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Megan O’Brien

Project Title: Functional relevance of interleukin-8 haplotype for the innate immune system of Holstein-Friesian calves

Overview: My project investigates the genetic variation that effects how calves mount an immune response to viruses and bacteria. Our group have identified two versions of gene called IL-8 which is responsible for recruiting a type of white blood cell known as a neutrophil to the site of infection. My background is in genetics in which I completed my degree in DCU. I then went on to gain an MSc in Immunology from Trinity College Dublin. It’s great to be working on this project as it combines my expertise in genetics and immunology. I’m originally from Dublin and don’t have an agricultural background but I really enjoy working with animals. Outside of my work I’m an avid Dublin GAA supporter so I can almost always be found supporting the Dubs! I also enjoy travelling and I would like go abroad to undertake a post-doc after my PhD work is completed.

Programme Area: Animal Bioscience

Supervisors: Dr. Kieran Meade and Dr. Rachel McLoughlin

Location: Teagasc, Grange, Meath

Funding Source: Teagasc