International award for
Bansha scientist

A Bansha scientist has been awarded a prestigious international prize for writing one of the most quoted academic articles in the world.

A Bansha scientist has been awarded a prestigious international prize for writing one of the most quoted academic articles in the world.

Dr Siobhain O’Mahony, a neuroscientist in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) and the Department of Anatomy, UCC, who is originally from Bansha, was recently awarded the “Ray Clouse Award for the Paper Most Cited” in the field of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders.

This prestigious award is based on an evaluation of articles published from January 2008 to December 2009 in journals in this field. It is given by the Rome Foundation in memory of Professor Ray E. Clouse, MD a gastroenterologist and scholar at Washington University School of Medicine.

Siobhain is the daughter of Mary and Billy O’Mahoney, from Bansha, and is sister to Alison, Thomas and Emmet.

She started school in Tankerstown NS before attending St Ailbe’s secondary school in Tipperary town. From there she went on to study science at UCC, before obtaining her masters degree in science from UCG. As part of her masters studies Siobhain spent a year as a research student at the Marie Curie Institute in Maastricht, Holland. He was awarded her doctorate in neuroscience from UCC in 2006 and in 2009 became one of the youngest ever lecturers at the university.

Siobhain is now lecturing in anatomy at UCC while continuing her research work.

Dr O’Mahony’s research group focuses on the long-term consequences of early-life stress in particular the impact on the neural and molecular communication pathways between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract and how dysfunction of this communication can lead to an exaggerated pain response.

The article that won Siobhain the award titled “Early life stress alters behaviour, immunity, and microbiota in rats: implications for irritable bowel syndrome and psychiatric illnesses” was published in Biological Psychiatry in 2009.

The Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre is a research centre funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry partners. The APC, a partnership between University College Cork, Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority, and the Cork Institute of Technology, focuses on research in gastrointestinal health.

The independent international ratings agency Thomson Reuters Science Watch global analysis, recently ranked University College Cork at number 2 in the world for probiotics research, due primarily to publications from researchers in the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre