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Louise Gallagher

Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Professor Louise Gallagher (MB MRCPsych PhD) is an academic clinician, i.e. an autism researcher and a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist in the health service. She leads the autism and rare neurodevelopmental disorders group and her research interests are in ASD genetics, translational approaches to understanding behaviour in ASD and other rare neurodevelopmental disorders, therapies and psychiatric comorbidities. Louise is involved in a number of large international autism and rare neurodevelopmental disorder consortia internationally. She is focused on translating research into clinical solutions for people with ASD and other rare neurodevelopmental disorders.

Nadia Bolshakova

Research Project Manager
Dr. Nadia Bolshakova received M.Sc. degree from St.-Petersburg State Technical University, Russia in 1996 and Ph.D. degree from Department of Computational Mathematics, North-West State Technical University, St.-Petersburg, Russia in 2000. She took part in research projects at the Institute of Cytology of Russian Academy of Sciences and Trinity College Dublin where she was researching in the areas at the intersection of computer science and life sciences, such as bioinformatics and intelligent systems. Nadia has published number of articles in journals, conference proceedings and books related to bioinformatics, biomodelling and cell biology and has been a referee for several scientific journals. She joined Neuropsychiatric Genetics Research Group at Trinity College Dublin in 2007 as a Research Project Manager of the Autism Simplex Collection (TASC) and the Irish part of Autism Genome Project (AGP). Nadia's contact email is

Jane McGrath

Associate Professor Consultant
Dr. Jane McGrath (MB MRCPsych PhD) is a clinician and researcher. Clinically, she works in the HSE Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services leading ADMiRE, a specialist service for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). From a research perspective, Jane has a background in using functional and structural neuroimaging to investigate neural connectivity in autism spectrum disorder. She is particularly interested in how brain connectivity influences behaviour, and her current neuroimaging research focuses on how changes in brain structure and function over time influence behaviour in children with ADHD. Jane’s research interests are largely driven by concerns that have arisen out of clinical practice, and she aims to improve both clinical practice and safety for patients through her research. Jane’s contact email is

Clare Kelly

Ussher Assistant Professor of Functional Neuroimaging
Dr. Clare Kelly received her BA in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin in 2002, where she also completed her PhD, under the supervision of Hugh Garavan, PhD. After completing her PhD in 2005, she joined the lab of Drs F. Xavier Castellanos and Michael P. Milham at the New York University Child Study Center. Clare spent ten years in New York, using task-based, task-free (i.e., resting state), and structural imaging methods to study the functional and structural architecture of the developing brain, and how that architecture is altered by mental illness. In January of 2015, Clare returned to Ireland and to Trinity College to become an Ussher Assistant Professor of Functional Neuroimaging, working at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), the School of Psychology, and Department of Psychiatry at the School of Medicine. Here in TCD, Clare continues to use functional and structural neuroimaging methods to understand the developing brain and how typical brain development goes awry. Her studies aim to better understand mental illnesses and to improve treatments by tracing the origins of disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder, and depression in the developing brain. Clare’s email is and her Google Scholar Author Profile is available here:

Eleisa Heron

Dr. Eleisa Heron graduated with a B.A.(Hons) and M.Sc. in mathematics from Trinity College Dublin before undertaking doctoral training in the Deptment of Statistics, TCD. Eleisa obtained a Ph.D. in the area of Bayesian statistics with a specific application to the modelling of reliability in hip replacement bone cement. On completing her Ph.D., Eleisa joined Warwick University, UK, as a research fellow, jointly based in the Department of Statistics and Warwick Systems Biology Centre. Here, Eleisa's research involved the use of Bayesian statistical techniques to model and estimate biologically meaningful parameters of gene regulatory networks. Eleisa took up the post of biostatistical genetics lecturer in the neuropsychiatric genetics research group in July 2008. Eleisa's contact email is

Claire Foley

Research Fellow
Dr Claire Foley graduated from medicine in University College Dublin in 2007 and became a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2012. Claire completed the Dublin University Psychiatry Rotational Training Programme in 2013. Claire is currently working as a clinical research fellow in TCD while also completing higher specialist training in child and adolescent mental health. Claire is a PhD candidate working on a project examining associations between phenotypic variables and pathogenic copy number variants in neurodevelopmental disorders. Claire’s contact email is

Ciara Molloy

Research Fellow
Dr. Ciara Molloy graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Science (Moderatorship in Neuroscience) in 2010, and with a PhD in 2016. Ciara’s research interests lie in understanding brain function and structure and how these are affected by neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. To this end she employs brain imaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and electroencephalography (EEG), and combines these with clinical phenotype to characterize neural mechanisms impaired in neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Ciara is currently working on a project focusing Autism Spectrum Disorders and a rare genetic condition known as NRXN1 deletion. This study is part of the AIMS-2-TRIALS initiative (, a European research programme involving multiple studies and collaborations aiming to examine the biology of autism and to develop and tailor effective treatments. Ciara’s contact email is

Karen Conlan

Research Fellow
Dr Karen Conlan graduated from medical school in Trinity College Dublin in 2010 and became a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2014. She completed the Dublin University Psychiatric Rotational Training Programme in 2015. Karen was awarded a Clinical Research Fellowship by the National Children’s Research Centre in 2017 to investigate the links between inflammation and the weight gain associated with antipsychotic medication use. Karen is currently working as a PhD candidate on this project in TCD while also completing higher specialist training in child and adolescent mental health. Karen’s contact email is

Sarah Feighan

PhD Candidate
Sarah Feighan graduated with a BA (Hons) in Psychology from University College Dublin followed by an MSc in Neuroscience from Trinity College Dublin. In 2014 she joined the autism group where she worked on her MSc thesis looking at the effect of methylphenidate on attention pathways in Autism and AD/HD. She continued working as a research assistant for the group where she worked on a number of research studies in the area of ASD, Conduct Disorder and Prader-Willi Syndrome. She is currently undertaking a PhD which focuses on developing a national clinical registry and biobank for individuals with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders in Ireland. Sarah’s contact email is

Thomas Dinneen

PhD Candidate
I am a PhD candidate supervised by Prof. Gallagher and Dr. Lopez. My research focus is understanding the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental disorder copy number variant (CNV) carrier phenotypes to help identify potential biomarkers for diagnostics and/or treatments. I use whole genome sequencing and large, biodata resources such as the UK Bioban to conduct my research. My contact email is