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Rita Hickey

Research Officer

Research Interests

  • Investigating the biological properties of sugars/oligosaccharides isolated from food sources
  • Investigating the effect of food derived oligosaccharides on host-microbial interactions in the gut
  • The extraction, enrichment, fractionation and structural analysis of food derived oligosaccharides
  • Development of bioassays for investigating the bioactive properties of glycans/oligosaccharides isolated from food sources
  • Also manager of the Teagasc Tissue culture facilities at Moorepark


2008 FETAC Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Agriculture
2003 Ph.D. Microbiology from NUI Cork (UCC) 
1998 B.Sc. Hons (1H) from NUI Dublin (UCD)

 O’Riordan N., Kilcoyne M., Joshi L. and Hickey R.M. (2017) Exploitation of SPR to Investigate the Importance of Glycan Chains in the Interaction between Lactoferrin and Bacteria. Sensors 17, 1515 (1-10).

Ross S. A., Gerlach J. Q., Gill S. K., Lane J. A., Kilcoyne M., Hickey R. M., Joshi L. (2016). Temporal alterations in the bovine buttermilk glycome from parturition to milk maturation. Food Chemistry. 211:329-38.

Ross S. A., Lane J. A., Kilcoyne M., Joshi L. and Hickey R. M. (2016) Defatted bovine milk fat globule membrane inhibits association of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 with human HT-29 cells. International Dairy Journal. 59:36-43.

Milani C., Lugli G. A., Duranti S., Turroni F., Mancabelli L., Ferrario C., Mangifesta M., Hevia A., Viappiani A., Scholz M., Arioli S., Sanchez B., Lane J., Ward D. V., Hickey R. M., Mora D., Segata N., Margolles A., van Sinderen D. and Ventura M. (2015) Bifidobacteria exhibit social behavior through carbohydrate resource sharing in the gut. Nature Journal. Scientific Reports. 5:15782

Kavanaugh, D., O’ Callaghan J. C., Kane, , Joshi, L. and R. M. Hickey. (2015). The intestinal glycome and its modulation by diet and nutrition. Nutrition Reviews. Special article. (6):359-75.

O’Riordan, N., Kane, M., Joshi, L., Hickey, R. M. (2014). Structural and functional characteristics of bovine milk protein glycosylation. Glycobiology 24: 220-236. Most downloaded article from 2014 in Glycobiology

Prieto M. L., O'Sullivan L., Tan S. P., McLoughlin P., Hughes H., Gutierrez M., Lane J. A., Hickey R. M., Lawlor P. G., Gardiner G. E. (2014) In vitro assessment of marine Bacillus for use as livestock probiotics. Marine Drugs 12(5):2422-45.

Albrecht, S., Lane J. A., Marino K., Al Busadah K. A., S. D. Carrington, Hickey R. M. and P. M. Rudd. (2014) A comparative study of free oligosaccharides in the milk of domestic animals. British Journal of Nutrition, 111, 1313-1328.

O’Riordan, N., Kane, M., Joshi, L. and Hickey, R. M. (2014). Glycosidase activities in bovine milk over lactation. International Dairy Journal, 35 (2): 116-121.

O'Riordan, N., Gerlach, J. Q., Kilcoyne, M., O'Callaghan, J., Kane, M., Hickey, R. M. and Joshi, L. (2014). Profiling temporal changes in bovine milk lactoferrin glycosylation using lectin microarrays. Food Chemistry 165: 388-396.

Marotta M., Ryan J. T. and Hickey R. M. (2014) The predominant milk oligosaccharide 6’-sialyllactose reduces the internalisation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in human pneumocytes. Journal of Functional Foods 6: 367-373.

Kavanaugh, D., O’Callaghan, J, Buttò, L. F., Slattery, H., Lane, J. A. Clyne, M., Kane M., Joshi, L. and R. M. Hickey. (2013). Exposure of Bifidobacterium longum infantis to milk oligosaccharides increases adhesion to epithelial cells and induces a substantial transcriptional response. PLoS ONE 8(6):e67224.

Kavanaugh, D., Kane, , Joshi, L. and R.M. Hickey (2013). Detection of galectin-3 interaction with commensal bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 79(11):3507-3510.

Lane, J. A., Carrington, S. D. and R. M. Hickey (2013). Transcriptional response of HT-29 intestinal epithelial cells to Human and Bovine milk oligosaccharides. British Journal of Nutrition. 28:1-11