Board of Directors

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Professor John V Reynolds

Professor John V Reynolds
MA, MB, BCh, MCh, FRCSI Chair of Irspen

Professor Reynolds is Professor of Clinical Surgery at the St. James’s Hospital and Trinity College Dublin. He is the National Lead for oesophageal and gastric cancer. He is Cancer Lead at St. James’s Hospital and the Trinity School of Medicine, and a Principal Investigator in the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute. He has formerly held Fellowship positions with the University of Pennsylvania and Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. He was a Senior Lecturer at St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds (1994-6).

Professor Reynolds has obtained numerous research awards and has published widely in cancer research, with over 250 publications and approximately €5m research grant income. His clinical interest is in diseases of the oesophagus and stomach. His research interest is in four areas: (1) pathogenesis of Barrett’s oesophagus and progression; (2) prediction of response and resistance to chemotherapy and radiation therapy; (3) obesity, altered metabolism, and cancer; (4) malnutrition and peri-operative nutrition.

Dr Karen BolandIrSPEN Director

Dr Karen Boland
Consultant Gastroenterologist

Dr. Karen Boland graduated with an honours degree from the School of Medicine at RCSI in 2007 and is currently appointed as a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Beaumont Hospital with an interest in inflammatory bowel disease and clinical nutrition.  She completed an advanced fellowship in microbiome analysis, diet analysis and inflammatory bowel disease at Mount Sinai Hospital Toronto.  Her current research interests include therapeutic drug monitoring in IBD, microbiome analysis and the impact of diet and exercise programmes on outcomes in moderate to severe IBD.  Karen is a member of the board of IRSPEN and chair of their Scientific Committee. 

Dr. Cara DunneSt James’s Hospital and CHI, IrSPEN Director

Dr Cara Dunne
Consultant Gastroenterologist St James’s Hospital and CHI

• Dr Cara Dunne graduated with an honors degree in Biochemistry from UCD in 1996 and went on to study medicine in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and graduated with honors in 2004.
• She did her early training in Beaumont hospital and through the gastroenterology Spr training scheme went on to work in Beaumont, St Vincent’s, St James’s and the Mater.
• She was awarded her PhD by NUI in 2013 in “Mitochondrial Instability in Stage II Colorectal Cancer Functional Validation of Prognostic markers Involved in Early Staged Colorectal Cancer”
• Since 2017 she has worked as a consultant gastroenterologist at St James’s. Since 2019 she joint appointed to Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin and St James’s Hospital to develop a transition and adolescent program for young people with chronic intestinal failure on home parenteral nutrition and patients with IBD.  Her research interests are inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns Disease) and complex nutrition. She is a member of the ISG, ECCO and ESPEN and a director of IrSPEN. She is chair of the nutrition subgroup for the National Program for Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Niamh Rice

Niamh Rice
Nutritionist and Dietitian

Niamh Rice is a Nutritionist and Dietitian with over 20 years experience in senior scientific and management positions within the Medical Nutrition Industry both in Ireland and internationally. Niamh has held positions of Head of Nutrition in Nutricia Medical (UK), Scientific Director of Milupa (UK), Managing Director of Nutricia Ireland and Global Director of Nutrition and Nutrition Marketing at Danone Infant Nutrition (formerly Numico) based in Amsterdam. Niamh now works as an independent nutrition and communications consultant.


Professor Carel Le Roux

Professor Carel le Roux graduated from medical school in Pretoria South Africa, completed his Senior House Officer training at Barts and The London Hospital, his SpR training in metabolic medicine at the Hammersmith Hospitals and his PhD at Imperial College London. He was appointed as Senior Lecturer in 2006, promoted to Reader in 2009 at Imperial and accepted a Chair as Head of Pathology at University College Dublin in 2011. He received a Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute Health Research in the UK and a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship amongst others.

His translational research on the understanding of the physiological role and pathological changes in appetite control has been widely acknowledged. The focus of his research is primarily concerned with increased mortality and morbidity associated with obesity and its related diseases. A better mechanistic understanding of how the “gut talks to the brain” will allow safer and more effective treatments to be used in future. To this end the role of gut hormones, bile acids and changes in food preference are areas of interest.

Carmel O'Han 165x165

Carmel O’Hanlon
Clinical Specialist Dietitian

Carmel has worked as a clinical dietitian for 25 years, and currently specialises in the nutritional management of ICU patients and nutrition support. She was a co-ordinator of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute’s (INDI) Nutrition Support Reference Guide for dietitians published in 2015, and is a Therapy Professions lead on the Critical Care Programme of the National Clinical Strategy and Programmes Directorate. She is a Board member of the Irish Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (IrSPEN) and Chairs IrSPEN’s Policy and Practice Committee. Carmel is an Honorary Member of the INDI. She has recently taken on a role for the HSE to co-ordinate the development of NCEC (National Clinical Effectiveness Committee) National Clinical Guidelines for the ‘Prevention and treatment of undernutrition: use of nutrition support in adults in the acute care setting.