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Patricia Mary Kieran

Senior Lecturer

School Of Chem & Bioprocess Engineering
Engineering Building
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7161956
Email: patricia.kieran@ucd.ie

Biography

Dr. Kieran graduated from UCD with an honours degree in (Bio)Chemical Engineering in 1985. She was awarded a Jefferson Smurfit Fellowship for postgraduate study at the University of Missour-Rolla (UMR) where she received an MS in Chemical Engineering. Returning to UCD in 1987, she commenced work on a PhD in Biochemical Engineering. On completion of her PhD studies, she joined the staff in the School of Biotechnology at Dublin City University, where she was involved in the BSc degree program in Biotechnology and developed research activities in biochemical engineering, with particular interest in shear sensitivity and engineering characterization of fermentation systems. In 1999, she moved to the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCD; in 2002, she was promoted to the level of Senior Lecturer. 

She currently works in the area of Engineering Education. In 2007, Dr Kieran was appointed as a UCD Fellow in Teaching & Academic Development; in 2009, she was appointed UCD Senior Fellow in Teaching & Academic Development. She is a 2009 recipient of an ExxonMobil Award for Excellence in Engineering Teaching and a 2000 recipient of an Exxon Mobil Teaching Fellowship.

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2010.
Title: Runner-Up Best Paper - 3rd International Symposium for Engineering Education
Year: 2009.
Title: ExxonMobil Excellence in Engineering Teaching Award
Year: 2009.
Title: UCD Senior Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development
Year: 2007.
Title: UCD Fellowship in Teaching and Academic Development
Year: 2001.
Title: ExxonMobil Engineering Teaching Fellow 2001-2005
Year: 2002.
Title: UCD President's Research Award
Year: 2000.
Title: UCD President's Research Award
Year: 2001.
Title: Royal Irish Academy/EI Irish-France Research Visits Award
Year: 1999.
Title: Royal Irish Academy Senior Visiting Fellow, Dept Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham. UK
Year: 1998.
Title: DCU Educational Trust Teaching Development Award (¿63,400)

Associations

Association: American Society of Engineering Education, Function/Role: Member
Association: Institution of Chemical Engineers, Function/Role: Associate Member
Association: Engineers Ireland, Function/Role: Associate Member
     

Conference Contributions

Jeffers P.T., Raposo S., Emilia Lima-Costa M., Kieran P. & Glennon B.; (2003) Application of the Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement Method to the Characterization of Plant Cells in Suspension Culture. [Oral Presentation], 225th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, USA , 23-MAR-03 - 27-MAR-03.
Pearson A., Jeffers P., Barrett P., Glennon B. & Kieran P.; (2002) In-Line Monitoring of Biological Systems. [Oral Presentation], AIChE Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, USA , 03-NOV-02 - 08-NOV-02.
Hennessy E, Hernández R, Kieran PM & McLoughlin H; (2008) Translating teaching & learning across disciplines in a modular system. [Oral Presentation], Does Teaching & Learning Translate? Learning Across the U21 Network, University of Glasgow , 21-FEB-08 - 22-FEB-08.
Kieran, PM; (2008) Introducing PBL to the Chemical Engineering Curriculum: Design, Construction and Evaluation of a Heat Exchanger. [Oral Presentation], International Symposium in Engineering Education: Student-centred learning in small groups, engCETL, Loughborough University , 11-JAN-08 - 11-JAN-08.
Kieran, PM; (2004) Biochemical Engineering - at Work in the Biotech Industry. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], Biochemical Engineering Research Network (BERN) Meeting:, Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, UCD , 12-JAN-04 - 13-JAN-04.
Jeffers P, Kieran PM ; (2004) Characterisation of sub-lethal responses of plant cells in suspension culture to hydrodynamic stress. [Invited Oral Presentation], Biochemical Engineering Research Network (BERN) Meeting: Biochemical Engineering - at Work in the Biotech Industry,, Conway Institute for Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, UCD , 12-JAN-04 - 13-JAN-04.
Jeffers P, Raposo S, Kieran PM, Glennon B, Lima-Costa M; (2003) Application of the Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement method for the characterization of plant cells in suspension culture. [International Refereed Conference],  225th ACS National Meeting (Bioprocess Monitoring & Control, Division of Biochemical Technology), New Orleans, LA, USA , 23-MAR-03 - 27-MAR-03.
Glennon B, Kieran PM ; (2003) The Role of Particle Morphology in Biotechnology. [Invited Lecture],  Lasentec Users Forum, New York, USA , 24-FEB-03 - 26-FEB-03.
Jeffers P, Kieran PM, Devery R, Hook I ; (2003) Characterisation of the sub-lethal responses of Morinda citrifolia and Taxus baccata Fastigiata cell suspension cultures to hydrodynamic stress. [Poster Presentation (Refereed)], 11th European Congress on Biotechnology (ECB11), Basel, Switzerland , 24-AUG-03 - 29-AUG-03.
Jeffers P, Kieran PM, Hook I, Devery R; (2002) Development of a methodology to quantify the sub-lethal responses of plant cells in suspension culture to hydrodynamic stress. [Poster Presentation],  4th European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Science, Delft, the Netherlands , 28-AUG-02 - 31-AUG-02.
Jeffers P, Visdal-Johnsen L, Hook I, Kieran PM; (2002) Characterisation of suspension cultures of Taxus baccata Fastigiata in shake flasks and in a 2 L bioreactor. [Poster Presentation],  Irish Plant Scientists Association Annual Meeting, Trinity College, Dublin, , 19-MAR-02 - 21-MAR-02.
Pearson, AP, Jeffers P, Barrett P, Glennon B, Kieran PM ; (2002) In-line monitoring of biological systems. [International Refereed Conference], AIChE 2002 Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA , 03-NOV-02 - 08-NOV-02.
McCormack TA, Kieran PM, Glennon BA ; (2000) Characterisation and Optimisation of Pimaricin Production by Streptomyces natalensis. [Poster Presentation],   3rd European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Science0, Copenhagen , 10-SEP-00 - 13-SEP-00.
Kieran PM; (1997) Physiological Control of Morphology and Rheology. [Chaired Session],  8th European Congress on Biotechnology (ECB8), Budapest, Hungary , 17-AUG-97 - 21-AUG-97.
Kieran PM, Malone DM, MacLoughlin PF; (1996) Plant Cell Suspension Culture - Engineering Considerations. [Invited Lecture],  1st European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Science, Dublin City University , 19-SEP-96 - 21-SEP-96.
Glennon B, Kieran PM, Luyben KChAM (Eds); (1996) Proceedings of the 1st European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering. [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], 1st European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering, Dublin City University , 19-SEP-96 - 21-SEP-96.
B. Glennon, A. Pearson, P. Jeffers and P.M. Kieran; (2002) In-line monitoring of biological systems using FBRM. [N/A], 3rd Lasentec Users Conference, Charleston , 01-JAN-02 - 01-JAN-02.
B. Glennon, A. Pearson and P.M. Kieran; (2001) In-line monitoring of the growth of filamentous organisms. [N/A], 2nd Lasentec Users Conference, Barcelona , 01-FEB-01 - 01-FEB-01.
P. Jeffers, S. Raposo, P. Kieran, B. Glennon and M. E. Lima-Costa; (2001) Use of the Focused Beam Reflectance Method (FBRM) to Characterise Plant Cell Suspension Cultures. [N/A], EFB Bioprocess Engineering Course, Croatia , 01-JAN-01 - 01-JAN-01.

Committees

Committee : Irish Academy of Engineering (IAE) Taskforce on Engineering Research & Economic Development
Committee : Science Foundation Ireland Engineering Advisory Committee
Committee : Royal Irish Academy (RIA) Engineering Sciences Committee
Committee : Engineers Ireland STEPS Advisory Panel
Committee : UK Biochemical Engineering Research Network (BERN)
Committee : European Federation of Biotechnology, Section on Biochemical Engineering Science
Committee : Institution of Chemical Engineers Admissions Tutors Forum
Committee : EFB Working Party on Bioreactor Performance
Committee : EFB Bioprocess Engineering Course (Croatia:1999, 2001, Sweeden: 1996)
Committee : ESF Programme 'Process Integration in Biochemcial Engineering'

Employment

Employer: University College Dublin
Position: Senior Lecturer
Employer: University College Dublin
Position: College Lecturer
Employer: Dublin City University
Position: Lecturer

Education

Year 1986 Institution: University of Missouri-Rolla
Qualification: MS Subject: Chemical Engineering
Year 1985 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BE Subject:
Year 1993 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
   

Outreach Activities

Member, STEPS Advisory Panel (Engineers Ireland)
Organiser of 'EXPERIENCE ENGINEERING' in UCD, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010: 
a one-week, 'hands-on' event for Transition Year Students
Developed and Implemented 'Thinking about... Careers in Chemical Engineering', a one-day 'hands-on' event for Fifth Year Secondary Students, May 2003
 

Other Activities

Peer Review

Member, Editorial Board, Process Biochemistry, 2007 to date

Reviewing and External Examining

  • Member, Engineering Programmatic Review, Peer Review Group, Cork Institute of Technology, 2007
  • Invited Reviewer, Czech Science Foundation (GACR), 2007
  • Invited Reviewer, German Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF), GABI-FUTURE: Plants as a Basis for Life – from Genome Analysis to Product Innovations, December 2006
  • Member, Engineers Ireland (formerly IEI) Accreditation Panel, Cork Institute of Technology BEng (Hons) Chemical & Process Engineering, October 2005
  • Invited Reviewer, Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects, 2005
  • Invited Reviewer, Enterprise Ireland Basic Research Grants Scheme, 2001, 2002
  • Member, Evaluation Panel, Enterprise Ireland International Collaboration Scheme, 2002
  • Reviewer, FP5 Marie Curie Fellowships, Brussels, November 2000
  • Research Article Reviewer, Biotechnol Bioengng, Biochem Engng J, Education for Chemical Engineers, J Chem Technol Biotechnol, Enzyme Microb Technol, J Plant Physiol
  • Doctoral Dissertation External Examiner, University of Birmingham (UK), Adelaide University (Aus), Dublin City University (Ireland), University College London (UCL, UK)
  • MEngSc Thesis External Examiner, University College Dublin (while employed in DCU)

Conferences/Meeting Organisation

• Member, Local Organising Committee, British Association for Crystal Growth & Irish Association for Crystal Growth, Annual Conference, UCD, September 3-4, 2007
• Member, Scientific Review Committee (Life Sciences), 7th World Congress of Chemical Engineering, Scotland, July 2005
• Local Organiser, Biochemical Engineering Research Network (BERN) Symposium `Biochemical Engineering - at Work in the Biotech Industry', Dublin, January 2004
• Workshop Convenor, 'Physiological Control of Morphology and Rheology', 8th European Congress on Biotechnology (ECB8), Budapest, August 17-21, 1997
• Organising Committee Chair, 1st European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Science, Dublin, 1996

Publications

Books

Glennon, B., Kieran, P.M., Luyben, K.Ch.A.M.; (1996) 1st European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Science. Dublin: ESBES. [Details]

Book Chapters

Kieran, P.M.; (2001) 'Bioreactor Design for Plant Cell Suspension Cultures' In: J.M.S. Cabral et al. (eds). Principles of Multiphase Reactor Design. *: Harwood Academic. [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

Hennessy, E,Hernandez, R,Kieran, P,MacLoughlin, H; (2010) 'Teaching and learning across disciplines: student and staff experiences in a newly modularised system'. Higher Education, 15 :675-689. [DOI] [Details]
Faulkner, E; Barrett, M; Okor, S; Kieran, P; Casey, E; Paradisi, F; Engel, P; Glennon, B; ; (2006) 'Use of fed-batch cultivation for achieving high cell densities for the pilot-scale production of a recombinant protein (phenylalanine dehydrogenase) in Escherichia coli'. Biotechnology Progress, 22 (3):889-897. Available Online [Details]
Dunn, HD; Curtin, T; O'Riordan, MA; Coen, P; Kieran, PM; Malone, DM; O'Connor, KE; ; (2005) 'Aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbon consumption and transformation by the styrene degrading strain Pseudomonas putida CA-3'. FEMS Microbiol Letters, 249 (2):267-273. [Details]
Pearson, AP,Glennon, B,Kieran, PM; (2004) 'Monitoring of cell growth using the focused beam reflectance method'. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, 79 :1142-1147. [DOI] [Details]
Jeffers, PT; Raposo, S; Lima-Costa, ME; Kieran, P; Glennon, B; ; (2003) 'Application of the focused beam reflectance measurement method (FBRM) to the characterization of plant cells in suspension culture'. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 225 (NA):188-188. [Details]
Kieran, P.M., D.M. Malone and P.F. Mac Loughlin; (2000) 'Effects of Hydrodynamic and Interfacial Forces on Plant Cell Suspension Systems'. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology, 67 :139-177. [Details]
MacLoughlin, PF; Malone, DM; Murtagh, JT; Kieran, PM; ; (1998) 'The effects of turbulent jet flows on plant cell suspension cultures'. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 58 (6):595-604. [Details]
Kieran, PM; MacLoughlin, PF; Malone, DM; ; (1997) 'Plant cell suspension cultures: some engineering considerations'. Journal of Biotechnology, 59 (1-2):39-52. [Details]
Hennessy, E., Hernández, R., Kieran, P., & McLoughlin, H.; (2010) 'Translating teaching and learning across disciplines in a modular system'. Teaching in Higher Education, 15 (6):675-689. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Pearson A.P., Glennon B. & Kieran P.M.; (2003) 'Comparison of Two Methods of Morphological Characterisation of Filamentous Organisms'. Biotechnology Progress, 19 :1342-1347. [Details]
Kieran PM & O'Neill G; (2009) 'Peer-Assisted Tutoring in a Chemical Engineering Curriculum: Tutee and Tutor Experiences'. Australasian Journal of Peer Learning, 2 (1). Available Online [Details]
Jeffers, P; Kerins, S; Baker, CJ; Kieran, PM; ; (2007) 'Generation of reactive oxygen and antioxidant species by hydrodynamically stressed suspensions of Morinda citrifolia'. Biotechnology Progress, 23 (1):138-145. [Details]
Komaraiah, P; Navratil, M; Carlsson, M; Jeffers, P; Brodelius, M; Brodelius, PE; Kieran, PM; Mandenius, CF; ; (2004) 'Growth behavior in plant cell cultures based on emissions detected by a multisensor array'. Biotechnology Progress, 20 (4):1245-1250. [Details]
Jeffers, P; Raposo, S; Lima-Costa, ME; Connolly, P; Glennon, B; Kieran, PM; ; (2003) 'Focussed beam reflectance measurement (FBRM) monitoring of particle size and morphology in suspension cultures of Morinda citrifolia and Centaurea calcitrapa'. Biotechnology Letters, 25 (23):2023-2028. [Details]
Pearson, AP; Glennon, B; Kieran, PM; ; (2003) 'Comparison of morphological characteristics of Streptomyces natalensis by image analysis and focused beam reflectance measurement'. Biotechnology Progress, 19 (4):1342-1347. [Details]
Jeffers, PT; Raposo, S; Lima-Costa, ME; Kieran, P; Glennon, B; ; (2003) 'Application of the focused beam reflectance measurement method (FBRM) to the characterization of plant cells in suspension culture'. Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, 225 (NA):188-188. [Details]
Kieran, P.M., H. O'Donnell, D.M. Malone and P.F. MacLoughlin; (1995) 'Fluid Shear Effects on Suspension Cultures of Morinda citrifolia'. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 45 :415-425. [Details]
 

Conference Publications

Kieran, PM, Malone, DM & O'Neill, G.; (2011) Embedding Peer-Assisted Tutoring in a Chemical Engineering Curriculum: Tutor and Tutee Experiences . In: O'Mahony, Catherine eds. Engaging Minds: Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy for Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) NUI Galway, , 09-JUN-11 - 10-JUN-11 [Details]
Hennessy, E., Hernandez, R., Kieran, P., McLoughlin, H.; (2008) Translating teaching and learning across disciplines in a modular system Does teaching and learning translate? Learning across the U21network Available Online [Details]
Hennessy, E., Hernandez, R., Kieran, P. & McLoughlin, H. (2008) Students' motivation for module choices in an Irish University Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference Liverpool, UK, Available Online [Details]
Hennessy, E., Hernández, R., Kieran, P. and McLoughlin H. ; (2008) Translating teaching and learning across disciplines in a modular system Universitas 21 Teaching and Learning Conference , 21-FEB-08 - 22-FEB-08 , pp.1-13 Available Online [Details]
Sheridan, J.T., Byrne, G., Connolly, P., Glennon, B., Heneghan, C., FitzPatrick, D., Finn, D., Gilchrist, M.D., Kieran, P., McLoughlin, F., Mulkeen, B., Murphy, N., OConnor, W., ODowd, R., OMalley, M., ORourke, M. & Reilly, R.,; (2002) Optics education within engineering at UCD Proceedings of SPIE 4876, Optics and Photonics Technologies and Applications Galway, Ireland, , 05-SEP-02 - 06-SEP-02 [Details]
Sheridan, J.T., Byrne, G., Connolly, P., Glennon, B., Heneghan, C., FitzPatrick, D., Finn, D., Gilchrist, M.D., Kieran, P., McLoughlin, F., Mulkeen, B., Murphy, N., OConnor, W., ODowd, R., OMalley, M., ORourke, M. & Reilly, R.,; (2002) Optics education within engineering at UCD Proceedings of SPIE 4876, Optics and Photonics Technologies and Applications Galway, Ireland, , 05-SEP-02 - 06-SEP-02 , pp.55-67 [DOI] [Details]
Kieran P, Malone DM, O'Neill G; (2010) Peer-Assisted Tutoring in Chemical Engineering: Development of a Tutor-Oriented Module International Soicety for Engineering Education (ISEE) 2010 Available Online [Details]
Kieran, PM & O'Neill, G; (2009) Introducing Peer-Assisted Learning to a Chemical Engineering Curriculum Students learning from students - from theory to practice KU Leuven, Belgium, [Details]
Hennessy E., Hernández R., Kieran P.M.& McLoughlin H.; (2008) Students' Motivation for Module Choices in an Irish University SRHE Annual Conference 2008: Valuing Higher Education [Details]
Hennessy E., Hernández R., Kieran P.M.& McLoughlin H.; (2008) Translating Teaching & Learning Across Disciplines in a Modular System Universitas 21 Conference: Does Teaching & Learning Translate? [Details]
Kieran, P.M.; (2008) Introducing Problem-Based Learning to the Chemical Engineering Curriculum International Symposium in Engineering Education: Student-Centred Learning in Small Groups [Details]
                                                                                     

Invited Review Articles

Kieran PM ; (2001) Bioreactor Design for Plant Cell Suspension Cultures In: Principles of Multiphase Reactor Design. Invited Review Articles [Details]
Kieran PM; (2001) Heat Management in Bioreactors. EFB Bioprocess Engineering Course. Slovenia: Invited Review Articles [Details]
Kieran PM ; (1998) Heat Management in Bioreactors. EFB Bioprocess Engineering Course. Invited Review Articles [Details]
 

Research

Research Interests


  • Engineering Education
  • Engineering Outreach
  • Biochemical Engineering - shear sensitivity of biological systems

Research Support

  • National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching & Learning (NAIRTL) Grant, 2009 
  • UCD Fellowship in Teaching & Academic Development, 2007-09 
  • Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology 2005-08
  • Enterprise Ireland Advanced Technology Research Programme 2002-2005
  • Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI3)
  • Enterprise Ireland Basic Research Grant, 2002-2004
  • Enterprise Ireland Basic Research Grant, 2000-2003
  • Enterprise Ireland (Forbairt) Basic Research Grant, 1997 - 2000
  • Enterprise Ireland International Collaboration Award, 2003
  • Enterprise Ireland International Collaboration Award, 2000
  • Enterprise Ireland International Collaboration Award, 1999
  • Dublin City University Research Committee, 1993-1999

RESEARCH SUMMARIES

Peer-Assisted Learning:

'Learning from others', variously implemented as Supplemental Instruction (SI), Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) and Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) is widely and successfully used in higher education, across a range of disciplines. Over the past two years, with the assistance of the UCD Centre for Teaching & Learning, I have introduced a related 'small group, cross-year tutoring' initiative to the Chemical Engineering curriculum.

Peer-Assisted Tutorials (PATs), a form of Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL), were implemented, as part of a core undergraduate module (CHEN30020: Unit Operations). I had previously delivered the module via lectures, with a small number of lecturer-directed tutorials. For 2008-09, I introduced weekly PATs, in addition to lectures. PATs were designed to support students in becoming more self-directed in their learning, to develop student confidence in tackling Chemical Engineering problems and to promote effective group work. For each PAT, 3rd Year students (Tutees) worked together in groups of 5-6, led by a trained Peer Tutor, a 4th Year student who had previously taken and passed the Unit Operations modules. PATs were well-structured, with each session involving two parts: (i) review of a previously assigned homework problem and (ii) introduction and group discussion of a new homework problem. PATs were evaluated on the basis of feedback from both Tutees and Tutors. PATs attracted high participation rates and yielded high levels of Tutee and Tutor satisfaction, in terms of student perceptions of their understanding of relevant material and enhancement of professionally relevant transferable skills.

Based on the success of the process, for the 2009-10 academic year, an associated module was developed for Tutors, who will receive credit for their efforts; additionally, with the direct involvement of Dr Dermot Malone, the PATs were extended to a computer-based core module (CHEN30160: Computational Methods in Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering).

This PAT system was specifically developed for a Chemical Engineering module. However, the approach, in which a group of Tutees, under the guidance of a Tutor from a slightly more advanced stage of the same academic programme, work together on the exploration and solution of discipline-specific problems, is readily adaptable to almost any subject area; it is particularly applicable to quantitatively-based subjects. 

Responses of Plant Cell Systems to Hydrodynamic Stress:

Commercially viable exploitation of biocatalysts to produce valuable pharmaceuticals depends crucially on the ability to speedily and reliably scale-up a biological process from the laboratory bench to the production floor. At the heart of almost every bioprocess - and posing the most severe scale-up challenges -  is the bioreactor, the vessel in which the organism is cultivated and/or product formation occurs. The bases for scale-up are poorly defined and loss of productivity on scale-up is common. A key theme, worldwide and within our group, is the interaction between suspended cells and the hydrodynamic environment prevailing in the bioreactor.

Plant cell culture technology facilitates the production of valuable chemicals (including, for example, Taxol, the anti-cancer agent) under controlled and reproducible conditions. However, given the diversity of phytochemicals, the range of products commercially produced via this route is extremely limited, due to economic feasibility which, assuming that a market for a plant product exists, derives from a combination of biological and process-based factors. Plant cells, in common with mammalian cells, are sensitive to the hydrodynamic stresses in bioreactors.

Figure 1. Submerged jet apparatus used to subject cells to well-defined levels of shear.



Although most research emphasis has focused on lethal effects of shear stress, sub-lethal phenomena are of particular importance for process optimisation. Our work has involved the identification and analysis of post-stress responses exhibited by cell suspensions exposed to well-defined levels of shear (e.g. in capillary and submerged-jet devices (Figure 1)) and to less well-defined, but more practically relevant cultivation conditions (in a bioreactor), with a long-term view to ultimately elucidating the mechanism(s) by which hydrodynamic stress is sensed and trandsuced within the cell.

Plants have developed an array of defense mechanisms which afford them protection against pathogenic attack. One of the first measurable responses to infection, occurring within a few minutes of stress imposition, is the production and release of active oxygen species (AOS), known as the oxidative burst (OB). Our work has shown that the OB also occurs in response to non-pathogenic stimuli, including hydrodynamic stress (Figure 2) and, further, that hydrodynamic stress stimulates transcription-level responses. The OB is only one in a series of stress responses, which may culminate in commitment to a programmed cell death (PCD) pathway (Figure 3), similar to that exhibited by mammalian cells and which seriously undermines system productivity. The ultimate objective of this strongly inter-disciplinary work is the development of a rational approach to scale-up, based on a comprehensive understanding of the interactions between the cell and its cultivation environment.

Figure 2. DNA and RNA confocal scan images showing evidence of increased RNA levels (red) in Arabidopsis thaliana cells (a) after cultivation in a bioreactor, relative to (b) cells from control cultures. Images by Paul Jeffers; A. thaliana generously provided by Dr. Paul McCabe.




Figure 3. Morinda citrifolia cells (x 100 magnification, stained with acridine orange), 5 hours post-shear (submerged jet, 0.85 bar), showing condensed chromatin, characteristic of PCD. Images by Paul Jeffers; M. citrifolia generously provided by Dr.Graham Wilson. Morinda citrifolia cells







Research Projects

Sponsor : National Academy for Integration of Research & Teaching & Learning
Title : Development and Evaluation of Peer-Assisted Learning in the Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Curriculum
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUL-09 / 30-JUN-10
Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Young Women in Engineering Scholarship 2008 BE(CHEM)
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-08 / 30-SEP-12
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : ON-line characterisation of bioprocess fluids using the focused beam reflectance measurement method
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-02 / 28-FEB-04
Sponsor : Higher Education Authority (HEA)
Title : Oxygen cycling effects on bacterial physiology
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-03 / 30-AUG-06
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Responses of plant cells in suspension culture to hydrodynamic stress
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-01 / 30-APR-02
Sponsor : European Commission Non-framework
Title : Expert evaluation (Marie Curie)
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-00 / 01-DEC-00
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Characteristics of sub-lethal responses of plant cells in suspension culture to hydrodynamic stress
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-00 / 30-SEP-03
Sponsor : Enterprise Ireland (EI)
Title : Development of a comprehensive model for the cultivation of a filamentous organism in air-lift loop bioreactors
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-97 / 30-SEP-00
Sponsor : Dublin City University (DCU)
Title : DCU Funds Transfer
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-00 / 31-JAN-02
   

Collaborators

Internal Collaborators

  • Dr Geraldine O'Neill,  UCD Centre for Teaching & Learning: Introduction of problem-based learning to engineering curricula; development of group-based problem-solving skills
  • Dr Eilis Hennessy, Dr Charo Hernandez, Dr Henry McLoughlin: Student & staff experiences of non-programme electives; the effects of modularisation on assessment - student & staff perspectives
  • Dr Paul McCabe, UCD: Sub-lethal stress responses in plant cell suspension cultures
  • Dr Brian Glennon and Dr Susan McDonnell, UCD: Development of in-line methodologies for bioprocess characterisation - plant and mammalian systems
  • Dr Kevin O Connor and Dr Dermot Malone, UCD: Characterisation and optimisation of liquid-liquid bioreaction systems


External Collaborators

  • Dr Rosaleen Devery, DCU: Sub-lethal stress responses in plant cell suspension cultures
  • Mrs Ingrid Hook, TCD: Optimsation of secondary metabolite production by plant cell suspension cultures