Bios of Speakers in HR Researcher Conference 2017


President of UCC Professor Patrick O'Shea

Professor Patrick O’Shea became the 15th President of University College Cork on 1st February 2017.

 A UCC Physics graduate and former Vice President and Chief Research Officer at the University of Maryland in the US, Professor O’Shea was at the helm of a $500 million (€470m) per annum research and innovation enterprise. His academic, political and business acumen helped the University to become one of the leading research universities in the world.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

 Under Prof. O’Shea’s leadership, the University of Maryland has forged strong national and international research partnerships.  He is a strong advocate of cross disciplinary work in universities, highlighting the importance of humanities studies and their interaction with science and other technical disciplines. 

Professor O'Shea served as Chair of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Director of the Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics, at the University of Maryland. He played a leading role in the founding of the Maryland NanoCentre and the Maryland Cyber Security Centre.  He also served as a project leader at the University of California Los Alamos National Laboratory, and as a faculty member at Duke University.

Professor O’Shea’s area of expertise is in electromagnetics, and he is best known for his pioneering work on electron-accelerators and free-electron lasers. He has played a leading role in several large research programs, and supervised the work of over two dozen doctoral students. His other interests include history, linguistics, athletics and cycling. 

On his appointment last June Professor O’Shea said: “My physics degree from UCC laid the foundations for a successful academic career in the US culminating in my current leadership role at the University of Maryland. I am delighted to return to lead my alma mater, a university of ancient heritage and modern focus.  I thank outgoing President Dr Michael Murphy and the staff of UCC for the amazing job they have all done in securing our future.  UCC’s students and staff have impressed me with their enthusiasm and commitment to excellence in education, scholarship, research and service. Through their dedication, passion, and achievement, UCC will continue its rise among the great universities of the world.”

He is married to UCC graduate and scientist Miriam Smyth Ph.D., who works in clinical and biomedical research administration. They have one son.

Professor O’Shea attended secondary school at Coláiste Chríost Rí in Cork, and holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland.


Professor Anita Maguire

Vice President for Research & Innovation, Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Co-PI Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), University College Cork

 Anita undertook undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Chemistry at UCC (B.Sc. 1985, Ph.D. 1989). Following postdoctoral research first at Namur, Belgium then at the University of Exeter, UK she returned to the Department of Chemistry in UCC in 1991, initially as a College Lecturer, then Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry in 2002, and was appointed in 2004 to the newly-established Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, jointly in the Department of Chemistry and the School of Pharmacy, playing a leading role in development of the School of Pharmacy. Since her appointment at UCC she has played a strategic role in the development of teaching and learning, including the introduction of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at undergraduate level for the first time.

Over the past twenty six years at UCC she has led an active research team focusing on synthetic organic and pharmaceutical chemistry, which interacts extensively with the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland and internationally. She is very committed to postgraduate education, ensuring the research students gain the skills required to underpin their future careers; 41 PhD and 6 MSc students have graduated from her research team since 1997, most of whom have developed careers within the pharmaceutical industry both in Ireland and internationally.

Her research interests in Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry include development of new synthetic methodology, asymmetric synthesis including biocatalysis, and the design and synthesis of bioactive compounds with pharmaceutical applications.

She is Director of the interdisciplinary research centre, the Analytical and Biological Chemistry Research Facility established under PRTLI3, and co-PI in the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre, leading the UCC involvement in this Centre led by the University of Limerick.  She has served as Head of the Department of Chemistry (2005-7) and Head of the School of Pharmacy (2009-10). She was elected to the Governing Body of University College Cork in December 2003 and served two terms until December 2011. She was appointed as Vice President for Research and Innovation in January 2011 and reappointed for a second term from March 2016. She was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2014.

She is actively engaged nationally in strategic policy development in relation to research policy, STI policy, the academic industry interface and strategic development of the pharmaceutical industry, including as a member of the Advisory Science Council and the Irish Research Council. For example, she chaired the Advisory Science Council Task Force on The Role of PhDs in the Smart Economy. She chaired the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) until it merged with the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) to form the Irish Research Council. 

She is a member of the Boards of Tyndall National Institute, Molecular Medicine Ireland, Insight, APC, Infant, IPIC, Amber, MaREI, and ICHEC. She was appointed as the inaugural Chair of the National Forum on Research Integrity in 2015.

Internationally she is a member of the Management Board of the National Research Network in Health and Life Sciences (Wales), one of just two international members on the board.  She was an Adjunct Professor in the University of Bergen 2011-16. She was Chairman of the EU COST Management Committee for Action D12 concerning 'Organic Transformations: Selective Processes and Asymmetric Catalysis'.


Professor Ted Dinan

Ted Dinan is Professor of Psychiatry and a Principal Investigator in the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork.  He was previously Chair of Clinical Neurosciences and Professor of Psychological Medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin.   He has worked in research laboratories on both sides of the Atlantic and has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of London.  He is a Fellow of the RoyalColleges of Physicians and Psychiatrists and a Fellow of the AmericanCollege of Physicians.  His main research interest is in the role of the gut microbiota in stress related disorders.  He has also worked extensively on the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.  In 1995 was awarded the Melvin Ramsey Prize for research into the biology of stress. His current research is funded by Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board and European Union FP7.  He has published over 400 papers and numerous books on pharmacology and neurobiology. He is on the Editorial Boards of several journals.


Dr Micheal Scanlon

Dr Micheál D. Scanlon is an electrochemist and lecturer in the Department of Chemical Sciences at the University of Limerick (UL). He is a recent recipient of a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant and is currently establishing his new research group in the Bernal Institute at UL. 


Previously, in 2014, through a Science Foundation Ireland Starting Investigator Research Grant (SFI SIRG), he began his independent research career in the Chemistry Department at University College Cork (UCC). Dr Scanlon was a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Hubert H. Girault at École Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland (2011 - 2014) and Prof. Edmond Magner at the University of Limerick (UL) in Ireland (2009 - 2011). He completed his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Damien W.M. Arrigan (now Curtin University, Perth, Australia) at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork (2009) and has a BSc. in Chemistry (2005) from UCC.


Dr Scanlon's current research focuses on developing a new approach to artificial photosynthesis by carrying out photo-electrochemical reactions at dye-sensitized liquid-liquid interfaces. During his research career to date, Dr Scanlon has co-authored 34 journal articles, 2 review articles and 1 book-chapter. His papers are cited > 1450 times, with an H-index of 20 (


Dr Rosarii Griffin


Dr Rosarii Griffin is the Chair of the Research Staff Association (UCCRSA) and is an elected member of UCC’s Governing Authority. Her expertise lies in the area of 'International and Comparative Education' (DPhil, Oxford). Rosarii is a Researcher in the Office of the Vice President for Teaching and Learning and a Lecturer in the Centre for Adult Continuing Education. Currently, she is involved in teaching and learning, capacity building and global development. As a former Director of the 'Centre for Global Development’, Limerick, Rosarii managed a €1.5 million Irish Aid-HEA budget directing 6 international Higher Education (capacity building) projects between Lesotho, Uganda and Ireland. Today, Rosarii is the Acting Chair of the ‘Centre for Global Development’ Executive Steering Committee at UCC, and is working on a capacity building project between UCC and the University of Mzuzu, Malawi. Rosarii has published 5 books in the area of international education and global development. Rosarii is a member of UCC’s ISS21 Migration and Diaspora Research Group and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London since 2001. 



Dr Colin Sage

Dr Colin Sage works on the interconnections of food systems, agriculture, environment and wellbeing and is especially concerned with the consequences of climate change for global nutritional security. He is the author of Environment and Food (2012); and co-editor of Food Transgressions: Making sense of contemporary food politics (2014) and Transdisciplinary Perspectives on Transitions to Sustainability (2017). He is Chair of the Cork Food Policy Council and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography.


Dr Jennifer Brennan

Recently appointed as Director of Research, Development and Innovation at the Technological Higher Education Alliance (THEA), Dr. Jennifer Brennan has almost 10 years of experience in research funding and policy. Prior to joining THEA, Jennifer was Ireland’s National Contact Point for the European research funding programme known as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). During her five years in this role, she supported researchers to bring in over €110 million from the programme. She still retains a role in the MSCA, representing Ireland’s interests in the programme as National Delegate to the MSCA Programme Committee. Jennifer has a background in research and has worked in academia in the UK, USA and Ireland. Her first job “away from the bench” was the post of Scientific Officer at the Irish Research Council, where she co-ordinated two successful proposals submitted to the FP7 Marie Curie Actions COFUND Calls in 2007 and 2011, each with a value of approximately €5m, the largest amounts leveraged by Ireland from FP7. Jennifer has a strong interest in researcher career development, gender in research, community-engaged research, Responsible Research & Innovation, and is the coordinator of the National Forum on Research Integrity.


Dr Mary C. Murphy

Mary C. Murphy is a lecturer in politics and a Jean Monnet Professor in the Department of Government, University College Cork. Mary specialises in the study of the European Union and Northern Ireland politics. Her monograph Northern Ireland and Brexit will be published by Agenda Publishing in early 2018. Her work has also been published in leading academic journals. She participates in national and international conferences, and is a regular media contributor. In 2015, Mary was awarded a prestigious Fulbright-Schuman scholarship and was based at George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia. She is currently the President of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies (IACES).




Department of Human Resources - HR Research

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