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Full NameProfessor Fiona McNicholas

Department:Dept of child and adolescent psychiatry

Organisation:University College Dublin

Webpage:people.ucd.ie

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • neuroscience and mental health
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Psychiatry
Medical Subspecialties
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
My Work

Prof McNicholas is a seasoned clinician and researcher, with over 200 publications and recipient of multiple grants. She has extensive international training, and over 25 years clinical practice, with clinical roles in CAMHS and CHI, Crumlin making her very much at the interface between hospital and community medicine. As such her research is predominantly translation, and in the area of service delivery and evaluation. She has been a strong advocate for accessible services and aware of the associated stress among clinicians working in under resourced services, with increasing demands, very much mirroring the situation with COVID19. Past and current projects include transition from child to adult services, access to emergency care, occupational stress and research in clinical disorders such as eating disorders, ADHD, 22q11DS and liaison psychiatry. She has a strong network of successful local and international collaborations, a track record of leading and successfully completing grants.

Potential Projects

1. Nutritional psychiatry: The role of nutrition and gut microbiota in the regulation, aetiology and management of mental and physical disorders. Prof McNicholas is especially interested in the link between food choices and gut microbiome and its relationship to appetite, weight and onset and maintenance of eating disorders in youth.

2. COVID-19 pandemic and occupation stress and management in health care workers: COVID-19 has brought unprecedented pressure to healthcare systems worldwide, resulting in significant and precipitous changes in demand, burden and method of delivery. Healthcare professionals are leading and responding to these at a professional and personal level. The UCD group, led by Professor McNicholas are interested in examining how professional practice and health service provision have changed as a result of COVID-19 and the impact of these changes on their psychological well-being. They hope to design and pilot a training model on pandemic awareness and support for healthcare staff.

3. Integrated Coordinated Transitional Care for Individuals with 22q11.2DS and their Families.
22q11 deletion syndrome (22q) is a multisystem, complex genetic disorder with significant medical, psychiatric, educational and social challenges. It carries a very high rate of mental illness with the majority of youth having at least one diagnosis. These disorders often persist into adult hood and have profound effects on youth adult independence. The aim of research being proposed by prof. McNicholas and her colleagues is to investigate how the co-production of a transition clinic for young people with 22q11.2DS can improve integrated care, health outcomes and quality of life for young people and their families.

4. Any other projects which involve youth mental health/illness are of interest to Prof McNicholas.