Paediatric Immunology

The NCRC supports a number of diverse translational immunology projects under the Immunity and Infection priority area.

Building on a long-established history of research expertise in paediatric immunology under Professor Denis Reen, Dr Patrick Walsh (Ussher/PIYRA lecturer in Paediatric Immunology in Trinity College Dublin) and Dr Sarah Doyle (Assistant Professor in Immunology in Trinity College Dublin) joined the NCRC in 2011/12 as part of the Paediatric Research in Translational Immunology (PRiTI) programme. In the period since establishing their research groups, they have developed new research programmes in collaboration with clinician scientist colleagues based at CHI at Crumlin. Current research focus is aimed at investigating novel mechanisms associated with childhood inflammatory diseases, as well as identifying novel strategies aimed at improving infant vaccination. Several new discoveries in these areas have led to the publication of over 30 research papers during this time, and the successful leveraging of over €2.5M euro in non-NCRC funding to consolidate paediatric immunology as a core research strength at the NCRC.

Dr Jaythoon Hassan is a Senior Clinical Scientist in the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL), University College Dublin. Her current NCRC funded project aims to determine how differences in immune responses to the mumps vaccine can lead to outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations.

Dr Stephen Smith is a molecular microbiologist with a particular interest in how bacteria initiate infection. His current NCRC funded project is focused on E. coli infection in new-borns and seeks to understand why some, but not all, strains of E. coli can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the immune systems response to infection.

Dr Eleanor Molloy is Professor and Chair of Paediatrics at Trinity College Dublin and a Consultant Neonatologist & Paediatrician at the Coombe Women and Infant’s University Hospital and Children’s Health Ireland. Her research is primarily focused on inflammation during the first few days of life and how this can have long term health implications for those affected.

Dr Aideen Long is Professor in Molecular Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. Her group is particularly interested in the role of T cells, one of the most important cells of the immune system, in disease.

Dr Madeline Murphy is a Conway Fellow and Principal Investigator in the School of Medicine, University College Dublin. Her current research is focused on biology behind the narrowing of airways in response to intubation (the placement of a small tube into the airway to help breathing) and how this can be prevented.