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ICAT Retreat 2023

The ICAT Retreat will be held in the Grand Hotel Malahide on the 30th of November and 1st of December 2023.

We welcome feedback on the fellow talks. Feedback can be submitted online and will be shared with the fellows after the event.


ICAT Retreat

Day 1 

30 November 2023

  • 10:00 - 10:10Welcome

  • 10:10 - 11:30 5-minute talks from pre-PhD ICAT Fellows.Pre-PhD ICAT Fellows

    Dr Louise Kelly, Dr Lisa Kiely, Dr Vincent Healy, Dr Alison Lee, Dr Nicola Raftery, Dr Eithne Nic an Ríogh, Dr Sophie Duignan, Dr Catherine Duane
  • 11:30 - 12:00Refreshment break

  • 12:00 - 13:00 3-minute research pitches by ICAT Fellows. Research Blitz 1

    Dr Leanne Cussen, Dr Michael Corr, Dr James Curneen, Dr Michael Gilligan, Dr Bethany Wong, Dr Kiran Reddy
  • 13:00 - 14:00Lunch

  • 14:00 - 14:20Dr Nikita Burke

    Evidence Synthesis Ireland Fellowships
  • 14:20 - 15:20Small group research discussions

    Bring your questions and share your experience with your peers. Please indicate which group(s) you would like to join when you RSVP, the groups will be tailored to suit the interests of attendees.
  • 15:20 - 15:50Refreshment break

  • 15:50 - 16:50 3-minute research pitches by ICAT Fellows. Research Blitz 2

    Dr Laura Graham, Dr Louise Rabbitt, Dr Rachel MacCann, Dr Georgia Richard, Dr Ellen Walsh
  • 16:50 - 17:30 One-to-one meetings

    Schedule individual meetings with your mentor, your supervisors or members of the ICAT executive team.
  • 17:30 - 18:30Reception & networking opportunity

  • 19:30Dinner

ICAT Retreat

Day 2 

1 December 2023

  • 09:00 - 10:00 5-minute talks from ICAT Fellows in the final stages of their PhDs.Final year Fellows

    Dr Brendan Kelly, Dr Claire Potter, Dr Sarah Kelliher, Dr Dearbhla Doherty
  • 10:00 - 10:20Refreshment break

  • 10:20 - 11:10Panel - Developing a clinical academic career

    Professor Eileen Parkes, Dr Conor Judge, Professor Emma Wallace
  • 11:10 - 12:00Professor Paul Hurley

    AI and Imaging Science for Medicine: Towards explainable diagnosis
  • 12:00 - 12:40Lunch

  • 12:40 - 13:25Sarah Bowman

    How to maximise your research impact.
  • 13:25 - 14:25 3-minute research pitches by ICAT Fellows.Research Blitz 3

    Dr Brian Woods, Dr Clodagh McDermott, Dr Tim O'Brien, Dr Maria Tomkins, Dr Catriona Reddin
  • 14:25 - 14:40Closing address and prizes

    Prizes will be awarded for the best fellow talks.

Parallel Sessions

Day 1, 30 November 2023

  • 12:00 - 13:00Mentoring - Pre-PhD Fellows

    Mentoring session for pre-PhD fellows in the adjacent boardroom.
  • 15:50 - 16:30Mentoring - Alumni & Final year Fellows

    Mentoring session for Alumni in adjacent boardoom.


Sarah Bowman

Blue Zones

Sarah Bowman has twenty years of experience as a public engagement and impact specialist, guiding teams and ensuring programme work plans and products achieved desired outcomes. Sarah is co-author of the Engaged Research Report: Society & Higher Education Working Together to Address Grand Societal Challenges and co-creator of the Engaged Research Framework and Planning for Impact Framework with Campus Engage. She also co-authored the 2022 Researcher Impact Framework, translated to English, Portuguese and French. Working with more than 1,300 communities, Sarah has managed a wide range of community engagement and research impact projects ranging from single-day workshops to multi-year research, planning, implementation and assessment efforts.. In October, Sarah joined Blue Zones to serve as their Vice President of Policy Operations and Development. This is very much around how our policies impact health and well-being outcomes.

Dr Nikita Burke

Evidence Synthesis Ireland

Dr. Nikita Burke is the Programme Manager for Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Associate Director for Cochrane Ireland. Dr Burke manages an initiative that has built capacity through more than 100 events to >11,000 people, 79 Fellowships, 11 summer scholarships, and published 17 Cochrane reviews and 3 reports for the World Health Organisation. ESI’s work has influenced policy and practice in Ireland and internationally, including Irish Government policy and WHO guidelines. Nikita is passionate about building evidence synthesis knowledge, awareness and capacity, to support the impact of evidence synthesis on decision-making. With a profound understanding of the importance of reliable research, she drives the success and quality of a world class evidence synthesis centre at the University of Galway. Nikita’s journey in evidence synthesis began with a decade in preclinical research, earning her a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Galway. Her curiosity and commitment to knowledge translation inspired her to bridge the gap between lab-based inquiry and real-world applications of research. Beyond her managerial expertise, Nikita has experience in public involvement and engagement.

Professor Paul Hurley

Western Sydney University

Paul is the professor of Data Science at the Centre for Research in Mathematics and Data Science at Western Sydney University (WSU), as well as the Research Director of WSU's International Centre for Neuromorphic Systems. Before moving to Australia, Paul was a technical lead and senior research scientist at IBM Research in Zurich, Switzerland. He holds a PhD from EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, and is a graduate of the University of Galway. He specialises in imaging science and signal processing, with applications as diverse as ultrasound, radio astronomy, ECG and local gravity measurement.

Dr Conor Judge

University of Galway

Dr Conor Judge is a ICAT alumni, Consultant Nephrologist, Electronic and Computer Engineer, PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Senior Lecturer in Applied Clinical Data Analytics at the University of Galway. His primary focus is applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to enhance patient care, particularly in the realm of chronic conditions like hypertension. He leads the development of an AI Clinical Decision Support System (AI-CDSS) for Hypertension management at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Galway. This project uses data from randomised controlled trials to predict complex treatment decisions for persons with hypertension and is a testament to his commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible with AI in healthcare. Dr Judge’s experience extends beyond research. He is a clinical mentor with the Bioinnovate programme in Galway, and has interacted with multiple companies for needs validation. He has worked on three separate inventions and one patent application. Dr Judge has received several awards in recognition of his research including The HRB’s Clinician Scientist Fellowship 2023, the Cleveland Clinic Award in 2020, an Irish Canada University Foundation Scholarship, and the Wellcome Trust HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) PhD Fellowship (Adaptive Clinical Trials). He also has received research funding from SFI (Future Innovator), HRB (Secondary Data Analysis Project) and the Department of Public Expenditure (Public Service Innovation Fund for AI Natural Language Processing).

Associate Professor Eileen Parkes

University of Oxford

Eileen Parkes is Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, Medical Oncologist, Wellcome Trust Clinical Career Development Fellow and lead for the Oxford Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. She studied Medicine at Queens University Belfast, graduating with honours in 2005. During her PhD studies at Queens University Belfast, Professor Parkes was the first to describe constitutive innate immune signalling in BRCA1/2 mutant cancers activating cGAS-STING signalling. Her work on ENPP1 and chromosomal instability identified a novel mechanism whereby cGAS-cGAMP-STING signalling can be subverted to result in tumour-mediated immunosuppression. She is an international expert on cGAS-STING signalling in cancer and the impact of this signalling on the tumour microenvironment. Currently she leads a translational research group in the Oxford Centre for Immuno-Oncology as well as leading a number of early phase trials targeting innate immune pathways in cancer.

Professor Emma Wallace

University College Cork

Prof Emma Wallace is a GP in north Cork city and Chair of General Practice in University College Cork. She previously held positions as Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in General Practice in RCSI Dublin and worked for many years as a GP in Coolock, North Dublin. Her research focuses on optimising prescribing for people with multimorbidity and ways of predicting risk of adverse health outcomes and emergency admissions. She is currently Principal Investigator on a HRB Emerging Clinician Scientist Award examining problematic polypharmacy in older people and a HRB Applied Partnership Award examining the development and dissemination of evidence updates for GPs. Emma is a fellow of the University of Oxford International Primary Care Research Leadership Programme, an Associate Director of the Irish Clinical Academic Training PhD programme, Chair of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) Quality and Safety in Practice committee and a Scientific Advisory Board member for TILDA and the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network. She was the first Irish GP to be awarded the Yvonne Carter Outstanding New Researcher award by the UK Society of Academic Primary Care in 2019 and has won several national research awards. Emma graduated with an honours degree in Medicine from University College Dublin and completed her specialist GP training and obtained her membership of the ICGP in Dublin. Her HRB-funded PhD was a prospective cohort study examining predictors of adverse health outcomes in older people attending general practice.