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Associate Professor Clíona Ní Cheallaigh

Associate Professor, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute

  • Research Institute:
    • Trinity Translational Medicine Institute

  • Contact e-mail:
  • Thematic Area:
    • Diagnostic / Screening Assays, Translational Immunology Studies and Therapeutics/ Vaccine Studies

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Research Profile:

Clíona Ní Cheallaigh is an academic clinician trained in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine. She leads the Inclusion Health Service at St James’s Hospital, which provides specialist care to multiply excluded people (e.g. people who inject drugs, are homeless, prisoners). She has a PhD in immunology and her research focussed on the biology of Tuberculosis. As a clinician, she has cared for people with COVID-19 since March 2020. Clíona is a key driver of the STAR Bioresource.

COVID-19 Project:

The innate immune system’s anti-viral mechanisms can help to contain certain viral infection before induction of adaptive immune responses. It is also possible that certain individuals infected with SARS-CoV2 may clear the infection using innate immune mechanisms only, and these individuals may not display clinical symptoms or have detectable anti-SARS-CoV2 antibodies. Here we will examine the activation of innate immune responses in different COVID-19 patient cohorts in order to establish if infection can be cleared by innate immunity alone. The role of socioeconomic status on host responses to SARS-CoV-2 will be investigated. We hypothesise that people who have been exposed to SARS-CoV2, remain uninfected and do not have a detectable antibody response, have enhanced innate anti-viral immunity and high socio economic status (as identified by education and occupation).