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 Brain and Ocular Nutrition Conference, which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University, UK., see www.bonconference.org, and is also Chair of the ARVO Macula and Nutrition Group.
Rebecca is a 3rd year PhD candidate at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland in Waterford Institute of Technology. Rebecca has a keen interest in the role of nutrition for optimising health and wellbeing, with a specific interest in the potential role of nutrition in maintaining cognitive health and reducing the risk of neurological diseases, namely Alzheimer’s disease. Her current project, the Cognitive impAiRmEnt Study (CARES), is investigating the role of nutrition supplementation on cognitive function among individuals with mild cognitive impairment in comparison to age-matched controls. This research is being performed under the supervision of Professor John Nolan, Professor Stephen Beatty and Professor Riona Mulcahy, and support from Dr Robert Coen. Rebecca has previously worked as a Research Technician on the European Research Council-funded Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST), which investigated the impact of enrichment of macular pigment on visual performance. Rebecca holds a BA (Honours) in Health Promotion. She has also completed an MSc (by Research) in sedentary behaviour, which involved characterising the habitual physical activity and sedentary patterns of individuals with peripheral arterial disease. In 2018, Rebecca was awarded the School of Health Science student of the year award in WIT, as well as Early Investigator of the Year at the Brain and Ocular Nutrition Conference in Cambridge, UK. Outside of her academic interests, Rebecca enjoys keeping fit (swimming and walking), reading and attending sporting events, namely the Irish sport known as hurling.
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.
Stephanie Byrne is a Registered General Nurse who completed a BSc (Hons) in General Nursing in Waterford Institute of Technology, graduating with First Class Honours (1:1). After her graduation from WIT, she had the opportunity to gain a diverse range of nursing skills at University Hospital Waterford, working in both the Oncology/Haematology Department and the Radiology Department. Currently, she is working on a PhD research study at the NRCI entitled “Memory Intervention with Nutrition for Dementia (re-MIND)”. This research aims to investigate the impact of supplementation with dietary nutrients on the natural progression of individuals with mild-moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.