Sinéad qualified with a BSc Microbiology from University College Cork in 2002 and in 2006 obtained a PhD in Molecular Microbiology at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, under the supervision of Prof. Colin Hill. During this time she investigated the interaction of the food borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes with the gastrointestinal epithelium and the therapeutic potential of probiotics to treat infection. This was followed by postdoctorate work as part of a collaboration between GlaxoSmithKline and the APC Microbiome Ireland (2006-2008) investigating novel therapeutics for the treatment of IBD, and subsequently with Prof. Luke O’Neill’s Inflammation Research Group, at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) (2008-2015) where she further investigated the role of innate signalling pathways in regulation of intestinal defences. In 2012, Sinéad was awarded a Starting Investigator Research Grant from Science Foundation Ireland, to investigate the role of miRNA’s in the regulation of gut homeostasis or inflammatory disease. In 2015, Sinéad obtained an academic position in the Dept. of Microbiology, TCD, where she established the Microbiome & Mucosal Immunity research lab.
Research in the Corr group focusses on deciphering the molecular mechanisms underpinning interactions between the gut microbiome and the gut mucosal barrier. The subsequent maintenance of health or development of infectious or inflammatory disease as a result of this interplay is of particular interest. Gastroenteritis, including bacterial infectious diseases, are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, while inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs; namely Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis) affect over 2 million people in Europe. Utilising molecular based approaches including Next Generation Sequencing combined with animal models and clinical samples, this research targets microbiome, metabolome, cytokine and microRNA networks to understand how healthy immune responses are maintained at the intestinal mucosal barrier and what processes over-ride this during disease or in response to infection. This research has a strong translational focus, maintained by active collaboration with clinician colleagues and industrial biopharma partners, with the aim of identifying therapeutic strategies including novel dietary interventions, postbiotics and naturally-sourced bio-actives to manipulate intestinal immunity or target pathogenic bacteria and enhance the beneficial aspects of the gut microbiome, with the ultimate goal of boosting gut health and reducing the severity of intestinal infectious and inflammatory diseases.