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Veterinary Biosciences

Veterinary Biosciences

The UCD School of Veterinary Medicine's Veterinary Biosciences section has researchers working across a number of key themes:

Translational Medicine and Nanomedicine

Delivery of Peptides (Drugs, Nutraceuticals)

Drug delivery, with a special focus on oral delivery is a key area within the section. Professor David Brayden (Professor of Advanced Drug Delivery) and his team focus on oral delivery of novel mucoadhesive polymeric peptide conjugates e.g. delivery of insulin.

Dr Sinead Ryan is involved in the design and assessment of formulations for peptide and food derived peptide (nutraceutical) oral delivery.

Dr Sourav Bhattacharjee is evaluating nanobiotechnology and advanced microscopy tools for effective drug delivery platforms.

Dr Ryan and Prof Brayden and their teams assess nanoparticles for delivery of peptides.

Dr Danny Crean’s team evaluate novel therapeutics, such as BMP-7 mutants and incretin hormones, for the treatment of fibrosis and inflammation.

Drug discovery and pre-clinical development

Dr Arun Kumar works in preclinical / clinical pharmacology, specifically in cardiovascular pathophysiology, diabetic complications, medical devices, arthritis, and regenerative medicine.

Dr Alison Reynolds evaluates drugs for use in ocular disorders such as various forms of blindness and dry eye disease.



The work of Professor Torres Sweeney and her team is focused on developing genetic and biological markers to assist in selection for economically important traits such as susceptibility to disease, meat quality and residual feed intake in cattle, sheep and pigs.

Dr Arun Kumar’s work has included pioneering discovery of novel biomarkers and therapeutics for identifying and treating unstable plaques.


Dr Sourav Bhattacharjee’s work evaluates nanoparticles as diagnostic tools.

Disease Pathophysiology, Inflammation and Infection Biology

Dr Danny Crean’s work examines the role of NR4A genes in the resolution of inflammation and fibrosis.

Prof Alan Baird’s research focuses on epithelial cell biology, in particular the inflammation of the intestine and anti-inflammation pharmacology.

Disease Pathophysiology and Host Pathogen Interactions

Prof Torres Sweeney’s team focus on molecular genetics and immunogenomics of host-pathogen  interactions in farm animal species, examining transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, brucellosis, gastrointestinal nematodes, verocytotoxigenic E.Coli 0157:H7, Salmonella and campylobacter infection in cattle, sheep, pigs and humans.

The Role of Mucins and Glycosidades in Disease

Dr Colm Reid's research examines the role of mucins in fertility and airways, with a focus on examining how mucins interact in an infection state (Helicobacter pylori).

Dr Jane Irwin’s lab focuses on the role of glycosidases secreted by respiratory tract epithelium and their modulation in disease (e.g. asthma), as well as their production by the bacterial flora in the reproductive tract of the mare, which may play a role in breaking down protective mucins.

Molecular Genetics of Disease

Professor Lisa Katz’s work involves analysing genetic variation in thoroughbred horses to identify genomic regions which contribute to traits such as speed and diseases such as recurrent laryngeal neuropathy.

Prof Torres Sweeney uses molecular genetics in farm animal species and Dr Alison Reynolds uses molecular genetics to generate disease models of blinding disorders.


Pharmacology, the study of how drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolised and excreted is a research strength in the Veterinary Biosciences Section with Professor Deirdre Campion working on smooth muscle and gastrointestinal pharmacology and Prof Alan Baird examining anti-inflammation pharmacology. Dr Arun Kumar and Dr Alison Reynolds are examining the safety pharmacology (toxicology) of drugs in the cardiovascular system and the eye, respectively.


Veterinary Education

Researchers within the Veterinary Biosciences section are constantly working to enhance the student experience. Standout projects include Dr David Kilroy’s work on developing a virtual reality canine anatomy education pilot and Prof Deirdre Campion’s work on the importance of self-care and resilience and reducing anxiety in the Veterinary Nursing profession. Catherine McCarney and Margot Labberté have evaluated ultrasonography in cadavers to enhance the student learning experience in pre-clinical anatomy teaching.

The research work of the Veterinary Biosciences section is strongly supported by excellent technical officers in molecular biology and by the anatomy hall team.


Staff in the section are involved in the following centres:

  • Prof Brayden is part of the successful SFI Centre bid in Medical Devices (CURAM), worth over €40 million over 6 years
  • Prof Brayden also leads a public-private partnership between BEACON and Nuritas
  • Prof Sweeney is a co-Principle Investigator of the Beacon bioeconomy SFI Research Centre

Please click here to access staff profiles for the UCD Veterinary Biosciences Section.

Contact the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine

UCD Veterinary Sciences Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 6100 | Location Map