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Full NameProfessor Sean Kennelly

Department:Department of Medical Gerontology

Organisation:Trinity College Dublin

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • infectious disease and the immune system
  • neuroscience and mental health
  • bioengineering/medical devices
  • epidemiology/population health research
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
  • Psychiatry
  • General Practice
  • Public Health
Medical Subspecialties
  • Clinical Trials
  • Community Medicine
  • Dementia
  • Endocrinology
  • Geriatric Medicine
  • Immunology
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Psychiatry
My Work

The key research focus is brain health, cognitive decline, and dementia, but we have a wide-range of research projects ongoing in the department of age-related healthcare in Tallaght University Hospital, with colleagues in affiliated TCD campus. Research participants are recruited from clinical populations attending age-related and other specialty clinical services in TUH. The Memory Assessment and Support Service is a leading national service for early-onset, mildly symptomatic, and atypical dementia diagnosis and therapy. It supports investigator-led and industry sponsored clinical trials for emerging AD treatments. The application of digital gait and speech analysis as objective markers of cognitive performance is a further area of research interest.

Current studies underway in collaboration with other TUH and TCD co-investigators:
1. ENBIND study (Emerging Novel Biomarkers of Neurodegeneration in Diabetes) - Immunophenotyping, cognitive, and gait biomarkers of cognitive decline in midlife type 2 diabetes.
2. VINCI-AD study- Investigating feasibility and efficacy of Transcutaneous-vagal nerve stimulation in people with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease
3. NH-COVAIR study- COVID 19 in Nursing Home Residents: Predicting Disease Severity, Outcomes and Anti-Viral Immune responses
4. GAITkeeper Study- validation of novel AI based gait analysis system
5. Clinical trials centre for international AD treatment studies

Potential Projects

Potential research projects will be discussed with the ICAT applicant to ensure the area is of interest to them. There will be an opportunity to perform further work on any of the areas highlighted above but example projects may involve:

1. Longitudinal follow-up of ENBIND cohort to establish utility of gait and cognitive performance measures as predictors of later life cognitive decline, and the potential modulatory role of innate immune system.

2. Pilot study on the application of transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation in the treatment of amnestic symptoms in mild cognitive impairment

3. Investigation of the innate and anti-viral immune response in frail older individuals, especially nursing home residents in the context of COVID-19 experience in this setting.

4. Exploration in the use of novel digital gait and speech analysis to support diagnosis and clinical phenotyping of cognitive and neurological disorders.