Principal Investigator/Team leader
Sinéad is a lecturer (Above the Bar) in occupational therapy in NUI, Galway. She started in this role in December 2015 following the completion of a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of British Columbia funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (US).
Prior to this, she worked for the NHS on a large occupational therapy trial for people with dementia (Valuing Active Life in Dementia; VALID).
She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, based at the MRC-Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, in 2013.
She is a CORU registered occupational therapist (CORU Registration number: OT021880)
As of March 2022, Sinéad is a Research Associate of Evidence Synthesis Ireland.
From October 2022 Sinéad has been nominated to serve on the ECTRIMS Council.
Robert has, over the last 4 years, moved from being involved in the commercial world to becoming a Patient Advocate.
In 2019 he started as a part-time research assistant on the COBMS trial (a new therapy for people living with multiple sclerosis and cognitive symptoms), which led him to start training with EUPATI to be a Patient Expert. Since then he has shared his patient experience with the governmental agencies and pharmaceutical companies.
Over this time he has used his voice to share his experience on national radio and press, and developed online training programmes for managing anxiety, stress & depression for PwMS, and is working on a new programme for people with Progressive MS with the intent of increasing resilience.
Roberts blog www.a30minutelife.com is now ranked number 6 in the world for blogs focusing on Multiple Sclerosis
Megan is a research assistant on the Diversifying Dementia Services project in the National University of Ireland, Galway. In this role she is helping to produce and disseminate a survey to participants and will be facilitating focus groups to develop recommendations for the future care needs of older LGBTQ+ adults.
Megan is also finalising her MSc thesis in the School of Psychology in Dublin City University, which examines dementia-service use by LGBTQ+ people with dementia and their caregivers by using a mixed method approach including interviews and a survey.
Dr Beatrice Charamba
Beatrice Charamba is a postdoctoral researcher with a focus on biostatistics in the COB-MS research project. Her research interests are in the areas of Biostatistics, Statistical modelling, design and analysis of experiments, and Functional, Longitudinal and Bayesian data analysis.
She recently submitted her PhD in Biostatistics in National University of Ireland Galway, under the supervision of Dr Andrew Simpkin. Her PhD is titled "Bayesian Functional Concurrent regression modelling for missing sensor data." She is her awaiting viva voca, due to take place summer 2022.
Elise is a 3rd year medical student studying at the University of Galway. She is currently on placement in University Hospital Galway, and has completed rotations in internal medicine, acute & critical care, and surgery.
She is excited to be working on research as part of the AIMS-Research Network Summer Student Programme, under the supervision of Dr Sinéad Hynes. Her project is entitled, “Evaluating the public and patient involvement in a feasibility randomised controlled trial of Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis”. Over 7 weeks, the aim of her research is to identify tools for appraising the quality of Public and Patient Involvement (PPI), and then to use this framework to evaluate the Cognitive Occupation-Based programme for people with Multiple Sclerosis (COB-MS) trial
Josh is a 3rd year Occupational Therapy student in the University of Galway. He has previously completed placements in Community Mental Health and Paediatric Limb Reconstruction as part of the course.
He is taking part in the HRB Summer Studentship 2023 under the supervision of Dr. Sinéad Hynes. Josh's research project is titled
"A Qualitative Evaluation of a Stroke Integration Group on Stroke Patients in the West of Ireland". This project aims to examine the experiences of stroke patients that have engaged with a Stroke Integration Group carried out by Croí; a heart and stroke charity based in Galway. The project is being completed over 8 weeks this summer in collaboration with Croí.
Former Research Team Members
Dr Christopher Dwyer
Chris Dwyer worked as s a Project Manager and Post-Doctoral Researcher on the COB-MS trial from July 2019-September 2021. Following this, Chris took up a role as Assistant Lecturer in Applied Psychology in Technological University of the Shannon. His research is in the areas of health interventions, clinical decision-making, the psychology of education and critical thinking – having developed expertise in psychological models that underpin learning, education, behaviour change; as well as research development, statistical analysis, project management, and leadership. He is the author of “Critical Thinking: Conceptual Perspectives and Practical Guidelines” (published by Cambridge University Press in 2017), over 30 peer-reviewed research journal articles, as well as the blog, “Thoughts on Thinking”, for PsychologyToday.com.
Blog: ‘Thoughts on Thinking’ at psychologytoday.com
Fionnuala worked a research assistant on the COB-MS trial in 2020-2021. Her main role was the administration of cognitive assessments to participants online.
In her role as a research assistant, she also investigated the reliability of using online testing format of cognition in people living with MS compared to in-person testing.
She worked part-time as a teaching assistant at NUIG, delivering Developmental Psychology lectures online.
She completed her master’s degree in Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Edinburgh and began her PhD at Cardiff University in September 2021 on harnessing motor training-induced brain plasticity to improve cognition in Huntington’s disease in October 2021.
Anusha Moses is a clinical researcher who has worked in an array of clinical and non-clinical trials over the past years. She has a background in medical sciences and has a master's degree in clinical research.
She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Anusha worked as one of the research assistants for the COB-MS trial at the National University of Ireland Galway. She is also a member of the Health Research Institute, at the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Her expertise includes trial design/methodology, trial implementation, monitoring data for safety and efficacy, and clinical data analysis.
Eimear worked as a Research Assistant with the COB-MS team from October 2019 until July 2020.
Her main role within the project was collecting baseline data from people with MS who were taking part in the COB-MS programme. This involved going to the homes of participants, and going through cognitive assessments with them, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. From there, she researched alternative ways of doing cognitive assessments with people online.
Currently, Eimear works as an Assistant Psychologist in the University of Limerick Counselling service and will begin training in Clinical Psychology in September 2022.
Kinza qualified as an occupational therapist from National University of Ireland Galway in July 2021. She is currently working as a paediatric occupational therapist in the west of Ireland.
Kinza completed the HRB Studentship in the summer of 2020 under the supervision of Dr Sinéad Hynes and Jackie Fox.
The research project titled “Dating with a diagnosis: the lived experience of people with Multiple Sclerosis” was presented at ECTRIMS conference 2021 and published in Sexuality and Disability.
The HRB studentship provided a fantastic opportunity for Kinza to develop her skills in research, academic writing and critical thinking under the supervision of two experienced researchers
Joan Mc Hugh
Joan McHugh. during her final year as an Occupational Therapy Student BSc (Hons) in National University of Ireland, Galway, assisted Dr Sinéad Hynes on the NIPS project titled: "Needs of people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (NIPS) – a cross-cultural study". This study was part of a larger European project to assess the needs of people living with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in Europe.
Her role in the project was to carry out qualitative analysis through semi-structured interviews with people living with primary progressive MS in the first 10 years of their diagnosis, and health care professionals with experience working with people with MS.
The results from the study serve as a basis for the larger European study to identify the unmet needs and patient information gaps in PPMS, with the hope that this data will work to set-up an intervention development agenda. Joan is now working as an occupational therapist.
Rebecca qualified as an occupational therapist in July 2022 from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
She received a Summer Studentship for summer 2021 under supervision of Drs Sinéad Hynes and Hazel Killeen. Rebecca worked on two projects as part of the studentship. Her work focused on the research project titled “Mitigating the impacts of confinement and distancing due to COVID-19 through service learning in occupational therapy education: evaluation of the Build-a-Box programme”. Additionally, she worked alongside Dr. Sinéad Hynes on the research project titled “Diversifying dementia service delivery in Ireland: Developing consensus-based recommendations for the future needs of older LGTBQI+ adults”.
Her own final year research project, completed in 2022, was “Families perspectives of children and adolescents with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in supporting them through the use of telehealth”.
Alex was awarded a HRB Trial Methodology Research Network summer studentship in summer 2020 for a project titled: "A qualitative investigation of motivations, organisational culture and practicalities influencing occupational therapists’ involvement in research programs: A study-within-a-trial."
Alex completed this research during the third year of her occupational therapy undergraduate degree.
Éle Quinn is a PhD candidate with Evidence Synthesis Ireland. Her project will focus on 'The People's Review' under the supervision of Dr Sinéad Hynes and Prof David Moher. Éle completed her undergraduate studies in BSc. Occupational Therapy and her research project focused on the clinical utility of an Irish language version of a commonly used assessment for people with memory impairment. Éle has a keen interest in evidence synthesis and completed a summer studentship with Evidence Synthesis Ireland in 2019, supervised by Dr Hynes, focusing on a scoping review for occupational therapy interventions for people with multiple sclerosis. Prior to beginning PhD, Éle worked clinically as an occupational therapist in primary care and intellectual disability services and continues to maintain her registration as an occupational therapist in Ireland. Éle is passionate about capturing the patient and public voice and making research accessible to everyone.
Qiuxia Li is a PhD student in Health Sciences in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy in the University of Galway. She started her PhD in September 2022. Her PhD research is co-supervised by Dr Sinéad Hynes and Prof Kieran Walsh. The aim of her project is to develop an online intervention for caregivers of people with dementia aimed at improving self-efficacy and reducing caregiving burden.
Qiuxia completed her BSc degree in Rehabilitation Therapy from Sun Yat-sen University (China) in 2019 and completed her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Medicine and Physiotherapy from Central South University (China) in 2022.
Mai Alharthy is a PhD candidate at NUI Galway since November 2019. Her PhD research is co-supervised by Dr Hynes and Professor Agnes Shiel. Her study aims to provide clinicians with a valid and reliable tool to assess memory impairments in Arabic populations with acquired brain injuries by translating and culturally adapting the Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test third edition (RBMT-3) into Arabic language and to investigate the psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the RBMT-3. Prior to that, Mai was an occupational therapist at the National guards Health affairs Hospital in Saudi Arabia from 2007 to 2010 and from 2013 to 2016. After that, she joined the occupational therapy department at King Abdelaziz university as a lecturer. Mai completed her BSc Hons degree in occupational therapy from Brunel University (UK) in 2007 and completed her master degree in rehabilitation- neuro from Oxford Brookes University (UK) in 2011.
Badr Alduqsi is a PhD student in Occupational Therapy in NUIG since September 2018. His PhD research, Co-supervised by Dr Hynes and Prof Agnes Shiel, focuses on the effectiveness of Kinesio taping in comparison to a long thumb spica in the treatment of DeQuervain's tenosynovitis and to identify which one is more effective in reducing pain and improving functional outcomes.
Badr completed his BSc degree in 2005 at the Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh, Scotland) and received his MSc degree in 2012 from Pittsburgh University (U.S).
Since 2016, Badr joined Occupational Therapy Dept. at King Abdulaziz University as a Lecturer. Prior to this (2007-2016), Badr was the Occupational Therapy Supervisor at National Guard Hospital in Western Region (Saudi Arabia). Badr specializes in Hand Injuries, Musculoskeletal Disorders and Biomechanics, and Physical Dysfunction.