Professor Kevin Cashman has been a University lecturer and Principal Investigator in Nutrition for over 20 years. Trained in Ireland (Cork) and in the USA (USDA Human Nutrition Research Centre on Ageing at Tufts, Boston); he took up a lectureship post at University College Cork in 1993 and an Endowed Research Professorship at the University in 2000; this is a joint post between the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences and the Department of Medicine. He was Head of Department/School (2008-2013). His research interests focus on the key public health areas of vitamin D, including population distributions of serum 25(OH)D and related metabolites, dietary requirements for vitamin D in different population subgroups, food-based solutions for increasing vitamin D intake and status, and the role of vitamin D in health outcomes. He has over 130 publications; his work has contributed to current understanding of dietary vitamin D requirements and factors which affect same, as well as finding evidence-based dietary approaches for reaching the requirement estimates. Professor Cashman is the Joint Coordinator (together with Professor Mairead Kiely) of a major European Commission-funded project on Food-based solutions for ‘Optimal vitamin D Nutrition and health through the life cycle (ODIN)’, which is a 30 partner collaborative project aimed at tackling vitamin D deficiency in Europe (2013-2017). His has provided the national data on serum 25(OH)D and metabolites for the Irish adult population and is a contributory partner to the North American NIH-led Vitamin D Standardization Programme. Recently (2011-current), Professor Cashman has served as a member of the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition which is setting the nutritional recommendations (DRV) for vitamin D in the UK. He is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Mairead Kiely is a Professor and Principal Investigator in Human Nutrition at University College Cork. She leads an extensive research program, which integrates the main themes of vitamin D, maternal and child nutrition and diet and cardiovascular health. She has more than 20 years research experience in human nutrition and health. Her PhD was in the area of oxidative stress and nutritional and endogenous antioxidant defences in pregnancy. She has a background in nutritional epidemiology and since 2005, has co-chaired the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research at UCC, which investigates vitamin D requirements for human health throughout life and effective public health strategies to achieve them. Mairead is also co-coordinator of the EC funded ODIN Integrated Project (2013-2017) on food based strategies for vitamin D deficiency prevention.
Since 2014, Mairead has led the Maternal and Child Nutrition research programme at INFANT, which is addressing unanswered questions in relation to nutritional requirements for healthy pregnancy and beyond in women and to support optimal growth and development in infants and young children. Primary health outcomes under investigation are physical and neurological development in children and cardiovascular health in women, including body composition, muscle and bone indices. The flagship projects of the INFANT maternal and child nutrition programme are the COMBINE [Cork Nutrition and Microbiome Maternal-Infant Cohort Study] and Pinpoint [Personalised Nutrition for the Preterm Infants] projects. A major underpinning activity to support these research themes is the design, construction and analysis of quality food consumption and food composition databases.
Alice is from Mitchelstown, Co Cork. She completed her BSc in Nutritional Sciences at UCC in 2002 and her PhD in human nutrition in 2007. Her PhD focused on the role of fruit, vegetables & seafood in maintaining metabolic and bone health.
She is a newly appointed lecturer in the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research Group, and is focused on the delivery of high quality clinical research, with extensive experience in clinical trial management and Good Clinical Practice (GCP). She has been involved in the coordination of seven RCT studies in Irish adults using both food and supplement based dietary interventions. Her research focuses on the role of diet and lifestyle for maintaining healthy heart and bone health during aging. In particular, she is interested in the roles of vitamins D, K and dietary bioactives (including fish/fish oil, egg peptides, and phytochemicals) in the maintenance of cardiovascular and skeletal health.
Alice's most recent projects include the EC FP 7 funded BACCHUS project and the Cardio-Rubus project, both of which have a significant food-based SME involvement in terms of the development of novel functional foods for inclusion in dietary studies.
She was deputy co-ordinator of the human studies work package in the BACHUS (Beneficial effects of bioactive compounds in humans) project, which includes management of 6 RCT studies in humans at a European level and the organisation and implementation of one of these RCTs, the Cardio-Protein study involving middle-aged adult volunteers, based here in the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research.
Alice is also co-ordinator of the Cardio-Rubus project which is investigating the beneficial effects of blackberry (Rubus) polyphenols on cardiovascular and metabolic health. In Cardio-Rubus, a polyphenol-enriched blackberry beverage was developed and characterised as part of this project, and is currently being used in the Cardio-Rubus dietary intervention study which is investigating the effects of blackberry-derived polyphenols on blood pressure and biomarkers of cardiovascular risk in 100 adults aged 45-70years.
Dr. Sinéad Lordan is a graduate of University College Cork, completing her PhD (Nutritional Biochemistry) in 2008 under the supervision of Professor Nora O’Brien, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, and Dr. John Mackrill, Physiology Department. Following this, Sinéad accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the Bioscience Research Institute, Athlone Institute of Technology, focusing her research activities on the cellular effects of nanoparticles. In 2010, Sinéad joined Teagasc Food Research Centre Moorepark as a Research Officer on the NutraMara programme where her work involved screening and profiling marine bioactives with potential to positively impact on human health. During her research career, Sinéad has published extensively and has contributed to a number of conferences, both nationally and internationally.
In March 2014, Sinéad joined the Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research Group, University College Cork, as Project Manager of the European FP7 project, ODIN. ODIN is a four-year collaborative project which aims to develop standardised tools for measurement of vitamin D levels and to propose novel food-based solutions to help eradicate vitamin D deficiency in affected individuals.
Dr. Áine Hennessy is a graduate of University College Cork, earning a BSc(Hons) in Nutritional Sciences in 2010 and completing her PhD (Nutritional Sciences) in 2013 under the supervision of Professor Albert Flynn, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, UCC. Her thesis investigated the nutritional impact of fortified foods on the diets of young children and adults in Ireland using data from multiple national dietary surveys.
In 2014, Áine joined the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research as a post-doctoral researcher working on the DMAT Study (Determination of the dietary requirement for vitamin D during pregnancy), where she refined and validated a dietary assessment method to assess habitual vitamin D and calcium intake. Áine’s other research interests include examination of nutrition during pregnancy and investigation of the nutritional quality of the diets of young children.
Elaine completed her BSc. in Nutritional Sciences in 2012 and her PhD in human nutrition in 2016, both at University College Cork. Elaine’s PhD thesis was titled “iron status in early life and associations with developmental outcomes”, with the primary aim of her research to investigate associations between iron intakes and status and growth and developmental outcomes in toddlers in the Cork BASELINE Birth Cohort Study.
Elaine is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research, working on the INFANT Centre PiNPoINT (Personalised Nutrition for the Preterm Infant) project. Her main research interests are in the field of neonatal and paediatric nutrition, with a particular focus on micronutrients and their associations with health outcomes.
Kirsten is part of the analytical support team for the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research. She analyzes multiple vitamin D metabolites in serum and in food samples using ultra performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. After joining the group in 2014 as a Research Assistant, she is now pursuing her PhD and focusing on the significance of minor vitamin D metabolites to overall vitamin D status and health.
Prior to joining the group, she had worked as a food chemistry analyst at Exova in Glanmire and as a process chemist at Pfizer. She graduated in 1997 from Lawrence University in Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, then obtained her Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry in 1999 at the University of Minnesota.
Aoife completed her BSc in Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork in 2011. She also received a MSc in Clinical and Public Health Nutrition from University College London in 2012. She completed her PhD at the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research in 2016, where the primary focus of her research was to investigate vitamin D requirements and food solutions to vitamin D deficiency.
As a post-doctoral researcher at the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research, Aoife is continuing to work in the area of food-based solutions for preventing vitamin D and vitamin K deficiency.
Karen is completed her BSc in Nutritional Sciences in 2013 and her PhD in human nutrition in 2017, both at Universoty College Cork. Her PhD thesis was entitled 'Vitamin D and Health during Pregnancy', for which the primary aim of her research was to investigate vitamin D requirements during pregnancy and the early neonatal period as part of the DMAT randomised controlled trial.
Karen is now a post-doctoral researcher at the Cork Centre for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, and her research interests lie in the area of vitamin D in healthy pregnancy and the prevention of hypertensive disorders.
Clara completed her BSc in Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences in University College Dublin in 2013 and her PhD at University College Cork in 2017. Her PhD thesis focused on dietary bioactive compounds and cardio-metabolic health in adults, for which she worked as a research member on the Cardio-Rubus study.
Clara is now continuing her work on the Cardio-Rubus study as a post-doctoral researcher within the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research.
Andrea completed her BSc (Hons) in Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork in 2015. During her undergraduate degree she undertook work experience with Abbott Ireland Nutrition Division in Cavan, where she was based in the quality department.
Andrea is now a PhD candidate in the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research and INFANT Centre. Andrea is working under the supervision of INFANT Principal Investigator Professor Mairead Kiely as part of the COMBINE Study research team. The focus of her thesis is early life and nutritional determinants of healthy pregnancy and infant growth and development.
Karen graduated with a BSc in 1991 and a PhD (Nutrition) in 1996 from University College Cork. She is now a technical officer in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences. Part of her role is to provide technical support to researchers and postgraduate students, mainly in the chromatographic analysis of fat soluble vitamins and other lipids in foods and biological samples.