STARs Abroad - Dublin, Ireland

The STARs in Dublin, Ireland exhange program was introduced in 2017, and we had two students particpate in the program.  Both participants enjoyed their time in their host institutions!

The list below is comprised of faculty researchers located in Dublin, Ireland who are willing to host a UCD STAR student for their STAR summer project in 2017. 

Ireland Exchange Notes and Photos

Supervisor: Prof. Nola Leonard

Project title: Strain differences and host response in S. aureus mastitis in cattle

Brief biography and description of current work:

Nola Leonard is Assoc. Prof. in Veterinary Microbiology and has on-going research projects in a number of areas including antimicrobial use and resistance in the pig industry and respiratory disease in pigs.  In addition, she is involved in a project examining the role of host immune response in Staphylococcus aureus mastitis in cattle and has just completed an experimental infection study during the summer of 2017 which yielded some interesting results.  We would like to do some follow up studies from this work, including a summer project in 2018.
Keywords:  Staphylococcus aureus, mastitis, cattle, strain differences


Supervisor: Prof. David Brayden

Project:  Interaction of veterinary medicines with the P-glycoprotein efflux pump in transfected cell lines:  substrates and inhibitors

 Biography:  David Brayden is Full Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery at the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Veterinary Medicine and is also a Fellow of the UCD Conway Institute. He has established a critical mass of drug delivery expertise in Ireland and led the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Irish Drug Delivery network from 2008-2013. He is a  co-lead PI of the SFI Centre for Medical Devices (2014-2020) ( . His major research interests are in oral, buccal, and intra-articular peptide delivery using permeation enhancers, nanotechnology, and drug-device combinations. He is a Fellow of the Controlled Release Society and of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and leads a group of 4 PhD candidates and 2 postdoctoral Fellows. In this project, the student will carry out fluxes of selected veterinary drugs across a set of filter-grown epithelial cell lines transfected with P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and will also assess their capacity to inhibit fluxes of established P-gp substrates.  This data will reveal potential for drug-drug interactions for narrow therapeutic index drugs used in veterinary medicine.

Supervisor: Dr. Sourav Bhattacharjee

Collaborator: Prof. Dimitri Scholz (Director, UCD Conway Institute Bioimaging Core)

Project: Microscopic evaluation of human breast cancer tissues: Towards a digital prediction platform

Biography: Sourav Bhattacharjee is a physician (MBBS) and graduated from Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata (India). After brief training in orthopedic surgery, he finished MSc in Biomolecular Sciences/Cell Biology from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2006-2008). His MSc thesis work on in vitro toxicity assessment of latex beads was done in the lab of Prof. Vicki Stone in the Napier University (Edinburgh, UK). He began his PhD (supervisors: Drs. Antonius TM Marcelis and Gerrit M Alink; promoters: Profs. Han Zuilhof and Ivonne MCM Rietjens) in the Wageningen University (Netherlands) in 2008 which he successfully defended in 2012 with a very good thesis and quite few research papers. Following that he worked for almost a year as postdoc in the University of Twente (Netherlands). From March 2014 he joined UCD (Ireland) as postdoc trying to develop nanoparticulate platforms for oral insulin delivery. From February 2016 he was appointed as Assistant Professor in the UCD where he is engaged now in developing a broad range of nanotechnology-based and microscopic tools for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, microscopy, breast cancer, cancer imaging, digital pathology


Google Scholar:

Supervisor: Dr Gerald Barry

Project title: Identification of animal-virus interactions that impact on disease pathogenesis


I am a lecturer in the School of Veterinary Medicine in University College Dublin, Ireland. I teach undergraduate Vet medicine and Vet nursing students about viruses and the diseases that viruses can cause. I also manage a research team that is interested in the immune system and  how it defends the body against virus infections in a species-specific manner. We study viruses such as Chikungunya virus, ZIKA virus and Oropouche virus, which are all viruses spread by mosquitos and infect humans; Schmallenberg virus that causes abortions in cattle and sheep and ORF virus, which causes a pox like skin infection in sheep.

Keywords: Arbovirus, Innate immunity, veterinary microbiology


Supervisor: Prof Stephen Gordon

Project title:  The interaction of TB pathogens with host innate immunity


Stephen Gordon is Professor of Infection Biology in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine. The research in our group focuses on the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, the aetiological agents of TB in man and a range of domesticated and wild animals. Our current focus is on the application of genomics and post-genomics approaches to the human TB pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the bovine pathogen, Mycobacterium bovis, to accelerate vaccine and diagnostic development. We are also exploring improved diagnostics for Johne's disease in cattle, caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis. The project in his group will explore interactions between macrophages with M. tuberculosis and M. bovis, and defining the role of pathogen effectors in the manipulation of host immune responses.

Keywords: Tuberculosis; innate immunity; pathogen effectors.


Supervisor: Prof Grace Mulcahy

Project title: Does the microbiota of Fasciola hepatica influence host immunoregulation?

Brief biography and description of current work

Grace is Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology at UCD.  Her group uses the liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, as a model to understand how parasitic helminths modulate immune responses in their hosts, including the response to bacterial and viral infections.   In parallel, the group is working to develop vaccines to protect ruminants against liver fluke infection.   The group is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the EU Commission and the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Keywords: Parasite immunobiology, parasite vaccines, ruminant, immunoregulation, co-infection