Dr. Cathal McCarthy

HRB Principal Investigator

Cathal is the Principal Investigator of the HRB-Funded COMRADES Study and HRB-funded DIVINE study.

Cathal is a Lecturer in Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Principal Investigator of the HRB-Funded COMRADES Study: MitoChondrial DysfunctiOn and Metainflammation in PRe-eclampsiA and Gestational Diabetes MEllituand HRB-funded DIVINE study: Dysfunctional mItochondria proVokes Inflammation iN prEeclampsia.

Cathal's research investigates the disruptive pathways causing pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus and the development of novel therapeutics to effectively treat these pregnancy complications. Pre-eclampsia (PE) and gestational diabetes (GDM) are two common complications of pregnancy and affect 15% of first time mothers. Both conditions share common pathophysiological features including oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance and widespread vascular endothelial dysfunction.

Mitochondria provide us with energy released from our food and are abundant in the placenta to cope with the increased energy demands during pregnancy. Emerging data has shown that mitochondrial dysfunction acts as a pathogenic mediator of oxidative stress and provokes inflammation in these perinatal complications. Dr.McCarthy’s research is interested in the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in utero, in particular the redox and inflammatory signalling cascades. My group is also interested in exploring therapeutic strategies of directly targeting mitochondria and determining their capacity to mediate the sophisticated signalling networks of the adipose-placenta axis in pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes mellitus.

Career Profile:

  • Sept 2018 - Present: Lecturer in Pharmacology & Therapeutics​
  • Aug 2017 - Present HRB Principal Investigator INFANT Centre 
  • March 2016-July 2017 Research Fellow, INFANT Centre, UCC
  • 2013-Feb 2016 Research Support Officer, INFANT Centre, UCC
  • 2012-Sept 2013 Research Associate, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, UCC
  • 2011- Sept 2012 Research Manager, School of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science, UCD
  • 2009-2011 Senior Postdoctoral Scientist, School of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science
  • 2006-2009 Postdoctoral Scientist, School of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science, UCD
  • 2001-2006 PhD in Molecular Biology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street (Feb 2006)
  • 1997-2001 B.Sc. Microbiology (with honours) University College Cork (Sept 1997)                   

Professional Activities/Achievements: 

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning (2016/2017). 
  • Institute of Leadership and Management Certificate 2015: Professional Skills for Research Leaders
  • Membership: International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy
  • Journal Referee: Hypertension, Clinical Science, Reproductive Sciences, PLoS One
  • Committee Involvement: Member UCD Laboratory Organising Committee, Conway Institute 2009-2012.
  • INFANT Seminar Series Coordinator, INFANT Centre, University College Cork, May 2014-present



IRIS Profile

Latest Publications

  • Award-winning Irish researcher investigating treatment for common pregnancy complications