Professor Colin Boreham

Director, UCD Institute for Sport and Health

Professor Colin Boreham joined UCD in July 2006 to become the inaugural Director of the Institute for Sport and Health. He is a sports scientist of over 35 years standing, and has published over 140 peer reviewed papers on aspects of exercise, sport and health. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Sports Medicine and the European College of Sports Sciences, and is on the Editorial Boards of The Journal of Sports Sciences, Paediatric Exercise Sciences and Sports Medicine. On the sporting front, he is an ex UK record holder for the High Jump and went on to represent Great Britain at the 1984 Olympics as a Decathlete alongside the great Daley Thompson. He was also Fitness Adviser to the IRFU from 1987-90.

Ms Linda Stone

PA to Director, HPS Programme Adminstrator

Linda joined UCD Institute for Sport and Health in 2007 as PA to Professor Boreham, and takes care of day-to-day administration at the Institute. She is also the Programme Administrator for the BSc Health & Performance Science undergraduate programme. Linda is currently studying for a BA at UCD.

Ms Ann O'Hanlon

Manager, Ad Astra Elite Athlete Programme

Ann O'Hanlon has a BA and MBS from UCD, together with postgraduate qualifications in Psychotherapy from DCU.

Ann brings extensive knowledge of the university to her role as Manager of the UCD Ad Astra Academy – Elite Athlete programme. She has worked in a variety of roles within UCD, most recently as Manager of the UCD School of Physiotherapy and as a Student Adviser to the School of Computer Science. She has lectured to postgraduate students at UCD and delivered undergraduate courses for the NCI. She also practised as a psychotherapist in the Student Health Centre at UCD and at Turning Point, Dun Laoghaire. In addition to her role at the Ad Astra Academy, Ann manages the Centre for Sports Studies which is part of the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science. Her focus is people-centred which translates into an easy rapport with, and genuine care of all members of the UCD Ad Astra Academy.

Dr. Domenico Crognale

Laboratory Director/Exercise Physiologist

Mr Adam Grainger

High Performance Unit Manager & Strength and Conditioning Coach

Adam left Belfast in 1999 to complete a year teaching in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, before embarking on five years study at Brunel University, where he obtained a BSc (Hons) and Masters in Sports Science.  
After graduation Adam worked in English Premiership Rugby for twelve years, across many sport science disciplines.  The first of these roles were at Saracens and subsequently London Wasps, winning the Premiership in 2008. The last of these roles was at Sale Sharks as the Head of Performance where Adam's main responsibilities included leading the physical preparation of the players and managing their training load.  During Adam's time working in rugby between 2004 and 2016 he was also a part time guest lecturer at Kingston University, leading the Performance Analysis in Sport and Coaching Science modules.
In July 2013 Adam began a PhD at Salford University, researching Recovery and Restoration in Elite Level Rugby Union and is due to complete in early 2017.
In December 2016 Adam started employment at University College Dublin.  In this role, he now provides high performance support to the elite athlete scholars, while also lecturing on the undergraduate and postgraduate sport science related courses.
Alongside Adam's employment, he is a regular contributor at sport science conferences and in October 2016 was appointed Chair of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science Performance Division.

Mr. Ryan Stewart

Strength and Conditioning Coach

Strength and Conditioning CoachRyan obtained his BSc in Applied Sports Science with Coaching followed by an MSc in Strength and Conditioning from Northumbria University.  He is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and an accredited weightlifting coach.  Ryan has worked in Strength and Conditioning and Sport Science roles in a range of professional sporting organisations including Sunderland AFC, Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (New York), Ulster Rugby and Newcastle Falcons RFC.  On the sporting front, Ryan has competed at international level in Powerlifting winning a junior world title.


Professor Giuseppe De Vito

Professor of Performance Science and Medical Director, UCD Ad Astra Academy - Elite Athlete programme

Professor Giuseppe De Vito is a specialist in Sports Medicine as well as an exercise physiologist of international standing. He has acted as Team Physician to the Italian Olympic Committee, and for the period 1994 to 1996 he served as physician/physiologist for the Italian Olympic Sailing team. He has also represented Italy in the World Championships as a Modern Pentathlete. He is a member of both British and Italian Physiological Societies and member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology and of the Journal of Physical Activity and Ageing.

He has published widely on aspects of muscle function and cardiovascular control across the lifespan. He previously held academic positions in Glasgow (University of Strathclyde) and in Rome at the University Institute of Movement Science (IUSM), and is currently Professor of Performance Science at University College Dublin

Dr Eamonn Delahunt

Programme Coordinator, HPS and Ad Astra Academy Mentor

Dr. Eamonn Delahunt graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree from the UCD School of Physiotherapy in 2003. Upon graduation Eamonn was the recipient of a prestigious IRCSET post-graduate research scholarship. He was awarded his PhD from the UCD School of Physiotherapy and Performance Science in 2006. Eamonn has been the recipient of numerous research bursaries for his research on chronic ankle instability and has published on this topic in all the leading Sports Medicine/Science journals.

He currently works as a college lecturer in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, and acts as the Programme Co-ordinator for the BSc Health and Performance Science Degree Programme. Eamonn has extensive clinical experience having previously worked as a Chartered Physiotherapist in ExWell Medical. He is currently the academic mentor for the UCD Ad Academy – Elite Athlete programme. Eamonn is on the Editorial Board of Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, which is ranked 10th (out of 84) in the Sport Sciences section of the JCR.

Dr. Katy Horner

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy, and Population Science, UCD


Katy joined the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Sciences at UCD as a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science in 2017. Katy holds a BSc and MSc in Sport and Exercise Science, both from the University of Limerick, and a PhD in Exercise and Nutrition Sciences from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She subsequently completed postdoctoral studies in childhood obesity and physical activity at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, USA and more recently in the Nutrition, Biomarkers and Health Research Group at UCD as part of Food for Health Ireland.

Her research draws on this interdisciplinary background, particularly in terms of trying to make connections across exercise physiology, metabolism and nutrition science. She has published articles on appetite control, gut and exercise physiology in a range of journals across the fields of sports medicine, exercise science, metabolism, obesity and nutrition. Her interest in applied sport and exercise science centres on nutritional advice and exercise prescription for both athletes to optimise performance and to a wide range of other individuals to optimise wellbeing and metabolic health. Katy is also a trained phlebotomist and registered nutritionist (with specialisms in nutrition science and sport/exercise), and currently works with the Ad Astra elite athlete support team at UCD.

Dr Deirdre Hurley-Osing

Senior Lecturer, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy, and Population Science, UCD

Dr Deirdre Hurley-Osing is a Senior Lecturer and former Dean of Physiotherapy [Oct 2009-2012] in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science. She holds BScPhysiotherapy (UCD), MAppScManipTher (University of South Australia) and PhD (University of Ulster) degrees. As Dean she led the development of the Graduate Entry MScPhysiotherapy Pre-registration programme which had its first student intake in September 2012, as well as the Physiotherapy Programmes Fitness to Practice Policy. Her current research interests include the clinical and cost effectiveness of the management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions and their effective translation into clinical practice, adherence to physiotherapists advice and exercise recommendations, the measurement and promotion of physical activity, the measurement and role of physiotherapy in sleep disturbance in low back pain, and health services research in Irelands primary healthcare system. She has obtained peer-reviewed research grant funding of circa Euro2.3M, including significant funding from the Health Research Board, and INTERREG-ESTIIC, as well as the Northern Ireland Research and Development Office, UK Physiotherapy Research Foundation, Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), Department of Health and Children Ireland, and UCD. She has over 200 published outputs, disseminated her research extensively and received several international research presentation awards. Deirdre is currently Associate Editor BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, Member Editorial Board Physical Therapy Reviews, Member International Advisory Board New Zealand Centre for Physiotherapy Research, and former Member of the Department of Health and Childrens National Therapy Research Steering Group which produced the Irish Therapy Research Strategy.

Dr James Matthews

Lecturer in Sports Management, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, UCD

Dr Matthews obtained a BA (Hons) Degree followed by an MA in Psychology in 2002 from the UCD School of Psychology. He returned to UCD in 2006 to begin doctoral research in the field of Exercise Psychology under the guidance of Prof Aidan Moran. He received a post-graduate scholarship for his work from the Irish Research Council of Humanities and Social Sciences and completed his PhD in 2009. He joined the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Population Science in 2012 as a Lecturer and acts as the Programme Director for the MSc in Sport & Exercise Management. Prior to this, he held positions as a visiting lecturer in Dublin City University and as a Psychologist in the Energy industry leading the development of evidence based mental skills programmes for teams which work in high risk environments. He has published research in the field of Sport and Exercise Psychology and presented his research at national and international conferences.  His research interests focus on the motivational and social cognitive aspects of sport, exercise and health behaviour.

Professor Brian Caulfield

Senior Lecturer

Brian Caulfield is currently a Director of the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics, Lead Principal Investigator of ARCH. His current research focus is based on exploiting technological advances to enhance human performance in health and sport. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy, a Masters in Medical Science, and a PhD in Medicine from UCD. Prior to returning to complete his PhD studies he worked as a clinical Physiotherapist in the USA and in Ireland and has served in numerous committees and roles within the Irish society of Chartered Physiotherapists. Within UCD he has served as Director of Research and Innovation in the School of Physiotherapy & Performance Science, as Dean of Physiotherapy, and as Head of the School of Physiotherapy & Performance Science.


Brian has over 10 years of working at the interface of technology and human performance in health and sport, initially focusing on physical rehabilitation and recently on the application of connected health solutions to chronic disease management. He has worked closely with industry since the late 1990s, beginning as a R&D consultant to Medisolve Ltd and Biomedical Research Ltd, and progressing to collaborative applied research with a wide range of local and international companies in recent years. His research has led to significant commercial opportunities in terms of exploitation of intellectual property by industry partners and spin out activity.


supervision of PhD theses that focus on the biomechanical aspects of sporting movements.

Dr Ulrik McCarthy Persson

Programme Director, MSc Sports Physiotherapy, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Population Science

Ulrik McCarthy Persson qualified as a physiotherapist from Wichita State University, Kansas, USA in 1989. He completed an MSc in Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy in University College London in 1998 and PhD in UCD in 2006. He has worked as a physiotherapist in Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy clinics in USA Sweden, England and Ireland. He is currently physiotherapist for the Irish women’s rugby team and has previously been with a number of professional and international sports teams (England Basketball, British Athletics, London Broncos –Rugby League, London Scottish Rugby, IRFU senior men’s team). He joined UCD in 1999 as a Lecturer in Physiotherapy and has a special interest in taping, manual & exercise therapy. His current research interests are in human movement (muscle function, kinetics, kinematics) and osteoporosis management.

Dr Catherine Blake

Senior Lecturer

Dr. Catherine Blake is a Senior Lecturer in UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science’ having held positions of Head (2005-2007) and Deputy Head (2007-2009) of the School of Physiotherapy and Population Science. She is a graduate of UCD with B.Physiotherapy, M.Med.Sc. and Ph.D degrees. Catherine has pursued a range of courses in research methods and statistics and is back in the classroom at present, completing a graduate degree in statistics at UCD. She teaches on the BSc Physiotherapy and Health and Performance Science degrees as well as the graduate programmes. Her research interests are broad, but bound by common themes of enhancing human performance in health, illness and injury and the biopsychosocial nature of human wellbeing. She is co-director of the National GAA Injury Surveillance Database since 2006 and co-ordinates a programme of epidemiology and injury prevention research in Gaelic games. Other research areas include occupational health, stratification and management of chronic back pain, secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, falls and fracture prevention, active rehabilitation in chronic disease and promotion of physical activity in the student cohort through the Get in Gear programmes in collaboration with Carmel Kissane UCD Sport.

Dr Seamus Kelly

Direcor and Lecturer, Centre for Sports Studies, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science

Dr. Seamus Kelly is a College Lecturer in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science. Seamus has lectured on the BSc, MSc and Diploma in Sport and Exercise Management programmes since 2002. He holds BComm (1996), MBS (2001) and PhD (2010) degrees from UCD. His doctoral research examined the role of the contemporary professional football manager in the UK and Ireland. Seamus has consulted with numerous Irish & UK sports organisations on the application of many aspects of this research. Much of his current research examines aspects of player recruitment and development in the GAA and with professional soccer clubs in the UK. Seamus is a member of a number of scientific review panels such as EASM, Journal of Sport Management, European Sport Management Quarterly and Sport in Society. In addition to GAA experience at senior inter-county level with Offaly, Seamus is also a former UCD soccer scholarship recipient. He also has considerable professional (Cardiff City, St. Patrick’s Athletic & Bohemian F.C) and semi-professional (UCD & Longford Town) soccer playing experience having previously been selected for the Irish Universities, Irish Beach Soccer & Irish National League teams. He also has one Irish ‘B’ cap and has considerable coaching experience with Shamrock Rovers, Drogheda United and Shelbourne.

Dr Denise McGrath


Dr Denise McGrath joined the UCD team in 2014 as a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science. Previously, she held the position of lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics at the Ulster Sports Academy, University of Ulster. Denise spent a year at the premier Nebraska Biomechanics Research Facility, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and two years at The TRIL (Technology Research for Independent Living) Centre, Dublin. She undertook her PhD studies at University College Dublin (2006-2010) focusing on fatigue and movement variability in chronic ankle instability, along with the development of inertial sensors for extra-laboratory gait analysis. Movement variability remains a strong interest of hers. Denise was awarded her Bachelor’s (2000) and Master’s (2003) degrees in Sport and Exercise Science and Biomedical Engineering, respectively, from the University of Limerick. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and has also worked on a full- and part-time basis in a clinical setting (The Blackrock Clinic, Milltown Physiotherapy Clinic). She is passionate about research and has received funding from the National Science Foundation (USA) and the Medical Research Council(UK). She works in multidisciplinary research teams involving clinicians, bioengineers and social scientists, tackling the challenges associated with our ageing population. She is also very interested in the enhancement of human performance and is currently involved in the supervision of PhD theses that focus on the biomechanical aspects of sporting movements.

Associate Members

Mr Liam Heavin

DBC Sports Medicine

Liam is a Chartered Physiotherapist with the unusual distinction of having taken his undergraduate degree in Finland. He continued his studies with an MSc in Sports Medicine at Trinity College Dublin before joining forces with the Helsinki-based rehabilitation group DBC International to open Ireland's first DBC centre, based at a purpose built 2,500 ft2 facility in Dublin. Since its inception in 2001, this centre has become one of Ireland's leading Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine Clinics.

Liam has continued his involvement in elite Sports Medicine as physiotherapist to Shamrock Rovers FC, having previously worked with Drogheda United, Bohemians, as screening physiotherapist for the National Coaching & Training Centre's PACE carding scheme, as well as providing physiotherapy services to several Inter-County GAA Teams. He has also previously written a monthly article on golf fitness & performance in the world's number 1 golf publication, "Golf Digest".

His 2005 appointment to the position of President of the Irish Sports Medicine Association (ISMA) was a landmark in Liam's career to date. The ISMA was the recognised official representative body of sports medicine in Ireland by the Irish Sports Council & the Department of Health, & represented the country as a member of the European Federation of Sports Medicine Associations (EFSMA) & the Fe´d´ration Internationale de M´decine du Sport (FIMS).

Professor Aidan Moran

Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Director of the Psychology Research Laboratory, UCD

Aidan Moran is Professor of Cognitive Psychology and Director of the Psychology Research Laboratory in University College Dublin. A Fulbright Scholar, he has written/co-authored 15 books (as well as 3 audiobooks/CDs) and has published many scientific papers on the cognitive processes (e.g., mental imagery, attentional/eye-tracking) that underlie expertise in athletes. He is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology (Taylor and Francis, Oxford). A full list of his publications is available at

Aidan has advised many of Ireland’s leading professional athletes (e.g., golfer Pádraig Harrington) and teams (e.g., the Irish rugby team) and is a former psychologist to the Irish Olympic Squad.

Dr Marie-Elaine Grant

Chartered Physiotherapist

Dr Marie-Elaine Grant, Dip Physio, PhD, MCSP, MISCP. Ireland’s Olympic Team Chief Physiotherapist since from 1992 – 2010 is a graduate of UCD and has become the first Irish person to receive an appointment on the Games Group of the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission.

Since graduating in Physiotherapy from UCD, she has gained extensive experience working in renowned medical centres both at home and abroad specialising in sports medicine and musculo- skeletal conditions. Her first break came when she was appointed to a physiotherapy position on an international team at the University Hospital in Geneva, here she worked with colleagues from countries across the globe offering her the opportunity to learn a wide spectrum of cutting edge treatment techniques. She later went to the USA where she had the opportunity to further her experience and learning in sports physiotherapy. She returned to Ireland and was appointed to commission and head the physiotherapy department and sports injury clinic of Blackrock Clinic, in 1998 she started her own physiotherapy practice in Dublin where she continues to specialise in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of musculo- skeletal and sports injuries.

In 1990 she was appointed to the Irish Olympic Medical Committee and subsequently appointed as Chief Physiotherapist to the Irish Olympic Team for 5 consecutive Olympic Games commencing with Barcelona 1992 through to Beijing 2008. She also served with the Irish Winter Olympic Teams, Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010 and 10 European Youth Olympic Teams.

Throughout her career she has continued to push the boundaries of her learning and standards of clinical practice. In 1997 she completed her PhD degree. She regularly lectures on University courses and at International Conferences. She continues to do clinical research and has contributed to publications in sports medicine and physiotherapy.

Dr. Ross Neville

Lecturer in Sports Management, Programme Coordinator BSc Sport and Exercise Management, Centre for Sports Studies, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, UCD




Ross completed a  BA (2006), BSc (Hons) (2007) and PhD (2013) in Leisure Management at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).  While at  DIT, Ross received numerous awards and commendations, including a DIT Gold Medal for Academic Excellence in 2006 and the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Group Award for Best Student in 2007. Ross was also the first graduate of the BA and BSc programmes to go on and obtain a PhD in this subject area. Ross gained substantial research and teaching experience at DIT, coordinating a range of modules on various undergraduate programmes relating to his primary degree (Leisure Management, Tourism Management and Tourism Marketing).


In 2013, Ross moved to the UK  to take up a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship position within the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham.  As a research and teaching fellow at UoB, Ross was involved in the supervision of 6 postgraduate research students, and  taught on a range of modules across the BSc Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Sciences and BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences course. Ross also contributed to teaching on the newly-development Sport Policy, Business and Management MSc and was actively involved in UoB's Sport Policy Centre Research Group.


Over the period September 2015 to September 2016, he worked with the Youth Sport Trust and the English Federation of Disability Sport on the Sainsbury's-funded national-level project inclusion project, 'Active Kids for All Inclusive PE Training Programme’. The Programme was launched to improve the quality of PE provision for young disabled people, focussing on the development and delivery of a UK wide training programme to increase the competence and confidence of teachers and school staff to deliver high quality inclusive PE. Ross worked as a research fellow on the project between September and December 2015 and led as the Programme's Independent Evaluation Lead from January 2016 to its conclusion and final reporting phase in September 2016.


In 2016, Ross joined the  Centre for Sport Studies here at University College Dublin, as Programme Director on the BSc Sport and Exercise Management.  He provides  subject-specific teaching, module coordination and supervision in the area of sport and exercise management, sport development, sociology and research methods. He is engaged in lecturing and supervising students on the undergraduate and postgraduate sport and exercise management and coaching science related courses and he intends to develop a strong thread of social policy for inclusion within sport across the Centre for Sports Studies’ academic programmes and research.


Visiting Professors

Professor Greg Whyte OBE

Visiting Professor

Professor Greg Whyte OBE, a former international modern pentathlete, represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games and is a European and World Championship medalist. He is an expert in the field of sports science, graduating from Brunel University; He furthered his studies with an MSc in human performance and completed his PhD at St. Georges Hospital Medical School. Greg is currently a Professor of Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moore’s University and at the Centre for Health and Human Performance at 76 Harley Street, London.

Greg is the preeminent authority on Exercise Physiology and Sports Performance and Rehabilitation in the UK. An internationally recognised expert in the field, Greg has extensive professional experience assessing, treating and improving the performance of athletes and sporting enthusiasts ranging from celebrities attempting their first mountain summit to Gold medal seeking Olympians.

Professor Willem van Mechelen

Visiting Professor

Willem van Mechelen is Head Department of Department of Public and Occupational Health of VU University Medical Centre and Co- Director EMGO+ Institute of VU University Medical Centre. He is the Chairman of the Research Centre Body@Work TNO VU University Medical Centre and Director of the VUmc spin-off company Evalua Nederland B.V. ('Ltd').

Willem van Mechelen (1952) was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After completion of his training as a PE-teacher he worked for 9 years at an Amsterdam high school. He combined this with studying medicine at the University of Amsterdam. After his certification as an MD in 1982 he started working at various out-patient clinics as a sports and occupational physician. He also started in that year his scientific career with a part-time appointment at the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He earned his PhD in Human Movement Sciences in 1992. He also is a board certified occupational physician and a registered epidemiologist. Currently, he is employed by the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam as a full professor of Occupational and Sports Medicine.

Dr. Massimiliano Ditroilo

Lecturer, Sport and Exercise Science