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Working on 3D-NET


Information on Work Packages and Vacancies available through this funded project are here


Our Fellows


Isabel Rivero (ER7B) - Gadea GF (seconded to UCD)

Experienced Researcher

"I have been working in Gadea GF for 5 years, mostly in R&D Department, always trying to acquire knowledge in other areas like Validations Dept., where I spent almost a year. All along my career, I have been focused in Steroids Chemistry and I have expertise crystallizing this kind of products and developing methods for UPLC and HPLC"

She is seconded during 2 months to Dr Eoghan Mc Garrigle’s lab in UCD and works further in modifying steroids by glycosylation for enhanced activity. She will also transfer to UCD her knowledge in the development of HPLC/UPLC analytical methods for quantification and evaluation of purity.
Elaine Keogh (ER8B) - UCD (seconded to RenaSci)

PhD Candidate and Postdoctoral Research Fellow

"I am a Pharmacology graduate from University College Dublin, Ireland. I recently submitted my PhD thesis, where I investigated the mechanism of action of a novel remyelinating therapeutic for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, under the guidance of Assoc. Prof. Keith Murphy"

In 3DNET she spends 4 in months in the RenaSci (UK) further characterising retinal damage as well as carrying out ocular proteomics profile in the novel rodent models of diabetes and pre-diabetes existing at the company. She brings to the SME her broad knowledge about CNS preclinical therapeutics.

Orla Galvin (ER12B) - UCD (seconded to RenaSci); (ER5) - RenaSci; (ER13B) - RenaSci (seconded to UCD)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

"I am a Pharmacology graduate from UCD, Ireland, with a PhD in Medicine from QUB, UK. My expertise is in the area of vision and vascular science ranging from cell and molecular biology to whole organism models of ocular disease. My current research interests include drug discovery and design, and developing sustained release formulations of novel anti-angiogenic compounds for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy"

Orla is seconded for 2 months to the industry partner RenaSci in 2015. She will bring to the company her vast expertise in models of ocular disease, while she optimises there a mouse model of drug induced retinal vascular permeability. Assisted by the broad expertise of this CRO in preclinical drug discovery and development, she will try also to assess the efficacy of one of our best leads in acute and sustained release formulations.

Orla has been also appointed as the IAPP 3D-NET recruitment in RenaSci (UK). During 12 months (March 2016 to February 2017) she will characterize retinal damage in novel rodent models of diabetes and retinal blood barrier disruption. Her role will also be identifying novel drugs (among the leads uncovered so far) that effectively inhibit ocular inflammation and retinal vascular permeability. She will be also seconded 6 additional months to UCD as a RenaSci staff member to follow up on a rodent Retinal Vascular Permeabilty disease model that she has generated during the project.

Avene Colgan (ESR27) - UCD (seconded to Gadea GF)

PhD Candidate

"In 2013 I graduated from UCD with a degree in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology. I remained at UCD to carry out my doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Eoghan McGarrigle. I am currently in the fourth year of my PhD. My research combines two very important areas of organic chemistry; catalysis and carbohydrate synthesis. My work focuses on the development of novel organocatalysts for stereo and regioselective glycosylations. I have always had a keen interest in medicinal chemistry particularly carbohydrate synthesis"

Avene spends 3 months in Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico (Spain) in 2017 to follow up on the research line focused on the enhancing activity of drug leads by glycosylation. Thanks to this secondment she will acquire expertise in the industry sector.
Jorge Combarros (ER7A) - UVA (seconded to KalVista)

Experienced Researcher

“I am a Research Scientist in Gadea GF, I have been in the company for 10 years. I started my career in R&D department working on the chemistry of steroids, but since 2 years ago I am in the Technical Services department focused in the improvement of processes. I have wide expertise in the development of analytic methods for equipment like LC or GC"

He is seconded for 2 months into UCD to work with 3DNET collaborator in UCD Dr Eoghan Mc Garrigle, trying to enhance de activity of  drug leads by glycosylation. During his secondment he will also transfer knowledge on HPLC methods.

Temitope Sasore (ESR12) – UCD (seconded to KalVista)
PhD Candidate

"I am a Pharmacology graduate from the University College Dublin and currently a third year PhD student working in the laboratory of Dr Breándan Kennedy. My research primarily focuses on identifying small molecule PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway inhibitors for the treatment of ocular neovascularization. In line with this, I am also interested in elucidating the role of PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in angiogenesis."

Temitope is seconded for 2 months to KalVista in the UK to gain insight in the industry sector, focussed on learning TER assays (Trans-epithelial electrical resistance) on retinal/endothelial cells to assess changes in Retinal vascular permeability after drug treatment. The first scientific publication partially funded by 3D-NET project (link:, is based on Temitope´s work assessing the antiangiogenic effect of different combinations of the PI3K pathway inhibitors.

  Dr. Jesús Iglesias (MER24) - Gadea GF (seconded to UCD)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

"I am an Organic Chemist specialized in Organic Synthesis, with 15 years’ experience in pharmaceutical industry synthesising Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API’s), covering from early development stages to plant validation and production."

Jesús brings his broad industry expertise in APIs production to UCD and learns about new synthetic routes for molecules of interest in the consortium.  He will follow up on the synthesis of resolvins analogs initiated by Catherine Tighe (UCD), during her secondment in Gadea GF in 2014. With this bi-directional exchange of staff, UCD and Gadea GF gain a great insight of how differently chemical synthesis is approached in Industry and Academia.

Josie L. Williams (ESR15) - KalVista (seconded to UCD)

Early Stage Researcher

"I recently graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London with a degree in Bioveterinary Science and currently work at KalVista Pharmaceuticals, where I specialize in In Vitro ADME assays"

Josie spends 6 months in University College Dublin and 2 months in University of Valladolid as 3DNET fellow.  The main scientific objective of this secondment to UCD is to screen KalVista's extensive library of novel compounds for effects on ocular angiogenesis in an established developmental zebrafish model. In UVA, she will screen these compounds in porcine retinal explants and ocular inflammation in vitro assays. She brings to UCD and UVA her broad in-vitro drug discovery skills acquired in KalVista and learn all the in-vivo drug discovery resources available in Dr. Breandan Kennedy’s lab.

  Jorge López BSc (MER20) - Gadea GF (seconded to UCD)

Research Fellow expert in synthesis and characterisation of compounds

"I obtained my BSc degree in Inorganic Chemistry at University of Zaragoza. My work and professional interests have been focused in Pharma-industry so far, particularly in Process Optimisation. It is amazing how little changes may lead to big differences in industrial scale manufacturing!!"

He is seconded for 3 months into UCD to work with 3DNET collaborator in UCD Dr Eoghan Mc Garrigle, trying to enhance de activity of certain drug leads by glycosylation. During his secondment he will also acquire knowledge in the technique of continuous flow chemistry.

  Denise Moran (ESR18) - UCD (seconded to Gadea GF)

PhD Candidate

"I am a graduate of Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology, University College Dublin and currently I am in the third year of my PhD in Organic Synthesis working under the supervision of Professor Pat Guiry in UCD. My research is in the design of heteroaromatic analogues of naturally-occurring anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. I have interests in natural product synthesis and their medicinal applications"

In 3D-NET, Denise spends 2 and a half months in 2015 at Gadea Grupo Farmaceutico (Spain). She will acquire industry expertise on pharmaceutical manufacturing and industrial processes to synthesise and optimise the drug leads uncovered in the project, continuing the work initiated by Catherine Tighe and Jesús Iglesias in 2014.

  Laura García (ER17) - UVA (seconded to KalVista)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

"I am a Biotechnologist specialized in Visual Science. I got my PhD in IOBA – University of Valladolid, where my research primarily focused on the development of new three-dimensional in vitro models to study ocular surface inflammation. My experience is related to cell culture and tissue engineering"

In 3DNET she spends 3 in months in the KalVista (UK) analysing the role of Kallikreins in the anterior segment of the eye (sclera, cornea, lens, iris and ciliary body) as well as the possible effects of Kallikrein inhibitors on that area. She brings her broad knowledge about in vitro models of ocular surface inflammation and will be a great opportunity for her to gain insight in the industry sector.

Javier A Calles (as ER9) will join Laura during the first 2 months of secondment to work on the same project in KalVista.




Gary Bradshaw (ESR23) - UCD (seconded to Gadea GF)

PhD Candidate

“I am a chemistry graduate from Trinity College Dublin, currently doing a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Eoghan McGarrigle at UCD. My area of research is a mix of catalysis and carbohydrate chemistry. I am working to develop new catalysts and methodologies for use in carbohydrate synthesis”

In 3DNET Gary spends 3 months in Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico (Spain) in 2016 to follow up on the project initiated in UCD by Jorge López (seconded for 3 months Dr Eoghan Mc Garrigle, 2015), focused on enhancing de activity of drug leads by glycosylation. This secondment is also an excellent opportunity for Gary to acquire some expertise in the industry sector.


Stephanie Merrigan (ESR26) - UCD (seconded to KalVista)

PhD Candidate

“I am a pharmacology graduate from University College Dublin, Ireland. Currently I am undertaking a biomolecular and biomedical science PhD in Dr Kennedy’s lab, University College Dublin. My research focuses on identifying and developing improved therapeutics for diseases that are driving by excess vascular growth in the eye, ultimately causing blindness”

In the project, she is seconded 2 months to industry partner KalVista (UK) and gains invaluable experience in a company which focuses on drug discovery, development and commercialization. Her main research objective is the assessment in vitro of safety, pharmacokinetics, secretion of antiangiogenic/anti-inflammatory factors and permeability/barrier function of highest ranking drug leads (and combinations).


Dr Robert Jones (MER8) – RenaSci (seconded to UVA/IOBA)
Executive Director and Company Secretary at RenaSci

"I am a director and founder of RenaSci Limited, a small CRO located in the UK (Nottingham)  that specializes in amongst other therapeutics areas the evaluation of novel drugs for the treatment of diabetes and for the treatment of the complications of diabetes, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy.  I have significant experience within the pharmaceutical industry where I was the project leader of both diabetes and obesity research programmes at Boot Pharmaceuticals"

Rob spends 3 months working at IOBA (UVA-Spain) as 3DNET secondee. During this period, he transfers his broad industrial knowledge supporting drug candidates into the preclinical development while becoming skilled on the ex vivo/in vivo& in vitro models of angiogenesis and inflammation available at IOBA. He will be also able to establish strategic links with eye researchers in UVA, for new collaborations on vascular retinopathy, which is a new target for RenaSci.


Julie Slade (MER13A) - RenaSci (seconded to UCD)

Senior Research Scientist

“I am currently working as a Research Scientist for RenaSci in Nottingham, UK. I have been in the research industry for over 11 years, beginning in animal disease surveillance, then Toxicology in rodents. My main areas are in in vivo studies, specifically in Diabetes and Nephropathy, and also in Self-Administration for Drug Dependency. I have an interest in Retinopathy and Retinal Morphology, which I am working on in zebrafish at UCD (July-August 2016).”

In the project, she is seconded 2 months to UCD and learns zebrafish ocular angiogenesis assays and obtains capacity to assess improvements in ocular morphology (histology) and visual behavior in zebrafish larval models of blindness.


Laura Soriano-Romani (ER16) - UVA (seconded to RenaSci)

PhD Candidate

“I am a Biotechnologist specialized in Visual Science. I am doing my PhD at the Ocular Surface Group at IOBA - University of Valladolid under the supervision of Dr Yolanda Diebold. We are in vitro and in vivo testing novel anti-inflammatory drugs and delivery systems to improve current treatments against ocular surface inflammatory disorders”

In 3D-NET, she spends 3 months characterising inflammatory and apoptotic changes in ocular tissues of the STZ rodent model of diabetes available in RenaSci, while gaining industry expertise in the private sector at this CRO.


Iván Fernández-Bueno (MER25A) - UVA (seconded to RenaSci)

Senior Post Doc and Lecturer

“I am Veterinary Medicine and Surgery PhD. My fields of research are advanced therapies applied to the retinal pathologies, ophthalmic biomedical research models, and retinal healing and repair. I am Clinical Associate Professor of Veterinary Ophthalmology at the University of Leon (Spain) and I was the Research Director of University Institute of Applied Ophthalmology (IOBA), University of Valladolid (Spain)”

In this project, he goes to CRO-RenaSci for 3 months to study the possible morphological modifications of the retina and other ocular tissues, in the diabetes and neurodegenerative rodent modelsavailable at this company. This secondmnet means also an invaluable insight of the industry sector for the fellow, only experienced in the academic sector so far.

Sean Kirwan (ESR29) - UCD (seconded to RenaSci)

Medical Scientist/Research Associate

I have a BSc in Pharmacology and MSc in Biotechnology from UCD. My professional experience lies in clinical trials and drug development using technology in the form of animation videos, social media, websites and public engagement methodology

He is seconded 3 months to industry partner RenaSci in UKwith the unique role of a non-laboratory scientist. His objective is learning (meanwhile helping) project management skills at this CRO that he will bring back to the academic environment in UCD. RenaSci will avail of Sean's broad skills in scientific communication and dissemination.

‌‌ María Luz Alonso (ER25B) - UVA (seconded to KalVista)

PhD Candidate

I am a Veterinarian and currently I am doing my PhD at Retina Group at IOBA - University of Valladolid, Spain.  My research focuses on in vitro and in vivo testing advanced therapies to improve current treatments for retinal degeneration diseases

María Luz is seconded 3 months in KalVista (UK) and gains expertise in the industry sector, while she establishes the model of in vitro oxidative stress cell damage  that she masters.  Cell rescue effects of different Plasma Kallikrein Inhibitors developed by the company will be assessed in the model.


Heika Silveira (ER3) - KalVista

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

“I am a Pharmacist with a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and 5 years of postdoctoral experience. I have participated in basic and clinical research studies in a variety of international institutions, as the Silent Cardiovascular Risk Factor Detection Unit (SIL-DETECT) in Venezuela, the University of Alberta and McGill University in Canada, as well as Inspire Pharmaceuticals (now part or Merck) an American company focused on developing and commercializing ophthalmic products. My training background includes a solid preparation in pharmacological, anatomical and molecular approaches applied in both in vivo and in vitro models”

Heika has been recruited to work in 3DNET project for 12 months bringing to the SME her broad expertise in different animal and in vitro models in the areas of diabetes and neurosciences. Heika will further investigate the toxicity and pharmacokinetics of the drug leads uncovered in the project to enhance their safety and efficacy.


Dr Pilar Ventosa (ER4) – Gadea GF
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

“I have a PhD in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) since 2012.  Afterwards, I carried out a postdoctoral stay between Palacky University (Olomouc, CR) and the University of NotreDame (USA) in the Viktor Krchnak´s group. My research experience is related with organic and medicinal chemistry, mainly in the design, synthesis, study and further optimization of structurally diverse chemical entities as modulators of therapeutically relevant protein-protein interactions”

She has been recruited by Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico as her broad skills in medicinal chemistry will enhance their capacity to synthesize SAR compounds and new ophthalmic drugs for 3D-NET.


 Dr. Nils Ohnesorge

Dr Nils Ohnesorge (ER1) - UCD (and MER22 seconded to KalVista)
 Postdoctoral Research Fellow

“I'm an expert in the fields of vascular biology, molecular biology and developmental biology and my project is mainly focused on discovery of new anti-angiogenic drugs to find improved treatments for various eye diseases were abnormal blood vessel growth would lead to impaired vision or blindness”.

Nils is the first Postdoctoral Fellow recruited in 3D-NET. He works 18 months in UCD (Dr Breandan Kennedy’s lab) and his role is to lead the primary drug screenings on zebrafish for novel compounds which potential to be developed as new ophthalmic drugs (anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory). He will also contribute to evaluate the efficacy and safety of best ranking drug leads uncovered and developed in this project on mouse preclinical models of ocular disease.

In summer 2015, Nils is seconded for 2 months to SME KAlVista in UK to establish a model to assess electrical impedance for endothelial cells (TEER assay) which will allow us to tests if novel drugs have the potential to reduce vascular permeability.

 Dr. Javier A Calles

Dr Javier A Calles (ER2) – UVA (and ER9 seconded to KalVista)
 Postdoctoral Research Fellow

"I am a Pharmacist and recently Materials Science and Technology Ph.D. graduate in UNS - National University at Bahía Blanca (Argentina). My experience is related to pharmaceutical technology, specifically in the design and characterization of ocular drug delivery systems."

He has joined 3DNET recruited by IOBA - University of Valladolid, as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work on in vitro and in vivo models of drug toxicity and therapeutic efficacy, testing and further developing new molecules uncovered by the consortium.

Javier A Calles (as ER9) will also spend 2 months in KalVista (UK), joining Laura García (ER17) to work on the project focused on Kallikreins in the anterior eye segment. The insight and the contacts he will establish in the industry sector will help him take a step forward in his career.

Javier spends also 4 months seconded to Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico, where he will work on state-of-the-art trends in galenic formulation of steroids for ophthalmic applications. In addition, he will receive practical training and a global overview of drug discovery, manufacturing, and final formulation processes in a big pharmaceutical company.


Dr Stephen Pethen (MER6) - KalVista (seconded to UCD)
 Senior Analytical Scientist

“I am a senior Analytical Scientist, with over 20 years expertise in drug disposition and bioanalysis, currently responsible for the Bioanalytical and Chemistry analytical laboratory at KalVista”.

In 3DNET he spends a total of 2 months in UCD (Ireland) taking a course for official training on Proteomics and hosted by Dr Patricia Maguire’s lab.  Stephen and KalVista will expand their understanding of proteomic methodologies and how these can be used to identify patients who may respond to new ophthalmic drugs developed in 3DNET. In turn, he will bring to UCD his broad industry expertise on drug discovery and development.

 Dr. Claire Kilty, Post-doctoral Researcher

Dr Claire Kilty (ER10) - UCD (seconded to RenaSci)
 Postdoctoral Research Fellow

"I am an early stage postdoctoral fellow working in an ocular pharmacology laboratory in University College Dublin. My research involves optimising the delivery of novel drugs to the retina for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Specifically, I utilise biodegradable microparticles to provided sustained drug release to the eye. In addition to ocular delivery, my research interests include novel therapies for posterior eye diseases, animal models of retinal degeneration and ocular drug discovery."

In 3DNET she spends 2 months in RenaSci (UK) bringing her expertise on retinal in vivo models of angiogenesis and degeneration in order to assess if there are retinal alterations developed by their STZ rodent models of diabetes.  If any sign of retinal damage can be detected in these models, this would open a new door for testing the drug leads uncovered in 3DNET.

Catherine Tighe, PhD Candidate

Catherine Tighe (ESR11) - UCD (seconded to Gadea GF)
 PhD Candidate

“I graduated from UCD in 2012 with a degree in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology. I am currently in the second year of my PhD in the area of organic chemistry under the supervision of Professor Pat Guiry at UCD, working on the synthesis of anti-inflammatory lipoxin analogues for biological evaluation. I am interested in synthetic organic chemistry, and I have a specific interest in organic molecules with biological and medicinal properties”

In the 3D-NET programme, Catherine spends 3 months in Gadea Grupo Farmaceutico (Spain). She will acquire industry expertise on pharmaceutical manufacturing and industrial processes to synthesise and optimise the drug leads uncovered in 3D-NET.


 Dr. Breandan Kennedy

Dr. Breandán N. Kennedy (MER14) - UCD (seconded to KalVista)
 Principal Investigator

“I am the Principal Investigator of the Zebrafish and Retina lab at the Conway Institute in UCD. Since 2013 I coordinate the 3DNET consortium, with 2 Universities and 3 Companies joining efforts for the discovery and development of ophthalmic drugs in Europe.”

Breandán Kennedy will spend a total of 2 months (split into brief stays over the project lifetime) visiting KalVista (Salisbury, UK). The main objective of this secondment is to enhance networking with industry partners and gain of industry-based research perspective, both key aspects of IAPP grants.




 Prof Pat Guiry

Professor Patrick Guiry

Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry at UCD and Director of the Irish Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology. His research group focuses on synthetic organic chemistry, with interests in both the development of asymmetric synthetic methodology through the application of new chiral ligands in homogeneous metal-catalysed transformations and in the total synthesis of compounds of biological interestIn 3DNET he will advise, lead and supervise the organic synthesis of lipoxin analogs.  His lab will collaborate with Gadea GF in the synthesis of optimised drug leads uncovered. 

 Dr. Eoghan McGarrigle

Dr Eoghan McGarrigle

Dr Eoghan Mc Garrigle joined the School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in UCD as an independent research group leader. His position is funded by Science Foundation Ireland under the Starting Investigators Research Grant scheme. His research group is interested in heterocycles, sulfur ylide chemistry and developing organocatalysts to promote glycosylation reactions.

In 3DNET he will collaborate with Gadea GF in the development of flow chemistry routes for synthesis of drug leads uncovered.


Prof Denis Shields

I am Professor of Clinical Bioinformatics at UCD and Director of the UCD Bioinformatics Centre.  My research group focuses on bioinformatics, with a particular interest in peptides and peptide mimetics modulating protein-protein interactions.

In 3DNET I will advise and collaborate on bioinformatics and cheminformatics.

website of my research group: