Dr Mary Garvey


Mary GarveyMy doctoral research focussed on the pulsed UV inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum a known waterborne pathogen commonly found in drinking water supplies that has caused several related human illness in the past (particularly occurring in the West of Ireland). These multidisciplinary studies included the development of cell culture based in vitro bioassay for the viability assessment of treated and untreated parasites post exposure to various conventional and emerging decontamination technologies and were mentored by Prof Neil Rowan who directs our research group. These PhD studies were funded by the EPA Strive Programme that focused on assessing infectivity in an in vitro cell line assay compared to investigating similar infectivity in live test mice (in vivo model). Frontier data generated actually concluded that the in vitro cell line method was accurate enough to replace testing on animals for this Cryptosporidium infectivity or disinfection purposes. Findings of studies also highlighted the effectiveness of the pulsed UV approach for the repeated inactivation of this and many other pathogenic species such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Bacillus endospores.

Postdoctoral research currently undertaken by myself under the mentorship of Prof Rowan within the Biomedical Research Institute of AIT aims to further develop this pulsed UV system at a water treatment plant level with the aim of eliminating this problematic parasite from drinking and waste water supplies. To date, research conducted by myself and colleagues has been published in numerous peer reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences. Both my PhD and postdoctoral research were sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency with strong links established with the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) and National University Maynooth (NUM).

On the important networking and social side of things, the Research Hub on our East Campus has considerable hot-desking arrangements and social spaces where I interact with fellow staff and students. This building itself also contains the various research platforms, which is excellent in terms of convenience and speed of analysis. It also hosts the Office of Research and Centre for Materials Innovation and Design for contract research so all in all its’ a great ‘one-stop-shop’ facility for staff development, research and linking with enterprise.

Dr Mary Garvey’s bio