Prof Colm McDonald, Head of Psychiatry

Dara M Cannon, PhD, Lecturer & Research Neuroscientist, Anatomy

Consultants and Research Registrars

Dr. Brian Hallahan, Senior Lecturer, Psychiatry

Dr. Ruth Murphy

Dr. Kezanne Teng

PhD Students

Srinath Ambati BPharm MSc

Leila Nabulsi BPharm MSc

Genevieve McPhilemy BSc

Theophilus Akudjedu BSc MSc

Giulia Tronchin BA MSc

Laura Costello BA MSc

Fiona Martyn BSc 

Masters Research Students

Jack O'Leary BSc - MSc Neuropharmacology

Cerena Miravalles BSc - MSc Clinical Neuroscience

Aaron O'Leary BSc - MSc Clinical Neuroscience 

Fourth Year Students

Jennifer Farrell BSc

Sarah Creighton BSc

Tobi Olokesusi BSc

Carol Minogue BSc

Summer Students & Volunteers

Jenna Pitmann, HRB Summer Scholarship, Medicine, NUI Galway

National Collaborators

Dr. Gary Donohoe & Dr. Derek Morris, Cognition & Genetics, NUI Galway

Dr Liam Kilmartin, Electronic Engineering, NUI Galway

Dr. Denis O'Hora, Psychology, NUI Galway

Prof. Peter McCarthy, Radiology, NUI Galway & UCHG

International Collaborators

Prof Kevin Murphy, CUBRIC, Cardiff

Prof. Gareth Barker, Institute of Psychiatry, London

Prof. Alexander Leemans, University medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands


Chris Duke, specialty – linux

Administrative Assistant

Marian Fannon


Phone: 091 750486


MD Students

Dr. Mohamed Ahmed 

Dr. Shane McInerney

Dr. John McFarland

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Pablo Najt

Dr. Cathy Scanlon

Dr. Niall Colgan

Consultants and Research Registrars

Dr. John McFarland

PhD Graduated Students

Dr. Joanne PM Kenney BEng HDip MSc 

Dr. Stefani O'Donoghue BSc

Dr. Laurena Holleran, BSc, MSc

Dr. Louise Emsell

Dr. Heike Anderson-Schmidt BA, MA, MSc

Dr. Camilla Langan MB PhD

Research Assistant

Natalie Forde, BSc, MSc, 2012/13

Volunteers & Interns

Grainne Nielsen BSc Anatomy

Afric Lennon BSc

Eleanor Carey, Psychology, NUI Galway

Aoife Canning, Biomedical Science, NUI Galway

Giulia Forcelini BSc

Renata Suzan Lima, Brazil's Science Without Borders

Rory Nannery, 3rd Med

Capt. Stephen Quigley, BA

Masters Thesis Research Projects

2017 Laura Costello, MSc Clinical Neuroscience

2017 Chris Grogan, MSc Clinical Neuroscience

2017 Marta Grzywacz, MSc Clinical Neuroscience

2017 Conor Kelly, MSc Clinical Neuroscience

2015 Leila Nabulsi, MSc Neuropharmacology

2015 Alison Phelan, MSc Neuropharmacology

2014 Claire O'Doherty, MSc Neuropharmacology

2014 Julie Hanlon, MSc Neuropharmacology

2013 Mairead Waldron, MSc Neuropharmacology 

2012 Srinath Ambati BPharm, MSc Neuropharmacology

2012 Jason Ridge BSc, MSc Biomedical Science

2011 Natalie Forde BSc, MSc Neuropharmacology

2011 Eamonn Maloney BSc, MSc Neuropharmacology

2009 Rachel Moloney, MSc in Neuropharmacology

2008 Laurena Holleran, MSc in Neuropharmacology

Final Year Research Projects, Science & Biomedical Science

2017 Aoife Canning, Anatomy

2017 Mairead Clancy, Anatomy

2015 Patrick Corcoran, Anatomy

2015 Genevieve McPhilemy, Anatomy

2014 Cathal McCaffrey - Biomedical Science, Anatomy

2014 Sara Finnerty - Biomedical Science, Anatomy

2012 Anna Fullard - Biomedical Science, Anatomy

2012 Sinead O'Donnell - Biomedical Science, Anatomy

2010 Avril Ni Mathuna, Anatomy, 4th Biomed Science

2010 Lesley-Ann Danaher, Anatomy, 4th Biomed Science

2010 Ciaran Boyle, Physiol, 4th Science

2010 Paul Conroy, Physiol, 4th Science

2009 Joseph Heskins, Anatomy, 4th Science

2009 Lorna Kavanagh, Pharm, 4th Biomed

2009 Cora Kavanagh, Pharm, 4th Biomed

2009 Aine Collins, Physiol, 4th Science

2009 Simon Corcoran, Physiol, 4th Biomed

2008 Sarah Hehir, Anatomy, 4th Biomed

2008 Helen Casey, Anatomy, 4th Biomed

Past Summer Students

2017 Jennifer Farrell, Biomedical Science, Wellcome Trust Scholarship

2017 Al-Ameen Oredegbe, 2nd Medicine, NUI Galway

2015 Grainne Nielsen, Biomedical Sci, Anatomical Society Scholarship

2015 David O'Reilly, 4th Medicine

2015 Sean Brennan, 3rd Medicine, HRB Scholarship

2014 Patrick Higgins, 2MB NUI Galway, HRB Scholarship

2014 Claire Flynn, 3BSc Wellcome Trust Scholarship

2013 Conor Waters, 2MB NUI Galway

2012 Simon Neary 2MB NUI Galway

2012 Micheal Murray 2MB NUI Galway

2012 Claire Leyden 3rd year UG Neuroscience UCD

2012 Richard Magee 3rd year UG Neuroscience UCC

2012 Joanne Kenney BEng, HDip, MSc

2012 Sarah O'Dwyer, 2MB NUI Galway

2011 Emma McDermott BSc, graduated anatomy

2011 Luke Glacken, 2BSc, Wellcome Trust Scholarship  

2009 Cornelia Carey, 3rd Med NUIG, SFI UREKA

2008 Matt McGovern, 3rd Med, NUIG, SFI UREKA

Colm McDonald, MB BCh, MRCPsych, PhD

Colm McDonald is Professor of Psychiatry at National University of Ireland, Galway and Consultant Psychiatrist, West Galway Mental Health Services. He also holds the post of visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London. He completed his basic clinical training in Dublin and then moved to the Institute of Psychiatry in London, where he completed his clinical and research training and received his PhD. 

He took up his professorial post in 2005 and has developed a clinical research program which focuses on investigating neurobiological and neuroimaging abnormalities associated with major psychotic and affective disorders. He is Director of the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory at NUI Galway. His research projects have been supported by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Health Research Board, Royal Society, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, Mental Health Commission. He has authored over 100 original articles published in peer reviewed journals. 

Dara M. Cannon, BSc, PhD

Dr. Dara M. Cannon is a lecturer in anatomy and research scientist at the National University of Ireland Galway, Co-Director of the 'Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory', Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed academic journal 'Translational Neuroscience' and an organizing member of the 'Irish Diffusion Imaging Group'. Dr. Cannon's primary goal is to aid in improving our understanding of the biological underpinnings of mood and anxiety disorders by applying in vivo neuroimaging techniques to understand the human brain in particular during depression and anxiety.

Dr. Cannon's experience involves the neuroimaging modalities of positron emission tomography (PET) including mathematical modeling of PET data, and structural and diffusion-weighted (DTI) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The application of these technologies is being used to study receptor mapping in the human brain, bipolar disorder, the menstrual cycle, post-partum depression, temporal lobe epilepsy, brain-derived neurotropic factor as well as neurophysiological, clinical, cognitive, genetic and neuroanatomical contributions to mood disorders and psychosis. Validation of imaging findings is pursued using post-mortem microscopic contributions to the diffusion-weighted signal.

Dr. Brian Hallahan, MB, MD

Dr. Brian Hallahan is a senior lecturer in psychiatry at National University of Ireland, Galway and Consultant Psychiatrist, West Galway Mental Health Services. He completed his basic clinical training in Galway and then moved to Dublin. He engaged in research in Beaumont Hospital, which resulted in him attaining his MD degree. He subsequently worked in the Institute of Psychiatry in London focusing on neuroimaging research in Autism Spectrum Disorders and returned to Ireland to complete his higher training.

Dr. Brian Hallahan worked as a consultant psychiatrist in the Roscommon Mental Health Services before commencing his present post in 2012.Dr. Hallahan clinical research interests include structural neuroimaging of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorders. He has over 50 publications in peer reviewed journals and the Genio Trust and Stanley Treatment Trials have supported his research projects.

Pablo Najt, MS, PhD

Dr. Pablo Najt is a postdoctoral researcher in the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory at the Department of Psychiatry, National University of Ireland in Galway. Dr. Najt completed a predoctoral fellowship in the University of Texas at San Antonio and in 2012 received his PhD in Psychology from Durham University, England. More recently, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine.

His research efforts have focused on the elucidation of brain mechanisms that underlie the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder and psychopathy by using a wide range of neuroimaging techniques including positron emission tomography, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. He has also studied the functional brain organization of cognitive and emotional processes implementing a range of neurocognitive paradigms in mood disorders.

Niall Colgan MSc BScPhD

Niall is a researcher at NUI Galway. His research is in the area of biomarkers in dementia, psychosis and drug discovery. His specialty area is Magnetic resonance imaging. 

Prior to joining NUIG Niall was a senior research associate in University college London in Alzheimer’s disease and a lecturer in Medical Imaging at Swansea University and established Swansea Universities interdisciplinary health and research-imaging facilities containing MRI, Ultrasound, HIFU and CT. He has previously worked in Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin in MRI related toAcquired Brain Injury, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Oncology and Cardiovascular Disease. His primary research focus is biomedical physics, particularly diffusion, metabolic and metabolite imaging.

Mohamed Ahmed, MBBS, DCP, MMedSci, MRCPsych, MD

Dr. Mohamed Ahmed is a consultant psychiatrist in Clare/ Limerick mental health services, and honorary research fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, National University of Ireland, Galway. He completed his basic and higher specialist psychiatric training in Ireland. In addition to the membership (MRCPsych), he obtained master degree in medical sciences (NUIG), diploma in clinical psychiatry (RCSI), higher diploma in clinical teaching (NUIG), certificate in psychopharmacology (CINP) and diploma in health services management (University of Limerick). 

Dr. Ahmed has successfully submitted his MD thesis entitled "A longitudinal MRI study of regional brain morphometry in patients with treatment resistant schizophrenia commencing clozapine". He has co-authored MCQ books for the MRCPsych examinations and has published more than ten peer reviewed papers. His interests include medical education and training and his research interests include neuroimaging in schizophrenia and the impact of antipsychotics on regional brain volume and the association of mental illnesses/ psychotropic medications with the metabolic syndrome.

Joanne Kenney, BEng, HDip, MSc 

Joanne Kenney began her PhD in September 2012 in the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory. Joanne completed her Msc in Neuroscience at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2010. During this time, she also worked as a behavioural research assistant at London Business School. Joanne has experience as an Assistant Psychologist in London, working with individuals with Asperger’s, Schizophrenia, OCD and brain injury. She has also researched memory deficits in older adults using EEG in the Psychology Department at NUIG. Her PhD topic focuses on investigating the progression of brain abnormalities and cognitive changes over time in first episode psychosis.

Stefani O'Donoghue, BSc

Stefani O’Donoghue began her PhD in September 2012 in the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory. She completed her BSc in Psychology at Fordham University in New York in 2012. While attending Fordham University, Stefani held an internship with the International Journal of Body Psychotherapy researching Mentalisation and Emotional Regulation. Stefani was also an assistant at Fordham University’s Office of Disability Services working with students with various disabilities including learning disabilities, mobility-related disabilities, psychological and psychiatric disorders. Stefani’s PhD in Psychiatry will focus on dysconnectivity in psychotic illness. Stefani is working on volume and shape analysis of the caudate in Psychosis. She will be working with Dr. Brian Hallahan on an MRI study examining individuals with Multiple Sclerosis and Bipolar Disorder. 

Srinath Ambati, BPharm, MSc

Srinath Ambati is a Postgraduate researcher pursuing a structured PhD in anatomy under supervision of Dr. Dara Cannon at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). Srinath completed his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India in 2011 and an MSc in Neuropharmacology from NUIG in 2012. Srinath has worked on the shape analysis of hippocampi in Psychosis and is currently investigating the genetic variation in the muscarinic cholinergic M2 receptor gene and cholinergic neurotransmission in Bipolar disorder.

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