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Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

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Professor of Medical Gerontology and Principal Investigator, The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

  • Research Institute:
    • The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

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

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Research Profile:

Professor Kenny holds the Chair of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and a Consultant Geriatrician and Director of the Mercers’ Institute for Successful Ageing at St James’s Hospital Dublin. She is the Principal Investigator of The Irish LongituDinal study on Ageing (TILDA). She is co-chair of the STAR COVID-19 Bioresource.

COVID-19 Project: Identifying protective immunity and determinants of disease in older people

90% of all COVID-19 related deaths in Ireland occur in adults over 65 years old. For effective immunotherapeutic development in this highest risk group, we need to understand SARS-CoV-2 immunity in our older population and investigate determinants of disease. Our aim is to investigate Innate resistance to SARS-COV2 infection and identify clinically useful biomarkers of severity and outcome.

We are leading on studies complementary to the SFI COVID-19 immunology project and working closely to align and maximise our research output. TILDA will leverage its unique resource to assess novel anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing in a large, nationally representative population of older adults. TILDA is collecting detailed COVID-19 experience, chronic/acute health conditions; physical/mental health measures; medications; lifestyle factors; childhood infection burden and vaccination history; all pertinent to COVID-19. Analysis will leverage the >10 years of longitudinal deep clinical and demographic profiling, including pre-COVID-19 measurements of epigenetics and inflammatory biomarkers to identify markers of protective immunity and understand age and sex differences in disease expression.