Explore UCD

UCD Home >


Professor Colin Boreham, PhD, FACSM, FECSS, FBASES

Director, UCD Institute for Sport and Health 

Colin Boreham joined UCD in 2006 as the inaugural Director of the Institute. He is a well-respected researcher in the field of exercise and health with over 250 peer-reviewed publications, and is on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Sports Sciences and Sports Medicine. He has an h index of 61 and an i10 of 141 (May 2023). He is a former Olympian, having represented Great Britain in the Decathlon at the 1984 L.A. Olympics. 

Researcher Profile


Ms Patricia Gabetto

PA to Director, Programme Administrator, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences

Patricia joined UCD Institute for Sport and Health in 2019 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 and MSc Coaching Science in Sport. Patricia holds a BA in English-Portuguese Translation.


Ms Ann O'Hanlon

Manager, Ad Astra Elite Athlete Programme, UCD Institute for Sport and Health

Ann O'Hanlon has a BA and MBS from UCD, together with postgraduate qualifications in Psychotherapy from DCU. She has worked in a variety of roles within UCD, including Manager of the UCD School of Physiotherapy and as a Student Adviser to the School of Computer Science. She also practised as a psychotherapist in the Student Health Centre at UCD. 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 Sports Science.


Mr Ryan Stewart, BSc, MSc, CSCS

Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach and Gym Manager, UCD Institute for Sport and Health

Ryan obtained his BSc in Applied Sports Science with Coaching followed by an MSc in Strength and Conditioning from Northumbria University. Ryan is currently undertaking a PhD in UCD, investigating the effects of fatigue on reactive strength in athletic populations.

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.


Mr Craig Dowling, BSc, CSCS

Strength and Conditioning Coach, UCD Institute for Sport and Health

Craig graduated with a BSc in Sport Science & Health from Dublin City University. Craig moves from a performance support role with Cycling Ireland working with their Olympic and Paralympic programmes throughout the Tokyo 2020 cycle.

Craig is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and IRFU Certified Conditioning Coach. He has worked in Strength & Conditioning and Sport Science roles with a variety of sports organisations including Cycling Ireland, the Sport Ireland Institute and Hockey Ireland in addition to AIL Rugby, inter-county GAA and League of Ireland soccer teams.


Dr Domenico Crognale, PhD

Manager, Human Performance Laboratory, UCD Institute for Sport and Health

Domenico Crognale is a Sport & Exercise Scientist at UCD and currently manages the Human Performance Laboratory in ISH. He completed his PhD at UCD and obtained his BSc and MSc in Sports Science and Coaching at the University Institute of Movement Sciences, Rome, Italy. He has worked with a variety of athletes at the British Olympic Medical Centre and the Italian National Olympic Committee Sports Science Unit. He has represented Italy in Taekwondo at European Level (2002 and 2003). 


Professor Eamonn Delahunt, BSc (Physiotherapy), PhD, MISCP

Professor, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences


Eamonn Delahunt is a Professor in the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, and is a leading academic sports physiotherapist. He has published >110 peer-reviewed articles and is a Senior Associate Editor of the British Journal of Sports Medicine. He is also an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport and the Journal of Athletic Training. Professor Delahunt holds visiting appointments at the University of Sydney and La Trobe University, Melbourne. He acts as Academic mentor to the UCD Ad Astra Elite Athlete Academy.

Researcher profile


Dr Massimiliano Ditroilo, PhD FHEA PCAP FECSS

Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science

Massimiliano Ditroilo joined UCD in 2015. His main research interests revolve around the examination of neuro-mechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit with applications to sports performance, injury and ageing. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. He has a true passion for athletics, which he did competitively in both the 100 and 200m events, and holds a level 3 Athletics Coach qualification. In his spare time he plays tennis and enjoys leisure cycling.

Researcher Profile


Dr Katy Horner, BSc, MSc, PhD

Lecturer, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Sciences

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, from the University of Limerick, and a PhD in Exercise and Nutrition Sciences from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. Her interest in applied sport and exercise science is focused on exercise physiology and nutrition to optimise performance, wellbeing and metabolic health.

Researcher Profile


Professor Kate Pumpa, BSc, MSc, PhD, AEP, APD, GAICD, ESSA Fellow

Professor of Sport and Exercise Physiology, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences 

Professor Kate Pumpa is Exercise Physiologist and Sports Dietitian, with expertise in optimising sporting performance through nutritional and physiological interventions. Kate has extensive clinical and research experience in High Performance Sport, particularly in Rugby Union and Basketball. She is a Fellow of Exercise and Sports Science Australia, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

 Researcher Profile

Dr Sinéad Holden, BSc, PhD

Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Science, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences

Dr Sinéad Holden is an Assistant Professor in Sport and Exercise Science in UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science. Her research interests are in sport and exercise during growth and development, applied exercise physiology and prevention of injuries to support safe participation in sport and exercise across the lifespan. She is passionate about research methodology, and biostatistics/data analytics. Her track record includes over 60 peer reviewed publications in leading sports science journals and >10 invited presentations.

Researcher Profile


Dr James Timmons, BA, BSc, MSc, PhD, CSCS

Assistant Professor in Strength and Conditioning, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences 

James is currently the Assistant Professor of Strength & Conditioning at the School of UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Sciences. He received his BA in Accounting and Human Resource Management from the National College of Ireland in 2004, his BSc in Sport and Exercise Science from the University College Dublin in 2012, MSc in Strength and Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh in 2013, and PhD from University College Dublin in 2018. His doctoral studies focussed on exercise training and dietary strategies to support improvements in body composition and physical function in older adults. His research to date has focussed on an ageing population, including establishing the optimal mode of exercise prescription in older adults, as well as gaining a greater understanding of barriers and facilitators to exercise maintenance in older adults.

James is also an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is an Exercise Specialist with over 15 years of Strength and Conditioning experience working with both in high performance sport and with clinical populations. James has been actively engaged in elite sport and exercise all his life and has varied sporting experiences in Ireland, USA, Australia and Spain.

Dr Deirdre A Hurley PhD, MAppSc (Manip Ther), BPhysio

Associate Professor, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science

Dr Deirdre Hurley is a Chartered Physiotherapist, Academic and Researcher. Her current research focuses on the design, delivery and evaluation of physical activity and self-management behaviour change interventions for people with chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis and the use of e-learning as a tool to support the education of healthcare practitioners.  She has obtained significant grant funding, published widely, disseminated her research extensively and received several international presentation awards.

Researcher Profile



Dr James Matthews, PhD, C. Psychol., Ps.S.I., Prof Cert University Teaching & Learning

Assistant Professor, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences

James is a chartered Psychologist and joined the UCD faculty in 2012. Prior to that, he worked as a Psychologist in the energy industry designing mental skills training programmes for teams that work in high-risk environments.  He has published research in the fields of Sport and Health Psychology, with a particular focus on health-related behaviour change. James also works as part of the Ad Astra elite athlete support team.

Researcher Profile


Professor Brian Caulfield, BPhysio, MMedSc, MISCP

Dean of Physiotherapy, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences

Brian Caulfield is currently a Director of the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics and 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. He has served as Director of Research and Innovation and as Head of the School of Physiotherapy & Performance Science. Brian has over 20 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, and his research has led to significant commercial opportunities in terms of exploitation of intellectual property by industry partners and spin out activity.

Researcher Profile

Professor Catherine Blake, BPhysio, MCSP, MISCP, MMedSc, PhD, Cert of CPD Univ Teaching & Learning, H Dip Statistics, MA

Professor, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Sciences

Professor Catherine Blake is Dean and Head of the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science (2019-). She has experience in a range of research methodologies relevant to sport and health research, with over 120 peer-reviewed publications. She has a strong background in statistics and data analytics and is currently statistical advisor for the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy.

Researcher Profile


Dr Seamus Kelly, BComm, MBS, PhD, Post Graduate Diploma in Teaching & Learning

Lecturer/Assistant Professor, Director Centre for Sports Studies, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Science

Seamus Kelly holds BComm (1996), MBS (2001) and PhD (2010) degrees from UCD. His research examines many aspects of management in professional soccer including culture, leadership, trust and decision making. Seamus has lectured on Sport & Exercise Management programmes since 2002. In addition to GAA experience at senior inter-county level with Offaly, he has one Irish ‘B’ cap, is a former UCD soccer scholarship recipient and has considerable professional (Cardiff City, St. Patrick’s Athletic & Bohemian F.C) and semi-professional (UCD & Longford Town) playing and coaching (Shamrock Rovers, Drogheda United & Shelbourne) experience.

Researcher Profile


Dr Denise McGrath, BSc, MSc, PhD, Prof Dip University Teaching & Learning

Lecturer/Assistant Professor , UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport populScience

Dr Denise McGrath joined UCD in 2014 as a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science. 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 has received funding from the National Science Foundation (USA) and the Medical Research Council (UK) for her research. She works in multidisciplinary research teams involving clinicians, bioengineers and social scientists, tackling the challenges associated with our ageing population, and the enhancement of human performance

Researcher Profile


Dr. Ross Neville, BA, BSc, PhD

Lecturer in Sports Management, Programme Coordinator BSc Sport and Exercise Management

Ross completed a  BA (2006), BSc (Hons) (2007) and PhD (2013) in Leisure Management at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).In 2013, Ross moved to the UK  to take up a 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. He also worked with the Youth Sport Trust on the Sainsbury's-funded national-level project, 'Active Kids for All Inclusive PE Training Programme’, acting 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 at UCD, as Programme Director on the BSc Sport and Exercise Management, where he is developing a strong thread of social policy for inclusion within sport.

Researcher Profile


Professor Willem van Mechelen

Visiting Professor

Willem van Mechelen (MD, PhD, FACSM, FECSS) is professor of occupational and sports medicine at Amsterdam University Medical Centres (location VUmc), the Netherlands. He is also director-shareholder of the VUmc spin-off company Evalua Nederland B.V. ('Ltd'), non-executive board member of Arbo Unie B.V. and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical & Scientific Expert Group. He joined UCD as a visiting professor in 2015. He has been honoured with the ACSM citation award and the honorary memberships of the Royal Dutch PE-teachers Association and of the Dutch Society for Occupational Medicine. In 2017 the University of Brussels awarded him with an honorary doctorate degree. He was recently inaugurated in the Wall of Fame of the Amsterdam University for Applied Sciences. He has (co-authored >600 peer-reviewed publications and has a Goole scholar H-index of 112.

Researcher Profile


Dr Marie-Elaine Grant

Specialist Chartered Physiotherapist (Sports and Exercise). Member of the IOC Medical Commission

Dr Marie-Elaine Grant, Ireland’s Olympic Team Lead Physiotherapist from 1990 – 2010, a graduate of UCD (University College Dublin) and a Specialist Member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists and is currently a member of the Medical and Scientific Commission of the International Olympic Committee since her appointment in 2010.

More Information