The Department of Psychiatry currently consists of a Professor, a Senior Lecturer, two Lecturers and an Administrative Assistant. All consultant psychiatrists in the region hold Honorary Senior Lecturer contracts. There are also several post-doctoral fellows, PhD and MD students working within the Department.

Research Staff

Dr. Andrew Allen (Senior Postdoctoral Researcher)

The biological burden of dementia caregiving

Nearly 5% of the Irish population are engaged as caregivers for ill elderly relatives. This is particularly stressful for those whose spouses or parents suffer from dementia. This study is investigating the impact of caregiving for an elderly patient with dementia upon biomarkers of stress, such as salivary cortisol, as well as the impact of caregiver burden upon cognition. We are also interested in investigating if different stress management techniques may attenuate any effects of caregiver burden. 

Dr. Aoife Nolan(Research Assistant)

Knowledge Exchange Dissemination Scheme: 

Biological Markers of

Brain Gut Axis

This post is currently responsible for the implementation of a research dissemination strategy at local, national and international level. Duties include organising events as required e.g. annual meetings, research conferences, workshops, etc. Also involved in the development of promotional material including flyers, press releases, and the planning and maintenance of the departmental website.

Paul Kennedy‌ (Postdoctoral Researcher)

MyNewGut: The impact of birth by Caesarean Section ‌

Administrative Staff

Name Position Telephone Email
Ms Maria Jefferies Senior Executive Assistant +353 (0)21 4901224

Postgraduate Students

Matteo Pusceddu (PhD Student)

An examination of the impact of dietary lipids on behaviour and neurochemistry

In the last number of years it is being increasingly accepted that dietary intake inter alia may have a role to play in the execution of appropriate clinical management strategies. 

This project is probing the role of individual phospholipids in neuronal development, cell signalling, and the progression of cognitive decline in the elderly. This will involve laboratory level studies to observe the dose response to particular phospholipid fractions as well as follow-on studies to establish if naturally-occurring phospholipids can deliver similar biological effects.

Clara Seira Oraich (PhD Student) 

The role of omega-3 PUFA and phytochemicals of marine origin in mood regulation.‌ 

Cropped picture of Clara OriachThe incidence of depression is increasing substantially worldwide and is predicted to be the second leading cause of disability by 2020 (WHO).  Therefore, novel strategies to prevent depression are urgently needed. Some studies have suggested that nutritional strategies may reduce depressive symptoms and alleviate cognitive decline, but scientific substantiation of efficacious dietary components is required. 

The aim of this project is to investigate in preclinical models the potential of marine-algal-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and marine polyphenols as nutritional supplement strategies with efficacy to enhance mental health and cognition. This is involving both in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies.

  • Rachel Moloney (PhD Student)
  • James Dollard (PhD Student)
  • Kate Barry (PhD Student)



GF Unit, Cork University Hospital, Wilton, Cork