Researchers at UCD


Caoileann Murphy

Post Doc Research Fellow Lvl I

School Of Public Hlth, Phys & Sports Sci



Caoileann trained as a Dietitian in Trinity College Dublin. After qualifying in 2009 she worked clinically at St. James's Hospital in Dublin before deciding to complete a Masters in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Loughborough University in the UK. Following this Caoileann completed her PhD in nutrition and exercise countermeasures for the loss of muscle mass and function with age (sarcopenia) in the internationally distinguished laboratory of Professor Stuart Phillips, McMaster University, Canada. There she used stable isotopic tracers to examine the ability of practical nutrition and exercise strategies to maximize in vivo rates of muscle protein synthesis in older adults.

Caoileann now works as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Professor Helen Roche in University College Dublin in the area of nutrition and sarcopenia with an emphasis on personalized approaches to effective treatment and prevention. Caoileann has authored a number of
scientific research papers, reviews and book chapters and is a recipient of the TOPMed10 Marie Curie Fellowship.

Caoileann's research interests include: aging, exercise, muscle protein turnover, sports nutrition and personalized nutrition. She is also very passionate about science communication and knowledge translation.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2009.
Title: Milipa Award
Year: 2009.
Title: Gold Medal Award
Year: 2011.
Title: Gatorade Sports Science Institute Award
Year: 2011.
Title: GlaxoSmithKline Prize
Year: 2011.
Title: Head of Schools Postgraduate Prize
Year: 2012.
Title: Graduate Scholarship
Year: 2012.
Title: School of Graduate Studies International Excellence Award
Year: 2014.
Title: Gatorade Sport Science Institute (GSSI) Young Scholar Travel Grant
Year: 2015.
Title: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging Travel Award
Year: 2016.
Title: Nutrition Society (Irish Section) Travel Bursary
Year: 2017.
Title: Topmed10 Postdoctoral Fellowship


Association: American Society for Nutrition, Function/Role: Member
Association: Nutrition Society , Function/Role: Member
Association: Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, Function/Role: Member

Conference Contributions

CH Murphy (2012) Nutrition in sport and exercise for the newly motivated. [Invited Oral Presentation], 16th Annual Nutrition Workshop, Hamilton, Canada , 25-OCT-12 - 25-OCT-13.


Year 2016 Institution: McMaster University
Qualification: PhD Subject: Aging, nutrition and exercise
Year 2011 Institution: Loughborough Univ. UK
Qualification: MSc Subject:
Year 2010 Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Qualification: BSc Subject:



Book Chapters

Murphy CH, Phillips SM (2015) 'Nutrition for Strength Power Athletes' In: Rawson E, Volpe S (eds). Nutrition for Elite Athletes. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. , pp.65-86 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Churchward-Venne TA, Murphy CH, Longland TM, Phillips SM (2013) 'Role of protein and amino acids in promoting lean mass accretion with resistance exercise and attenuating lean mass loss during energy deficit in humans'. Amino Acids, 45 (2):231-240. [DOI] [Details]
Tolfrey K, Engstrom A, Murphy C, Thackray AE, Weaver R, Barrett LA (2014) 'Exercise energy expenditure and postprandial lipemia in girls'. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 46 (2):239-246. [DOI] [Details]
Hector AJ, Marcotte GR, Churchward-Venne TA, Murphy CH, Breen L, von Allmen M, Baker SK, Phillips SM (2015) 'Whey protein supplementation preserves postprandial myofibrillar protein synthesis during short-term energy restriction in overweight and obese adults'. Journal of Nutrition, 145 (2):246-252. [DOI] [Details]
Murphy CH, Churchward-Venne TA, Mitchell CJ, Kolar NM, Kassis A, Karagounis LG, Burke LM, Hawley JA, Phillips SM (2015) 'Hypoenergetic diet-induced reductions in myofibrillar protein synthesis are restored with resistance training and balanced daily protein ingestion in older men'. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism, 308 (9):E734-743. [DOI] [Details]
Murphy CH, Hector AJ, Phillips SM (2015) 'Considerations for protein intake in managing weight loss in athletes'. European Journal of Sports Science, 15 (1):21-28. [DOI] [Details]
Murphy CH, Saddler NI, Devries MC, McGlory C, Baker SK, Phillips SM (2016) 'Leucine supplementation enhances integrative myofibrillar protein synthesis in free-living older men consuming lower-and higher-protein diets: a parallel-group crossover study'. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104 (6):1594-1606. [DOI] [Details]
Loenneke JP, Loprinzi PD, Murphy CH, Phillips SM (2016) 'Per meal dose and frequency of protein consumption is associated with lean mass and muscle performance'. Clinical Nutrition, 35 (6):1506-1511. [DOI] [Details]

Conference Publications

Murphy CH, Churchward-Venne TA, Mitchell CJ, Kolar NM, Baker SK, Phillips SM (2014) Energy restriction-induced reductions in myofibrillar protein synthesis are rescued by resistance training and balanced daily protein ingestion in older men Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology National Conference, 2014 [DOI] [Details]
Murphy CH, Churchward-Venne TA, Mitchell CJ, Kolar NM, Devries MC, Phillips SM (2014) Effect of dietary protein distribution on lean mass during energy restriction with and without resistance training in overweight older men European College of Sports Science Congress, 2014 [Details]
Murphy CH, Churchward-Venne TA, Mitchell CJ, Kolar NM, Burke LM, Hawley JA, Kassis A, Karagounis LG, Shankaran M, Turner SM, Hellerstein M, Phillips SM (2014) Hypoenergetic diet-induced reductions in myofibrillar protein synthesis are rescued by resistance training and balanced daily protein ingestion in older men International Conference on Frailty and Sarcopenia Research, 2015 Available Online [Details]
Murphy CH, Saddler NI, McGlory C, Devries MC, Baker SK, Phillips SM (2016) SUN-P237: Leucine Supplementation Enhances Integrated Myofibrillar Protein Synthesis in Older Men Consuming Lower and Higher Protein Diets The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) Congress 2016 Copenhagen, Denmark, [DOI] [Details]
K Mc Elroy, AM McMorrow, H Cummins, E Flanagan, MJ McGowan, S Rafferty, B Egan, G De Vito, SN McCarthy, CA Corish, HM Roche and CH Murphy (2017) Which handgrip strength cut-offs best predict low physical function in older adults? Irish Society of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism [Details]


Research Interests


Aging is accompanied by a progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, termed sarcopenia. Sarcopenia begins in or around the fifth decade of life and proceeds at a rate of ~0.8% per year whereas declines in skeletal muscle strength occur more rapidly at a rate of ~2-3% per year. Sarcopenia is an independent risk factor for physical disability, falls, hospitalization, post-operative complications, reduced quality of life and death. Population aging is a global phenomenon highlighting that now more than ever there is a critical and urgent need to identify strategies to preserve health and independence in older adults. I am interested in researching how we can use nutrition and exercise as countermeasures for the loss of muscle mass and strength with age.


Personalised Nutrition

We now know that the 'one size fits all' approach for the prevention and treatment of disease is insufficient. Indeed, some people respond well to certain drugs, diets and exercise regimes whereas others do not. A more 'personalised' approach to the care of individuals has the capacity to dramatically improve health outcomes. I am interested in exploring why some people are 'responders' to nutrition and exercise interventions while others are 'non-responders'. Moreover, how can we predict who will benefit from a particular nutrition or exercise regime and who won't?


Sports Nutrition 

I am interested in researching how we can use nutrition to improve sports performance and the benefits of exercise training. In particular I am interested in how nutrition can help to maximise gains in muscle mass and strength in response to resistance exercise training. 


Weight loss

Weight loss due to caloric restriction is typically associated with the loss of both fat and muscle mass. Given the critical importance of skeletal muscle in numerous bodily functions (i.e. contribution to basal metabolic rate, physical function, glucose disposal) this weight loss-induced reduction in muscle mass may offset or negate some of the benefits of weight loss. Of particular concern is that, among older adults, the energy restriction-induced reduction in muscle mass and strength may ¿accelerate¿ sarcopenia and further exacerbate disability risk. I am interested in how nutrition and exercise can support 'high quality weight loss' i.e. the loss of body weight with the greatest ratio of fat to muscle mass.


Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Novel nutritional solutions for sarcopenia in older adults
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-17 / 30-SEP-18