Dr Emily Vereker
Dr Emily Vereker is Head of the National Office for Research Ethics Committees in Ireland and has oversight of a high performing professional team that underpins the national system for research ethics review, now an integral component of the Irish infrastructure for health research.
Prior to taking up this role, Emily joined the Health Research Board in January 2019 as Programme Manager of the Secretariat to the Health Research Consent Declaration Committee, a statutory body appointed by the Minister for Health under the Health Research Regulations.
Prior to her career in health research regulation Emily was the Senior Patents & Licensing Manager in Trinity College Dublin, with specific case management role in life sciences. She gained over 10 years of experience in intellectual property portfolio management, technology commercialisation and collaborative academic-industry agreements. Prior to working in technology transfer, Emily spent over five years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill, Canada. She is a graduate of National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and received her doctorate from Trinity College Dublin.
Dr Jane Bryant
Jane Bryant is a Project Officer at the National Office for Research Ethics Committees, with primary responsibility for the NREC-CT. Jane is involved in the processes and procedures that underpin research ethics review, and has a lead role in the National Office’s Education and Outreach Programme.
Prior to taking up her role at the National Office, Jane held two postdoctoral research positions in Chicago and Dublin, followed by completing lectureship and research grant management roles. Jane is committed to supporting the activities of the National Research Ethics Committees, and communicating the importance of research ethics to students of all ages and the general public more broadly.
Jane holds a BA (Mod) in Biochemistry with Immunology from Trinity College Dublin, and a PhD from the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College London.
Ayesha Carrim is a Project Officer for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees in Ireland, with particular focus on the NREC-CT.
Ayesha has extensive research experience in the public health sectors with emphasis on patient engagement, co-ordinating the recruitment of trial co-investigators, building external stakeholder partnerships and ethics.
Prior to her role in NREC, Ayesha was working as Clinical Trial Co-ordinator with the global clinical trial, STAREE Study at Monash University, Melbourne Australia, and as a Public Health and Authorised Officer with the Victorian Department of Health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ayesha is a Nutritionist and holds a BSc in Food Science from Technological University Dublin and a Masters in Human Nutrition from University of Ulster. Ayesha also holds a certificate IV in Government Investigations from Australian Centre for Financial and Environmental Compliance. She has a keen interest in IBD and Gut health research and spent 3 years volunteering with Crohn’s & Colitis Australia.
Dr Anne Costello
Dr Anne Costello is a Programme Manager for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees. Anne is responsible for overseeing the establishment, operations, and provision of support to a dedicated research ethics committee (REC), for the National Irish Covid-19 Biobank (NICB), and also manages the operations of the COVID-19 Sub-REC.
Prior to taking up her position at the National Office, Anne spent five years working on the career development funding portfolio within the Research Strategy and Funding Directorate of the Health Research Board and two years working in the industry-facing section of the pre-award team at Science Foundation Ireland.
Before moving into a funding and now ethics-based role, Anne was an academic and researcher. She holds a PhD in respiratory microbiology with a specific focus on cystic fibrosis pathogenicity, from Technological University Dublin (TUD - formerly ITT, Dublin), and has undertaken postdoctoral research in Oncology in UCD. Anne has previously held lecturing positions in TUD and Nanjing University of Technology in China and is currently an external examiner for TUD.
Dr Emma Heffernan
Emma Heffernan is a Project Officer for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees in Ireland, with particular focus on the NREC-CT.
Emma brings a range of relevant professional experience to the National Office including several years’ clinical nursing experience in Ireland, the UK and Australia, as well as research experience across a range of health and social care settings.
Emma is a Registered General Nurse and holds a BSc in Nursing from RCSI, a Post Graduate Diploma in Specialist Nursing from Trinity College Dublin, a Masters in Public Health from University College Dublin and a PhD in Anthropology from Maynooth University.
Dr Louise Houston
Louise Houston is a Project Officer for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees in Ireland, with particular focus on the NREC-MD.
Louise brings a range of relevant professional experience to the National Office including regulatory experience in the field of medical devices for the National Competent Authority in Ireland.
Louise holds a PhD in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from the National University of Ireland, Galway and BA in Neuroscience from Trinity College Dublin.
Kathy Kelly is the Administrative Assistant for The National Office for Research and Ethics Committees in Ireland. She draws on her organisational and business management skills to provide administrative and secretarial support to the National Office team.
Kathy brings a range of relevant professional experience to the National Office including as Executive Assistant to the CEO at the HRB, administrator for HRB senior management and Customer Planner in the pharmaceutical industry.
Kathy holds an Honours Degree in Business Studies in Procurement and Supply Management from University College Dublin.
Patricia Kenny is a Project Officer for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees. Patricia draws on her impressive experience in the field of administration and more recently research ethics to provide support to the NREC-CT and NREC-MD.
Patricia brings a range of relevant professional experience to the National Office including as Research Officer for St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), Assistant HREC and Governance Officer for Children’s Health Queensland HREC and Administration Assistant at Metro South HREC Queensland.
Patricia holds a Diploma in Health Services Policy from the Institute of Public Administration.
Dr Laura Mackey
Laura Mackey is Programme Officer for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees. Her main responsibility is managing applications submitted via the Clinical Trials Information System and liaising with national and European stakeholders involved in this process.
Laura originally trained and worked as a chartered physiotherapist and completed a PhD titled ‘Chronic Pain Management: What Role Does Health Literacy Have?’ in 2016. Following this, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the area of Connected Health for supporting longer homestay for people with dementia. Laura brings a wealth of applied research experience as well as a familiarity in treating patients in various healthcare settings
Prior to joining the National Office Laura worked in research policy in a funding agency, focussing in particular on Open Science and Responsible Research Assessment. She is currently Chair of the ‘Plain Talking’ Working Group – a health literacy initiative supporting the President of EFIC (the European Pain Federation).
Rachel McDermott is a Project Administrator for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees, primarily focusing on the NREC-CT processing and management. Rachel supports the National Office tracking ethics applications from submission to approval stages.
Rachel has a wealth of experience in trial governance, management and clinical research coordination from her experience working with sponsors, trial sites and clinical research organisations. Previously Rachel was a trials manager leading a diverse portfolio of multicentre trials internationally from site initiation to enrolment readiness phase.
Rachel holds a BSc in Pharmaceutical Healthcare and Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management.
Dr Lucia Prihodova
Dr Lucia Prihodova is the Programme Manager for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees in Ireland, with particular responsibility for the NREC-MD. As a senior member of the National Office team, Lucia manages the processes and procedures that underpin the national system of research ethics review and works on development of training for the NREC Members.
As an established researcher and research manager, Lucia brings in wealth of expertise, having led and collaborated on large-scale research projects in health systems research from design to knowledge translation and dissemination, both nationally and internationally. She is an experienced manager, with key skills in leadership, stakeholder engagement and strategic planning.
Lucia holds a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine at University of Groningen, Netherlands and MSc in Psychology from Trnava University, Slovakia. Lucia dedicates her free time to a number volunteer activities: she acts as an Editor of The Irish Psychologist, official magazine of the Psychological Society of Ireland, she is a board member of Liz Roche Company and a member of Bainne Beatha.
Dr Susan Quinn
Dr Susan Quinn is the Programme Manager (interim) for the NREC Clinical Trials (NREC-CT) at the National Office for Research Ethics Committees in Ireland. Susan manages the National Office Clinical trials team and supports the NREC-CTs to deliver ethical decisions on Clinical Trial applications. As a senior member of the National Office team, Susan manages the processes and procedures that underpin the national system of research ethics review. She has developed detailed expertise in the regulatory aspects of research ethics review for clinical trials, including working with her European counterparts on the implementation of the new Clinical Trials Regulation and online EU submission system in 2022.
Susan brings a wealth of experience to the National Office with over 10 years as a scientific researcher and research manager. Susan developed a strong interest in supporting clinical trials in Ireland through her previous role at the Health Research Board in the Research Strategy and Funding department, where she worked for 6 years supporting a multitude of clinical trial funding schemes and infrastructures. Following her PhD, Susan spent time as a post-doctoral researcher before joining the Research department of the Irish Cancer Society, where she gained a strong focus on Public and patient involvement in research.
Susan holds a BA (Mod) in Biochemistry with Immunology from Trinity College Dublin, and also completed her PhD at Trinity, with a year spent on secondment to Monash Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne Australia.
Aileen Sheehy is currently on maternity leave until 2023. Please direct queries related to NREC-CT to Susan Quinn (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Aileen Sheehy is the Programme Manager for the National Office for Research Ethics Committees in Ireland, with primary responsibility for the NREC-CT. As a senior member of the National Office team, Aileen manages the processes and procedures that underpin the national system of research ethics review and is an expert in the regulatory aspects of research ethics review for clinical trials.
Aileen brings a wealth of experience to the National Office from a decade working in science and research policy, advocacy, project management and media relations across academia and government agencies in Cambridge, Oxford and Dublin. She is committed to fostering transparent communication and understanding of best practice in research ethics within the Irish health research community.
Aileen holds a BSc in Chemistry from University College Cork, an MSc in Chemistry and Science Communications from the University of Warwick and an MSc in Global Health Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.