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News archive 2017

Congrats to PhD student Katie Togher finalist in 'Science for All' competition

11 Apr 2017
Ms Katie Togher Finalist in 'Science for All' competition. (Photo B.Riedewald)

Congratulations to Katie Togher an Honours Neuroscience graduate in 2013 and currently a PhD researcher in the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience/Obstetrics & Gynaecology/Infant/APC Microbiome Institute who was recently selected as finalist in the 'Science for All' competition.

The Science for all competition is an opportunity for young scientists to share the excitement of their research with the general public in an easily understandable manner, without using jargon. The competition now in its 13th year, is organised jointly by the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, ( and two Science Foundation Ireland funded research centres: the APC Microbiome Institute ( and the Irish Photonics Integration Centre (

Katie was delighted to be selected as a finalist for the competition, and she enjoyed the challenge of communicating science to the public and to share the research work that she is undertaking. She was especially pleased to have the opportunity to share her results with the many volunteers who gave their time to their study, and to let them know the that their involvement made significant advancements towards improving and understanding pregnancy health. Katie presented her work under the title 'Happy Mum, Happy Microbiome?'  in which she described how her work targets the microbiome to improve mental health in pregnancy and, subsequently, improve pregnancy and newborn outcomes.

Katie has a  first class honours degree in Neuroscience graduating from the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience in 2013 completing her final year research under the supervision of Professor Aideen Sullivan. She is currently an affiliated postgraduate student in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience undertaking a PhD with the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) and the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) under the supervision of Dr Gerard Clarke, Dr Ali Khashan, Dr Gerard O Keeffe, Prof. Louise Kenny, Prof. John Cryan, Prof. Ted Dinan and Prof. Tony Ryan. Katie is fascinated by the area of  perinatal psychiatry, and especially the biological mechanism in which mental health issues in the prenatal period impact both mother and baby. Her current research assesses the impact of prenatal mental health on the microbiome in pregnancy and on the development of the infant microbiome in the first few months of life. She has also investigated the impact of prenatal mental health on the placenta.

(Photo B.Riedewald)

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

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