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Professor Francesca Brett
Clinical Professor, Histopathology
CONSULTANT, School Office - Medicine


Francesca Brett MD is a Clinical Neuropathologist in Beaumont Hospital and St James Hospital. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor in Trinity College Dublin and Honorary Research Fellow in the Royal College of Surgeons. After completing her MD thesis in Cambridge University, UK and University of California, San Diego she took up her Consultant Post in Dublin and is actively involved in a heavy, diagnostic work load, undergraduate teaching (in Trinity College), post graduate teaching (Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland and clinical research. She has over 100 peer reviewed works. She has served as Regional Specialist Advisor in Neuropathology in the Faculty of Pathologists, Royal College of Physicians, Ireland. In this she was instrumental in curriculum development and setting up a Neuomolecular Fellowship. As a result of her forensic training, she acts as a Forensic Neuropathologst for the Office of the State Pathologist. In this capacity she sees most complex brain injuries in the forensic setting and defends her findings in both the coroner's court and the central criminal court. She has also volunteered her expertise as a medical expert witness in the advocacy course in Keeble College Oxford, UK and in mock trials in the Dublin Coroner's court. She received a Graduate award in Executive Healthcare Leadership from the Irish management Institute in 2019. In 2020 she received an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Physicians, Ireland. Currently she is Clinical Lead in Neuropathology in Beaumont Hospital and in that role has diagnostic administrative, leadership and research roles.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Hugh Kearney, Jane Cryan, Alan Beausung, Seamus Looby, Francesca M. Brett, Reactive gliosis mimicking tumor recurrence " a case series documenting MRI abnormalities and neuropathological correlates, Clinical Neuropathology, 37, (05), 2018, p97--104 Journal Article, 2018

Francesca M. Brett, Hugh Kearney, Neuropathology correlates of cognitive assessments, Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -), 187, (3), 2018, p835--844 Journal Article, 2018

Teresa Loftus, Daphne Chen, Seamus Looby, Albi Chalissery, Rachel Howley, Ciara Heaney, Josephine Heffernan, Michael Farrell, Francesca Brett, CJD surveillance in the Republic of Ireland from 2005 to 2015: a suggested algorithm for referrals, Clinical Neuropathology, 36, (07), 2017, p188--194 Journal Article, 2017

Keaney J, Walsh DM, O'Malley T, Hudson N, Crosbie DE, Loftus T, Sheehan F, McDaid J, Humphries MM, Callanan JJ, Brett FM, Farrell MA, Humphries P, Campbell M., Autoregulated paracellular clearance of amyloid-β across the blood-brain barrier., Science Advances, 1, (8), 2015, p10.1126/sci adv.1500472 Journal Article, 2015

Linda Mulligan, Elizabeth Ryan, Margaret O"Brien, Seamus Looby, Josephine Heffernan, Joanne O"Sullivan, Mary Clarke, Patrick Buckley, David O"Brien, Michael Farrell, Francesca Mary Brett, Genetic features of oligodendrogliomas and presence of seizures. The relationship of seizures and genetics in LGOs, Clinical Neuropathology, 33, (07), 2014, p292--298 Journal Article, 2014

Margaret O"Brien, Jane Cryan, Francesca Brett, Rachel Howley, Michael Farrell, Ten years on: Genetic screening for mitochondrial disease in Ireland, Clinical Neuropathology, 33, (07), 2014, p279--283 Journal Article, 2014

Uwineza A, Gill H, Buckley P, Owens C, Capra M, O'Sullivan C, McDermott M, Brett F, Farrell M, Pears J, O'Sullivan MJ., Rhabdoid tumor: the Irish experience 1986-2013., Cancer genetics, 207, (9), 2014, p398-402 Journal Article, 2014 DOI

Karen M Lynch, Francesca Brett, Headaches that kill: A retrospective study of incidence, etiology and clinical features in cases of sudden death, Cephalalgia, 32, (13), 2012, p972--978 Journal Article, 2012

Patrick G. Buckley, Leah Alcock, Josephine Heffernan, Jack Woods, Francesca Brett, Raymond L. Stallings, Michael A. Farrell, Loss of Chromosome 1p/19q in Oligodendroglial Tumors: Refinement of Chromosomal Critical Regions and Evaluation of Internexin Immunostaining as a Surrogate Marker, Journal of Neuropathology & Experimental Neurology, 70, (3), 2011, p177--182 Journal Article, 2011

Brett FM, Mizisin AP, Powell HC, Campbell IL, Evolution of neuropathologic abnormalities associated with blood-brain barrier breakdown in transgenic mice expressing interleukin-6 in astrocytes, J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. , 54, (2), 1996, p766-775 Journal Article, 1996

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Keaney J,Walsh DM, O'Malley T,Hudson N, Crosbie DE, Loftus T, Sheehan F, McDaid J, Humphries MM,Callinan JJ, Brett FM, Farrell Ml, Humphries P, Campbell M, Autoregulated paracellular clearance of amyloid-β across the blood-brain , Sci Adv, 2015, p1-12 Journal Article, 2015

Research Expertise





Awards and Honours

FRCPI 2020

Irish Management Institute graduate award 2019

Peter Lampert Award October, 1994


Fellow Royal College of Pathologists 1992 – date

Member of the British Neuropathological Society 1992 – date

Member of the American Neuropathology Association 1995 – date

Member of the British Association of Forensic Medicine 1995 – date

Member of the Irish Institute of Clinical Neurological Sciences 1995 – date

Fellow Faculty of Pathologists, Royal College of Physicians, Ireland 1996 – date

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Ireland 2020 – date