Click here to view the Conference Programme, here are the biographies of some of our speakers.

Dr John Cullinan
JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics
NUI Galway

John Cullinan is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the JE Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. He studied at University College Dublin, the London School of Economics and NUI Galway, and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of California-Berkeley and a Visiting Researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. John’s research focuses on the causes and consequences of inequalities relating to health, disability and education. He is currently Policy Section Editor of The Economic and Social Review, Secretary of the Irish Economic Association and Director of the Centre for Economic Research on Inclusivity and Sustainability. For more information visit:

Denise Dunne
Croí Heart and Stroke Centre

Denise Dunne (BSc, PgDip, MSc, MISCP) is an experienced clinician with a diverse range of clinical skills and experience across a variety of acute, sub-acute and rehabilitative settings. She previously worked in the NHS in the UK and St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, before taking up her current position as the Physical Activity and Physiotherapy Manager at the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC) based in the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Galway. Here she is involved with developing and implementing quality service models and driving vital research in cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation. She is part of the teaching faculty for the Diploma and Masters in Preventive Cardiology (NIPC/NUI Galway) and the BSc. Physiotherapy Heart Failure module at RCSI and UCD. Denise is currently the chairperson for the Clinical Interest group of Physiotherapists in Cardiac Services and incoming president for Irish Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Dr Danielle Kennan
School of Political Science and Sociology
NUI Galway

Danielle Kennan is a Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway. She is the Assistant Programme Director of the BA (Child, Youth and Family: Policy and Practice). In 2015, Danielle co-developed with Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Child, Youth and Civic Engagement, the youth as researchers training programme. The programme supports youth both nationally and internationally to undertake social research projects of relevance to their lives.

Mayo Tusla Youth Advisory Group

Damien, aged 17 from Castlebar, is a member of Mayo Comhairle na nÓg and the Mayo Tusla Youth Advisory Group. Damien was involved in a youth led research project “Social Media use of young people in Mayo”.

Mayo Tusla Youth Advisory Group

Emma, aged 17 from Louisburgh, is a member of Mayo Comhairle na nÓg and the Mayo Tusla Youth Advisory group. Emma was involved in a youth led research project “Social Media use of young people in Mayo”.

Kathleen King
Endometriosis Society of Ireland

Kathleen King is the chair of the Endometriosis Association of Ireland and works as a Medical Scientist in an acute hospital.  Kathleen has lived with endometriosis and adenomyosis and has volunteered as an advocate for over 20 years. She is a member of the World Endometriosis Organisations steering committee and ESHRE Endometriosis Guidelines Review group.

Dr Siobhán Kelleher
BioInnovate Fellow NUI Galway

Siobhán Kelleher is a strong proponent of patient and public involvement (PPI) in research and innovation. She believes that patients should be involved in every stage of research – developing the research questions, designing clinical studies, identifying user needs for prototyping to ensure that any innovation or advancement in science is in line with patient’s requirements. She has a unique education and training background spanning scientific (BSc; MSc in Cell Biology and PhD in Pharmacology from University College Dublin), clinical (MSc in Health Policy and Health Services Management from Trinity College Dublin) and commercial (Smurfit PGC; BioInnovate PG. Dip) education. Siobhán has over 20 years senior leadership experience in the areas of clinical trials (ICON Plc.), commercial access, business development and marketing in leading multi-nationals (Novartis, Wyeth and MSD).

Dr Fiona Keogh
Centre for Economic and Social Research on Dementia
NUI Galway

Fiona Keogh is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Economic and Social Research in Dementia (CESRD) in the National University of Ireland, Galway. Fiona’s primary degree is in Psychology. She has over 20 years’ experience in conducting health services research, evaluation and policy analysis in Ireland, in dementia, mental health, disability and other areas. Throughout her career she has worked directly with people using health services in research and policy development.  Her special interest is policy development and the implementation of policy in complex systems. Fiona has written national policy in Ireland and has published numerous papers and reports.

Anne Lennon Bird
Huntington’s Disease Association of Ireland

Anne Lennon Bird is a family member impacted by Huntington’s disease.  Her husband is in an advanced stage of the illness and two of her three children tested gene positive.  She is on the board of HD and works tirelessly in promoting awareness of HD and actively supports other HD family members.  Anne is also a member of the international HD Cope advisory board (a new coalition to give families an impactful voice in research/drug trials) and a member of the European Healthe-RND care model for rare neurodegenerative diseases advisory board.  For more information on Huntington’s disease please visit:

Orla Ní Chomhraí
Irish ME/CFS Association

Orla Ní Chomhraí studied at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, receiving a BA (1995) and MPhil (1997) respectively. She became sick with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) in 1998, following an infection. She joined the Irish ME/CFS Association in 2000 and started organising ME/CFS support group meetings in Galway in 2001. She later joined the committee of the Irish ME/CFS Association and is currently the Association’s secretary (in a volunteer capacity). For more information see:

Dr Chris Noone
School of Psychology
NUI Galway

Chris Noone is a lecturer at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway. He has contributed to research on a range of topics broadly related to health and wellbeing. He collaborates with several community organisations including Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, LGBT Ireland and HIV Ireland. He is also a director of the National LGBT Federation and chair of their Research sub-committee.