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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

Research Fellow

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. 

ORCID Number:


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.

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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.

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Claire Hayes

PPI Contributor

Claire received a B.A. (Hons) in Languages and History from Trinity College, Dublin. She has experience from working for Google and other technology companies in Project Management, Training, and Communications. 


She has many years of lived experience with autism and an interest in neurodevelopmental conditions. Claire joined the Family Genomics team in March 2023 and is assisting in public and patient involvement for the FamilySleeps Project. 

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.

ORCID Number:


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Enya Nordon

PhD Candidate

Enya received a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from Maynooth University in 2023. Enya has previously worked with the research group as a Summer Intern in both 2021 and 2022, and as a Research Assistant in 2021 and 2023. The research she has undertaken as part of the group has included an investigation on the quality of sleep and its association with the common cold virus, and the evaluation of gene scoring systems.


Enya is currently undertaking a PhD with the group, with her research focusing on rare tandem repeat expansions to investigate the genetic link between sleep and neurodevelopmental conditions. This research is under the supervision of Dr Lorna Lopez and Dr David Fitzpatrick and is funded by the Kathleen Lonsdale Institute for Human Health Research. 


Aung Myat Phyo

PhD Candidate

Aung completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at the University of Dental Medicine, Yangon, Myanmar, in 2017. In July 2023, he successfully earned his MSc in Biomedical Genomics from the University of Galway. For his Master's research project, Aung conducted a bioinformatics-based analysis investigating the impact of sialylation inhibition on intervertebral disc degeneration in humans. His project was supervised by Barry Digby, Dr. Kieran Joyce, and Prof. Abhay Pandit. In addition, he gained research experience as a bioinformatician during his internship at Cúram, an SFI research center for medical devices, in 2023.


Aung is set to commence his Ph.D. program in November, where he will be researching the potential links between disrupted circadian rhythms and autism spectrum disorder. This project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC)


Jacob Kennedy

PhD Candidate

Jacob received his B.A. Mod (Genetics) from TCD in 2022 where he researched the molecular pathways that relate diet and the blood brain barrier to neurodevelopmental conditions. He carried out an RNA-Seq project on retinal tissue from a novel murine model of age related macular degeneration (AMD). The project was supervised by Prof. Matthew Campbell.

Since then he has spent his time acting as fieldwork coordinator in UCD for the Acclimatize project under Prof. Wim Meijer. He worked to supervise undergraduate research teams on site and in lab, assisted various county councils in identifying potential contaminant sources in bathing waters, and helped facilitate the collection of novel core samples for environmental analyses.


Jacob joins the team in January 2024 as part of the FutureNeuro project, an SFI funded research centre for chronic and rare neurological disease. His research focus will be in identifying novel risk loci in the non-coding genome and their role in disease pathologies.

Previous researchers

  • Ms Laura Rudderham (PPI Research Assistant 2023)

  • Dr Thomas Dinneen (Postdoctoral Researcher 2023)

  • Dearbhla Brady (SPUR Summer Intern 2023)

  • Christina Bermingham (FutureNeuro Summer Intern 2023)

  • Shakira Browne (HRB Summer Intern 2023)

  • Laura Kupisiak (SPUR summer Intern 2023)

  • Luna Alvarado Añon (Maastricht University MSc Student)

  • Dr Fiana Ní Ghrálaigh (PhD Recipient & Postdoctoral Researcher)

  • Aoife Coghlan (Research Assistant 2021-2023

  • 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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