Katie graduated from University College Cork (UCC) in 2013 with a first class honours degree in Neuroscience. Having developed a passion for developmental biology during her studies, she remained in UCC to undertake a PhD at INFANT and the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC).

During her PhD, Katie established a longitudinal cohort study (‘SMArTI’: Stress Microbial Transfer to the Infant) in a population of nulliparous pregnant women which aims to assess the impact of prenatal stress on the microbiome in pregnancy and on the development of the infant microbiome in the first few months of life.  She also has a keen interest in molecular biology and has spent part of her time in UCC investigating the placental molecular mechanisms that regulate fetal glucocorticoid exposure.

Career Profile:

  • 2013 - Present PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University College Cork.
  • 2009 - 2013 BSc (hons) Neuroscience, University College Cork.

Professional Activities/Achievements:

Publications:

  • Togher KL, Treacy E, Kenny LC, O'Keeffe GW, Maternal distress in late pregnancy alters obstetric outcomes and the expression of genes important for placental glucocorticoid signalling. Psychiatry Research. May 2017
  • Heagrty SV*, Togher KL*, O’Leary E, Solger F, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Romidepsin induces caspase-dependent cell death in human neuroblastoma cells. Neroscience Letters. May 2017
  • Togher KL, Kenny LC, O’Keeffe GW. Class-Specific Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors Promote 11-Beta Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 2 Expression in JEG-3 Cells. International Journal of Cell Biology. 2017; ID 6169310
  • Togher KL, O'Keeffe MM, Khashan AS, Gutierrez H, Kenny LC, O'Keeffe GW. Epigenetic regulation of the placental HSD11B2 barrier and its role as a critical regulator of fetal development. Epigenetics. 2014;9(6).
  • Straley ME, Togher KL, Nolan AM, Kenny LC, O'Keeffe GW. LPS alters placental inflammatory and endocrine mediators and inhibits fetal neurite growth in affected offspring during late gestation. Placenta. 2014;35(8):533-8.

Awards:

  • British and Irish Gastroenterology Meeting travel Bursary (€250), 2017
  • Winner of 'INFANT Early Career Researcher award' at INFANT annual researcher rewards 2016.
  • 1st prize oral presentation: Togher KL, Kenny LC, O'Keeffe GW. Epigenetic regulation of placental HSD11B2 identifies class-specific HDAC and DNMT inhibitors as novel protective pharmacotherapies for the human placenta. Oral presentation: INFANT research Day, University College Cork (2015). Category: New hosizons in maternal and fetal health.
  • Poster prize: Togher KL, Kenny LC, O'Keeffe GW. Maternal Stress and immune mediated interations in placental HSD11B2 regulation: implications for fetal programming. Poster presentation: Young Life Scientist Ireland, Trinity College Dublin (2014).
  • Doctoral travel Bursary, College of Medicine and Health (€1,000), 2015-2016.

 

Science Communication:

 

Other Presentations:

  • Togher KL, Carafa I, Murphy K, O’ Keeffe GW, Ryan CA, Cryan JF, Dinan TG, Stanton C, Kenny LC, Khashan AS, Clarke G. Depression-associated Alterations in the Maternal Microbiome During pregnancy: Priming for adverse infant outcomes? Poster presentation: British and Irish Gastroenterology (BIG) Meeting. Belfast, Ireland (2017)
  • Togher KL, Khashan AS, O' Keeffe GW, Kenny LC, Clarke G, Psychological wellbeing, HPA activity and sleep patterns in a population of nulliparous pregnant women. Poster presentation: Young Neuroscience Symposium, University College Dublin (2016) and  College of Medicine and Health New Horizons, University college Cork (2016)
  • Togher KL, O' Keeffe GW, Kenny LC, Clarke G, Khashan AS. Examining the relationship between prenatal maternal stress and anxiety with gastrointestinal function in a population of nulliparous pregnant women. Poster Presentation: College of Medicine and Health New Horizons, University college Cork (2015)
  • Togher KL, Radford J, Sheehan RJ, Kenny LC, O'Keeffe GW. Epigenetic regulation of placental HSD11B2 identifies class-specific HDAC and DNMT inhibitors as novel protective pharmacotherapy for the human placenta. Poster presentation: Society for Reproductive Investigation (2015).
  • Togher KL, Kenny LC, O'Keeffe GW. Dose-dependent inhibition of 11-beta hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase type 2 by cortisol in SHSY5Y cells: implications for fetal development. Poster presentation: Young Life Scietist Ireland, University College Cork (2012)
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