Declan Devane

Declan is Professor of Midwifery at NUI Galway, Director of the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) and Principal Investigator with the SFI – INFANT – Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research. He is an Editor with the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Cochrane UK. Declan has a particular interest in the implementation and evaluation of models of maternity care and on methods of fetal monitoring including cardiotocography and intermittent auscultation. His methodological areas of expertise are randomised trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. He has published over 120 papers including numerous Cochrane systematic reviews predominantly in the field of fetal assessment. He has led a number of clinical trials recruiting from 100 to over 3000 participants and serves on a number of Trial Steering Committees including those in pregnancy (e.g., EMERGE, HOLDS, PARROT) and Data Monitoring Boards (e.g., CORD, KEEP-WELL).

Fiona Geaney

Dr Fiona Geaney is the Chief Executive Officer of Food Choice at Work Ltd and also holds an Adjunct Lecturer position in Public Health Nutrition with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health in University College Cork (UCC). Dr Geaney holds a BSc in Nutritional Sciences and a Master of Public Health from UCC. While studying for her Masters, Dr Geaney discovered her keen interest in public health nutrition and health promotion. In 2015 she obtained her PhD in Public Health Nutrition. Dr Geaney was the lead investigator of the Food Choice at Work Study (2010 – 2015), where she developed, conducted and evaluated a large scale dietary intervention study over a period of 23 months. Due to considerable interest from national enterprises, the Food Choice at Work Study was successfully commercialised in 2015 as a spin-out company from UCC. Food Choice at Work delivers an evidence based, leading edge healthy eating management system for employees. Current clients range from SMEs to multinational corporations.

Fionnuala Keane

Dr Fionnuala Keane graduated from NUIG with a B.Sc. Honours in Biochemistry (1994) and a PhD in Biochemistry (1999).  Subsequently, Fionnuala worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in molecular biology and neurochemistry at the Department of Biochemistry, UCD.  She then joined the sales and marketing team in Novartis Ireland Ltd from February 2001 until June 2003.  At this point Fionnuala joined ICORG, the All Ireland Co-operative Oncology Research Group and remained there until May 2014.  Fionnuala was appointed to the role of Development Lead for the HRB CRCI in May 2014 to develop and deliver a 5 year business plan in line with the HRB strategic objectives, working in close collaboration with the CRF/C directors.   In May 2015 Fionnuala was appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer for the HRB CRCI.

Martin O’ Donnell

Prof O’Donnell is Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway and Associate Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway. After graduating from University College Cork, he trained in Geriatric and Stroke medicine in Ireland, McMaster University (Canada) and Stanford University (US). He holds a PhD from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University. He is Director of an MSc in Clinical Research at NUIG, being run in collaboration with McMaster University. Prof. O’Donnell’s research focus includes epidemiology of stroke, clinical trials in vascular medicine, composite outcomes and clinical prediction rules. He is a Principal Investigator on a number of large research grants, including the INTERSTROKE study which is a large international case-control study of risk factors for stroke, conducted in 32 countries. He has published over 100 peer-review papers, including clinical studies, in high-impact journals, including NEJM, JAMA and Lancet. Prof. O’Donnell  also has experience in leading multi-centred international research studies – the INTERSTROKE recruited over 26,000 participants from 32 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and South America.


Steve Thomas

Steve is the Director of, and Associate Professor in, the Centre for Health Policy and Management Trinity College Dublin, and co-Director of the HRB-funded SPHERE Programme. He has a wealth of international experience in policy oriented research, post-graduate teaching and policy impact over the last 22 years. Prior to moving to Ireland he was the Director of the Health Economics Unit at the University of Cape Town where he helped shape the post-apartheid health system reform agenda. Steve’s niche research area is analysis of health system performance and reform. This draws on his expertise in health economics and health financing, health policy analysis and health workforce planning and motivation. It is also shaped by his unusual experience of long-term international work in academia and government in four different health care systems in high, middle and low income settings. He has an excellent track record in inputting research into policy. Most recently he led the Trinity College Dublin team in technical support of the Oireachtas Committee for the Future of Healthcare and its production of the Slaintecare report. He is also the author the Government’s free GP care policy for the under 6s. In 2015 he led evaluations of health financing in Slovenia for the WHO, EU and Slovenian government. He has also provided advice on and analysis of the resilience of health systems to the World Bank, OECD, Rockefeller Foundation, WHO and the European Observatory.

Elaine Toomey

Elaine is a HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) post-doctoral research fellow with the Health Behaviour Change Research Group in NUI Galway, and a chartered physiotherapist. She is currently involved in the development of a complex intervention to enhance infant feeding practices with a goal of improving childhood obesity outcomes. She also works part-time in a physiotherapy practice.

Elaine graduated with First Class Honours in Physiotherapy (BSc) from the University of Limerick in 2010 and subsequently completed an MSc in Research. In 2016, Elaine graduated from a PhD in University College Dublin which investigated the intervention fidelity of a behaviour change intervention for people with chronic pain. She was awarded a Leamer-Rosenthal Prize for Open Social Science from the University of California Berkeley for her research in fidelity and transparency of behaviour change interventions in 2016.

Jane Winters

Jane Winters is Professor of Digital Humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She has led or co-directed a range of digital projects, including most recently Big UK Domain Data for the Arts and Humanities; Digging into Linked Parliamentary Metadata; Traces through Time: Prosopography in Practice across Big Data; and Born Digital Big Data and Approaches for History and the Humanities. Her research is focused on digital history, and in particular on the ways in which historians can begin to make use of web and other born-digital archives. She has a particular interest in digital scholarly communication, including the use of social media and open access publishing.


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