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University College Cork, Ireland.

At the Brain Development and Repair Group we use a multi-disciplinary approach to discover and characterize the factors and molecular mechanisms that influence the development, degeneration and regeneration of neurons in the nervous system. We are interested in applying this knowledge to find new ways to protect neurons in the developing brain, and to preserve the viability of damaged neurons in the ageing one. We also work with a number of patient and advocacy groups to understand the lifestyle and societal factors that affect the health and wellbeing of people with Parkinson's disease. We are also actively engaged in training the next generation of scientists at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral levels. The Brain Development and Repair Group is also affiliated with several research centres in UCC including APC Microbiome IrelandCork Neuroscience Centre and the Parkinson's Disease Research Cluster (PDRC). Work in the group is generously supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council, Cork Institute of Technology and the European Commission.

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Brain development


We study the mechanisms that regulate healthy brain development and how these mechanisms are affected by common complications of pregnancy, including stress, and hypertension. We use this information to understand how this affects the risk for a range of averse neurodevelopmental outcomes including Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD in affected offspring.

Brain repair in Parkinson's


We characterise the mechanisms that regulate the survival and growth of dopaminergic neurons which are progressively lost in Parkinson's disease. We then work to translate this information into new neuroprotective therapies that stop the progressive dopaminergic neuron degeneration in Parkinson's disease using viral vector-based and small molecule drug therapies.

Translational research

Covid 19

We work with a number of patient and advocacy groups to understand the lifestyle and societal factors factors that affect the health and well-being of people with Parkinson's disease. To participate in the latest study (UCCPDstudy) surveying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-motor aspects of Parkinson’s disease, please click here.

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Current Group members

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Prof. Gerard O'Keeffe

Principal Investigator

Prof. Aideen Sullivan

Principal Investigator

Dr. Louise Collins

Principal Investigator

Dr. Noelia Morales-Prieto

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow

Dr. Susan Goulding

Postdoctoral research fellow

Jayanth Anantha

PhD student

Aaron Barron

PhD student

Dr. Mick Carter

MD student

Sophie Casey

PhD student

Martina Mazzocchi

PhD student

Erin McCarthy

PhD student

Alex Morris

PhD student

Adam O'Mahony

PhD student



Postgraduate students

We welcome enquires from committed and enthusiastic graduate students wishing to join the lab. If you are interesting in discussing opportunities for an MSc or PhD, it is advisable to get in touch well in advance and we can discuss this with you. We also routinely host a number of students from taught MSc programmes in UCC for research placements. In the first instance, please email your CV and the type of work you are interested in to             

Post-doctoral researchers

We are always keen to hear from post-doctoral researchers who are interested in joining in the lab.  If we do have funded positions available these will be advertised here and on the institutional vacancies page and through the major web lists. If you have ideas for collaborations on existing work or would like to discuss your own interests then there are a range of postdoctoral fellowships and other funding schemes available which we will be happy to discuss this you in the first instance by email to


Erasmus students and summer placements

From time to time we also have space for visiting students. Please contact us directly at

Further details on Erasmus placements can be found here.

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Get in Touch


Floor 2, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, Western Gateway Building, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork T12 XF62, Ireland.


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