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Dr Aoife McCarthy

Education and career profile

Dr Aoife McCarthy graduated with a BSc. (Hons) in Nutritional Science (2010) and a PhD in Nutritional Science (2013) from University College Cork. She subsequently worked as Post-Doctoral Researcher in University of Limerick in the Proteins and Peptides Research Group. Dr Aoife McCarthy is currently a Lecturer in Nutrition and Food Science at Cork Institute of Technology (since 2014) and is Programme Director of the BSc. (Hons) Nutrition and Health Science programme. She is currently undertaking a MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at Cork Institute of Technology.
Dr McCarthy is a Registered Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition. She is an active member of, and CIT Ambassador for, the Nutrition Society.
Dr Aoife McCarthy, Head of NutRI, is a Principal Investigator in Nutrition Research, currently supervising 5 PhD and 2 MSc students.

 

Research Interests 

Dr McCarthy’s main research interests lie in food innovation and public health nutrition. Promotion of healthy aging, through both innovation in food and public health nutrition initiatives is a central theme in Dr McCarthy’s research.


She is actively involved in research for the development of novel, healthy food products to meet specific population needs, in collaboration with industry partners. Generating a scientific evidence base of the potential health effects and digestibility of such products is a focus, using cell culture-based methodologies.


From a public health perspective, Dr McCarthy is PI on research at various lifestages, including childhood and older adults. Dr Aoife McCarthy’s research interests primarily lie in education-based interventions to promote optimum nutrition.

 

Ongoing research 

  • Investigating the synergistic bioactive effects of fruit, vegetable and protein combinations in a market-ready food product for children and adolescents. Role: Principal Investigator. Funded by Irish Research Council Employment Based Postgraduate Programme.
  • Incorporation of novel brewers’ spent grain (BSG)-derived protein hydrolysates and blended ingredient in functional foods for older adults and assessment of health benefits in vivo Role: CIT Principal Investigator. Funded by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine through FIRM.
  • AIMS Actions against Infirmity and Malnutrition in Seniors. Role: Principal Investigator. Funded by CIT Rísam Scholarship.
  • OptimA: Optimal protein for optimal Aging. Role: Principal Investigator. Funded by CIT Rísam Scholarship.
  • Promoting infant health: investigating optimal protein:lipid profiles for infant milk formula. Role: PhD student Co-Supervisor. Industry funded project.
  • Functional foods for the elderly: comparing the bioactive properties of cheese to identify optimal products that promote healthy aging. Role: PhD student Co-Supervisor. Funded by CIT Rísam Scholarship.
  • Subjective children’s wellbeing in Ireland; application of the Children’s Worlds International Survey to Irish children. Role: Co-Principal Investigator.

Previous research 

  • Project Spraoi: The Effectiveness of a Nutrition and Physical Activity Intervention on the Dietary Intake, Dietary Patterns, Nutritional Knowledge and Markers of Health of Irish Primary School Children

Publications 

Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters 

  • Merrotsy A, McCarthy AL, Flack J, Lacey S, Coppinger T. (2019) Project Spraoi: A two year longitudinal study on the effectiveness of a school-based nutrition and physical activity intervention on dietary intake, nutritional knowledge and markers of health of Irish school children. Public Health Nutrition, accepted for publication
  • Merrotsy A, McCarthy AL, Flack J, Coppinger T. 2018. Obesity Prevention Programs in Children: The Most Effective Settings and Components. A Literature Review. J Obes Chronic Dis 2(2): 62-75.
  • Crowley, D., O’Callaghan, Y.C., McCarthy, A.L., Connolly, A., Piggott, C., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2017) Aqueous and enzyme-extracted phenolic compounds from brewers’ spent grain (BSG): assessment of their antioxidant potential. J. Food Biochem. 41:e12370
  • Crowley, D., O’Callaghan, Y.C., McCarthy, A.L., Connolly, A., Piggott, C., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2015) Immunomodulatory potential of a brewers’ spent grain protein hydrolysate incorporated into low-fat milk following in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. Int. J. Food Sci. Nutr. 66:672-676
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Callaghan, Y.C., Connolly, A., Piggott, C.O., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2015) A study of the ability of bioactive extracts from brewers' spent grain to enhance the antioxidant and immunomodulatory potential of food formulations following in vitro digestion. Int. J. Food Sci. Nutr. 66:230-235
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Callaghan, Y.C., Connolly, A., Piggott, C.O., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2014) Phenolic-enriched fractions from brewers’ spent grain possess cellular antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in cell culture model systems.  J. Sci. Food Agric.94: 1373-1379
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Callaghan, Y.C., Connolly, A., Piggott, C.O., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2013) In vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of brewers’ spent grain protein rich isolate and its associated hydrolysates. Food Res. Int. 50: 205-212.
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Callaghan, Y.C., Neugart, S., Piggott, C.O., Connolly, A., Jansen, M.A.K., Krumbein, A., Schreiner, M., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2013) The hydroxycinnamic acid content of barley and brewers’ spent grain (BSG) and the potential to incorporate phenolic extracts of BSG as antioxidants into fruit beverages. Food Chem. 141: 2567-2574.
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Callaghan, Y.C., Connolly, A., Piggott, C.O., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2013) Brewers’ spent grain (BSG) protein hydrolysates decrease hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative stress and concanavalin-A (con-A) stimulated IFN-γ production in cell culture. Food Funct. 4: 1709-1716.
  • McCarthy, A.L. and O’Brien N.M. (2013) Bioaccessibility of functional ingredients. Curr. Nutr. Food Sci. 9: 271-282.
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Callaghan, Y.C. and O’Brien, N.M. (2013) Protein hydrolysates from agricultural crops - bioactivity and potential for functional food development. Agriculture, 3: 112-130.
  • McCarthy, A.L., O'Callaghan, Y.C., Piggott, C.O., FitzGerald, R.J. and O'Brien, N.M. (2013) Brewers’ spent grain; bioactivity of phenolic component, its role in animal nutrition and potential for incorporation in functional foods: a review. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 72: 117-125.
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Callaghan, Y.C., Connolly, A., Piggott, C.O., FitzGerald, R.J. and O’Brien, N.M. (2012) Phenolic extracts of Brewers’ Spent Grain (BSG) as functional ingredients -assessment of their DNA protective effect against oxidant-induced DNA single strand breaks in U937 cells. Food Chem. 134, 641-646.
  • McCarthy, A.L., O’Connor, T.P., and O’Brien, N.M. Preedy, V.R., Watson, R.R.,  and Patel V.B. (eds.) Handbook of cheese in health. Production, nutrition and medical sciences. Human Health Handbooks, no. 6. ISBN: 978-90-8686-211-5