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Professor Aine Kelly
Professor In, Physiology
Professor In, Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN)


Aine Kelly graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1995 with a first class honours degree in Science, specialising in Physiology. She was awarded her PhD in Neuroscience in 1998 and was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Physiology in 2002.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

McAteer, Louise, Roche, Joseph, Kelly, Áine M., Renewing an undergraduate science curriculum for the 21st century, Frontiers in Education, 8, 2023 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Clíodhna McHugh , Karen Hind , Aine Kelly, Ursula Fearon, Meagan Wasfy,Achilleas Floudas, Zsuzsanna Barad, Kathryn Dane ,Gareth Farrell, Fiona Wilson, Cardiovascular risk and systemic inflammation in male professional rugby: a cross-sectional study, BMJ Open Sports and Exercise Medicine, 2023 Journal Article, 2023 URL TARA - Full Text

Barad Z, Augusto J, Kelly ÁM., Exercise-induced modulation of neuroinflammation in ageing., The Journal of physiology, 601, (11), 2023, p2069-2083 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Joyce, Oisín Cormac, McHugh, Clíodhna, Mockler, David, Wilson, Fiona, Kelly, Áine M., Midlife hypertension is a risk factor for some, but not all, domains of cognitive decline in later life: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Journal of Hypertension, 2023 Journal Article, 2023 DOI

Cunningham J, O'Dowd A, Broglio S, Newell FN, Kelly A, Joyce O, Januszewski J, Wilson F, Multisensory perception is not influenced by previous concussion history in retired rugby union players, Brain Injury, 2022 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Mota BC, Kelly ÁM., Exercise alters LPS-induced glial activation in the mouse brain., Neuronal Signal, 4, (4), 2020, pNS20200003 Journal Article, 2020 DOI

Joyce O, Hopkins D, McCollum A, Newell F, Wilson F, Kelly A, Sports concussion and brain health. The need for objective tests of pathological brain indices, Journal of Neurotrauma, 37th Annual National Neurotrauma Symposium, Pittsburgh, USA, June 29- July 3rd , 36, (13), Mary Ann Liebert Inc, 2019, ppAO3-08 Poster, 2019 DOI

Fortune JM, Kelly ÁM, Robertson IH, Hussey J., An Investigation into the Relationship between Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Cognition and BDNF in Young Healthy Males., Neuroscience letters, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Kelly A, Hale J, Boyle N, Denvir K, Farrell G, Ryan J, O'Connell B, Cunningham J, Wilson F, Utility of blood biomarkers S100B and BDNF as a measure of brain injury in professional rugby players, Journal of Neurotrauma, 37th Annual National Neurotrauma Symposium, Pittsburgh, USA, June 29- July 3rd , 36, (13), Mary Ann Liebert Inc, 2019, ppAO3-09 Poster, 2019 DOI

Devenney KE, Guinan EM, Kelly ÁM, Mota BC, Walsh C, Rikkert MO, Scneider S, Lalor B., Acute high-intensity aerobic exercise affects brain-derived neurotrophic factor in mild cognitive impairment: a randomised controlled study, BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 5, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

O'Connell B, Kelly AM, Mockler D, Oresic M, Denvir K, Farrell G, Janigro D Wilson F, Use of blood biomarkers in assessment of sports related concussion- a systematic review in the context of their biological significance, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 28, (6), 2018, p561 - 571 Journal Article, 2018

O'connell B, Wilson F, Boyle N, O'Dwyer TK, Denvir K, Farrell G, Kelly AM, Effects of match play on circulating S100B concentration in professional rugby players, Brain Injury, 32, ((13-14)), 2018, p1811 - 1816 Journal Article, 2018

O Connell B, O Shea N, O Dwyer T, Denvir K. Farrell G. Wilson, F. Kelly ÁM , 'Effects of match play and training on circulating S100B concentration in professional rugby players, Brain Injury, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

Kelly ÁM, Exercise-induced modulation of neuroinflammation in models of Alzheimer's disease , Brain Plasticity, 2018 Journal Article, 2018

The roles of neurotrophins in novel object recognition in, editor(s)A. Ennaceur & M de Silva Souza , Handbook of Object Novelty Recognition, Elsevier, 2018, [Kelly ÁM] Book Chapter, 2018 DOI

Birch AM, Kelly ÁM., Lifelong environmental enrichment in the absence of exercise protects the brain from age-related cognitive decline., Neuropharmacology, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

O'Connell B, Kelly ÁM, Mockler D, Oresic M, Denvir K, Farrell G, Janigro D, Wilson F., Use of Blood Biomarkers in the Assessment of Sports-Related Concussion-A Systematic Review in the Context of Their Biological Significance , Clinical journal of sport medicine : official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine , 2017 Journal Article, 2017 URL

Ryan SM, Kelly ÁM, Exercise as a pro-cognitive, pro-neurogenic and anti-inflammatory intervention in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease., Ageing research reviews, 27, 2016, p77-92 Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text DOI

Non-pharmacological Approaches to Cognitive Enhancement in, editor(s)Kantak, K.M.; Wettstein, J.G. , Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology: Cognitive Enhancement, Springer Biomedicine, 2015, pp417 - 439, [Kelly ÁM.] Book Chapter, 2015 DOI

Prenderville JA, Kelly ÁM, Downer EJ, The role of cannabinoids in adult neurogenesis., British Journal of Pharmacology, 2015 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Bechara RG, Lyne R, Kelly AM, BDNF-stimulated intracellular signalling mechanisms underlie exercise-induced improvement in spatial memory in the male Wistar rat., Behavioural Brain Research, 2014 Journal Article, 2014 DOI TARA - Full Text

Birch AM, McGarry NB, Kelly ÁM., Short-term environmental enrichment, in the absence of exercise, improves memory, and increases NGF concentration, early neuronal survival and synaptogenesis in the dentate gyrus in a time-dependent manner, Hippocampus, (75), 2013, p255 - 261 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Bechara RG, Kelly ÁM, Exercise improves object recognition memory and induces BDNF expression and cell proliferation in cognitively enriched rats., Behavioural brain research, 245, 2013, p96-100 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Birch AM, Kelly ÁM, Chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of nerve growth factor improves recognition memory in the rat., Neuropharmacology, 75, 2013, p255-61 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Callaghan CK, Kelly ÁM., Neurotrophins play differential roles in short and long-term recognition memory, Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 2013 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Blau CW, Cowley TR, O'Sullivan J, Grehan B, Browne TC, Kelly L, Birch A, Murphy N, Kelly ÁM, Kerskens CM, Lynch MA, The age-related deficit in LTP is associated with changes in perfusion and blood-brain barrier permeability., Neurobiology of aging, 33, (5), 2012, p1005.e23-35 Journal Article, 2012 TARA - Full Text DOI

Callaghan CK, Kelly ÁM, Differential BDNF signaling in dentate gyrus and perirhinal cortex during consolidation of recognition memory in the rat., Hippocampus, 22, (11), 2012, p2127 - 2135 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

Griffin EW, Mulally S, Foley C. Warmington SA. O'Mara SM Kelly ÁM, Aerobic exercise improves hippocampal function and increases BDNF in the serum of young adult males, Physiology & Behavior, 104, (5), 2011, p934-941 Journal Article, 2011 TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan RM, Griffin EW. Kelly ÁM., Long-term treadmill exposure protects against age-related neurodegenerative change in the rat hippocampus, Hippocampus, 19, (10), 2009, p1019 - 1029 Journal Article, 2009 DOI

Hennigan A, Callaghan CK, Kealy J, Rouine J, Kelly ÁM., Deficits in LTP and recognition memory in the genetically hypertensive rat are associated with decreased expression of neurotrophic factors and their receptors in the dentate gyrus, Behavioural Brain Research, 197, (2), 2009, p371 - 377 Journal Article, 2009 DOI

Griffin EW, Bechara R, Birch A, Kelly ÁM., Exercise enhances hippocampal-dependent learning in the rat: evidence for a BDNF-related mechanism, Hippocampus, 19, (10), 2009, p973 - 980 Journal Article, 2009 DOI

Larkin AE, Fahey B, Gobbo O, Callaghan CK, Cahill E, O'Mara SM, Kelly ÁM., Blockade of NMDA receptors pre-training, but not post-training, impairs object displacement learning in the rat, Brain Research, 1199, 2008, p126 - 132 Journal Article, 2008 URL

O'Callaghan RM, Ohle R, Kelly ÁM., The effects of forced exercise on hippocampal plasticity in the rat: a comparison of LTP, spatial- and non-spatial learning, Behavioral Brain Research, 176, (2), 2007, p362 - 366 Journal Article, 2007 DOI

Hennigan A, O'Callaghan RM, Kelly ÁM. , Neurotrophins and their receptors: roles in plasticity, neurodegeneration and neuroprotection, Biochemical Society Transactions , 35, (2), 2007, p424 - 427 Journal Article, 2007 DOI

Hennigan A,Trotter C Kelly ÁM. , Lipopolysaccharide impairs long-term potentiation and recognition memory and increases p75NTR expression in the rat dentate gyrus, Brain Research , 1130, 2007, p158 - 166 Journal Article, 2007 DOI

Maher FO, Clarke RM, Kelly Á, Nally RE, Lynch MA, Interaction between interferon gamma and insulin-like growth factor-1 in hippocampus impacts on the ability of rats to sustain long-term potentiation, JOURNAL OF NEUROCHEMISTRY, 96, (6), 2006, p1560 - 1571 Journal Article, 2006 DOI

MAPK, CREB and zif268 are all required for the consolidation of recognition memory in, editor(s)T.V.P. Bliss G.L. Collingridge R.G.M. Morris , Long-Term Potentiation: Enhancing Neuroscience for 30 Years , Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004, pp327 - 346, [Bozon B, Kelly Á, Josselyn SA, Silva AS, Davis S, Laroche S.] Book Chapter, 2004

Dhanrajan TM, Lynch MA, Kelly Á, Popov VI, Rusakov DA , Stewart MG., Expression of long-term potentiation in aged rats involves perforated synapses but dendritic spine branching results from high frequency stimulation alone, Hippocampus, 14, (2), 2004, p255 - 264 Journal Article, 2004 DOI URL

Bozon B, Kelly Á, Josselyn SA, Silva AJ, Davis S, Laroche S., MAPK, CREB and zif268 are all required for the consolidation of recognition memory, Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society, London, 358, (1432), 2003, p805 - 814 Journal Article, 2003 DOI

Kelly Á, Laroche S, Davis S.Kelly A, Laroche S, Davis S., Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase in hippocampal circuitry is required for consolidation and reconsolidation of recognition memory., Journal of Neuroscience, 23, (15), 2003, p5354 - 5360 Journal Article, 2003 DOI

Kelly Á, Vereker E, Brady M. Barry C, Loscher C, Mills KHG, Lynch MA., Activation of p38 plays a pivotal role in the inhibitory effect of lipopolysaccharide and interleukin-1beta-induced inhibition of long-term potentiation in rat dentate gyrus, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278, 2003, p19453 - 19462 Journal Article, 2003 TARA - Full Text DOI URL

Davies HA, Kelly Á, Dhanrajan TM, Lynch MA, Rodriguez JJ, Stewart MG., Synaptophysin immunogold labelling of synapses decreases in dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of aged rats, Brain Res., 986, ((1-2):), 2003, p191 - 195 Journal Article, 2003 URL DOI

Casey M, Maguire C, Kelly Á, Gooney MA, Lynch MA., Analysis of the presynaptic signaling mechanisms underlying the inhibition of LTP in rat dentate gyrus by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor, genistein., Hippocampus, 12, (3), 2002, p377 - 385 Journal Article, 2002 DOI

Gooney M, Shaw K, Kelly Á, O'Mara SM, Lynch MA. Gooney M, Shaw K, Kelly A, O'Mara SM, Lynch MA. Gooney M, Shaw K, Kelly A, O'Mara SM, Lynch MA., Long-term potentiation and spatial learning are associated with increased phosphorylation of TrkB and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the dentate gyrus: evidence for a role for brain-derived neurotrophic factor., Behavioural Neuroscience, 116, (3), 2002, p455 - 463 Journal Article, 2002 URL

Vereker E, O'Donnell E, Lynch Á, Kelly A, Nolan Y, Lynch MA., Evidence that interleukin-1beta and reactive oxygen species production play a pivotal role in stress-induced impairment of LTP in the rat dentate gyrus., European Journal of Neuroscience, 14, (11), 2001, p1809 - 1819 Journal Article, 2001 DOI

Kelly Á, Lynch A. Vereker E, Nolan Y, Queenan P, Whittaker E, O' Neill LAJ, Lynch MA. , The anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin (IL)-10, blocks the inhibatory effect of IL-1 beta on long term potentiation - a role for JNK, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 276, (49), 2001, p45564 - 45572 Journal Article, 2001 TARA - Full Text DOI

Kelly Á, Mullany PM, Lynch MA., Protein synthesis in entorhinal cortex and long-term potentiation in dentate gyrus., Hippocampus, 10, (49), 2000, p431 - 437 Journal Article, 2000 URL DOI

Kelly Á, Lynch MA., Long-term potentiation in dentate gyrus of the rat is inhibited by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor, wortmannin, Neuropharmacology, 39, (49), 2000, p643 - 651 Journal Article, 2000 DOI

Kelly Á, Maguire C, Lynch MA., Deficits in nerve growth factor release and tyrosine receptor kinase phosphorylation are associated with age-related impairment in long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus, Neuroscience, 95, (2), 2000, p359 - 365 Journal Article, 2000 DOI URL

Maguire C, Casey M, Kelly Á, Mullany PM. Lynch MA. , Activation of tyrosine receptor kinase plays a role in expression of long-term potentiation in the rat dentate gyrus, Hippocampus, 9, (5), 1999, p519 - 526 Journal Article, 1999 URL

McGahon B, Maguire C, Kelly Á, Lynch MA., Activation of p42 mitogen-activated protein kinase by arachidonic acid and trans-1-amino-cyclopentyl-1,3- dicarboxylate impacts on long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus in the rat: analysis of age-related changes., NEUROSCIENCE, 90, (4), 1999, p1167 - 1175 Journal Article, 1999 DOI URL

Kelly Á, Conroy S, Lynch MA., Evidence that nerve growth factor plays a role in long-term potentiation in the rat dentate gyrus., Neuropharmacology, 37, (4-5), 1998, p561 - 570 Journal Article, 1998 URL DOI

Kelly Á, Lynch MA., LTP occludes the interaction between arachidonic acid and ACPD and NGF and ACPD, Neuroreport, 9, (18), 1998, p4087 - 4091 Journal Article, 1998 URL

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Kelly ÁM, Hannan A.J., Therapeutic impacts of environmental enrichment: Neurobiological mechanisms informing molecular targets for enviromimetics, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI

Research Expertise


The impact of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on cognitive function throughout the lifespan


Ageing, memory and other cognitive processes; Exercise; Neurochemistry and neuropharmacology; Neurodegeneration; neurogenesis; Neurophysiology; Neuroscience; Physiology



External Examiner B.Sc. in Physiology, NUI Galway 2016

External Examiner in Physiology for NUI Schools of Medicine and RCSI, Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship and Prize 2014

External Examiner, Faculty of Dentistry, RCSI 2004

Editorial Board member, Neuropharmacology 2015

Awards and Honours

Provost's Teaching Award 2011

Fellow, Trinity College Dublin 2009

Visiting Professorship, Université Paris Sud 2009

Trinity Foundation Postgraduate Fellowship 1995

Physiological Society Undergraduate Prize 1995

Trinity College Dublin Gold Medal 1995

Watts Medal, Health Research Board 1994


Fellow, Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2005 – 2019

Council Member, Neuroscience Ireland 2013 – 2019

Member, Physiological Society 2002 – 2018

Member, European College of Sports Sciences 2017 – 2019