalgae culture, photobiology and applied phycology for high-value products and environmental applications.

  • Rebecca Power


    Rebecca is a research technician with the Macular Pigment Research Group in Waterford Institute of Technology. She is currently working on the European Research Council-funded Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST). Rebecca holds a BA (Honours) in Health Promotion. She has also completed an MSc (by Research) in sedentary behaviour which involved examining the habitual physical activity and sedentary patterns of individuals with Peripheral Arterial Disease. 

  • Marina Green


    Marina Green is an Internal Medicine consultant from Mexico. She is a postgraduate research student with the Macular Pigment Research Group in Waterford Institute of Technology. She received her medical degree from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) Medical School, Mexico in 2011. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Medicas y Nutricion Salvador Zubiran (INCMNSZ), Mexico in 2016. She is board certified in Internal Medicine by the Mexican Board of Internal Medicine since 2016. After completing her training in internal medicine, she was subsequently awarded a Fundacion para la Salud y la Educacion Salvador Zubiran, INCMNSZ grant to pursue a research career as clinical researcher in Nutrition. Currently she is working on a project entitled “Bioavailability of the macular carotenoids: the relationship between diet, serum concentrations, and macular pigment optical density”, a PhD Scholarship she successfully attained through competitive interview. Marina Green has done research in experimental surgery, clinical research and hospital health quality. During her medical training, she became an assistant professor for UNAM Medical School. She is interested on cellular metabolism, finding the way in which nutrients affect genetic changes, and developing public policies for a deeper change in human health through the cooperation between basic and clinical research and enhancing translational medicine.

  • Rebekah Brennan


    Rebekah Brennan is a PhD researcher at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland and Irish Research Council (IRC) scholar. Her research project focuses on the injecting use of performance and image enhancing drugs (PIED). Previously, Rebekah has conducted research in the area of novel psychoactive drug (NPD) use. Rebekah holds a first class honours degree in Addiction Counselling from Glyndwr University.

  • Cathal Ryan


    Mr Cathal Ryan is a PhD Scholar and Lecturer based in the School of Health Sciences at Waterford Institute of Technology. He is currently funded through the WIT Scholarship Programme to undertake the SuRE project which investigates work-related stress and the enhancement of resilience skills in health and social care workers through online platforms. Cathal was previously been engaged as the Principal Research Assistant to the DELAROSE project in WIT, which was brought to a successful conclusion in November 2015, and as an Assistant Research Psychologist with the NEIL Memory Research Unit in Trinity College Dublin. Cathal has ten publications in the areas of work-related stress, pan-European accreditation systems and accredited online learning in the workplace. These include peer-reviewed journals papers and a technical report presented to QQI, the national agency responsible for standards in educational and training qualifications. In addition, he delivered numerous conference papers and workshops at national and international research conferences. Cathal is a part-time lecturer on the BA Applied Social Studies in Social Care programme in the School of Humanities in Waterford Institute of Technology, while he has also lectured to both BSc Nursing and BSc Applied Health Care students in the areas of Developmental, Social and Health Psychology; Psychology for Health Care and Connected Health. He is also the course co-ordinator of an accredited online learning programme ‘Certificate in the Management of Work-related Stress’, delivered through the School of Health Sciences in WIT.