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Michelle Clarke

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Agriculture & Food Science
CSCB Building
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: 017162504
Email: michelle.clarke@ucd.ie

Biography

Dr Michelle Clarke (BA, MSc, PhD) began her path to a career in nutritional research and teaching with an honours degree in Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin, immediately followed by an MSc degree in Human Nutrition at  the School of Biomedical Sciences, the University of Ulster. Shortly after, Michelle undertook a PhD in nutrition, specifically in the area of B-vitamins and related genetic factors as determinants of bone health, also at the University of Ulster. Integral to her PhD and her current research work, Michelle has been part of a large team of investigators involved in the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture 'TUDA' ageing study, a large observational study of approximately 5200 older Irish adults investigating the role of diet and genetic factors in chronic diseases of ageing. Michelle's specific area of investigation within the TUDA cohort relates to B-vitamin status, the MTHFR 677C→T polymorphism and bone health outcomes such as osteoporosis. 

Following the completion of her PhD, Michelle was successful in securing grant income from the National Osteoporosis Society to fund her first postdoctoral position at Ulster, where she continued her work in the area of B-vitamins, related genetic factors and bone health. Following completion of her first postdoctoral position, Michelle successfully secured a Research Fellow position at Trinity College Dublin, where she was involved in the management, and day to day running, of the Genio-Dementia Programme Evaluation project, a large 'Genio' funded project which aimed to evaluate both hospital and community based initiatives to improve care for people with dementia and their families, at various centres across Ireland.

In 2015 Michelle took up her current role as Lecturer in Human Nutrition in UCD, and in 2016 was fortunate to secure funding from the Department of Food and the Marine to support the 'Opti-Age' project, a dual centre collaborative project with Ulster which aims to investigate the effect of B-vitamin supplementation on bone mineral density, to develop a suitable food product to facilitate optimization of the B-vitamins, and to perform metabolomics analysis to elucidate a potential mechanism for the B-vitamin effect on bone. Within her current lecturing role, Michelle intends to communicate the most recent scientific knowledge to her students within the context of the modules she is teaching, and via collaboration with other institutes, develop a platform for research in the area of B-vitamins and related genetic factors in bone health at UCD.

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2015.
Title: DSM Science and Technology Europe Award 2015- runner up
           

Employment

Employer: University of Ulster
Position: Research Associate
Employer: Trinity College Dublin
Position: Research Fellow

Education

Year 2009 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: BA Subject: CHEMISTRY, BIOCHEMISTRY, BIOLOGY & MATHS
Year 2009 Institution: University of Ulster
Qualification: MSc Subject: HUMAN NUTRITION
Year 2013 Institution: University of Ulster
Qualification: PhD Subject: HUMAN NUTRITION & HEALTH
         

Publications

     

Peer Reviewed Journals

Clarke M, Ward M, Strain JJ, Hoey L, Dickey W & McNulty H. (2014) 'B-vitamins and bone in health and disease: The current evidence'. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, . [DOI] [Details]
Clarke M, Ward M, Dickey W, Hoey L, Molloy AM, Waldron L, Varghese A, McCann A, Blayney JK & McNulty H. (2015) 'B-vitamin status in relation to bone mineral density in treated celiac disease patients'. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, :975-984. [DOI] [Details]

Other Journals

Clarke M, Ward M, Dickey W & McNulty H (2013) 'Bone Health in Coeliac Disease: Do B-vitamins have a role?' Osteoporosis Review . Available Online [Details]

Conference Publications

Clarke M, Ward M, Hoey L, Strain JJ, Molloy A, Scott J and McNulty H (2012) Homocysteine and related B-vitamin status as determinants of bone mineral density in older Irish adults Nutrition Society Summer Meeting [DOI] [Details]
Joosen AM, Clarke M, Lodge JK, Mugridge O, Frost G, Engel B, Taillart K, Lloyd AJ, Beckmann M and Draper J (2012) Development of a biomarker of sucrose intake based on metabolomics Nutrition Society Summer Meeting [DOI] [Details]
Clarke M, Ward M, Hoey L, Laird E, Strain JJ, Molloy AM, Casey MC, Cunningham C, Healy M, Scott JM and McNulty H (2013) Low folate status is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis in older Irish women Homocysteine and One Carbon Metabolism conference [DOI] [Details]
Clarke M; Ward M; Dickey W; Hoey L; McNulty H. (2013) B-vitamins and Bone Health among Coeliac Disease Patients IUNS 20th International Congress of Nutrition [DOI] [Details]
Clarke M, Ward M, Hoey L, Strain JJ, Molloy A, Laird E, Healy M, Casey MC, Cunningham C, McCann MT & McNulty H (2014) B-vitamin status and the MTHFR 677C→T polymorphism as determinants of bone health in older Irish women from the TUDA ageing cohort study Nutrition Society Summer Meeting [DOI] [Details]
                                                                                                                 

Research

Research Interests

Michelle's primary research to date has focused on the role of one carbon metabolism related B-vitamins (specifically folate, and vitamins B12, B6 and B2), and a common polymorphism in the folate metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolatereductase 'MTHFR', called the MTHFR 677C-T polymorphism, in bone health and disease. Additionally Michelle has investigated the negative impact of low B-vitamin status in combination with the MTHFR 677TT genotype (i.e. gene-nutrient interactions) as predictors of poor bone health and osteoporosis. Certain sub-groups of the population, such as older adults, individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype, and individuals with coeliac disease, are vulnerable to both B-vitamin inadequacies and poor bone health, and therefore Michelle's research has included studies conducted within these sub-groups.
In 2016, Michelle was fortunate to secure funding from the Department of Food and the Marine to support the 'Opti-Age' project, a dual centre collaborative project with UU which aims to investigate the effect of B-vitamin supplementation on bone mineral density, to develop a suitable food product to facilitate optimization of the B-vitamins, and to perform metabolomics analysis to elucidate a potential mechanism for the B-vitamin effect on bone.

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Michelle Clark School Funded Start up Account
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-15 / 28-FEB-17