Siobhain O’Mahony, IRELAND

Dr. Siobhain M. O’ Mahony, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork

The role of the microbiota in disorders of the Gut-Brain axis

Siobhain O' Mahony graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Neuroscience from University College cork. She then went on to complete a Masters in Neuropharmacology in the National University of Ireland, Galway. As part of her Masters Siobhain worked in the Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology in the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, which was funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship. Siobhain obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Psychiatry, UCC. She continued her research on adverse early life events and the development of pain-related disorders during a post-doctoral post in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Biosciences Institute, UCC. She then took up a post-doctoral position with GlaxoSmithKline validating lead compounds targeting visceral pain in models of irritable bowel syndrome. In 2008 Siobhain was appointed as Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at UCC.

Siobhain's main research areas assess outcomes of adverse events during the first 1000 days of life in particular the disruption of the developing gut microbiota and how this can lead to the miscommunication within the brain-gut-microbiota axis. The outcomes assessed include the development of colic in babies and visceral pain in adulthood and how these may be ameliorated through manipulation of the gut microbiota. She is also interested in gender-related differences in pain perception as well as the involvement of the gut microbiota in the development of obesity following antipsychotic treatment. Her research group is based in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (faculty member) and the department of Anatomy and Neuroscience in the Biosciences Institute and the Western Gateway Building, UCC.