INFANT and Dentistry Researchers awarded HRB Funding

27 Jul 2020

Congratulations to Dr Elaine McCarthy and Dr Martina Hayes who have been awarded almost €500,000 in Health Research Board (HRB) funding under two postdoctoral training schemes.

Dr Elaine McCarthy - Identifying iron deficiencies in pregnancy Dr Elaine McCarthy, an investigator at INFANT, received €241,040 for work on an Iron Deficiency Assessment for protection of the newborn brain as part of the Applying research into Policy and Practice Fellowships. Dr McCarthy’s project aims to identify the women and infants at the highest risk of Iron deficiency during pregnancy and early childhood - one of the leading causes of diminished neurological developmental potential worldwide.

Speaking about the announcement, Dr Elaine McCarthy, INFANT said: “The funding from the Health Research Board will enable us to develop two screening tools, for use in pregnant women and their infants, to accurately identify those at risk of iron deficiency. This will help clinicians provide prompt and targeted treatment, thus protecting the developing brain from the life-long consequences of iron deficiency”.


Dr Martina Hayes - researching the oral health of people with Cystic Fibrosis

Dr Martina Hayes, a Senior Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry, was awarded €236,183 for research on Oral Health in Adults with Cystic Fibrosis under the Clinician Scientist Fellowships scheme. This project seeks to comprehensively research the oral health of people with Cystic Fibrosis (PWCF) over the next three years to establish whether they have higher rates of oral diseases such as dental decay or gum disease.

Dr Hayes, Restorative Dentistry, expressed her delight at the award: “This will allow me to comprehensively examine the oral health of people with Cystic Fibrosis (PWCF) over the next three years. It’s not known whether or not people with CF have higher rates of oral diseases such as dental decay or gum disease but at present dentists are not part of the multidisciplinary Cystic Fibrosis healthcare team. If people with cystic fibrosis do have a higher risk of dental disease, inclusion of oral healthcare professionals such as dentists and hygienists, would allow for preventive and early intervention measures”.

The awards were made under two postdoctoral training schemes, Applying Research into Policy and Practice Fellowships, and Clinician Scientist Fellowships. The research projects are two of twelve to receive a share of a €3.7 million investment in new health research fellowships.

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