Our Board of Directors (also known as Trustees)
Suzanne is CEO of the Irish Thoracic Society (ITS), the national organisation representing respiratory healthcare professionals on the island of Ireland. Since joining the ITS in 2006, Suzanne has developed the Society’s work in leading and advancing the care of people with respiratory disease through advocacy, research and education. Suzanne previously chaired the HRCI Advocacy and Communications Group, is a Board Member of COPD Support Ireland and co-founded the Irish Lung Health Alliance.
Dr Jacinta Kelly
Dr Jacinta Kelly was appointed as Chief Executive of the NCRC in June 2015.
Dr Kelly has PhD in immunology and an MA in management. Dr Kelly joined the NCRC in 2009 as Deputy Director of Research and has had a role in the strategic development and management of the Centre since then. She previously had extensive experience in third level education, lecturing in immunology to biomedical science students in DIT and to medical students, and Master’s degree students in TCD. Her research interest is in immunological processes in the gut, with coeliac disease as a disease model. She additionally has experience in the development delivery, and management of postgraduate taught courses, in DIT and TCD.
She also has international experience in scientific publishing and communication with Elsevier and with Hogrefe and Huber Publishers. Dr Kelly is a member of the ethics committee in the Faculty of Health Sciences, TCD.
Dr Lesley O'Hara
Dr O’Hara is the General Manager of the Saint John of God Research Foundation clg. Saint John of God provides mental health and intellectual disability services throughout Ireland, the UK, and Malawi. Lesley is responsible for the strategic development of research activities across these services, ensuring that a culture of research and innovation is promoted and supported through a robust governance structure, annual research funding scheme, and the delivery of research education and training. Lesley has a PhD in critical health psychology, with a focus on the lived experience of managing chronic illness. Her subsequent post-doctoral research has explored mental health including eating disorders, and the transition from child to adult mental health services across Europe.
Geraldine joined Alpha-1 Foundation as CEO in July 2017 having worked in the private sector for 35 years of which approximately fifteen years were spent in senior leadership roles. Her role has many dimensions from working with the team locally on the development of good operating standards for the patient registry and screening programme, to providing support and information to Alpha-1 patients and their families, to establishing and developing strong relationships with politicians, the media, government officials, statutory voluntary bodies and private organisations to advance the Foundation’s goals. To help raise the profile of Alpha-1 Foundation Ireland, Geraldine is a key member of the rare disease network in Ireland and works closely with the Alpha-1 patient action group which promotes understanding and awareness of the condition among patients and their families, as well as providing much needed peer-to-peer support for newly-diagnosed Alpha’s.
Sinéad is Research Manager at DEBRA Ireland. DEBRA Ireland is a national charity providing support to people living with the debilitating skin condition epidermolysis bullosa (EB) and driving research into treatments and cures for those living with the condition. Sinéad has 15 years’ experience working in skin research. In her role as Research Manager, Sinéad has participated in national research projects as a social impact partner and is establishing a PPI process with Irish and international researchers. She is also coordinating the development of a national and international EB registry.
Dr. Laura Brady
With a B.A.(Mod.) degree in Biochemistry and a PhD in Neuroscience, Dr Brady has been in the biomedical research environment for over a decade. She moved from the lab in 2016 to join Fighting Blindness Ireland. In her role as Head of Research, she was responsible for the development and implementation of the organisational research strategic plan. In 2021, she took up the role of Programme Manager at Royal College Surgeons Ireland.
Dr. Bernadette Rock
Brian is Operations Manager for population health at the RCSI, University of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is chair of the HRCI advocacy and communications committee and was previously head of communications and advocacy with Arthritis Ireland.