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: Dr. Daniel Crean

Collaborators: Prof. David Brayden and Prof. Pieter Brama

Project title: Investigating the utility of novel nanoparticle based therapeutics in inflammatory disease


Current therapeutics in the treatment of inflammatory disease aim at repressing pro-inflammatory responses through the use of glucocorticoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and biologics such as Anti-TNFα. While such therapies have improved the severity of disease, they are fraught with side effects, for example immune suppression and osteoporosis. Within this project we will be using an equine model of joint inflammation in order to investigate the utility of novel nanoparticle based therapeutics. The student will join a multidisciplinary lab consisting of basic scientists, pharmacists and veterinary clinicians and contribute to laboratory analysis of markers of inflammation from our on-going studies.

Keywords: Inflammation, arthritis, osteoarthritis, nanoparticles



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