Dr. Aine Hennessy
Dr. Aine Hennessy, B.Sc., Ph.D, is a Lecturer in Nutrition at the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences in University College Cork (UCC) as well as a Principal Investigator at the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research and a Lead Investigator at the INFANT Research Centre (UCC). She graduated from UCC with a BSc in Nutritional Sciences in 2010 and a PhD in Human Nutrition in 2013. Her PhD investigated the nutritional impact of fortified foods on the diets of young children and adults in Ireland using data from multiple national dietary surveys. Dr. Hennessy began her postdoctoral training at the Cork Centre for Vitamin D and Nutrition Research on the European Commission-funded ODIN integrated project on food-based strategies for vitamin D deficiency prevention, becoming involved in randomized controlled trials to establish the dietary requirement for vitamin D during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence, in addition to investigating the relationship between vitamin D status and atopic disease in early childhood. She also holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education from UCC.
In 2019, Dr. Hennessy was awarded a prestigious Science Foundation Ireland Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) to support her research on functional indicators of iodine status during pregnancy using an outcome-driven, personalised nutrition approach. This award, the first to a recipient in Food and Nutrition research, aims to address the three key research gaps in iodine nutrition research: the absence of a biomarker of individual iodine status, unreliable estimates of intake, and a paucity of data on which neurodevelopmental domains are most affected by mild-moderate iodine deficiency in utero using data from maternal-infant cohort studies.
Current research interests:
- Maternal and child nutrition- evaluating the impact of nutritional exposures and health behaviours during pregnancy and early life on health outcomes.
- Dietary patterns and eating behaviours- identifying and quantifying the impact of dietary patterns on diet quality and health outcomes.
- Dietary assessment -development, refinement and validation of novel dietary assessment methods.