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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Paul Tierney
Assistant Professor, Anatomy

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Denis S Barry, Paul Tierney and Gerard W O'Keeffe, The need for ethical and pedagogical frameworks for developing online media in anatomy education., Anatomical Sciences Education, 2016 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Anatomical Sciences Education, 9, 1, (2016), 90 - 96p, Anatomy Education for the YouTube Generation, [eds. Wojciech Pawlina] Journal, 2016

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 56, (2016), 156 - 164p, Biomechanical analysis of a salt-modified polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel for knee meniscus applications, including comparison with human donor samples., [eds. Markus Buehler] Journal, 2016 URL

Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, 68, 7, (2015), 1010 - 1015p, Audiovisual preconditioning enhances the efficacy of an anatomical dissection course: A randomized study., [ed. S. Hofer, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), ] Journal, 2015

British Jounral of Sports Medicine, 45, 12, (2011), 956 - 958p, Intracompartmental pressure testing: results of an international survey of current clinical practice, highlighting the need for standardized protocols., [eds. Karim Khan] Journal, 2011

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 13, 4, (2005), 268 - 272p, 'The infrapatellar fat pad: anatomy and clinical correlations., [eds. E. Eriksson, Stockholm] Journal, 2005

Resucitation, 62, 1, (2004), 107 - 112p, Intraosseous Infusions via the Calcaneus., [eds. Jerry Nolan] Journal, 2004

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 7, 3, (2004), 392 - 399p, Anatomical variations within the deep posterior compartment of the leg and important clinical consequences., [eds. Gregory Kolt, PhD] Journal, 2004

The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 31, 5, (2003), 770 - 776p, Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome. The Controversial "Fifth" Compartment of the Leg, [eds. Bruce Reider M D] Journal, 2003

Gallagher J, Tierney P, Murray, O'Brien M, The Infrapatellar Fat Pad: An Anatomical Addendum to Clinical Studies, Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Vol.84-B, (no. SUPP I 12-a-12), 2002, p1 - 5 Journal Article, 2002 URL TARA - Full Text

Research Expertise


When I became Head of Dept in Anatomy, TCD, I embarked on a change of direction for the department, in how it prioritized it's goals. Because I was at that time the only PhD in the department, the Dept of Anatomy had engaged primarily in teaching clinical anatomy to a large (600+) student body. I took the opportunity to hire science graduates rather than medical graduates, and to work with them to start building the department's research base. There are three areas in which I am currently engaged in research. Firstly, in the area of education research. As pressure on academic staff to produce peer-reviewed publications increases inexorably, every committed academic looks for ways whereby the efficiency of information transfer during and outside contact hours is optimized. One area of perennial difficulty for Health Science students is reading ECG strips. In conjunction with colleagues within the School of Medicine, Trinity College, and the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dun Laoghaire, I am developing an interactive App that students will use to become familiar with common variations in ECG lead deflections, based on visual association only. To date models of the beating heart and thoracic cage have been produced by the students of IADT, and the next step is amalgamating the two, and building in interactive ECG leads, with the deflections associated with each, in health and disease. We have also produced brain images with associated arteries, into which we are going to incorporate physical and psychiatric deficits associated with common occlusive insults. A second area of research is in the area of biomechanics. I have been collaborating with Athlone Institute of Technology for a number of years, on model making projects. In our current collaboration, we are modeling the dimensions of the articular surfaces of the human knee, the intra-articular menisci, and pathology thereof with a view to modelling the mechanical forces acting on both which lead to premature ageing of cartilaginous surfaces. I have sent specimens of donor femurs to Athlone, and will be supplying the AIT laboratory with donor tibias and menisci, in the near future, so that accurate testing rigs may be modelled, for replicating patterns of wear and tear to these critical joints. It is hoped that this represents an area of long term collaboration between AIT and Anatomy, TCD. A third area of interest for me is the field of exercise physiology. Many aspects of musculoskeletal function in health and disease are surprisingly poorly understood, especially for a discipline such as Anatomy that is hundreds of years old. Driven initially by the desire to teach clinical anatomy in a coherent, holistic manner, I have begun to investigate the biochemistry of deeply placed muscle groups, using flash frozen human muscle, as a means of elucidating more about their function prior to death. I have begun with muscle groups of high clinical significance, whose deep location precludes muscle biopsy and limits the usefulness of electromyographic studies. Ideally, if we could contribute a novel approach to investigating human muscle function, it could suggest better regimes for injury avoidance and rehabilitation. There are currently huge gaps in our understanding of how specific muscles groups function in humans, as available animal models are of very limited use. This deficit has consequences for injury, treatment and rehabilitation of these muscles groups. These in turn have significant implications for health care costs, and patient quality of life. Under my Headship College the Dept of Anatomy has established a tissue laboratory, in which I plan, with colleagues, to investigate the biochemical basis of muscle function and apply it to human clinical practice.



Anatomical Society 2013 – present

Anatomical Committee of Irish Medical Schools 2011 – present

South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society. 1996 – present

Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society. 1998 – present

European Underwater and Baromedical Society. 2008 – present