Group Members

October 23, 2012

  Ifeoluwa Agboola, TCD

I am originally from Nigeria and I hold a BSc in Biological Sciences (Pharmacology) from the University of Edinburgh. After my undergraduate studies, I got an opportunity to work and live in Nigeria for a year, where my desire to pursue a career in Global Health was birthed. I am really excited to learn about the different aspects of Global Health, health equity and ultimately how
health systems can be strengthened. I look forward to working and learning alongside fellow students with different backgrounds and experiences. I absolutely love travelling and I enjoy voluntary work especially those that involve interacting with people.


  Alex Bartoloni, TCD/UCD

Alex Bartoloni is a student in the Masters in Development Practice program at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. In the summer of 2012 he conducted research with NGO Health Poverty Action on the topic of knowledge, attitudes and behaviors with regards to water, sanitation and hygiene in Kibeho, Rwanda. Alex has worked as a teacher in Wuhan, China; as a community liaison at the Consulate of Italy; and as a legal assistant at an immigration law firm in the United States. He studied Political Science at the University of Colorado Boulder.

To contact him, send an email to: [email protected]


Anna Blennerhassett, Queens University Belfast

Anna Blennerhassett is a final year medical student at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2011 she completed her BSc in Global Health at King’s College London whilst volunteering for Medsin UK. As Global Health Education (GHE) Director on the Medsin National Committee she worked with her team to develop a GHE Toolkit. The toolkit provides a guide for students aiming to develop their global health curriculum at university. Other areas of focus included ethical electives and academic health links. Her work to date has been in two main areas – education and maternal health. Her dissertation evaluated a foundation programme for junior doctors in Somaliland. Past research involvement includes assessment of cervical cancer prevention in Serbia. This summer she is undertaking an elective at the Kilimanjaro Clinical Research Institute, Tanzania where she will continue work for a study on pre-eclampsia. She has thoroughly enjoyed her global health experience so far and is keen to share her enthusiasm by promoting this important subject. Regarding work for the Irish Forum, she would like to improve North-South (of Ireland) collaboration over the next year.


  Kate Brady, UCD/TCD Masters in Development Practice

Kate Brady is a second year master’s student of Development Practice at Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and philosophy from Trinity College Dublin. Currently, she is researching barriers to accessing community health services in the Southern Province of Rwanda. She is also interested in exploring the philosophical foundations of development and human rights.


Carlos Bruen, RCSI

Carlos Bruen is a Research Officer on the Global Health Initiatives (GHIs) in Africa research consortium. Comprised of researchers in six countries, the consortium is exploring the health systems-effects of GHIs in southern African countries and the impact of GHI finance on the health and wider aid landscape. He contributes to the Global HIV/AIDS Initiatives Network (GHIN), a network of researchers from 22 countries. Carlos is also a PhD candidate at RCSI. Prior to this he completed an MSc (UCD), after which he worked for several years as a Teaching & Research Fellow in the Equality Studies Centre, UCD, coordinating and contributing to modules in global politics and development, and postgraduate research methods training. A social scientist by background, his research interests include global health policy, health systems and governance.


 Brynne Gilmore, Trinity College Dublin

Brynne Gilmore is originally from Canada and completed her B.Sc. in Life Science and Health Studies at McMaster University. After her undergrad she moved to Arusha, Tanzania for 2 years where she was involved with several grassroots health promoting organisations. She also worked for an NGO encouraging healthy lifestyles to street children through sport, and co-founded a sponsorship program for vulnerable children, Arusha Children’s Effort, that currently has 80 kids (and counting!) sponsored. She is currently in the M.Sc. Global Health program at TCD, and her main interests are Maternal and Child Health, and Health and the Environment.


  Shane Hickey, TCD/UCD

Shane is a 22 year old Irish student currently doing a joint master in development practice in Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Prior to this, Shane spent the last four years completing his undergraduate in Electronic Engineering in Trinity College Dublin, where he specialized in digital image processing and digital communications.


 SOG Chair: Nuha Ibrahim, Trinity College Dublin

Nuha Ibrahim is originally from Sudan. She holds a BA in Biology from University of Khartoum, Sudan (2004) and master of Global Health from Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin (2010). She is currently undertaking a PhD in Global Health at Trinity College Dublin.  Nuha’s academic areas of interest include Health System Strengthening, human resources for health and Nutritional challenges & Food security.


  Rebecca Jones, Dublin City University

Rebecca Jones is a second year undergraduate student of the BSc Health and Society in the school of Nursing and Human Sciences at Dublin City University. She is interested in Justice, Poverty and Inequalities and their relationships with health. Her main interest in research is the enabling role of Traditional Medicine in the changing global healthcare landscape.

She is a licensed Acupuncture practitioner, Tui Na therapist and has studied and practiced numerous other complementary therapies. She gained clinical experience in teaching hospitals such as Zhejiang University of Traditional Chinese Beijing China studying the art of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2006. Further clinical training was undertaken in the Jiangsu Province Hospital in Nanjing, China in 2008. Her main interest with TCM is with maternal health and fertility. Rebecca believes that traditional practitioners should be recognised, valued and in relevant aspects integrated into the national health services.

She has also had a lot of experience working with the DIT Library services helping students with information literacy.


  Vinay Kumar, NUI Maynooth

I am from India, doing my masters in Immunology and global health at NUI Maynooth. I obtained my masters in microbiology from Bangalore University in 2008. I completed my bachelor of science in chemistry, botany and zoology in 2006 from Kuvempu university, IDSG College Chikmaglur which is my home town. I was working in pharmaceutical companies for 3 years as medical representative, soon after finishing my Msc. While working I got experience in hospital environment and how to aware people on global health and how to deal with microbes and microbial techniques ,immunological instruments and drug delivery systems with little knowledge on clinical trials, and I was very keen to do research in immunology so I choose NUI Maynooth for my post graduation.


Claire McCauley, University of Ulster

Claire chose to study for an MSc in Health Promotion and Population Health at the University of Ulster as a result of working as a community pharmacist in a severely economically deprived area of Northern Ireland for nearly six years.She is particularly interested in the areas of mental health, women’s health and social justice. Her MSc thesis explores the empowerment of women in the decision to use antidepressants in pregnancy. With a background in pharmacy, Claire believes the efficient delivery of healthcare services are most needed in an economic and political interface. She now works in a pharmacy management position and has experienced first-hand the devastating impact of poverty, lack of education, and civil unrest on a community’s health and well- being. She understands the difficulties faced by health practitioners delivering health promotion in this context, and has learned that involvement with local community groups and the voluntary sector is essential. She developed an “Our community-Our health” fayre where she invited health support awareness groups from the city to display the services they offer in the local shopping mall. Throughout the year her pharmacy regularly runs awareness days in and outside the pharmacy while also providing general health checks. She is a National Pharmacy Association (NPA) media spokesperson and the pharmacy contact for her local BBC radio. She also edits a weekly health column for a national paper, The Irish News. Claire has delivered a complex weekly health promotion project with the Irish Travelling community, and won the Young Community Pharmacist of the Year Award in January 2011.


     Martin Nikolaev Mroue, University of Limerick

A mixed background 22 and a curious mind may have been the major triggers for my fascination with the world and its people. However, my interest in global, public, individual and personal wellbeing was fuelled having grown up in a country where it could be clearly observed how instability and turmoil significantly affect the various determinants of health.

After completion of high school in Lebanon, moving to the UK for further education made perfect sense considering my ambition to study in Europe. In the UK, I completed a BSc in Molecular Medicine at the University of Sussex. Just as I was about to dedicate a year to exploring the world in its vast breadth and depth, I decided to enroll in an MSc in Global Health at the Brighton and
Sussex Medical School instead. Fortunately, as part of my research project for the course, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in an internship with UNICEF in north-eastern India. The research involved the documentation and evaluation of an accreditation system used to assess the performance of the largest community-based project in the world, the Integrated Child Development Service. Travelling, and certainly planning for it, constituted a major part of my time as a BSc and MSc student. Currently, I find myself confronted with a new challenge in Ireland as a first year medical student at the University of Limerick.


Purity Mwendwa, TCD/UCD Masters in Development Practice

Purity Mwendwa is a Kenyan and currently a second year student doing a Masters in Development Practice (MDP) at Trinity College and University College Dublin. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Linguistics (German Major), a higher Diploma in Counselling Psychology, and she is a trained Nurse Technician. Her research areas and dissertations have mainly focused on the health of women, namely: the impact of HIV and Aids on women living in Kibera slums, Nairobi (2004) and Support and Services for women presenting with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Ireland (2010). Her current research is on Maternal Health and looks at the progress made towards achieving MDG 5.The research evaluates the role that the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) has played in facilitating emergency obstetric and antenatal care services in five Villages in Rwanda.


  Josephine Nabaggala, Kimmage DSC

Josephine is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Development studies at Kimmage DSC, Dublin. She has for the last six years been working with the public service sector in Uganda, focused on local government management and performance. Her most recent work focuses on service delivery in the public sector as well as dec entralised programme implementation.


Dr Kunal Patel, Trinity College Dublin

Dr Kunal D Patel is a medical doctor, academic and Global Health(GH) advocate. Recently he has been based in Thailand,working with the Childrens Rights Foundation/ Baan Gerda as a Technical Advisor. Previously, he was working as a policy/advocacy officer at MPlus+, a group focusing on HIV in the MSM population of Thailand. He also works for groups focusing on HIV stigma particularly amongst children and also with Harm Reduction advocates. Due to his research background, he has other GH interests including Non Communicable diseases (in particular Cardiovascular disease), Sustainability and Development. His work in the Global Health field can be seen via the many online publications and newspaper articles he has produced but also as the founder of the online chartitable experiment, The Power of 100. Having had experience in general, plastic and vascular surgery. It was his interest in NCDs, particularly vascular disease, that resulted in his role as a Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin. This research led to the discovery of certain inflammatory molecules termed cytokines to be upregulated after a myocardial infarction. It has also led to further insight into the upregulation of other markers in atherosclerotic disease such as Interleukin 17. The work produced from this role has resulted in peer reviewed publications and presentations at national and international meetings. Additionally, Dr Patel reviews articles for journals such as Circulation. He continues to teach alongside his duties as a Fellow, being primarily responsible for medical students and those involved in Masters Programmes associated with Molecular Medicine, acting as a supervisor for end of year theses. His interest in Global Health and the impact of Tropical disease has resulted in Dr Patel working for the Tropical Medical Bureau for the past two years. This has also led him to be an active member of the Irish Forum for Global Health.

  Manisha Sachdeva, NUI Galway

Manisha is in her second year of medicine at NUI, Galway and has a Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and Bachelors of Health Sciences degree from the University of Ottawa. She was involved with IMAGINE, a student-led interdisciplinary clinic for the homeless in downtown Toronto where she acted as the Community Partnerships director
liaising with local organizations, and with the Student University Network for Social and International health to help engage students in global health initiatives. Her past research includes exploring neuro-cognitive challenges in individuals living with HIV, and current research involves working with a family physician to develop a preventive care tool for the Inner City Health Associates in Toronto. She’s also the recent founder and head of a student-led Think Thank, Students for Health Equity

  Frederique Vallieres, TCD

Frédérique is currently pursuing her PhD in the Centre for Global Health, Trinity College Dublin. Her doctoral work is focused on the potential use of mobile phone technology beyond knowledge transfer, to support ongoing supervision and maintain motivation among community health workers (CHWs). She obtained her BSc. in Psychology from McGill University (2006) and her MSc. in Global Health from Trinity College Dublin (2010). She previously served as a research assistant at the Montréal Institute for Research on Youth Depression; research co-coordinator examining cognitive vulnerabilities to depression in youth at Peking University in China; as the principal investigator conducting a situational analysis of OVCs in Nakuru, Kenya; and as the Lead
Monitoring & Evaluation Officer with World Vision Ireland conducting the baseline exercises for a four-year Irish Aid funded maternal and child health project taking place across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritania, and Sierra Leone.


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