Sinead Cullen profile
Following her degree, Sinéad completed an MSc degree in 2010 in Neuroscience in Trinity College Dublin. Sinéad is currently studying for her PhD at the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI), Dublin College University and CRANN, Trinity College Dublin. She is developing novel assays to detect changes in blood viscoelasticity, which reflect the body’s ability to regulate healing and clotting. This research involves working with micro-cantilevers and quartz crystal microbalances (QCMs) to test blood samples. These devices are extremely sensitive and can use very small sample volumes, which can be obtained using a pin-prick method, compared to taking vials of blood from a patient for a test. These devices produce results much faster than conventional methods and therefore reduce the stressful waiting time for patients. The aim is to incorporate these sensors into a point-of-care diagnostic device which will have user-friendly software, allowing patients to carry out these tests at home.
Sinéad is passionate about Science communication and has been an exhibitor at BT Young Scientist Exhibition in 2013 and 2014. Sinéad has also showcased science experiments for children from the age of 5 years, at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, Big Day Out, and the Curiosity Festival, during Science Week. Sinéad has also been involved in the ‘Cool Jobs’ Exhibition and features in a video describing a day in the life of a PhD student http://youtu.be/Ohk3t8sXcsk. In 2013 Sinéad also took part in the competition “I’m a Scientist get me out of here” and won the Nanotechnology section. The prize was 500 euro for her own Education and Outreach project and she is currently working on putting a workshop together for secondary school students based on her research. Sinéad has a Science Blog entitled “We can all understand Science” http://sincully53.wordpress.com
Comments on the Neuroscience Degree “I have very fond memories of my time studying for my BSc in Neuroscience. I thoroughly enjoyed all the modules we studied. The Professors and Lecturers teaching all the courses were very friendly and very approachable, which made it very easy to speak to them at all times. During my final year research project, I learned many techniques, which I was taught to carry out using excellent lab practice. The BSc (Hons) in Neurosciene is an excellent programme and I would highly recommend it.”