Researchers at UCD


David O'Connell

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Biomolecular & Biomed Science
Conway Institute
Dublin 4

Tel: 01-7166725


Honours and Awards

Year: 2005.
Title: Campus Company Development Award


Employer: Tyco/Fannin Joint Venture.
Position: Valleylab Product Specialist
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Employer: University of California at San Francisco
Position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Research Assistant


Year 2002 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 1993 Institution: University College Cork
Qualification: BSc Subject: Microbiology



Book Chapters

David O'Connell, Mikael Bauer, Sara Linse; (2013) 'Calmodulin' In: David O'Connell, Mikael Bauer, Sara Linse; (eds). Encyclopedia of Metalloenzymes. New Dehli: Springer. [Details]
David J O'Connell, Mikael Bauer, Sara Linse & Dolores J Cahill; (2011) 'Protein microarrays to probe for protein-protein interactions' In: David J O'Connell, Mikael Bauer, Sara Linse & Dolores J Cahill; (eds). Methods in Molecular Biology. Methods in Molecular Biology: Humana Press. [Details]
Mikael C. Bauer, Magdalena Maj, Ludwig Wagner, Dolores J. Cahill, Sara Linse and David J O'Connell; (2011) 'Protein networks involved in vesicle fusion, transport and storage revealed by array-based proteomics' In: Andrew Emili, PhD; Gerard Cagney, PhD (eds). Network Biology: Methods and Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology: Humana Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Mulvaney EP, O'Meara F, Khan AR, O'Connell DJ, Kinsella BT. (2017) 'Identification of α-helix 4 (α4) of Rab11a as a novel Rab11-binding domain (RBD): Interaction of Rab11a with the Prostacyclin Receptor'. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1864 ((10)):1819-1832. [DOI] [Details]
Kalyani Sanagavarapu, Tanja Weiffert, Niamh Ní Mhurchú, David O¿Connell, Sara Linse (2016) 'Calcium Binding and Disulfide Bonds Regulate the Stability of Secretagogin towards Thermal and Urea Denaturation'. PLoS ONE, . [Details]
Herling TW, O'Connell DJ, Bauer MC, Persson J, Weininger U, Knowles TP, Linse S. (2016) 'A Microfluidic Platform for Real-Time Detection and Quantification of Protein-Ligand Interactions'. Biophysical Journal, 110 (9):1957-1966. [DOI] [Details]
Dunning CJ, McGauran G, Willén K, Gouras GK, O'Connell DJ, Linse S. (2016) 'Direct High Affinity Interaction between Aβ42 and GSK3α Stimulates Hyperphosphorylation of Tau. A New Molecular Link in Alzheimer's Disease?'. ACS Chemical Neuroscience, 7 (2):161-170. [DOI] [Details]
Jan Rosier and David O'Connell (2015) 'Nuances in the Entrepreneurship Training Toolbox'. Nature Biotechnology, 33 :133-135. [Details]
Brien GL, Healy E, Jerman E, Conway E, Fadda E, O'Donovan D, Krivtsov AV, Rice AM, Kearney CJ, Flaus A, McDade SS, Martin SJ, McLysaght A, O'Connell DJ, Armstrong SA, Bracken AP (2015) 'A chromatin-independent role of Polycomb-like 1 to stabilize p53 and promote cellular quiescence'. Genes and Development, 29 (21):2231-2243. [DOI] [Details]
David J O'Connell, Francesca Baldelli Bombelli, Andrzej Pitek, Marco Monopoli, Dolores Cahill and Kenneth A Dawson (2015) 'Characterization of the bionano interface and mapping extrinsic interactions of the corona of nanomaterials'. Nanoscale, . [DOI] [Details]
Duffy, F.J. and O'Donovan, D. and Devocelle, M. and Moran, N. and O'Connell, D.J. and Shields, D.C. (2015) 'Virtual screening using combinatorial cyclic peptide libraries reveals protein interfaces readily targetable by cyclic peptides'. Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling, 55 (3):600-613. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Dawn R. Christiansona, Andrey S. Dobroffb, Bettina Pronetha, Amado J. Zuritad, Ahmad Salameha, Eleonora Dondossolaa, Jun Makinoe, Cristian G. Bologaf, Tracey L. Smith, Virginia J. Yaob, Tiffany L. Calderoneg, David J. O'Connell, Tudor I. Opreaf, Kazunori Kataokai, Dolores J. Cahill, Jeffrey E. Gershenwald, Richard L. Sidmanj, Wadih Arap, and Renata Pasqualini (2015) 'Ligand-directed targeting of lymphatic vessels uncovers mechanistic insights in melanoma metastasis'. PNAS, :1-6. [Details]
Graham K. Sheridan, Anita Wdowicz, Mark Pickering, Orla Watters, Paul Halley, Niamh C. O¿Sullivan, Claire Mooney, David J. O¿Connell, John J. O¿Connor and Keith J. Murphy (2014) 'CX3CL1 is up-regulated in the rat hippocampus during memory-associated synaptic plasticity'. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 8 (233):1-15. [DOI] [Details]
Lalioti VS, Ilari A, O'Connell DJ, Poser E, Sandoval IV, Colotti G (2014) 'Sorcin links calcium signaling to vesicle trafficking, regulates polo-like kinase 1 and is necessary for mitosis'. PLoS ONE, 9 (1). Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Chris M. Egan,Ulrika Nyman,Julie Skotte,Gundula Streubel1,Siobhán Turner,David J. O'Connell,Vilma Rraklli,Michael J. Dolan,Naomi Chadderton,Klaus Hansen,Gwyneth Jane Farrar,Kristian Helin,Johan Holmberg, Adrian P. Bracken (2013) 'CHD5 Is Required for Neurogenesis and Has a Dual Role in Facilitating Gene Expression and Polycomb Gene Repression'. Cell, 26 (3):223-236. [Details]
Fields C, O'Connell D, Xiao S, Lee GU, Billiald P, Muzard J (2013) 'Creation of recombinant antigen-binding molecules derived from hybridomas secreting specific antibodies'. Nature protocols, 8 (6):1125-1148. [Details]
Brien GL, Gambero G, O'Connell DJ, Jerman E, Turner SA, Egan CM, Dunne EJ, Jurgens MC, Wynne K, Piao L, Lohan AJ, Ferguson N, Shi X, Sinha KM, Loftus BJ, Cagney G, Bracken AP. (2012) 'Polycomb PHF19 binds H3K36me3 and recruits PRC2 and demethylase NO66 to embryonic stem cell genes during differentiation'. Nature structural & molecular biology, 19 (12):1273-1281. [Details]
Pitek AS, O'Connell D, Mahon E, Monopoli MP, Baldelli Bombelli F, Dawson KA (2012) 'Transferrin coated nanoparticles: study of the bionano interface in human plasma'. PLoS ONE, 7 (7). [DOI] [Details]
Behnen P, Davis E, Delaney E, Frohm B, Bauer M, Cedervall T, O'Connell D, Akerfeldt KS, Linse S (2012) 'Calcium-Dependent Interaction of Calmodulin with Human 80S Ribosomes and Polyribosomes'. Biochemistry, . [DOI] [Details]
Murphy MA, O'Connell DJ, O'Kane SL, O'Brien JK, O'Toole S, Martin C, Sheils O, O'Leary JJ, Cahill DJ (2012) 'Epitope presentation is an important determinant of the utility of antigens identified from protein arrays in the development of autoantibody diagnostic assays'. Proteomics, . [DOI] [Details]
Bauer MC, O'Connell DJ, Maj M, Wagner L, Cahill DJ, Linse S; (2011) 'Identification of a high-affinity network of secretagogin-binding proteins involved in vesicle secretion'. Molecular BioSystems, . [DOI] [Details]
Olsson N, Wingren C, Mattsson M, James P, O'Connell D, Nilsson F, Cahill DJ, Borrebaeck CA; (2011) 'Proteomic analysis and discovery using affinity proteomics and mass spectrometry'. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics, . [Details]
Staquicini FI, Cardó-Vila M, Kolonin MG, Trepel M, Edwards JK, Nunes DN, Sergeeva A, Efstathiou E, Sun J, Almeida NF, Tu SM, Botz GH, Wallace MJ, O'Connell DJ, Krajewski S, Gershenwald JE, Molldrem JJ, Flamm AL, Koivunen E, Pentz RD, Dias-Neto E, Setubal JC, Cahill DJ, Troncoso P, Do KA, Logothetis CJ, Sidman RL, Pasqualini R, Arap W; (2011) 'Vascular ligand-receptor mapping by direct combinatorial selection in cancer patients'. PNAS, 108 (46):18637-18642. [Details]
O'Connell DJ, Bauer MC, O'Brien J, Johnson WM, Divizio CA, O'Kane SL, Berggård T, Merino A, Akerfeldt KS, Linse S, Cahill DJ; (2010) 'Integrated protein array screening and high throughput validation of 70 novel neural calmodulin binding proteins'. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics, . [DOI] [Details]
Bauer, MC,O'Connell, D,Cahill, DJ,Linse, S; (2008) 'Calmodulin binding to the polybasic C-termini of STIM proteins involved in store-operated calcium entry'. Biochemistry, 47 (NA):6089-6091. [DOI] [Details]
OToole, SA, Laios, A, Sheppard, B, Gleeson, N, DArcy, T, McGuinness, E, Ring, M, Gaffney, E, Martin, C, Flavin, R, Cahill, D, OConnell, D, OBrien, J, Sheils, O, OLeary, JJ, ; (2007) 'miRNA signatures in primary versus recurrent ovarian cancers'. Laboratory Investigation, 87 :209-209. [Details]
OToole, SA, Laios, A, Sheppard, B, Gleeson, N, DArcy, T, McGuinness, E, Ring, M, Gaffney, E, Martin, C, Flavin, R, Cahill, D, OConnell, D, OBrien, J, Sheils, O, OLeary, JJ, ; (2007) 'miRNA signatures in primary versus recurrent ovarian cancers'. Modern Pathology, 20 :209-209. [Details]
O'Connell D, Becerril B, Roy-Burman A, Daws M, Marks JD.; (2002) 'Phage versus phagemid libraries for generation of human monoclonal antibodies'. Molecular Biology, 321 (1):49-56. [Details]
Cambier S, Mu DZ, O'Connell D, Boylen K, Travis W, Liu WH, Broaddus VC, Nishimura SL.; (2000) 'A role for the integrin alphavbeta8 in the negative regulation of epithelial cell growth'. Cancer Research, 60 (24):7084-7093. [Details]
Miller, N, McCann, A, O'Connell, D, Pedersen, IS, Spiers, V, Gorey, T, Dervan, PA, ; (1998) 'Mono-allelic expression of the Mas proto-oncogene in human breast tissue'. European Journal of Human Genetics, 6 (NA):147-147. [Details]
Miller N, McCann AH, O'Connell D, Pedersen IS, Spiers V, Gorey T, Dervan PA.; (1997) 'The MAS proto-oncogene is imprinted in human breast tissue'. Genomics, 46 (3):509-512. [Details]


Research Interests

Interactions between proteins create the functional events that govern how cells manage their own homeostasis and signal to the outside environment. Understanding how, when and where these interactions take place is fundamental to understanding processes that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention.  

My research laboratory concentrates on the development and application of new methodologies in the study of protein:protein interactions with a particular focus on calcium binding proteins that signal inside the cell, to membrane bound receptors that receive signals from outside the cell. My lab employs a range of biophysical and proteomics-based approaches to identify interactions between signalling proteins and their target proteins to resolve functional networks. 

In applied research I am developing novel technologies centering on patented EF hand based affinity tags to purify and stabilize proteins from expression milieu and development of new approaches for their biophysical characterisation, chiefly high throughput Surface Plasmon Resonance (HTSPR) and single step purification methodologies for improved production of biotherapeutics. We are commercialising a novel affinity resin for bioprocessing applications.
As a Fellow of UCD Conway Institute I run a core facility in biophysics with supported access available to a BiaCore T200 SPR instrument and a Monolith MST instrument for analysis of protein interactions. Please enquire by e-mail. 

Research Projects

Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : A novel protein display technology to expand and enhance biosensor measurement of therapeutic molecule kinetics
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-14 / 31-JAN-15
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Protein Retriever Pro ¿ A novel affinity purification kit for rapid, high quality protein preparation ¿ Prototype to Product
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUL-14 / 30-JUN-16
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Novel technology solutions for affinity proteomics
Start Date / End Date : 01-JAN-15 / 31-JAN-16
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : TIDA Training Award
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-15 / 31-MAR-16
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Novel affinity matrices for purification of biotherapeutics
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-13 / 31-AUG-17
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Research Demonstrator Consumables DOC
Start Date / End Date : 24-JUN-13 / 31-AUG-17
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Development of PrPsc specific human antibodies to analyse conformational structures of Scrapie strains in TSE
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-05 / 24-AUG-05
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Development of PrPsc specific human antibodies to analyse conformational structures of Scrapie strains in TSE
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-05 / 24-AUG-05
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Protease sensitive PrPSc in pathogenesis
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-04 / 30-SEP-07

Recent Postgraduates

I have recently supervised the project work for two masters theses on the development of human IgG from scFv using baculoviral expression systems and the development of a very sensitive conformation dependent immunoassay for the detection of disease proteins.

Current Postgraduate Students

Snehal Mahendra Pisal, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Siobhan Kelly, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Co-Supervisor
Niamh Murphy, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Gavin Mc Gauran, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor



Modules Coordinated

201700   PHAR40220     Pharmacology: Systems Biology in Drug Dev
201700   PHAR40230     Pharmacology: Project in Biotherapeutics Dev
201700   PHAR40200     Pharmacology: Biotherapeutic Pipeline I
201700   PHAR40210     Pharmacology: Biotherapeutic Pipeline II


Internal Collaborators

Dr Keith Murphy, 

Professor Paul McLoughlin,
School of Medicine, UCD 


External Collaborators

Professor Sara Linse
Department of Biophysical Chemistry
Lund University Sweden
Dr Adrian Bracken, 
Smurfit Insititute of Genetics, 
TCD, Ireland 

Dr Gianni Colotti
CNR, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy