Meet the HIV Molecular Research Group

Find out more about our team of clinicians, lecturers and researchers and their areas of expertise.

Professor Paddy Mallon

Dr Patrick Mallon graduated in Medicine from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland and undertook subsequent clinical training in infectious disease medicine in Sydney, Australia where he completed a PhD in the clinical andPaddy Mallon molecular aspects of HIV-associated Lipodystrophy (the commonest long-term side effect of antiretroviral therapy). Dr Mallon returned to Ireland in 2007 to take up a consultant appointment as an Infectious Diseases Specialist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, a major Irish teaching hospital that cares for a large cohort of HIV-infected patients.  Dr Mallon’s research interests include translational research into toxicities of antiretroviral therapy and cardiovascular disease, and pharmacology of anti-infectives. He has published widely in these areas and also acts as a reviewer for several international peer-reviewed medical journals.

Dr. Aoife Cotter

Dr. Aoife Cotter, Consultant in Infectious Diseases 

Dr. Aoife Cotter is currently working as a Consultant in Infectious Diseases at the Mater Misericordiae and St Vincent’s University Hospitals. She completed a PhD focusing on cohort methodology and bone disease in HIV under the supervision of Dr. Paddy Mallon (HMRG/University College Dublin) and Prof Caroline Sabin (Medical Statisticsand Epidemiology, University College London). In addition to HIV UPBEAT, a longitudinal cohort exploring bone health, new research interests include exploring radiological and clinical changes in those undergoing contemporary hepatitis C treatment (The TRACER Cohort) and bone, kidney and gut microbiome alterations around antiretroviral therapy initiation (The BIGGER Study). Future, projects hope to exploit contemporary mobile health technologies to assess frailty and ultimately to promote healthy ageing in people living with HIV. Aoife Cotter

Dr. Eoin Feeney

Dr. Eoin Feeney, Consultant in Infectious Diseases 

Dr. Eoin Feeney completed his Higher Specialist Training in Infectious Diseases in 2012, and was awarded his PhD examining the metabolic complications of HIV infection by UCD (undertaken in the HIV Molecular Research Group) in the same year. He undertook a Clinical Research Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, studying the effects of HIV and hepatitis C co-infection on accelerated hepatic fibrosis before returning to Ireland in 2014 to establish the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Vincent’s University Hospital. His areas of interest are chronic viral infections and their complications.Eoin Feeney

Dr. Tara McGinty

Dr. Tara McGinty, Clinical Research Fellow

Tara is currently undertaking a PhD through the School of Medicine coordinating a multi-centre, prospective, randomised trial of short course alendronate therapy or placebo combined with vitamin D and calcium to prevent loss of bone mineral density in antiretroviral-naïve, HIV-1 infected subjects initiating antiretroviral therapy. Her long term career objective is becoming a clinician academic with a focus on developing independent research within the HMRG. Tara’s aim is to be competitively able to attract national and international research funding and collaborations within a successful dynamic research group.Tara McGinty

Dr. Willard Tinago

D‌r Willard Tinago, Medical Statistician

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Willard Tinago, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Willard Tinago has interest and experience in observational cohort studies, epidemiology and randomized trials in HIV and other infectious diseases. He is currently the lead for the University College Dublin Infection Diseases Cohort and statistician for clinical studies conducted at the HIV Molecular Research Group (HMRG) in the UCD School of Medicine. ‌

Dr. Robert Maughan

Dr. Robert Maughan

Rob is the laboratory lead of the HMRG, responsible for clinical processing and analytical laboratory operations, quality assurance, novel assay development, clinical study logistics and staff training. Robert completed the Wellcome Trust Computational Infection Biology PhD programme in 2016, his PhD focused on the molecular pathogenesis of adipose tissue toxicity in HIV infection. Robert’s current research interests include cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction in HIV infection.Robert

Dr. Elena Alvarez

Dr. Elena Alvarez, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Elena has a BSc in Pharmacy and obtained her PhD from the Complutense University in Madrid  2014 focused on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics of HIV treatment. She joined the HMRG in March 2014 and has been working as a project coordinator since. Elena is responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of clinical trials and research studies. Elena is currently ppursuing a career looking at the pathogenesis of long-term comorbidities associated with HIV-infection, with a special interest in renal and bone disease.Elena

Mr. Alejandro Garcia Abner

Mr. Alejandro Garcia Abner, Laboratory Technician

Alejandro Garcia obtained his Bachelor’s Degree specialising in Molecular Biology in Venezuela. He subsequently engaged in a national diagnosis project of the Chagas disease focusing on the optimization of the diagnosis techniques mainly through PCR and microscopy, also studying the molecular aspects of the parasite genome. He is currently involved in pathogenesis-based research into co-morbidities associated with long-term HIV infection, focusing on the laboratory clinical analysis.Alejandro

Ms. Aoife Lacey

Ms. Aoife Lacey, Clinical Research Assistant

Aoife has been working with the HMRG since completing her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Health & Life Sciences in 2012 - initially working on molecular laboratory research, before spending a year as a clinical research assistant on the M-BRiHT study. In 2014 she returned to UCD to study medicine, but has continued to work with the group as a research assistant on a part time basis, mostly assisting on studies within the MMUH-UCD ID Cohort. She is due to graduate in 2019 and hopes to specialise in Infectious Diseases, while also furthering her clinical and scientific research career in the field. Aoife Lacey

Mr Sumesh Babu

Mr Sumesh Babu, Clinical Research Nurse

Over 15 years nursing experience in the India, USA and Ireland. A new addition to the HMRG teamSumesh Babu

Ms Joanne Maher

Ms Joanne Maher, Clinical Research Nurse

Over 15 years nursing experience in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. 8 years working in clinical research.Joanne Maher