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Dr Olivia O’Leary

Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork (PhD, MSc, BSc)

Emerging roles of the gut-brain axis and psychobiotics in depression

Dr Olivia O'Leary is a lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, University College Cork. She graduated with a BSc in Biotechnology and MSc in Neuropharmacology from NUI, Galway. She conducted her PhD research at the University of Pennsylvania followed by postdoctoral research at the University of Helsinki. In 2008, she was awarded a Career Development Award from the Health Research Board to pursue further postdoctoral research at the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, where she was subsequently appointed as lecturer. In 2012, she joined the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience as lecturer.


Olivia's research program is unravelling the neurobiology underlying stress resilience, depression and antidepressant action, and is seeking novel targets for the treatment of stress-related psychiatric disorders. Her research has been published in high-impact journals including PNAS and Science. She has been the recipient of several awards from international professional societies including The Rafaelsen Young Investigator Award from the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology, a Fellowship Award from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology and most outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.