Seminar Series 2023, 2022 & 2021

The School of Public Health Seminar Series aims to provide insights into a range of topics across the spectrum of public health, including research, policy, and practice. The School’s very successful 2021 series included topics from diverse disciplines and different perspectives and our 2022 Series followed a similar format. The multi-disciplinary seminar series includes several presentations focused on public health aspects of COVID-19 as well as many other public health related topics.

“Seminars such as these are always important to exchange knowledge, facilitate the sharing of accurate and reliable information, and to inform discussion. However, it is even more vital that factually correct and well researched information is communicated to us all during this pandemic”, highlights Professor Patricia Kearney, School of Public Health, UCC.



 25th May 2023 


Impact Of Bereavement By Suicide On Adolescents and Parents and Implications For Support

Presented by

Dr Karl Andriessen

THURSDAY 25TH May 1.15PM – 2PM

Join us in person in Lecture Room 4.05 Western Gateway Building

or online via Teams

Please click here to register by Wednesday 24th May.


Karl Andriessen, PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health in The University of Melbourne, Australia.

He is co-founder and Chair of the Special Interest Group on Suicide Bereavement of the International Association of Suicide Prevention, and is an advisor to several projects in the field of suicide prevention and bereavement. He also serves as Associate Editor of Death Studies. In recognition of his achievements, he received several awards, such as the 2005 IASP Farberow Postvention Award. He has published widely, including “Postvention in action: The international handbook of suicide bereavement support”.

This seminar is being organised by the School of Public Heath UCC and the National Suicide Research Foundation.



Our Seminar Series has concluded for 2022.

Sincere thanks to all our excellent presenters, organisers and the hundreds of attendees who made our 2022 series such a success!

 May 2023 Seminar 

Lessons from across the lifecourse:

The Newcastle Thousand Families Birth Cohort

Presented by 

Professor Mark Pearce

WGB Room 4.02

Thursday 4th May 1pm - 2pm


Professor Mark Pearce is a Professor of Applied Epidemiology at Newcastle University within the Population Health Sciences Institute and works within the Reproduction, Development and Child Health research theme.

He is the Director of the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, a birth cohort established in 1947 and leads a programme of epidemiological research assessing risk factors for and causal pathways to adverse health and behavioural outcomes. He is also a co-investigator on two other birth cohorts based at Newcastle University, the Gateshead Millennium Study and the Newcastle Pre-Term Birth Cohort, and a collaborator with The Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort.



Our Seminar Series has concluded for 2022.

Sincere thanks to all our excellent presenters, organisers and the hundreds of attendees who made our 2022 series such a success!



COVID Now - What next?

Presented by Dr Michael Ryan,

World Health Organisation

Tuesday 20th September

Organised by Colette Cunningham and Dr Rosarii Griffin 

Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme joined leading experts from UCC’s School of Public Health and UCC’s Centre for Global Development for today’s webinar exploring the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and solutions to prevent future public health challenges.

A sincere thank you to Dr Mike Ryan for his time and engagement with the School of Public Health and the UCC Centre for Global Development.

And thank you to the 270 people who joined us today for this inspiring and highly informative discussion.

A recording of the webinar ‘COVID Now – What Next?’ is available below.




Reducing Drug and Alcohol Related Harms Among Students

Presented by Dr Michael Byrne


Tuesday 17th May 

Organisers: Nickola Pallin & Prof. Patricia Kearney 


Dr Michael Byrne is the Head of the Student Health Department in UCC and has had a leadership role in a variety of university and national initiatives including:

  • The development of UCC’s Student Mental Health: Policy for Staff, Fitness to Practise Policy and Fitness to Continue in Study Policies.
  • Delivering initiatives to reduce alcohol and drug- related harm amongst students.
  • The use of a curricular approach to effect attitudinal and behavioural change in the 3rd level setting, in the area of sexual consent and sexual assault.
  • The University response to the COVID Pandemic.

He has led the REACT Project (Responding to Excessive Alcohol Consumption in Third level) to develop a national awards and recognition scheme for 3rd level institutions that target alcohol-related harm in their colleges. He is Principal Investigator on the MiUSE Project (My Understanding of Substance Experiences), to develop an on-line behavioural change tool for students to help reduce harm from drug use. He was lead member of the Rapid Response Group convened by the Minister of Higher Education to develop the Framework for Response to the Use of Illicit Substances within Higher Education.





Is the Quality Adjusted Life Year (QALY) Fit for Purpose?

Presented by Professor John Browne


Tuesday 25th April 2022

Organisers: Nickola Pallin & Prof. Patricia Kearney 


Professor John Browne is a health services researcher interested in ways to improve the quality and safety of healthcare. After completing his PhD at Trinity College Dublin, he worked at the Health Services Research Unit of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) from 1998 to 2008, where he oversaw the development of the NHS Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) programme and the acute care clinical guidelines programme for the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.




He was also the Principal Investigator on the Health Research Board funded 'SIREN' programme (Study of the Implementation of Reconfiguration on Urgent and Emergency Care Networks). He continues to hold an Honorary Professorship at LSHTM and is a Senior Editor at BMJ Quality & Safety.




Parental Stress and Child Behavioral Problems over time: a transactional approach 

Presented by Willeke van Dijk




Tuesday 8th March 2022

Organisers: Nickola Pallin & Prof. Patricia Kearney 


Willeke van Dijk is a fourth-year PhD-candidate in the Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

The focus of her PhD project is on (prenatal) stress, smoking and maternal and child outcomes. Currently, data collection for her RCT on an eHealth intervention targeting stress and smoking in pregnant women is ongoing.

During the seminar, she will be presenting about a project on parenting stress and its bidirectional relations with child internalising and externalising behavior, with data from the Growing Up in Ireland study.



Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic -

A Global and National Perspective

Presented by Professor Ella Arensman 



Organised by Nickola Pallin and Professor Patricia Kearney 


Professor Ella Arensman

Ella is Professor of Public Mental Health with the School of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health and Chief Scientist with the National Suicide Research Foundation, University College Cork. She is Vice President of the European Alliance Against Depression and past President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. She is Visiting Professor with the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, Brisbane, and an advisor for WHO.

Over more than 30 years, she has initiated numerous national and international interdisciplinary research consortia on suicide and self-harm surveillance, intervention and prevention programmes for suicide, self-harm, depression, anxiety, and excess mortality among people with mental health conditions. Examples of ongoing research consortia and programmes include: Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings (MENTUPP), Self-Harm Assessment and Management of Self-Harm in General Hospitals (SAMAGH), Adapting and Implementing EAAD´s Best Practice Model to Improve Depression Care and Prevent Suicidal Behaviour in Europe (EAAD-Best), Early Identification of Suicide and Self-Harm Risk and Comorbid Mental and Physical Disorders: An Interdisciplinary Training, Research and Intervention Programme (MHAINTAIN) and COVID-19: Estimating the burden of symptomatic disease in the community and the impact of public health measures on physical, mental and social wellbeing.




December Post Graduate Research Seminar

The final seminar in our Seminar Series 2021 took place on 14th December when outgoing Masters Students from the School presented their dissertation research.

Sincere thanks to all our excellent speakers, those who attended the seminars and to Edel Burton who organised the School's very successful 2021 series.

Nicola Ryan - MPH Online - Sex and Gender Based Equity in Clinical Trials for Acute Coronary Syndrome: Are Women Adequately Represented, A Systematic Review 
Yousef O'Donnell - MPH Campus - Hospitalisation, Morbidity and Mortality due to Respiratory Tract Infections Among Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Long-Term Care Facilities: A Systematic Review
Pawel Hursztyn - MPH Campus - Trends of Hospital Presenting Self-Harm in Cork City: Area and Individual Level Factors
Declan Moran - MPH Campus - Estimating the Direct Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) Associated with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in the Republic of Ireland: The First Full Year
Ayisha Lightbourne - MPH Campus - Living with Chronic Illness: A Qualitative Exploration of Women's Perceptions and Experiences of Diagnosis, Supports and Treatment Options in Managing Endometriosis

To view our PG Seminar, just click on the video below.



The BMJ living review of prediction models for diagnosis and prognosis of Covid-19:

A case study in research waste. 

Presented by Dr Darren Dahly


Tuesday 16th November 

Organised by Edel Burton and Professor Patricia Kearney


Dr Darren Dahly

Dr Darren Dahly is the Principal Statistician of the Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility Cork, and a Senior Lecturer in Patient-Focused Research Methods at the University College Cork (UCC) School of Public Health. In these roles, he consults and collaborates on a wide portfolio of patient-focused and public health research, including more than a dozen investigator-led clinical trials; and teaches postgraduates about clinical trial study design and analysis, reproducible research methods, and critical appraisal skills. Before coming to UCC, Darren was a Lecturer in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Leeds, and prior to that he earned his PhD in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina (2008) and a Masters in International Health Science at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (2002).



Summer Research 2021 Student Seminar

During Summer 2021, a group of talented public health sciences and medical students carried out research with the School of Public Health or with staff affiliated to the School.

On Tuesday 26th October, these students presented their research which can now be viewed below.

For further infomation, please contact Edel Burton at




 Presented by Dr Eithne Hunt


Tuesday 19th October

Organised by Edel Burton and Professor Patricia Kearney


Dr. Eithne Hunt 

Eithne is a State registered occupational therapist who has worked in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UCC since 2003.


In September 2020, she was seconded to the UCC Graduate Attributes Programme in a part-time capacity to the role of academic advisor. In this role, she is principally leading on the implementation of Action 17 of Priority 4 of UCC Academic Strategy, the student self-assessment now known as the UCC Graduate Attributes and Values Compass.





Incentivised elicitation of risk attitudes and beliefs about the COVID-19 pandemic 

in asample of US students: a 6-wave experiment

Presented by Professor Don Ross 



Tuesday 21st September 2021 

      Organisers: Edel Burton & Prof Patricia Kearney    


Prof. Don Ross

Don Ross is Professor and Head of the School of Society, Politics, and Ethics at UCC; Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town; and Program Director for Methodology at the Center for the Economic Analysis of Risk, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University.


His recent research has focused on experimental economics of risk and time preferences, particularly in relation to addiction and other health challenges; economics of normative social regulation in both people and other animals, particularly elephants; public infrastructure provision and achievement of improved transport access in Africa; and the implications of quantum theory for the mathematical foundations of scientific inference. He is the author or editor of 14 books and many journal articles. He has undertaken consulting projects for the South African Government, the World Bank, the US Department of Commerce, and companies in the financial services industry.






“The Australian approach to SARS-CoV-2” 

Presented by Dr Niall Conroy

Organisers: Edel Burton & Prof. Patricia Kearney 



Dr Niall Conroy

Niall Conroy is a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and is the Director of Public Health at Wide Bay Public Health Unit, Queensland.

He is also a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland. Niall trained in public health medicine in Australia and has managed outbreaks in Sierra Leone, Somalia, Nepal, Australia and Ireland. He has a special interest in newborn global health and in transmission dynamics of pandemic viruses in vulnerable populations.




COVID-19. Is it a Pandemic of Buildings?

A seminar on COVID-19 and airborne transmission.

Presented by Ms Orla Hegarty 


Organisers: Edel Burton & Prof. Patricia Kearney 

Seminar Video - just click on the image below.


Orla Hegarty is an architect and assistant professor at the School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy in University College Dublin.


Her area of research is the built environment, housing and the construction industry, with particular interests in building safety, sustainability and quality. In the last year she has been actively collaborating in cross-disciplinary research into Covid-19, and understanding how the environmental science of pandemic is key to suppression and using buildings at low risk. She is a member of a new expert group advising NPHET. 








Practical Steps for the Archiving of Qualitative Research Data  

Presented by Dr Aileen O’Carroll 

Organisers: Edel Burton & Prof Patricia Kearney  

To view the Seminar Video, click on the image below.


Dr Aileen O’Connell

Aileen is the Policy Manager at the Digital Repository of Ireland and manager at the Irish Qualitative Data Archive. Her work in the field of digital data is concerned with research methods, ethics & privacy and research data management.

Aileen advises researchers on best practice in managing and archiving research projects, both to ensure that ethical commitments are met and that the data gathered is of the highest standard to facilitate optimal re-use by a variety of audiences. As a sociologist she has used qualitative research in her books Working time, knowledge work and post-industrial society (2015) and the Dublin Docker (2017).  

She has published two research collections on the Digital Repository of Ireland; the Life History and Social Change Collection ( and the Repeal the Eight and Reproductive Rights Collection (, and advised the Growing Up in Ireland team on the protocols used to publish their qualitative data set ( In her talk she will be drawing on these experiences to discuss the issues that researchers need to consider when preparing their data for deposit. 





The COVID-19 Vaccine: An Overview  

Presented by Dr Anne Moore

Organisers: Edel Burton & Prof. Patricia Kearney 

Seminar Video - just click on the image below.


 Dr Anne Moore

Anne completed a PhD in HIV vaccine immunology with Professor Kingston Mills. She completed post-doctoral work on defects in immune responses in HIV-infected individuals in the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and further work on recombinant vaccines against viruses such as HIV and Ebola virus in Dr.Gary Nabel's lab, then at the University of Michigan.

As a senior immunologist in Prof. Adrian Hill's group in the University of Oxford, she developed several T cell inducing vaccine candidates against malaria, TB and influenza and was involved in clinical trials of these and other vaccine candidates. She was a Lecturer in Pharmacology, based in the School of Pharmacy, in early 2007. In 2016 she worked for 10 months with the vaccine biotech company, Vaxart, South San Francisco while on sabbatical. Here she worked on tablet-based oral vaccines for a range of therapeutic and prophylactic vaccine. In September 2018, she took a position as Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Cell Biology.   

Her research interests are in vaccine development, access and acceptability. She is interested in developing and clinically translating anti-viral vaccines that can be thermostabilised for easy distribution and new formats for easy administration, such as tablets, nasal sprays and skin patches.

Dr. Moore and colleagues in the School of Pharmacy have published widely on vaccine confidence in Ireland. 





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