Student Presenters (2018)

Presenters in Session 1

Estefanía Guisado Fernández is a PhD candidate in Connected Health (CH) in the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy, and Sports Science in University College Dublin (UCD) in the CHESS Project under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Blake and Professor Brian Caulfield.  She got her bachelor degree in Medicine (2010) and then decided to specialize in Physical and Rehabilitation medicine (2014). Furthermore, she got a master’s degree in Neurophysiology and Neuroscience (2013). She has trained skills in vestibular rehabilitation, ultrasound guided techniques and in the use of Botulin Toxin for pain and spasticity treatment. She has worked as medical advisor for an Android app called “Fitness Park”, aimed at facilitating the use of the exercise machines available in our parks for our seniors.

Áine Teahan is a Hardiman Scholar and first-year PhD candidate in the Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia (CESRD) in NUI Galway. In 2014, Áine graduated from UCC with an MA in Applied Psychology, she has since worked on several projects exploring aspects of dementia care including: ‘Kinsale Community Response to Dementia’ (K-CoRD), ‘Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Living’ (NEIL) in Trinity College Dublin and ‘Towards Resilience in Family Caregiving for People with Dementia’ in University College Dublin. Áine’s PhD research is exploring psychosocial supports for family carers of people with dementia and supervised by Professor Eamon O’ Shea.

Laura Perez Denia completed her MSc in Bioengineering last year and is currently working as a Research Assistant at St. James’s Hospital with a view to commencing her PhD in the autumn. Her project was based at the Mercer’s Institute of Successful Ageing (MISA), St. James’s Hospital. Laura also worked in the Falls and Syncope Unit (FASU). 

Hannah Grove is a third year Health Geography PhD student at Maynooth University. She is a SPHeRE Programme scholar, supervised by Professor Jan Rigby and Dr. Catriona Murphy, and funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). Hannah’s research is focused on mapping the everyday experiences of older adults as they age within their homes and local communities, is exploring whether older people are able to carry out activities and interactions that are important to them to ‘age well’. Hannah is passionate about promoting ‘Healthy Local Environments’, and has previously worked as a Planning Policy Officer in the UK. She has a  MSc in Town Planning from University of Brighton and an undergraduate degree in Geography (BA hons) from University of Sussex.

Presenters in Session 2

Joanna Orr is an Irish Research Council scholar currently completing a PhD in the Department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin. This PhD project is supervised by Professor Rose Anne Kenny and Dr Christine McGarrigle, and focuses on the social determinants of women in Ireland’s ageing outcomes. The project uses a mixed methods design, using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) to assess social pathways to ageing outcomes, as well as a qualitative component to further explain these mechanisms. She has a BA in History and Politics from the University of Leeds, as well as an MSc in Applied Social Research from Trinity College Dublin. 

Sarah Watkins is in her fourth year of a PhD in University of Limerick. Sarah is a nurse within Practice Development and is a Clinical Facilitator in University of Limerick. Her supervisor is Professor Fiona Murphy. Sarah’s research focuses on exploring the experiences of dementia care in the Emergency Department from family member and Emergency Nurses perspectives.

Amanda Lavan is a third year PhD student in the Department of Medicine at University College Cork (UCC). She graduated with a degree in Biomedical Science from NUI Galway in 2004 and went on to complete her medical degree at the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin in 2009. She has been working in Geriatric Medicine since 2012. Under the supervision of Prof Denis O’Mahony and Dr Paul Gallagher. Amanda's doctoral research focuses on prescribing in frail older adults with a limited life expectancy.

Kate Devenney is a final year PhD candidate in the University of Dublin, Trinity College (TCD) supervised by Dr Emer Guinan and Professor Brian Lawlor. Her thesis explores the effects of acute exercise on brain derived neurotrophic factor and cognitive performance in older adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Her PhD is designed as a number of sub-studies to the NeuroExercise study, a multi-centre randomised controlled trial examining the effects of an extensive exercise programme on the progression of MCI. She graduated with a degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Brighton in 2007, and worked as a senior physiotherapist in St. James's Hospital until 2015.

Sarah Baxter is a second year PhD student in the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast. She graduated with a Masters in Pharmacy from Queen's University Belfast in 2015. She worked in community pharmacy prior to commencing her doctoral research in 2016. Sarah is working under the supervision of Professor Carmel Hughes and Dr Dermot O'Reilly. Sarah's research explores polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate prescribing in older adults within the primary healthcare setting.   

Presenters in Session 3

Brian Mullen has completed a BSc in Health science at Sligo Institute of technology in 2014; BSc in Human nutrition at Ulster University in 2015; and MSc in Sport and exercise nutrition at Ulster University in 2016. Brian has conducted a pilot study as part of his MSc programme under the supervision of Dr Emeir McSorley. The purpose of the study was to investigate the amelioration effects of the antioxidant astaxanthin on exercise induced oxidative stress of CrossFit athletes. He has also being involved with Ulster rugby where he gave various nutritional workshops as part of their underage schools of excellence programme.  Brian’s main research interests lie within the realm of micronutrient deficiency, inflammation, bone health, cognitive decline, and healthy ageing. He is currently working as a postgraduate researcher, working towards an MSc in clinical medicine at Trinity University, Dublin. Based in the MISA building at St James hospital he is responsible for recruiting and processing participants of the TUDA+5 follow-up study.

Ann-Marie Garvin is a Senior Clinical Pharmacist for Older People’s Medicine at Beaumont Hospital. She graduated with a Biomedical Science degree from NUI Galway in 2008 and went on to complete a Masters of Pharmacy in 2012 in Robert Gordon University. She then obtained a MSc in Clinical Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast in 2017, which involved a research project aimed at introducing a formalised falls-prevention medication review process in Beaumont Hospital under the supervision of Professor Karl Malcolm. She has a keen interest in evidence-based practice and research in the workplace.

Alison Fagan is a MSc Research Student of the Department of Nursing and Healthcare in Athlone Institute of Technology. Alison completed a BSc (Hons) in General Nursing and has worked as a qualified RGN since 2016. Under the supervision of Ms. Lorraine Gaffney and Dr. Mary McDonnell Naughton her research focuses on the health and wellbeing of centenarians living in Ireland. The study will examine the biopsychosocial determinants that contribute to the attainment of such exceptional longevity, with the aim of this research being to extend the current body of knowledge that exists on the topic. It is hoped that this research will educate policy makers on what contributes to successful ageing and furthermore shape future ageing strategies. 

Ellen Flanagan is a MSc post graduate student working under Professor Helen Roche in University College Dublin. The aim of her research is to identify the determinants of sarcopenia and muscle mass in older adults, taking in a range of variables including physical activity, lifestyle factors and diet. This work was supported by funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Health Research Board through the Joint Programming Initiative - A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL) Knowledge Hub on Malnutrition in the Elderly (MaNuEL).

Dawn Higgins is a student on the Masters in Psychological Science in University College Dublin. She graduated from her undergraduate degree from Maynooth University in 2017 and has experience working as a suicide prevention officer. Her current research is supervised by Dr Cliódhna O’Connor of UCD and Dr Cat Hughes of Pieta House, and explores the experience of older adults accessing suicide prevention services, and how such services could be tailored to this population. Dawn will be presenting the protocol for her research, along with some preliminary findings.