Navigation

Researchers at UCD

researcher

Deirdre Brennan

Lecturer/Assistant Professor In Anatomy

School Of Medicine
Health Sciences Centre
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: 353 1 716 6630
Email: deirdre.brennan@ucd.ie

Biography

Dr. Deirdre Brennan is a first class honours graduate of Biomedical Science (Anatomy & Information Technology) from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She completed her PhD in Translational Medicine (Anatomy & Developmental Biology) within the UCD School of Medicine and was competitively awarded funding as a postdoctoral researcher to work within the field of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome research.

Subsequently she transitioned from academic research to the commercial private sector, managing a diverse industry portfolio involving collaboration between pharmaceutical, academic, industrial and healthcare partners. She had responsibility for leading an industry-academic innovation partnership research team, which focused on creating a high throughput cell-based screening platform for bioactives of commercial interest.

She recently returned from industry to take up an academic position as Assistant Professor in Anatomy in July 2015.

Dr. Brennan's research interests are in the areas of Teratology and Developmental Biology, having recently been elected to the council of the European Teratology Society (ETS).

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2016.
Title: Gold Medal Summer Student Research Awards 2016. Supervisor of awardee Leia Judge
Year: 2016.
Title: The ETS Prize: awarded for best poster or free communication delivered by a young scientist. Supervisor of awardee Deirdre Clissmann
Year: 2012.
Title: The Elsevier prize, awarded for best poster or oral communication
Year: 2011.
Title: Invited paper Reproductive Toxicology ETS Special Edition
Year: 2011.
Title: Invited speaker at the 39th Annual Meeting of the European Teratology Society, Ghent, Belgium.
Year: 2011.
Title: Journal Cover Image, Reproductive Toxicology 2011;32(2)
Year: 2014.
Title: Invited speaker at the Applied Biotechnology Research Colloquium
Year: 2011.
Title: Shortlisted UCD Research Images Competition
Year: 2010.
Title: Shortlisted UCD Research Images Competition
Year: 2008.
Title: Shortlisted UCD Research Images Competition

Associations

Association: European Teratology Society (ETS), Function/Role: Elected to ETS Council
Association: European Teratology Society (ETS), Function/Role: Chair Young Scientists Symposium, Local Organising Committee for ETS 2016 Conference
Association: Anatomical Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: Irish Network of Developmental Biologists (INDB), Function/Role: Member
Association: British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB), Function/Role: Member
       

Committees

Committee : MDC1 Medicine Degrees Committee 1
Committee : MDC2 Medicine Degrees Committee 2
Committee : SSRA Summer Student Research Awards Committee
Committee : Medicine Admissions Committee
Committee : Ambrose Bermingham Award Committee
         

Journals Edited

Reproductive Toxicology: Editorial Board member.
Food And Chemical Toxicology: Reviewer.
Irish Journal Of Medical Science: Reviewer.
 

Publications

     

Peer Reviewed Journals

Brennan D, Giles S (2014) 'Ocular involvement in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a review'. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 20 (34):5377-5387. [Details]
Brennan D, Giles S (2013) 'Sonic hedgehog expression is disrupted following in ovo ethanol exposure during early chick eye development'. Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.), 41 :49-56. [DOI] [Details]
Kennelly, K, Brennan, D, Chummun, K, Giles, S; (2011) 'Histological characterisation of the ethanol-induced microphthalmia phenotype in a chick embryo model system'. Reproductive Toxicology, 32 (2):227-234. [DOI] [Details]
Brennan D, Kennelly K, Chummun K, Giles S; (2011) 'Gene and tonic: sonic hedgehog disruption and fetal alcohol syndrome'. Reproductive Toxicology, 32 (2):152-153. [Details]
 

Conference Publications

Judge, L; Giles, S; Brennan, D (2016) Exploring the effects of ethanol exposure on the expression of bone morphogenetic protein 4 using a chick embryo model of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 44th Annual Meeting of the European Teratology Society [Details]
Kutubi, A; Giles, S; Brennan, D (2016) Investigating the effects of early embryonic ethanol exposure on primary cilium morphology 44th Annual Meeting of the European Teratology Society [Details]
Clissman, D; Giles, S; Brennan, D (2016) Embryonic exposure to ethanol reduces cholesterol levels in a chick embryo model of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 44th Annual Meeting of the European Teratology Society [Details]
Brennan D, Kennelly K, Chummun K, Giles S; (2011) Gene and Tonic: sonic hedgehog disruption and fetal alcohol syndrome Annual conference of the European Teratology Society , pp.152-152 [Details]
Brennan D, Chummun K, Kennelly K, Giles S; (2010) Sonic hedgehog expression is perturbed following ethanol treatment in a chick embryo model of FAS Annual conference of the European Teratology Society , pp.234 [Details]
                                                                                                                 

Research

Research Interests

Dr. Deirdre Brennan is a developmental biologist whose research focuses on the study of congenital birth defects, in particular the underlying mechanisms of teratogenesis. A teratogen can consist of any agent capable of disrupting normal embryo-fetal development following exposure during pregnancy.

Alcohol, one of the oldest intoxicants in the world, has long been documented as a human teratogen and is a primary research interest. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) consists of a complex phenotype of morphological and neurological deficits in the offspring of alcohol abusing mothers. Work in the lab to date has focused on exploring the underlying molecular mechanisms of FAS-related ocular defects using both in vitro (retinal pigment epithelium) and in vivo (chick embryo) model systems. Utilising a variety of microscopy, immunohistochemical and molecular biology techniques, recent studies have explored disruption to the sonic hedgehog (Shh) signalling pathway - a pivotal event underlying ethanol's teratogenicity. 

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : OBRSS Research Support Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-16 / 31-OCT-19
Sponsor : The Wellcome Trust (WT)
Title : Investigating the effects of ethanol exposure on the structure and function of the primary cilium
Start Date / End Date : 30-MAY-16 / 22-JUL-16
   

Teaching

 

Modules Coordinated

201600   ANAT20080     Human Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Biology
201600   ANAT20120     Human Anatomy: Human Form