Episodes

For my final guest of Season 3 I was so thrilled to be joined by Prof Rose Anne Kenny, Chair of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and founding PI of TILDA the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing - Irelands largest adult population study on ageing. She chats to me about her early medical influences, why she wanted to pursue a career in geriatric medicine and her return to Ireland after many years in the UK.

We chat about how and why she undertook the TILDA project, the success stories to come out of this 12 year ongoing study and how it has informed government policy. Rose Anne also chats about the importance of Vitamin D for healthy and healthy ageing and how the secret to success is about having a 'fantastic team'.

This is episode marks the end of Season 3 of Unravelling Science. I will take a quick break for the summer but I will be back in the autumn for Season 4 and plenty more stories that shaped the science!

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

Prof Kate Fitzgerald, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Program in Innate Immunity at the University of Massachusetts joins me on the podcast this week. Kate chats to me about growing up in Waterford, working with Luke O'Neill during her PhD and her relocation to the US (coincidentally the same week as 9/11).

Kate describes 'the delicate balance' of our immune system and her interest in how the immune system makes decisions, particularly the innate arm. She chats about her work in defining signalling pathways including nucleic acid sensors for a better understanding of viral immunology, tumour immunology and auto-immune diseases. 

Congratulations again to Kate on her recent election to the prestigious US National Academy of Sciences - it was a real honor to have her time this week!! 

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

Dr Kieran Meade, Associate Professor in the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and Senior Conway Fellow joins me this week. He chats to me about all things cows! From bovine immunology and fertility to how they are like elite athletes or even supermodels at times! We chat about his desire to link the 'passion of agriculture with the expertise in immunology' for a a One Health approach to science.

We also chat about vitamin D levels in calves, the impact of the annual TB test and his fascinating trip to Kenya during his PhD. Kieran also discusses being a 'Dub' in a agri-world, his childhood trips to Tipperary and why failure is just as important as success.

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

I am so thrilled to be joined by a fellow macrophage enthusiast Dr Fred Sheedy this week. Fred is an Ussher Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin interested in macrophage function in health and disease as well as innate immune training particularly in the context of Tuberculosis. We chat also chat about immunometabolism and his recent research focus on Immune Health and Nutrition and why 'we are what we eat'. 

In this episode he chats to me about growing up in Cork, finding himself in Dublin and his love of creative writing. We also chat about the importance of LGBT visibility and representation in STEM, Fred's own experiences as an LGBT researcher and the 'brain drain' across the sea. This is an episode full of laughter - I hope you enjoy!

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

Dr Katriona O'Sullivan, lecturer in the Department of Psychology and a researcher at the Assisting Living & Learning Institute at Maynooth University joins me this week. Katriona chats to me about her incredible journey through academia from being 15 and homeless with a baby on the way and the defining moments that has got her to where she is today. Katriona also discusses the importance of people believing in her and encouraging her to believe in herself.

As a graduate from Trinity Access Programme herself, Katriona's research now focuses on the impact of such programmes which attempt to raise the aspirations of underrepresented students. Her recent work includes collaborations with Microsoft to develop Dreamspace an immersive learning hub and her new 'STEM-Passport for Inclusion' project which aims to transform how disadvantaged women gain access to STEM course.

Katriona's story is one of resilience, determination and true passion for what she does. 

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

Prof Mark Cunningham, the Ellen Mayston Bates Professor of Neurophysiology of Epilepsy, Trinity College Dublin joins me this week. He chats to me about his fascination with studying the brain, the 'instant gratification' of electrophysiology and his cutting edge research into epilepsy. Mark describes his work using live brain tissue, what an honor it is to work with such precious samples and how you can 'listen to the symphony of brain cells firing'. 

He also chats to me about growing up in Newry, the critical influence teachers and a summer research project had on his career and his PhD days in Bristol. This was such a warm, friendly and engaging chat - hope you enjoy!

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

I am so pleased to be joined by Dr Ellen Gravallese, Chief of the division of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, this week. Ellen chats to me about her early days in pathology, how she ended up specializing in Rheumatology and her seminal research identifying osteoclasts as the cells that resorb bone in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

She also chats to me about why she loves 'following a lead and solving a puzzle' and how she balances her many roles including her most recent role as 83rd President of the American College of Rheumatology. We also discuss how COVID has impacted medicine, the struggles of telemedicine and reformed clinical practice guidelines but also how rheumatologists should be 'in the room where it happens' as experts in immunology.

What a better guest to have on National Arthritis Week - a total honour!

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

Prof Peter Gallagher, Head of Astronomy and Astrophysics, at DIAS and Director of the Dunsink Observatory and I-LOFAR project is my guest on the podcast today. He talks to me about his astrophysics research, why his passion lies within studying the sun and how his research group makes measurements using radio telescopes and space satellites. Peter also explains the real need for understanding how the sun impacts the earth and how his research into solar flares has become more relevant with this current pandemic.

He tells me how a present of 'A Brief History of Time' ignited his passion for astrophysics, reminisces on his days at NASA in the US and how he managed to set up the I-LOFAR telescope in Birr in the middle of the recession. This chat was one of the most enjoyable and entertaining one yet! Enjoy!

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

My guest this week is the lovely Dr Clíona Ní Cheallaigh, Irelands first ever consultant in Inclusion Health and lead of the first Inclusion health team in world. She chats to me about working with marginalized groups of society including the homeless community and her research into social determinants in health. We also chat about her work with the TILDA ageing project and how social exclusion can lead to accelerated ageing.

Clíona also chats about her early interest in biology, life as a clinical scientist and how she manages juggling both medicine and research. 

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fischer Scientific.

 

Prof Des Tobin, Professor of Dermatological Science and Director of the Charles Institute of Dermatology, University College Dublin joins me this week. He chats to me about his fascinating research into skin and hair follicle biology. He discusses why the skin is an excellent biological universe of cell-cell communication and regeneration and the many disorders that can affect the skin. 

Des also chats to me about the importance of accurate disease modelling and how scientists can become caught up in the latest 'Kardashian' trending technology without stopping to think - is this truly relevant to what I am researching? Des gives a great insight into the importance of dermatology but also great commentary on the academic system as a whole. Some great insights in this one!

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This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fischer Scientific.

 

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