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 Family Genomics Team

Research Team Values

1.    Collegiality among our team to welcome, support and share with each other
2.    Respect for our research, for those who take part in the research and our research environment
3.    Creativity, dedication, and flexibility in our approach for excellent science 

Meet our team

Dr Lorna Lopez profile

Dr Lorna Lopez

Research Group Leader

Lorna is an Associate Professor at Maynooth University and the Principal Investigator of the Family Genomics Research Group. Since her PhD, she has worked in the field of psychiatric genetics and is advancing biological psychiatric research. Her current work has a focus on the genomic basis of psychiatric conditions and associated traits. Her research expertise range from genomic, proteomic and molecular biological approaches, in family and population-based studies. 

Lorna is an awardee of a European Research Council Starting Grant, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Early Career Researcher of the Year 2020 and SFI Starting Investigator Grant. In addition, she has obtained support from the AXA Research Fund, Health Research Board and The Wellcome Trust for past and upcoming research.

Dr Cathy Wyse profile

Dr Cathy Wyse

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

Cathy Wyse is a Postdoctoral Researcher with research interests focused on understanding the effects of disruption of circadian rhythms on physiology and behaviour, and their implications for health and well-being in humans and animals.


She has many years of postdoctoral research experience at universities in the UK and Ireland and is currently working for the Family Genomics Research Group on an SFI-funded study to investigate the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental conditions. 

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Fiana Ní Ghráilaigh profile

Dr Fiana Ní Ghrálaigh

Postdoctoral Researcher 

Fiana is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Maynooth University. She is conducting research on the genomics of neurodevelopmental conditions. Fiana completed her PhD investigating the genetic basis of neurodevelopmental conditions using whole genome sequencing. Her PhD was supervised by Dr Lorna Lopez and Professor Louise Gallagher and funded by Science Foundation Ireland.   

Fiana graduated with a BA in Natural Sciences (Genetics) from Trinity College Dublin in 2017. She joined the Autism Research Group at Trinity College Dublin as a research assistant in 2017 where she worked on study recruitment and study management for several autism genomic sequencing projects.

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Luna Alvarado Añon 

MSc Research Student

Luna received a BSc in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2021. She completed her BSc final project focusing on type I interferon malfunctions and their implications in the development of severe cases of COVID-19.

Luna is entering her final year as an MSc Biomedical Sciences student, with a specialization in Genetics and Genomics, at Maastricht University. Luna joined the Family Genomics Team in September 2022 to conduct her MSc research project on the identification of causal genetic variants associated with autism from Whole Genome Sequencing data.

Dr Laura Fahey 

Postdoctoral Researcher

Laura Fahey is a Postdoctoral Researcher who joined the Family Genomics Team in September 2022. She is investigating the genetic basis of the observed sleep disturbances in Autistic children and their families. She recently completed a PhD in neuropsychiatric genomics where she used post genome-wide association study methods to investigate the polygenic basis of schizophrenia and cognition.


Previously, she received an MSc in Biomedical Genomics, where she gained the skills required to analyse genomic data, and a BSc in Biochemistry, both from the University of Galway.

Aoife B Profil Pic.jpg

Aoife Brennan

Research Assistant

Aoife received a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from Maynooth University and completed an MSc in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics in UCD. Aoife’s MSc research project focused on interventions aimed at modifying dietary behaviours, appetite and satiety in children and adolescents with obesity.

She has previously worked on a research project in UCD, investigating the links between food waste and nutrition quality.  Aoife joined the Family Genomics team in July 2021 and is assisting on the FamilySleeps project.

Aoife Coghlan profile

Aoife Coghlan

Research Assistant

Aoife received a BSc (Hons) in Genetics from University College Cork and has completed an MSc in Neuroscience from King's College London. She joined the Family Genomics Team in March 2021 and is assisting the current project investigating the discovery to clinical utility of rare variants associated with neurodevelopmental conditions in families.

She conducted her MSc research project on genetic and environmental predictors of the outcome of first episode psychosis. Her research interests include translational and biological psychiatry, psychiatric genetics and neurodevelopment. 

Shane Crinion profile

Shane Crinion

PhD Candidate

Shane received a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from NUI Galway in 2018. He completed a research project where he investigated gene-regulatory networks related to schizophrenia and cognition, supervised by Dr. Derek Morris. He completed a MSc in Biomedical Genomics at NUI Galway and an internship in the bioinformatics department at Genuity Science in 2019.

He is currently undertaking a PhD at NUI Galway investigating the causal role of circadian rhythms in neuropsychiatric disorders under the supervision of Dr. Lorna Lopez and Dr Derek Morris. He is a member of and funded by the SFI Centre for Research Training in Genomics Data Science.

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Thomas Dinneen profile

Thomas Dinneen

PhD Candidate

Thomas graduated with a B.A. (Hons.) in Genetics (mod.) from Trinity College Dublin.  He joined the Autism Research Group at Trinity College Dublin as a Ph.D. candidate in 2018. His PhD research is co-supervised by Professor Louise Gallagher at Trinity College Dublin and Dr Lorna Lopez at Maynooth University, and funded by AIMS-2-TRIALS.

Thomas is investigating genetic variation in carriers of rare deletions and duplications in genomes, called copy number variants, associated with neurodevelopmental conditions (ND-CNVs). He uses data from the UK Biobank and whole genome sequencing data from a unique Irish cohort of NRXN1 deletion ND-CNV carriers for his research.

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Previous researchers

  • Hannah Walsh (Summer Intern 2022 and Research Assistant)

  • Aoibhín Woods (Summer Intern 2022 and Research Assistant)

  • Giulia Guasoni (Summer Intern 2022)

  • Ava Clarke (SPUR Summer Intern 2021 and Research Assistant)

  • Enya Nordon (SPUR Summer Intern 2021 and 2022, and Research Assistant)

  • Collette Murtagh (SFI SIRG funded summer intern 2021 and Research Assistant)

  • Dr Carol O'Brien (Postdoctoral Researcher)

  • Alexandra Keogh (HRB Summer Scholarship 2021)

  • Dr Daniel Murphy (Senior Clinical Bioinformatician)

  • Ardena Berisha (SPUR Summer Intern 2020)

  • Christopher Castro (TCD - Global Research Engagement Opportunity 2019)

  • Rachel Dalton (TCD – SFI SIRG funded summer intern 2019)

  • Kejan Lim (TCD – HRB Summer Scholarship 2019)

  • Margaux Rappe (TCD - Erasmus 2019)

  • Zoé Desouches (TCD - Erasmus 2018)

  • Hannah Johnson (TCD – APIA Visiting Researcher 2018)

  • Jessica Smith (TCD – Wellcome Trust Summer Scholarship 2018)

Our Current Collaborators

Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, Trinity College Dublin. 

Autism Research Group Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin logo
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