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Áine O’Connor  profile image

Áine O’Connor

Assistant Lecturer in Nutrition

  • aineoconnor@ait.ie
  • Room: J1015
  • Building: Nursing & Health Science
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science and Health

Dr Áine O’Connor obtained her primary degree in Nutritional Sciences from UCC followed by a PhD in the field of nutritional metabolomics from UCD. Prior to joining Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), she worked as a Nutrition Lecturer in the UK at St Mary’s University, Twickenham where she taught on both the human nutrition undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. As well as teaching in higher education, Áine is a registered Public Health Nutritionist (RPHNutr) and has also worked as a Nutrition Scientist for the British Nutrition Foundation. This role entailed all aspects of nutrition science communication including lecturing on nutritional matters; writing articles and publications for a range of audiences on a variety of topics and answering media queries. Within this role, she worked on various EU Funded projects and also gained experience of the EU health claims application process having lead on the production of a best practice guidance document for drafting health claim dossiers as part of work for the FP7 Bacchus project: http://www.bacchus-fp7.eu/

As well as carrying out project work for the food industry, Áine has experience in public health nutrition and personalised nutrition research. She worked as a field researcher for the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative within Irish primary schools and as a doctoral researcher on an Irish Department of Agriculture and Food funded metabolomics project. Her current research interest lies in the area of public health nutrition and the role of gut flora in human health. Currently, she is involved in working with food ingredients companies to explore the potential of an AIT developed technology using polymers to deliver probiotics (and nutrients) in human and animal supplements.

O’Connor A (2014) An overview of the role of diet in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition Bulletin 39: 74-88.

O’Connor A & Wyness L (2012) A summary of findings from the 5-year ProSafeBeef project. Nutrition Bulletin 37: 72-77.

O’Connor A (2012 a) The Belgian Nutrition Society 2nd Annual Meeting: micro-organisms in human nutrition- exploring new pathways for health. Nutrition Bulletin 37: 92-95.

O’Connor A (2012b) An overview of the role of bread in the UK diet. Nutrition Bulletin 37: 193-212.

O’Connor A (2012c) Bread consumption in the UK: what are the main attitudinal factors affecting current intake and its place in a healthy diet? Nutrition Bulletin 37: 368-379.

O’ Sullivan A, Gibney MJ, O’Connor A, Mion B, Kaluskar S, Cashman KD, Flynn A, Shanahan F, Brennan L. (2011) Biochemical and metabolomic phenotyping in the
identification of a vitamin D responsive metabotype for markers of the metabolic syndrome. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 55: 679-90.

O’Connor A (2011a) Promoting healthy eating and an active lifestyle in schoolchildren. Nursing Standard 25: 48-56.

Wyness L, Weichselbaum E, O’Connor A et al. (2011) Red meat in the diet: an update. Nutrition Bulletin 36: 34-77.

O’Connor A (2011b) Nutrition and health claims – where are we with the health claims assessment process? Nutrition Bulletin 36: 242-247.

O’Connor A & Benelam B (2011) An update on UK vitamin D intakes, status and issues for fortification and supplementation. Nutrition Bulletin 36: 390-396.

Recent conference abstracts

S. Crosswaite and A. O’Connor (2016) Can healthy motivated British adults achieve the new Eatwell Guide recommendations of 30g per day for dietary fibre intake?: results
from a preliminary study Nutrition Society student conference, 8-9th September 2016.

Conferences attended

Sweetness and dietary behaviour, Nutritionists in Industry meeting London, June 2016.

Obesity a National Epidemic Conference, GovToday, London, December 2014.

Obesity and Weight Management – Scientific Update, Nutritionists in Industry meeting, London, September 2014.

Consultancy

In my role at the BNF, I carried out numerous projects for the food industry (e.g. food Ingredients Company, DuPont; food manufactures (e.g. Kellogg’s) and retailers such as Sainsbury’s). Work with food business in Ireland on ad hoc basis as required in my current role.

Enterprise

I have an interest in collaborating with the food industry for the improvement of health through diet. In 2017, I received an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund to explore a new technology (developed in AIT) for the delivery of probiotics in human and animal health supplements. This work is currently underway with a number of key food ingredient companies.

I teach on the B.Sc. Health Science with Nutrition, Sports Science and Exercise Physiology, at AIT. In my previous role, at St. Mary’s University Twickenham, I taught on the undergraduate Nutrition degree as well as the Human Nutrition and Applied Sport’s Nutrition Master Programmes.

Awards and Honours: 2015: Shortlisted for St Henry Walpole Award for Teaching and Learning, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, England.

2013 – Present: Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) with the Association for Nutrition

2012 – Present: Member of the Nutritionists in Industry Group. Held the role of Committee member from 2012 to 2016.

2005 – Present: Member of the Nutrition Society

2014 – Present: Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy

  • Biography

    Dr Áine O’Connor obtained her primary degree in Nutritional Sciences from UCC followed by a PhD in the field of nutritional metabolomics from UCD. Prior to joining Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), she worked as a Nutrition Lecturer in the UK at St Mary’s University, Twickenham where she taught on both the human nutrition undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. As well as teaching in higher education, Áine is a registered Public Health Nutritionist (RPHNutr) and has also worked as a Nutrition Scientist for the British Nutrition Foundation. This role entailed all aspects of nutrition science communication including lecturing on nutritional matters; writing articles and publications for a range of audiences on a variety of topics and answering media queries. Within this role, she worked on various EU Funded projects and also gained experience of the EU health claims application process having lead on the production of a best practice guidance document for drafting health claim dossiers as part of work for the FP7 Bacchus project: http://www.bacchus-fp7.eu/

    As well as carrying out project work for the food industry, Áine has experience in public health nutrition and personalised nutrition research. She worked as a field researcher for the WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative within Irish primary schools and as a doctoral researcher on an Irish Department of Agriculture and Food funded metabolomics project. Her current research interest lies in the area of public health nutrition and the role of gut flora in human health. Currently, she is involved in working with food ingredients companies to explore the potential of an AIT developed technology using polymers to deliver probiotics (and nutrients) in human and animal supplements.

  • Research & Consultancy

    O’Connor A (2014) An overview of the role of diet in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Nutrition Bulletin 39: 74-88.

    O’Connor A & Wyness L (2012) A summary of findings from the 5-year ProSafeBeef project. Nutrition Bulletin 37: 72-77.

    O’Connor A (2012 a) The Belgian Nutrition Society 2nd Annual Meeting: micro-organisms in human nutrition- exploring new pathways for health. Nutrition Bulletin 37: 92-95.

    O’Connor A (2012b) An overview of the role of bread in the UK diet. Nutrition Bulletin 37: 193-212.

    O’Connor A (2012c) Bread consumption in the UK: what are the main attitudinal factors affecting current intake and its place in a healthy diet? Nutrition Bulletin 37: 368-379.

    O’ Sullivan A, Gibney MJ, O’Connor A, Mion B, Kaluskar S, Cashman KD, Flynn A, Shanahan F, Brennan L. (2011) Biochemical and metabolomic phenotyping in the
    identification of a vitamin D responsive metabotype for markers of the metabolic syndrome. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 55: 679-90.

    O’Connor A (2011a) Promoting healthy eating and an active lifestyle in schoolchildren. Nursing Standard 25: 48-56.

    Wyness L, Weichselbaum E, O’Connor A et al. (2011) Red meat in the diet: an update. Nutrition Bulletin 36: 34-77.

    O’Connor A (2011b) Nutrition and health claims – where are we with the health claims assessment process? Nutrition Bulletin 36: 242-247.

    O’Connor A & Benelam B (2011) An update on UK vitamin D intakes, status and issues for fortification and supplementation. Nutrition Bulletin 36: 390-396.

    Recent conference abstracts

    S. Crosswaite and A. O’Connor (2016) Can healthy motivated British adults achieve the new Eatwell Guide recommendations of 30g per day for dietary fibre intake?: results
    from a preliminary study Nutrition Society student conference, 8-9th September 2016.

    Conferences attended

    Sweetness and dietary behaviour, Nutritionists in Industry meeting London, June 2016.

    Obesity a National Epidemic Conference, GovToday, London, December 2014.

    Obesity and Weight Management – Scientific Update, Nutritionists in Industry meeting, London, September 2014.

    Consultancy

    In my role at the BNF, I carried out numerous projects for the food industry (e.g. food Ingredients Company, DuPont; food manufactures (e.g. Kellogg’s) and retailers such as Sainsbury’s). Work with food business in Ireland on ad hoc basis as required in my current role.

    Enterprise

    I have an interest in collaborating with the food industry for the improvement of health through diet. In 2017, I received an Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund to explore a new technology (developed in AIT) for the delivery of probiotics in human and animal health supplements. This work is currently underway with a number of key food ingredient companies.

  • Teaching Experience

    I teach on the B.Sc. Health Science with Nutrition, Sports Science and Exercise Physiology, at AIT. In my previous role, at St. Mary’s University Twickenham, I taught on the undergraduate Nutrition degree as well as the Human Nutrition and Applied Sport’s Nutrition Master Programmes.

  • Interests & Professional Development
    Awards and Honours: 2015: Shortlisted for St Henry Walpole Award for Teaching and Learning, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, England.
  • Membership of Academic/Professional Bodies

    2013 – Present: Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) with the Association for Nutrition

    2012 – Present: Member of the Nutritionists in Industry Group. Held the role of Committee member from 2012 to 2016.

    2005 – Present: Member of the Nutrition Society

    2014 – Present: Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy