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Full NameProfessor Conall O'Seaghdha

Organisation:Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Webpage:tilda.tcd.ie

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields
  • epidemiology/population health research
Postgrad Medical Specialties
  • Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Nephrology
My Work

Our research is conducted in the The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA), a large-scale, nationally representative, longitudinal study on ageing in Ireland. The kidney disease working group at TILDA is dedicated to understanding the causes and consequences of chronic kidney disease in the Irish general population and to utilize novel biomarkers for the early detection of kidney damage and reduced kidney function.

TILDA collects information on all aspects of health, economic and social circumstances from people aged 50 and over in a series of data collection waves once every two years. TILDA is unique amongst longitudinal studies in richness of the dataset and the breadth of physical, mental health and cognitive measures collected. These data, together with the extensive social and economic data, makes TILDA one of the most comprehensive research studies of its kind both in Europe and internationally.

We have measured circulating biomarkers of kidney function, creatinine and cystatin C, in the entire TILDA sample. This has permitted us to precisely define the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the Irish general population, and examine the impact of kidney disease on blood pressure stability, frailty, quality of life and other important health outcomes.

Potential Projects

The first wave of the TILDA kidney working group has been a great success. Our current clinician PhD, Dr. Mark Canney (http://tilda.tcd.ie/organisation/research-team/mark-canney.php), measured circulating creatinine and cystatin C in the entire TILDA sample of over 5000 people, allowing him precisely define the extent of chronic kidney disease in Ireland for the first time. In just two years he has completed 4 scientific papers, 1 was pubished in PLoS One, with the remaining are under active review. His work was also featured on RTE news (http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0309/773644-blood-study-trinity/). A second clinical PhD, Dr. Donal Sexton, has also recently joined the group.

We are now ready to commence the second wave of the TILDA kidney working group. We plan to repeat measures of cystatin C and creatinine at a second study timepoint, allowing us to examine incident kidney disease for the first time, as well as disease progression. We also intend to measure urinary protein levels, allowing us to further characterize the extent of kidney injury and disease in participants. Parallel with this, the TILDA dataset is growing increasingly rich, with an increasing number of 'hard' study endpoints accumulating, as well as biometric data collected using novel wearable technologies and genotyping of the sample in the pipeline.

The successful candidate would utilise this enriched dataset to study the determinants and health associations of incident chronic kidney disease, progressive kidney disease and proteinuric kidney disease in the Irish general population. They will identify at-risk populations for poor health outcomes, with the goal of targeting interventions where they are likely to be most effective. Ultimately their work should help guide the national kidney disease health strategy.