‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌School News

2 new professors in the School of Biological Sciences

Congratulations to our two new Professors, Professor Orla Howe and Professor John Kearney, who were awarded the title of Honorary Professor in DIT on 24th February 2018. The title is awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and distinction demonstrated through research, consultancy, scholarship or creative achievement; professional standing; and academic leadership. Professor Orla Howe is a Lecturer in Cell and Molecular Biology and Professor John Kearney is a Lecturer in Nutrition and Epidemiology at the School of Biological Sciences. 

Picture L-R Professor Orla Howe, Professor Brian Norton (President of DIT), Professor John Kearney and Associate Professor Mary Hunt (Head of School of Biological Sciences).


Recently graduated Biomedical Science Student, Thomas Frawley, won the Martin Nicholson Award at the 4th European Association for Professionals in Biomedical Science conference in Salzburg, October 2017

The School of Biological Sciences congratulates Thomas Frawley on his recent success in winning the Martin Nicholson Award at the 4th European Association for Professionals in Biomedical Science conference in Salzburg, October 2017. Thomas graduated from the School with first class honours in the BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science in 2016. Thomas was awarded first prize for his work on next generation sequencing and myeloproliferative neoplasms.


Development of a next generation sequencing approach to simultaneously detect the common myeloproliferative neoplasm-associated mutations in JAK2, CALR, and MPL.

T. Frawley, C. O’Brien, E. Conneally, E. Vandenberghe, M. Percy, S. Langabeer, & K. Haslam. 


DIT Students rank in the top 10% of the Life Sciences category at the Undergraduate Awards.


L-R Dr. Greg Byrne, Karen Duggan, Matthew Tang, Marta Pisarska, Assoc. Prof. Mary Hunt

DIT Students Karen Duggan (Human Nutrition and Dietetics), Matthew Tang (Biomolecular Sciences) & Marta Pisarska (Biomedical Science) were presented with certificates in a celebration of their world-class undergraduate research. The DIT students were highly commended indicating a ranking in the top 10% of their field globally. The inaugural UPresent: Island of Ireland 2017 was held in The Helix, DCU on Thursday 2nd of February. The Undergraduate Awards (UA) mark the incredible achievement and highlight the talented work of top undergraduates from around the Island of Ireland.

Brian Henderson, a PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences, DIT, won the Regional Final for Best Business Idea (Dublin County) in Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition

Picture: Brian Henderson (right), School of Biological Sciences, DIT Kevin Street, winner of Best Business Idea (Dublin County) at the Regional Finals of Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur 2017. Pictured with Minister Pat Breen, Minister for Employment and Small Business.


Brian Henderson, a PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences, DIT, entered Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) which promotes entrepreneurship in 18-35 year olds. Brian won the Regional Final for Best Business Idea (Dublin County) from 91 Regional Nominees on 25th January 2017. Brian will now compete for the title of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2017 (IBYE2017) in March 2017.


Brian has designed his own patent-pending point of care diagnostics in the area of detection of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria. He undertook the New Frontiers Programme run by DIT Hothouse and has set up his own company BAON Diagnostics. 


We wish Brian the very best of luck at the Finals of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2017.



Congratulations to three recent graduates of the program BSc Biomedical Science in the School of Biological Sciences. All three won awards at the British Blood Transfusion Society Annual Conference in Harrogate UK last month.

Left to right is: Paula Holton (Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin) and Karen Desay(International Blood Group Reference Laboratory IBGRL Bristol) who both won Margaret Kenwright Young scientist awards and presented their work at the conference. On the right is Edel Scally(Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Dublin) who won a prize for her poster.

Paula presented a paper entitled:

"Investigating the prospect of employing RHD genotyping to develop optimum transfusion strategies for weak D patients in Ireland"

Karen presented a paper entitled:

"Red blood cells genotyping to reduce allo immunisation and improve blood selection for haemoglobinopathy patients"

Edel's  poster was entitled:

''Identification of both allo and auto red cell antibodies of Kidd specificity in the same patient''


Well done to all and continued success with your scientific careers.

School of Biological Sciences honoured with two prestigious awards at the Irish Laboratory Awards 2016.

The School of Biological Sciences was presented with two prestigious awards at the Irish Laboratory Awards on May 25th 2016 at the Ballsbridge Hotel. Hundreds of leading lab industry professionals recognised and celebrated the outstanding achievements of the lab sector at the Irish Laboratory Awards. The School of Biological Sciences won the award for Education Laboratory of the Year and also scooped the overall Academic or Research Laboratory of the Year Award, having achieved the highest marks from the judges.


Irene Regan (right), President, Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine (ACSLM) presents the Academic or Research Laboratory of the Year award to (L-R) Alison Malkin, Lecturer in Cytology, Dr Jan Guerin, Assistant Head of School and Associate Professor Mary Hunt, Head of School of Biological Sciences, Dublin Institute of Technology.

Irene Regan (right), President, Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine (ACSLM) presents the Education Laboratory of the Year award to (L-R) Associate Professor Mary Hunt, Head of School of Biological Sciences and Dr Jan Guerin, Assistant Head of School and Dublin Institute of Technology.

School of Biological Sciences Research Day

See more photos on of the School Research Day on Facebook

Graduation 20th February 2016

Patrice Nolan graduate with an M.Phil. with a thesis titled "The Regulation of HPV Late Gene Expression and the Potential Role of iNKT Cells in Cervical Cancer" Supervised by Dr. Fergus Ryan and Dr. Greg Byrne.

Dr. Fergus Ryan, Laurianne Mambu, Omar Alumtair, Dr. Greg Byrne. Lauriane Mambu and Omar Alumtair graduated with a B.Sc (Hons) in Biomedical Science.

Senior Technical Officer Beth McCluskey is crowned National Cyclo-Cross Champion. More


Technician Paul Corcoran on cycling to work. More


Biomedical Science Student Avril Madden-Winner of Science Communication, Poster Prize at first undergraduate research Day In DIT.

Congratulations to Avril Madden from the School of Biological Sciences who won the best poster at the first DIT undergraduate research day held in Grangegorman on the 13th NOvember 2015. Avril completed her BSc in Biomedical Sciences in 2015 and undertook a research project entitled "Interactions and Pharmaceutical Disruption of SS18/SSX
Protein Complex in Synovial Sarcoma"  Supervised by Fergus Ryan and Bertha Brodin.

Winner of Science Communication - Poster Prize - Avril Madden with Dr Julie Dunne and Ciaran O'Leary

DIT confers a CPD in Phlebotomy Practice.

Congratulations to students who recently graduated with a CPD in Phlebotomy Practice delivered by the National Ambulance Service College (NASC)  in collaboration with the School of Biological Sciences, DIT. The graduation ceremony took place in the new National Ambulance Service facility in Tallaght. Also photographed are DIT staff Dr Steve Meaney, Assistant Head of School, Fabian McGrath, Lecturer in Transfusion Science  and Associate Professor Mary Hunt, Head of School; NASC staff Des Wade, Education & Competency Assurance Officer and Macartan Hughes, Head of Education and Competency Assurance; and Chair of the Phlebotomists Association of Ireland Angela Petraska.




Ian Coleman, one of the final year students on the Joint DIT/TCD BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme , has been shortlisted for the young entrepreneur awards.

Ian Coleman

His company, 'Life Bites', an online clinic for dietitians, is in the final eight in the Best New Idea Category.  He and his fellow students are absolutely delighted, as are we, and we would all like to wish him the best in the final next Sunday.  He has already been awarded €10,000 by Wexford Enterprise Board to invest in the company.

For more information on his company 'Life Bites', see the link below


School of Biological Sciences Graduation October 2014 

139 students graduated from the School of Biological Sciences on the 18th October. The awards included 44 students from the BSc in Biosciences, 37 from the BSc in Biomedical Science, 18 from the BSc in Bi-Molecular Science, 18 from the BSc in Human Nutrition an Dietetics, 18 from the MSc in Clinical Laboratory Science and 6 from the European MSc in Food Science , Technology and Nutrition.

3 Students graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy and 1 with a Master of Philosophy.

A selection of pictures from the event are presented below (Photos from Fabian McGrath)

Ciaran Cunniffe with his supervisors                                                                        

Dr. Brenda Brankin and Dr. Fergus Ryan 


Hayley Furlong with her Supervisor

Dr Orla Howe                                                   


Joanne McLernon With Her Supervisor

Dr Fergus Ryan





Megan Merrick from DT223 who was presented with the INDI Student Prize 2014 at the recent INDI Conference

Congratulations to Megan Merrick who was presented with the INDI Student Prize 2014 at the recent INDI Conference held in the Clyde Court Hotel, Dublin. The prize, which was established in 1975, is awarded to the final year student who maintains the most consistently high academic standard throughout the Joint Dublin Institute of Technology/Trinity College Dublin BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme.  Megan was also awarded a Gold Medal by the Board of Trinity College and a Dublin Institute of Technology Academic Excellence award.  These awards are made to candidates who have shown exceptional merit at degree examinations.  Her academic achievements also meant that Megan was awarded the Yakult award for obtaining the highest place in the final year examinations. 

Megan is from Galway and having completed her Leaving Certificate in 2009, chose to study Human Nutrition and Dietetics on the Joint DIT/TCD programme.  Having recently graduated from the programme and having got the opportunity to further enhance her clinical skills by working as a Dietitian in St. James’s hospital, she has stated that choosing to study Dietetics on the DIT/TCD programme was one of the best decisions that she has ever made.

Megan believes that the integration of the science of nutrition and dietetics, as well as the practical-based clinical classes and structured practice placements (at the end of years 1, 2 and 3) underpin the strength of the programme.  Megan under took her Practice Placement A in the Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, her Practice Placement B in community settings in HSE Galway and Limerick and in Portiuncula Hospital and her Practice Placement C in Galway University Hospital.  She believes that the three practice placements in particular enabled her to enhance and develop the core competencies required to work as a Dietitian in both the hospital and community setting, and the contribution of the dietitians in each of these settings should be acknowledged.  During her final year, Megan also got the opportunity to undertake a research project in the area of Vitamin D and Crohn’s disease under the academic supervision of Professor Maria O’Sullivan, which provided her with invaluable insight into the field of research and made her more aware of the opportunities available to graduates of the programme.

“Having taught Megan in all four years of the Programme, she exhibits the attributes that academic staff and practising dietitians want to see in a student/new graduate.  She has consistently shown herself to be a hard working, diligent and reliable student who works well as a class/team member for the good of the class/team.  She emits a quiet, self-assured confidence and her easy-going nature makes it easy for her to quickly develop a good rapport with students, patients and staff,” commented Dr Clare Corish, Programme Director Joint DIT/TCD BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics.


Recent Achievements by our Human Nutrition and Dietetics Students

Maeve Tuohy, Final Year B.Sc.(Human Nutrition & Dietetics) student was awarded the Best Research Poster prize at the Our Lady's Hospital for Children Research Day last May for her undergraduate project entitled:

"Exclusive Enteral Nutrition in Inducing Remission in Paediatric Patients with Crohn's Disease"

She was also "Highly Commended" in the Universities Association Undergraduate Awards for her undergraduate research paper on her project.

Maeve gave an oral presentation of her work at the Irish Paediatric Association Annual Research Meeting in Cork in September.

Most recently, her poster won the prize at the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute Research Meeting.


Maeve is pictured with Dr. Seamus Hussey, Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the OLHC Study day, receiving her prize.


Lucy Lafferty, Final Year B.Sc.(Human Nutrition & Dietetics) student was awarded Best Oral Presentation  at the Irish Paediatric Association Meeting in Cork in September also for her undergraduate project entitled:

"A comparison of the use of exclusive enteral nutrition and corticosteroids in the induction of remission in paediatric Crohn's disease"

Lucy is pictured with her poster at the INDI research conference.

Both projects were supervised by Dr. Seamus Hussey, Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Dr. Aoife Carey, GI research coordinator, Michelle Hurley, Clinical Specialist Dietitian in Paediatric Gastroenterology, and Sheila Sugrue, DIT Academic Supervisor.


Cambridge University Press on behalf of the journal Public Health Nutrition has put a press release on its website on the results of Charlotte Johnston’s study which was recently published in Public Health Nutrition, please see link below. Charlotte, a senior dietitian in the HSE, undertook her PhD under the supervision of Dr Clare Corish, Dr John Kearney and Prof Noirin Hayes.  She was conferred with her PhD in October 2013.



A report on the findings of a collaborative research project undertaken by Teagasc, UCC and the Dublin Institute of Technology was launched at a Teagasc Food Innovation Gateways event in Ashtown, Dublin, on Tuesday, 22 October. The DIT component of the study, which examined the attitudes of the Irish food industry to technology development challenges, was led by Dr. Gwilym Williams, School of Biological Sciences.

The full report can be found at the following link foodattitudessurvey

Dr. Gwilym Williams leads the DIT component of the study

Graduation 2013 - College of Science and Health


Cathal Murphy (L) and Paul Cummins from the School of Biological Sciences receive their M.Phil. awards from Prof. Brian Norton


Conor Buckley, B.Sc. in Biomedical Science, School of Biological Sciences, receives an academic excellence award from Prof. Brian Norton






DIT student wins Academy of Medical Laboratory Sciences Presidents Prize.

DIT student Anne Marie McCarten with Marie Culliton (President AMLS). Anne Marie won the presidents prize for her project "Generation of a novel tool for the characterisation of the dynamics of HIV-1 protein subcellular localisation in vivo." at the recent Biomedica conference.


Retired DIT Staff recieve honorary life membership of the Academy of Medical Laboratory Sciences

(L-R) Joseph Vaughan, John Jackson, Marie Culliton, Tony Finch and Maggie Walsh.

Joe Vaughan and John Jackson, recently retired from the School of Biological Sciences, were awarded lifetime membership of the AMLS by Marie Culliton, President of AMLS, at the recent Biomedica conference.


Beatrice Orru Sucessfully defends her Ph.D. Thesis "Regulation of HPV16 Late Gene Expression"

Pictured above after her defense (L-R) Prof. Stephen Flint (Extern Examiner), Dr. Derek neylan (Internal Examiner), Dr. Beatrice Orru, Dr. Fergus Ryan and Prof. Stefan Schwartz.


Opening of a new biotechnology laboratory in the School of Biological Sciences

The School of Biological Sciences has recently opened a new laboratory with facilities for teaching and research in the Biotechnology area. The underlying ethos of the laboratory is that both research and undergraduate work can take place there. Equipment includes bioreactors, sterilisation equipment, spectroscopy and other equipment for Bioprocess teaching and research.


Hon K Sze (BSc Bio-molecular Sciences 2011-2012) undertaking his final year biotechnology research project in the newly developed G-029 laboratory in Kevin Street opened in November 2011.

Students from the BSc Biosciences (DT259) year 3 taking Biotechnology  practicals in the new Biotechnology/Biochemistry laboratory recently opened in G-029 (Kevin Street), with lecturer Dr Gwilym Williams.


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