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Personal Information
College Photo Name O'Mara, Shane Michael
College Address Psychology,
Aras An Phiarsaigh
Main Department Psychology
College Title Professor of Experimental Brain Research
E-mail shane.omara@tcd.ie
College Tel +353 1 896 8447
Web http://people.tcd.ie/smomara
 
Biography
I am Professor of Experimental Brain Research in Trinity College Dublin, and am a Principal Investigator in, and currently the Director of, the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and a member of the academic staff of the School of Psychology. I was an undergraduate and postgraduate at NUI Galway (BA, MA). I undertook my doctoral work (DPhil) at the University of Oxford. I am a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin (FTCD) and a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (FAPS). I was also elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA). Research Focus: My research focuses on the relations between cognition, synaptic plasticity and behaviour, in the context of brain aging and depression. Research Interests: Biology of learning and memory; mechanisms of brain repair; drug action in CNS; synaptic plasticity; visualising in vivo neuronal activity; defining distribution of bioactive agents in CNS; imaging human brain during learning and memory; models of neurodegeneration; models of secondary depression and their treatment; organic disorders of memory. I am also interested in public policy applications and counterfactual interpretations of neuroscience. Research Support and Research Funding: My research work has been or currently is supported by the Wellcome Trust; Science Foundation Ireland; the Health Research Board; the European Commission; GlaxoSmithKline; Alkermes. I blog shaneomara.wordpress.com, mostly on neuroscience-, psychology-, science- and public policy-related themes (and maybe the intersection of all of these themes, but sometimes on other things entirely). I tweet at @smomara1.
 
Teaching interests and responsibilities
• Fundamentals of Neuroscience and Behaviour (JF/SF), with accompanying practicals on brain structure and function, research methods and psychophysiological measurement. • Behavioural Neuroscience (SS) • Cognitive Neuroscience (SS: 1995-2003) • Memory, synaptic plasticity and the brain (SS)
 
Professional Qualifications
Qualification Institution Class of Degree Title of Dissertation Date Conferred
Fellow, Trinity College Dublin - FTCD Trinity College Dublin     2001
D.Phil. University of Oxford     1994
M.A. (Hons by thesis) University College, Galway     1988
B.A. University College, Galway 2i   1986
Fellow Association of Psychological Science     2010
 
Representations
Details Date
Major Conference Organization: The European Brain and Behaviour Society meeting Sept 2005. I was the Chair and Chief Organiser of this conference; I led the successful bid to bring this conference to Dublin and to have it hosted by the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. This was a major international meeting of some 450 delegates. 2005
 
Administrative Functions
Details Level Date From Date To
Director, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (2009 - )
 
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
Association for Psychological Science; Society for Neuroscience; European Brain and Behaviour Society; Neuroscience Ireland
 
Awards and Honours
Award Date
FAPS 2010
MRIA 2011
 
Education Details
School/College Date From Date To
University of Oxford 1990 1993
University College, Galway 1986 1988
University College, Galway 1983 1986
 
Research Institutes / Centres / Groups
Research Institutes / Centres / Groups Description of Role Date From Date To
Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN) 14-JUL-06 14-JUL-06
 
Employment Details
Position Held Job Description Where Date From Date To
Professor of Experimental Brain Research Personal Chair School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, University of Dublin, Trinity College June 1 2010
Director, Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience,   Trinity College Dublin 2009
Director of Research   School of Psychology, University of Dublin, Trinity College 2005 2008
Lecturer   School of Psychology, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2 1st June 1995 30th September 2004
Health Research Board Post-Doctoral Research Fellow   Department of Physiology, Trinity College, Dublin 1993- 1995
More Employment Details>>>
 
Description of Research Interests
Biology of learning and memory; mechanisms of brain repair; drug action in CNS; synaptic plasticity; visualising in vivo neuronal activity; defining distribution of bioactive agents in CNS; imaging human brain during learning and memory; models of neurodegeneration; models of secondary depression and their treatment; organic disorders of memory. Key Research Question: How does the brain change as a result of experience? To investigate this general problem, I have adopted multidisciplinary techniques from diverse disciplines (e.g. neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, behavioural analysis, neuroimmunology). Techniques routinely used in my research group include: in vivo neurophysiology in freely-moving/anaesthetised rat (field potentials/action potential recordings of single neurons/neuronal ensembles); neurobehavioural assays (automated water, radial, open field; object exploration, odour discrimination, etc.); brain protein assays (BDNF; prostaglandins); radioimmunoassays; neurohistology.
 
Research Interests
ACTIVATED PROTEIN-KINASE ALZHEIMERS-DISEASE AMINO-ACID RECEPTORS AMMONS HORN
ANATOMICAL DATA ANTERIOR CINGULATE CORTEX ANTERIOR THALAMIC NUCLEI ARACHIDONIC-ACID
AREA CA1 BDNF BDNF PROTECTS BEHAVIORAL STRESS
Biology of learning, memory and cognition CA1 CALCIUM CHRONIC NEUROINFLAMMATION
COGNITIVE MAPS COMPLEX-SPIKE CELLS CORTEX CUE CONTROL
CYTOKINES DENTATE GYRUS DEPOTENTIATION DISORIENTATION
EFFERENT CONNECTIONS ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICALLY-DEFINED CLASSES ENTORHINAL CORTEX ENVIRONMENT
FIRING PATTERNS FIRING PROPERTIES FREELY-MOVING FRONTAL-CORTEX
GYRUS IN-VITRO HEAD DIRECTION CELLS HIGH-FREQUENCY STIMULATION HIPPOCAMPAL
HIPPOCAMPAL AREA CA1 HIPPOCAMPAL FORMATION HIPPOCAMPAL SLICES HIPPOCAMPUS
IN-VIVO LASTING POTENTIATION LEARNING AND MEMORY LESIONS
LONG-TERM POTENTIATION MESSENGER-RNA METHYL-D-ASPARTATE NEURONS
PAIRED-PULSE FACILITATION PARIETAL CORTEX PATH INTEGRATION PLACE NAVIGATION
PLASTICITY POTENTIATION RAT RAT HIPPOCAMPUS
RATS SLICES SPATIAL MEMORY SUBICULUM
SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION WATER MAZE
 
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Cowley TR, Fahey B, O'Mara SM, COX-2, but not COX-1, activity is necessary for the induction of perforant path long-term potentiation and spatial learning in vivo, European Journal of Neuroscience, 27, (11), 2008, p2999 - 3008
Kelly, AM, Larkin, A, Fahey, B, Gobbo, O, Callaghan, CK, Cahill, E, O'Mara, S.M. , Blockade of NMDA receptors pre-training, but not post-training, impairs object displacement learning in the rat, Brain Research, 1199, 2008, p126 - 132
O’Mara S.M., The Subiculum: What It Does, What It Might Do, And What Neuroanatomy Has Yet To Tell Us, Journal of Anatomy, 207, 2005, p271 - 282
URL
Anderson MI, O'Mara SM, Analysis of recordings of single-unit firing and population activity in the dorsal subiculum of unrestrained, freely moving rats, JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, 90, 2 , (AUG), 2003, p655 - 665
URL
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>
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Last updated 15 May 2013 School of Psychology (Email).