About Us
Prospective Students
Make a donation
Donations to our research are most welcome and are greatly appreciated.

Your donation will be used to purchase research equipment for the neonatal intensive care unit and to help employ research staff with the specific expertise necessary to conduct our research.

More Information »
Contact Details
Neonatal Brain Research Group
University College Cork
Cork University Maternity Hospital
Wilton, Co. Cork,

T: +353 (0)21 420 5061 
E: nbrg@ucc.ie
Side articles
INFANT goes Wild for IWISH at Fota Wildlife Park
Prof Geraldine Boylan inspiring young transition year girls at IWISH event in Fota

Prof Geraldine Boylan and members of The INFANT Centre team participated in Cork’s “I Wish” initiative that took place at several venues across Cork. Prof Boylan spoke to several groups of female transition year students at Fota Wildlife EducationCentre. Her inspirational speech focused on “why not science, technology, Engineering or Maths” and opened their minds to the vast possibilities in these sectors for their futures.

I Wish is a city and regional schools initiative to inspire Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The idea, the dream, the wish, is to promote greater female participation in STEM, to ensure that Ireland maximises its talent pool and continues to attract high skilled jobs. This is Cork’s response…
This is Cork’s Wish. www.iwish.ie

Save the Date!
Baby Brainwaves
Read more »
INFANT at the Innovation Showcase 2014
Dr Anthony Morrissey Centre Manager of INFANT and Minister Bruton at the Innovation Showcase 2014 in the Convention Centre Dublin. 

The national Innovation Showcase was an opportunity for companies in Ireland to learn more about world class collaborative research, development and innovation currently ongoing in Ireland. This was the first gathering, in one location, of all State-supported research centres and technology centres of scale.

Delivering excellent scientific research and game-changing technologies to companies in Ireland, representatives from each of the 38 centres were joined by officials from State agencies and Higher Education Institutes that can facilitate and fund innovation in companies in the Dublin Convention Centre.
INFANT was represented at the event by Dr Anthony Morrisey, Centre Manager and Ms Mairead Murray, Research Manager and caught the attention of Minister Bruton shortly after his address.

ANSeR and BiHIVE Teams participate in UCC's Celebrate Science Outreach Day

BiHIVE "Babyscreen App" great hit with the smallies!

Dr Will Hutch engaging future young scientists with "Baby Brainwaves"
Dr Will Hutch wins 1st prize
Prof Gene Dempsey and Dr Will Hutch
Prof Gene Dempsey and Dr Will Hutch
Dr Will Hutch wins 1st prize for his interactive poster at Atlantic Corridor research conference. Dr Hutch (PhD)  pictured here with Prof Eugene Dempsey is a medical student at University College Cork and his smart-poster was on "Cerebral Oxygenation in Preterm Infants less than 32 weeks Gestation during the first 48 hours of Life".
NEMO Survey launched in Barcelona Oct 18th 2014
The NEMO group launced the neonatal seizure treatment survey in Barcelona on Saturday 18th October at the EAPS 2014. The 5th Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies brings together three leading pediatric societies, The European Society of Paediatric Neonatal Intensive Care - ESPNIC, The European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR) and The European Academy of Paediatrics (E.A.P.) and allows paediatric professionals from around the world to gain unparalleled access to the best scientific research programmes.

The link to the survey is here.

We would also like to congratulate Dr Deirdre Murray on chairing, with Prof  Pierre Gressens the EAPS 2014 session on Hypoxic -Ischemic Encephalopathy Biomarkers. Also presenting posters at EAPS from the NBRG were Dr Caroline Ahearne, Mr Gavin Hawkes and Ms Ann Marie Looney.

World Forum of Young Scientists, Azerbaijan

Rehan Ahmed, a SFI Scholar in neonatal brain research at INFANT is currently representing Ireland and INFANT at the World Forum of Young Scientists in Baku, Azerbaijan (26th -31st May 2014).   The purpose of the World Forum of Young Scientists is to bring together young scientists and researchers from across the globe to present and discuss their research and ideas. The main topic of the Forum is “New Challenges in World Science: Joint Approaches of Young Scientists”.  The best abstracts were chosen from over 100 countries.

BIHIVE Team wins at Pfizer Innovation Through Teamwork Award.

The BiHiVE study team led by Dr Deirdre Murray, an INFANT Centre PI, has won the audience selected award at the Pfizer Innovation Through Teamwork Award. The presentations and awards ceremony were held in UCC’s Devere Hall yesterday. The awards were presented by Sean Sherlock TD, Minister of State for Research & Innovation.

Dr Murray said “This is a great achievement for our team. We are extremely lucky to have a fantastic group of motivated people from varied backgrounds; clinical, science, neurophysiology and engineering. They are all a pleasure to work with and together we are focussed on our aim of improving the care of at risk newborns”.

Pictured accepting the award: Ms Ann Marie Looney, Ms Niamh Denihan, Ms Jean Conway and Dr Caroline Ahearne with Minister Sean Sherlock

SFI Advance Award Programme 2014 - Women in Science
Call now open
Science Foundation Ireland have announced the Advance Award Programme for female postdoctoral researchers. The Neonatal Brain Research Group in the Irish Centre for Fetal and NeonatalTranslational Research (INFANT) welcomes enquires from postdoctoral researchers interested in this scheme. 

Please contact Brenda o'Flynn for further information b.oflynn@ucc.ie

Read more »
It's a Beautiful World
Jennings Gallery Exhibition running 20th Feb 2014 - 27th Mar 2014
by Jean Conway

‘It’s a Beautiful World’ exhibition will open at 6pm, Thursday 20th February 2014 in the Jennings Gallery, College of Medicine and Health, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC.

Read more »
SFI Research Centre

    The Irish Centre for Fetal and

Neonatal Translational Research


Co-Lead Principal Investigators:
Prof. Louise Kenny, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Prof Geraldine Boylan, Professor of Neonatal Physiology, Paediatrics & Child Health at UCC.

Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Sean Sherlock, TD, Minister for Research and Innovation today announced a landmark investment by the Government of €300 million in 7 scientific research centres in Ireland. UCC is to lead four of the seven centres and to co-lead a fifth in SFI’s largest joint state/industry research investment (€300m) in Irish history.

INFANT - Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research
UCC which will focus on fast-tracking discoveries relating to most complications of pregnancy and newborn babies and service a huge societal and economic need globally.

Read more »

Our research would not be possible without the support of several funding organisations. We are supported by;

These organisations have funded various strands in our research as shown below.

Current and Previously Funded Grants

  • 2013-2015  Automatic Analysis of Brain Injury in Magnetic Resonance Images of Neonates with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy - Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET)

  • 2013-2015 Automated assessment of brain maturation in the preterm infant using the EEG -Science Foundation Ireland
  • 2012-2015 Multicentre clinical evaluation of a neonatal seizure detection algorithm: ANSeR -Wellcome Trust 
  • 2012-2016 Validation of biomarkers in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy: BiHIVE-2   - Health Research Board
  • 2011-2015 Pattern Recognition Systems for Continuous Neurological Monitoring in Neonates (NeoPrism) - Science Foundation Ireland
  • 2010-2015 Hypotension in the Preterm Infant - European Union Frontiers Program 7

  • 2009-2014 Treatment of Neonatal Seizures with Medication Off-Patent: Evaluation of Efficacy and Safety of Bumetanide: NEMO - European Union Frontiers Program 7

  • 2009-2012 Biomarkers of Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy: BiHIvE-1 - Higher Education Authority / Molecular Medicine Ireland

  • 2009-2011 Critical Care Telemonitoring - Babylink - Science Foundation Ireland

  • 2008-2011 Development and Validation of Clinically Robust Neonatal Seizure Detection Systems - Wellcome Trust

  • 2008-2011 Long Term Follow up of Infants with HIE: Correlation with EEG Findings - Health Research Board

  • 2008-2010 The EEG of the Newborn Baby in the Early Postnatal Period - Health Research Board

  • 2006-2010 Development of an Automated Seizure Detection System for Newborns using Multimodal Biological Signal Analysis - Science Foundation Ireland

  • 2005-2007 Real Time Seizure Detection in Newborn Infants - Enterprise Ireland

  • 2004-2007 Developing Accurate seizure detection techniques in new born babies - Health Research Board

  • 2003-2004 To examine the value of EEG and cerebral blood flow velocity measurements in neonatal encephalopathy in aiding: early identification; timing of brain injury; and more accurate prognostication - Irish Brain Research Foundation


We currently collaborate with;


Prospective Students

We are looking forward to working with students interested in neonatal brain research. We cater for students interested in pursuing a;

  • Undergraduate project
  • Research Masters degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Prospective postgraduate students interested in studying with the neonatal brain research group should consult the UCC postgradute student website before contacting us.

Prospective students interested in studying with the neonatal brain research group can receive further information by contacting Brenda O'Flynn.

Neonatal Brain Injury
Brain injury in newborn babies, sometimes caused by a lack of oxygen around the time of birth, can result in cerebral palsy, mental retardation, learning disabilities and epilepsy. Research using “state of the art” bedside EEG tools and new advanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques is helping to define the timing and nature of newborn brain injury and assess emerging new therapies to reduce the effects of such injury on babies long term growth and development. In Ireland approximately 300 babies are affected by significant brain injury each year with approximately 50 babies suffering brain injury resulting in death or severe disability. As the leading centre for neonatal care for the South of Ireland, caring for approximately 800 newborns annually, the newly designed Neonatal Unit at Cork University Maternity Hospital, linked to Cork University Hospital (one of Irelands largest academic teaching hospitals) is uniquely placed to facilitate clinical research to help these babies and learn how we, and others, can improve the way we care for them and increase their chances of healthy survival.

Prof Boylan is the co-investigator of the NEMO Clinical Trial. NEMO stands for: Treatment of NEonatal seizures with Medication Off-patent: evaluation of efficacy and safety of bumetanide. NEMO is an EU FP7 funded project that will be the largest multicentered European study of neonatal seizures and their treatment.

The aim of the NEMO study is to develop an effective antiepileptic drug regimen suitable for treatment of seizures in newborn babies using innovative strategies targeted specifically to the needs and peculiarities of babies.In the first instance, NEMO study is evaluating bumetanide, a drug targeted at an age dependent mechanism which is thought to be responsible for the high incidence of seizure in the neonatal period. This will be the first time that an antiepileptic drug (AED) specifically aimed at this age-group will be evaluated in a large, adequately powered, randomised trial with EEG monitoring, recognised to be the "gold standard" method for seizure diagnosis in the newborn. Bumetanide cannot be tested as an AED on older children or adults as this mechanism ceases to be effective during the first few months of life.

Neonatal EEG

Neonatal EEG is the measurement of the electrical activity of the newborn brain. It provides a sensitive, real time, continuous measure of cerebral activity and, therefore, brain function. The EEG is capable of detecting changes in oxygenation and blood pressure, detecting electrical signs of seizure and determining the neurodevelopmental outcome of neonates with hypoxic ischaemic injury.

The measurement of brain activity via the EEG is performed by attaching several electrodes (or sensors) to the head of the newborn. These electrodes are placed according to the International 10-20 system. Our montages are built from recordings of F3, F4, Cz, C3, C4, T3, T4, O1, O2 as shown in Figure 1.  

Figure 1:
Electrode placement for measuring neonatal EEG.

This signal that is picked up by each electrode is then amplified, stored and displayed on a monitor. We also measure several other physiological signals in conjunction with the EEG such as the ECG (heart function), respiration (lung function) and EMG (muscle function), as these recordings can influence the EEG.

We then analyse the EEG by visual inspection to assist in the diagnosis and prognosis of the newborn. Our analysis usually involves locating abnormal EEG in a recording. The normal EEG appears to be a random signal without any obvious pattern. The EEG becomes abnormal when certain patterns appear in the EEG and it loses the underlying randomness of a normal recording. The normal EEG pattern and several abnormal EEG patterns are shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Examples of normal and abnormal neonatal EEG.

In addition to pattern analysis we also analyse more general characteristics of the EEG such as continuity, amplitude, frequency, synchrony and symmetry as well as more clinical features such as maturational characteristics, sleep state differentiation and reactivity.

We have been collecting EEG data at the neonatal intensive care unit of the Cork University Maternity Hospital since 2003.

Our neonatal EEG database contains; long duration, continuous, multiple channel recordings with synchronised video that were recorded from within 6 hours of birth. We have also measured the heart rate and respiration of the neonate. Our EEG recordings contain;

  • Seizure EEG patterns
  • Abnormal EEG patterns
  • Normal EEG patterns

We have recorded EEG from newborns with

  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
  • Stroke
  • Haemorrhage
  • Meningitis

We have followed up these newborns at  2 and 5 years.

We are also investigating new montages, that reveal the maximum amount of information with the minimum amount of electrodes, and different techniques for attaching the electrodes.

Further reading on neonatal EEG can be found in,

  1. G.B. Boylan, "Principles of EEG and CFM" in Neonatal Cerebral Investigation, Chapter 2, Eds:  J.M. Rennie, Robertson and Hagmann. Cambridge University Press, UK, 2008.
  2. G.B. Boylan, J.M. Rennie, and D.M. Murray. "The normal neonatal EEG" in Neonatal Cerebral Investigation, Chapter 6, Eds:  J.M. Rennie, N.J. Robertson and C.F. Hagmann. Cambridge University Press, UK, 2008.
  3. G.B. Boylan, "Neurophysiology in the Neonatal Period", in Neonatal and Paediatric Clinical Neurophysiology,  Eds: R.M. Pressler, C.D. Binnie, R. Cooper and R. Robinson, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, The Netherlands, 2007
Quantitative Analysis of Neonatal EEG

Seizures or ‘fits’ are often the first sign of brain injury in babies and require urgent treatment. Unfortunately because of the immaturity of the newborn brain, these seizures are often difficult to identify. The development of a highly specific, automated newborn brain injury detection system that is easy to operate, simple to interpret and reliable is the focus of our research group at UCC. By incorporating the accurate identification of these babies with brain injury using sophisticated bedside EEG systems, advanced MR imaging techniques and careful neurological assessment, we hope to learn what these changes on EEG and MRI mean for the long term development of the baby. Such information assists in providing prognostic information for families and supporting ‘at risk’ babies from the outset which will optimise their growth and development.

The NEMO Project

The efficacy of several medications for treating newborn seizures is being trialled in an EU FP7 funded project entitled "Treatment of neonatal seizures with medication off-patent: Evaluation of efficacy and safety of bumetanide"- or NEMO for short.

NEMO is an EU FP7 funded project that will be the largest multicentered European study of neonatal seizures and their treatment. The project addresses the FP7 Health call ‘Adapting off-patent medicines to the specific needs of paediatric populations’ by investigating the safety and efficacy of bumetanide for the treatment of seizures in babies. Bumetanide is included in the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) revised priority list for studies into off-patent paediatric medicinal products.

The aim of the project is to develop a safe and effective antiepileptic drug (AED) regimen for newborn babies with seizures. Seizures are the most common neurological emergency in the neonatal period and require prompt diagnosis and treatment. The project will evaluate the safety and efficacy of bumetanide in combination with phenobarbitone for seizure control using: preclinical studies, a multicentre clinical trial with multichannel EEG monitoring, pharmacokinetic studies and outcome assessment.

More information on the NEMO trial can be found here.

The HIP Project

The HIP Trial - Management of Hypotension In the Preterm Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn - is an EU FP7 funded project that will be the largest multicentered European study in Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns (ELGANs). Consultant Neonatologist and Neonatal Brain Research Group Member, Dr Eugene Dempsey was awarded over 5 million Euro from the European Commission to lead this important trial. 

The HIP Trial addresses the FP7 Health call 'Adapting off-patent medicines to the specific needs of paediatric populations' by investigating whether infants born before 28 completed weeks of gestation, a restricted approach to the management of hypotension compared to using dopamine as first line inotrope within the first 72 hrs improves survival without significant brain injury at 36 weeks corrected gestational age and survival without neurodevelopmental disability at 2 years age corrected for prematurity. 

Assuming an annual birth rate of 10.25 births/1,000 population approximately 25,000 Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns are born every year in the EU. Conservative figures estimate that approx 12, 500 ELGAN/ yr are hypotensive and receive inotropes. However the total number of preterm infants in published trials comparing mortality rates with various inotropes is only 163 patients. It is therefore essential that we now design and perform the correct trials to determine whether the infusion of inotropic agents is helping or possibly harming these patients. 

There appears to be huge variation in both the diagnosis and treatment of hypotension amongst clinicians. We have previously identified very large variations in practice, both in diagnosing and treating hypotension and we estimate that approximately 12, 5000 ELBW infants annually in the EU receive inotropic support for hypotension. Dopamine is the most commonly used agent, despite there being little evidence to support its use.

Within 3 years up to 830 infants of 23-28 weeks gestational age will be randomised to two alternative pathways to determine the optimum treatment regime for the management of hypotension in the transitional period (first 72 hrs of life). Study drugs will be administered until infants are deemed to no longer be hypotensive. The primary outcome of survival without brain injury will be determined at 36 weeks corrected gestational age and the co primary outcome of survival without neurodevelopmental disability will be assessed at a corrected age of 24 months. This will be the largest European trial in the ELGAN.

More information on the HIP trial can be found here.

The BabyLink Project

Neurophysiological monitoring of brain function is required for many newborn babies in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). This mostly involves electroencephalography (EEG), carried out by trained technologists. Interpretation of these recordings must be carried out by neurophysiologists who are expert in neonatal EEG analysis. The NICUs in Ireland are widely dispersed and the vast majority have no access to this expertise currently. This deficit will not improve significantly in the foreseeable future. In light of this, the question addressed is: can a technological solution to this problem be provided?

The challenge is to exploit recent advances in computing and information technology in the development of a distributed web-based teleneurophysiology application to enable a neurophysiologist interpret, and report on, EEGs in these babies promptly from a remote site. This would allow several NICUs to have access to the same diagnostic service. It would also allow optimal utilisation of a neurophysiologist’s time, a very limited resource in Ireland.

We are aware that similar solutions have been developed that depend on dedicated high bandwidth point-to-point links between hospitals. However, this does not solve the general case where available bandwidth is limited. We propose a novel solution, in collaboration with the Boole Centre for Research in Informatics, that allows patient data to be streamed from the bedside to the expert regardless of their physical location.


Figure 1:
The remote link to the neurophysiologist.


Babies can sustain brain injury for many reasons, including a shortage of oxygen at around the time of birth. Babies with serious brain injury can die, and survivors can be left with a permanent disability, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy or learning difficulties. It is very difficult to gauge the severity of the injury by simple observation of the baby. Monitoring the electrical activity of the brain provides useful information about the severity of the injury, the cause, and what the outcome is likely to be. Treatment, such as whole body cooling, helps to improve outcome, if applied in time.
The aim of this research is to develop a ‘smart’ automated system which recognizes patterns in electrical brain activity. This will accurately detect the severity of brain injury, allowing babies to be identified early and the appropriate therapies monitored and tailored to the needs of each individual case.


The aim of the HRB funded BRANE-Child (Brain Research After Neonatal Encephalopathy) project, is to investigate the predictive validity of neonatal continuous EEG, early developmental assessment, and other markers for five-year outcome in children who have experienced neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. At five-years of age, children are invited to undergo neurodevelopmental assessment in relevant domains. Psychological assessment measures overall intelligence and a selection of relevant neuropsychological domains including attention, memory, language, visual-spatial, and sensorimotor areas using standardized tests. Parents/carers rate their child’s overall behaviour and executive functioning. Neurological, vision and hearing screening tests are completed by paediatricians, ophthalmologist/orthoptist and audiologists respectively. The results will be compared to a cohort of children who had an uneventful neonatal period and for whom neonatal continuous EEG recordings are available.


SafeBoosCSafeguarding the brain of our smallest children an investigator-initiated randomised, blinded, multinational, phase II  feasibility clinical trial on  near-infrared spectroscopy monitoring combined with defined treatment guidelines versus standard monitoring and treatment as usual in premature infants. 

SafeBoosC is a multicentre phase II clinical trial with 13 participating clinical centres. SafeBoosc is taking place in the Cork University Maternity Hospital with Consultant Neonatologist and Neonatal Brain Research Group member Dr Eugene Dempsey as the national coordinator and Principle Investigator. Dr Dempsey has extensive research experience and is currently the Chief Investigator of an FP7 funded project ‘The HIP Trial’.

The primary objective of the SafeBoosC trial is to examine if it is possible to stabilise the cerebral oxygenation of extremely preterm infants during the first 72 hours of life through the application of cerebral NIRS oximetry and implementation of an rStO2-specific clinical treatment guideline. We hypothesise that by using the specified treatment guideline to respond to cerebral monitoring readings outside the target range, we would reduce the burden of hypo- and hyperoxia and consequently reduce brain injury. Overall 150 preterm infants will be enrolled into this trial.

For further information please click here -  

Brain maturation in the preterm infant
by Dr Nathan Stevenson UCC

Automated assessment of brain maturation in the preterm infant using the EEG

Brain injury in the premature infant has far reaching implications for the child, parents, family, the health service and society at large. Advances in clinical care mean that infants born as early as 24 weeks gestational age survive. A major aim of modern neonatal intensive care is the prevention of brain injury to these preterm neonates, but the burden of disability remains high. A technique that could accurately assess brain activity of the preterm infant in the neonatal intensive care unit would greatly aid the management of this vulnerable group. The electroencephalogram (EEG) has great potential for such an assessment as it provides a direct measurement of the electrical activity of the brain. The interpretation of continuous multi-channel cot-side EEG, however, is not a trivial task. The specialist expertise required to interpret the preterm EEG is limited, and those with the necessary skill set are challenged to provide rapid feedback to the clinician, around the clock, seven days a week. The only realistic way of dealing with the vast amount of information generated is to automate EEG analysis with the aid of the computer. This project has been funded to develop an automated algorithm for scoring brain maturational age based on the EEG. Such a measurement, used in conjunction with other clinical investigations, has the potential to ensure that developmental milestones are being met, greatly assisting the clinical management of the preterm infant.
Funded by: Science Foundation Ireland
Principal Investigator: Dr Nathan Stevenson UCC,
Collaborator: Dr. Sampsa Vanhatalo, University of Helsinki, Finland

Validation of Biomarkers in Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy
by Dr. Deirdre Murray
BiHIVE: Validation of Biomarkers in Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy is and HRB funded project.
Pricipal Investigator Dr. Deirdre Murray MB, BAO, BCh, MRCPI, PhD, Consultant Paediatrician/Senior Lecturer, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork In collaboration with The Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Perinatal asphyxia is one of the commonest causes of neonatal death and long term disability, occurring in 20 per 1000 live births. Of these, approximately 2-3 per 1000 will go on to develop hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE).  In Ireland and the UK HIE is the third commonest cause of neonatal mortality, accounting for 9% of all deaths, and 21% of term deaths, while globally it is estimated to cause over 1 million neonatal deaths each year.  Over the last 2 years, here in the Cork University Maternity Hospital, through the BIHIVE study (Biomarkers in Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy study) we have identified potential biochemical markers in umbilical cord blood which can accurately identify those infants who will progress to moderate/severe encephalopathy. To develop these markers further we will recruit a further cohort of carefully recruited infants with high quality biobanking at birth and detailed clinical phenotyping. Further validation will allow us to develop an algorithm of clinical and biochemical markers which will provide a sensitive and specific predictive test for moderate/severe HIE.

Further information will be available at: http://www.medscinet.net/BIHIVE/ 

Algorithm for Neonatal Seizure Recognition

A new method of detecting neonatal seizures

A series of Wellcome Trust grants awarded to a team of engineers and clinicians has funded the development and testing of a computer algorithm that can detect seizures in babies being treated in neonatal intensive care units. This algorithm is compatible with existing EEG units, and will help clinicians identify the frequency and severity of seizures, allowing appropriate treatment steps to be taken.

Seizures in newborn babies often indicate underlying neurological problems. If the seizures are not identified, and the causes treated, long-term brain damage may result. However, neonatal seizures are subtle and difficult to diagnose – in many cases they are ‘clinically silent’ and only detectable via EEG. Many hospitals lack the expertise required to interpret the highly complex brain patterns.

An automated system that can be used in neonatal intensive care units to detect seizures has been developed by a collaborative team of engineers and clinicians. Led by Dr Liam Marnane and Professor Geraldine Boylan (University College Cork), the team has created an algorithm that can monitor EEG outputs in real-time, telling doctors when seizures happen, how long they last and how often they occur. This allows physicians to administer appropriate drugs at the appropriate time. The new algorithm is compatible with existing infant EEGs.

An initial Wellcome Trust Translation Award, made in 2008, allowed the group to evaluate the algorithm against large amounts of real world data, in collaboration with Dr Janet Rennie, Consultant Neonatologist at University College Hospital. A Strategic Translational Award, made in 2012, will fund a multi-centre validation of the algorithm, comparing its level of seizure detection with that of a group of international experts. The Award for a “Multicentre clinical evaluation of a neonatal seizure detection algorithm” will also fund a trial testing the algorithm in a clinical setting in hospitals across Europe. The project has been named “Algorithm for Neonatal Seizure Recognition (ANSeR) and will be launched at a meeting attended by representatives of the Wellcome Trust on the 3rd of April 2013.

For further information: http://www.medscinet.net/Anser/

PIEeg Protocol
Preterm Infants EEG
by Rhodri Lloyd
Read more »


Seizures and hypothermia: Importance of electroencephalographic monitoring and considerations for treatment

GB Boylan, L Kharoshankaya, CJ Wusthoff

Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 2015 (article in press): 1-6


Heart rate variability in hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy: correlation with EEG grade and two-year neurodevelopmental outcome

Goulding RM, Stevenson NJ, Murray DM, Livingstone V, Filan PM, Boylan GB.

Pediatr Res [Internet]. International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc.; 2015 Feb 9


The effect of organic anion transporter 3 inhibitor probenecid on bumetanide levels in the brain: an integrated   in vivo microdialysis study in the rat

Donovan MD, O’Brien FE, Boylan GB, Cryan JF, Griffin BT.

J Pharm Pharmacol [Internet]. 2015


Clinical implementation of a neonatal seizure detection algorithm

Temko A, Marnane W, Boylan G, Lightbody G.

Decision Support Systems Volume 70, February 2015, Pages 86–96


Epilepsy after neonatal seizures: Literature review

Pisani F, Facini C, Pavlidis E, Spagnoli C, Boylan G.

European Journal of Paediatric Neurology

Volume 19, Issue 1, January 2015, Pages 6–14


Metabolomic Profiling in Perinatal Asphyxia : A Promising New Field

Denihan NM, Boylan GB, Murray DM.

BioMed Research International Volume 2015, Article ID 254076, 9 pages


The effect of haemolysis on the metabolomic profile of umbilical cord blood

Denihan, N.M., Walsh, B.H., Reinke, S.N., Sykes, B.D., Mandal, R., Wishart, D.S., Broadhurst, D.I., Boylan, G.B., and Murray, D.M.

Clinical Biochemistry 2015 (in press)

  1. Neonatal seizure detection using atomic decomposition with a novel dictionary.
    Nagaraj SB, Stevenson NJ, Marnane WP, Boylan GB, Lightbody G.
    IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2014 Nov; 61(11):2724-32
  2. Systematic review of neonatal seizure management strategies provides guidance on anti-epileptic treatment.  
    Hellström-Westas L, Boylan G,
    Ågren J.Acta Paediatr. 2014.
  3. Early Postnatal EEG Features of Perinatal Arterial Ischaemic Stroke with Seizures
    Low E, Mathieson SR, Stevenson NJ, Livingstone V, Ryan CA, Bogue CO, et al.
    PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e100973.
  4. Neonatal EEG Audification for Seizure Detection.
    Temko A, Marnane W, Boylan G, O’Toole JM, Lightbody G
    IEEE EMBS International Conference on Engineering in Medicine and Biology, EMBC'14, Chicago, USA, August 2014.
  5. Modulation Frequency Analysis Of Seizures In Neonatal Eeg
    Temko A.,  Boylan GB, Marnane W. P.,  Lightbody G., 
    EEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, ICASSP'14, Florence, Italy, May 2014.
  6. EEG 'Diarization' for the Description of Neonatal Brain Injuries
    Temko A., Marnane W., Boylan G, Lightbody G.
    IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, ICASSP'14, Florence, Italy, May 2014
  7. A combined in vitro, in vivo and in silico approach to develop and optimise a novel antiepileptic strategy in neonatal seizures
    Donovan M, O'Brien FE, Boylan GB, Griffin BT, Cryan JF
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 2014 24 Supplement 1 S10
  8. Global suppression of electrocortical activity in unilateral perinatal thalamic stroke.
    Kharoshankaya L., Filan P, Bogue C, Murray D, Boylan G
    Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 2014 Jan 11
  9. Measuring brain activity cycling (BAC) in long term EEG monitoring of preterm babies.
    Stevenson N, Palmu K, Wikström S, Hellström-Westas L, Vanhatalo S,
    Physiological measurement, 2014; 35: p1493-1508 
  1. EEG suppression associated with apneic episodes in a neonate. 
    Low E, Dempsey EM, Ryan CA, Rennie JM, Boylan GB.
    Case Report Neurol Med.2012; 2012:250801.
  2. Association of nucleated red blood cells and severity of encephalopathy in normothermic and hypothermic infants.
    Walsh B, Boylan G, Dempsey E, Murray D.  
    Acta Paediatrica, Volume 102, Issue 2, pages e64–e67, February 2013
  3. An Automated System for Grading EEG Abnormality in Term Neonates with Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy.
    Stevenson N. J.,  Korotchikova I.,  Temko A.,  Lightbody G.,  Marnane W. P.,  Boylan G. B.  
    Annals of Biomedical Engineering.  April 2013, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 775-785. 
  4. Monitoring neonatal seizures,
    Boylan GB, Stevenson NJ, Vanhatalo S,  
    Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine  2013 Aug;18(4):202-8.
  5. The 1H-NMR Derived Metabolomic Profile of Neonatal Asphyxia in Umbilical Cord Serum: Implications for Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy
    Reinke SN, Walsh BH, Boylan GB, Sykes BD, Kenny LC, Murray DM, Broadhurst DI
    Journal of Proteome Research  2013 Sep 6;12(9):4230-9
  6. Robust Neonatal EEG Seizure Detection Through Adaptive Background Modeling
    Temko A, Boylan G, Marnane W, Lightbody G
    International journal of neural systems  Volume 23, Issue 04, August 2013
  7. Normative Levels of Interleukin 16 in Umbilical Cord Blood
    Denihan NM, Looney AM, Boylan GB, Walsh BH, Murray DM
    Clinical biochemistry 2013 Dec;46(18):1857-9
  8. Cord Blood Proteins and Multichannel-Electroencephalography in Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy*
    Walsh BH, Boylan GB, Livingstone V, Kenny LC, Dempsey EM, Murray DM
    Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 14 (6), 621-630
  9. Neonatal seizures: The journey so far
    Boylan GB, Pressler R
    Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 2013 Aug;18(4):173-4.
  10. Discriminative and generative classification techniques applied to automated neonatal seizure detection.
    Thomas E, Temko A, Marnane W, Boylan G, Lightbody G
    IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics Vol/Issue: 17 (2), Date: 2013, Page: 297
  11. ScrutiniseIT: A Search-Based Approach to EEG Seizure Detection
    O'Reilly RD, Power D, Healy PD, Morrison JP, Boylan GB
    eTELEMED 2013, The Fifth International Conference on eHealth, Telemedicine, and Social Medicine


  1. E. Low,  G.B. Boylan, S.R. Mathieson, D.M. Murray, I. Korotchikova, N.J. Stevenson, V. Livingstone, J.M. Rennie, Cooling and seizure burden in term neonates: an observational study, Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal and Neonatal Edition, vol. 97, pp. F267-272, 2012.

  2. N.J. Stevenson, J.M. O'Toole, L.J. Rankine, G.B. Boylan, B. Boashash, A nonparametric feature for neonatal EEG seizure detection based on a representation of pseudo-periodicity. Medical Engineering and Physics, vol. 34, pp. 437-446, May 2012.

  3. N.E. Lynch, N.J. Stevenson, V. Livingstone, B.P. Murphy, J.M. Rennie, G.B. Boylan, The temporal evolution of electrographic seizure burden in neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, Epilepsia, vol. 53, pp. 549-557, March 2012.

  4. D.K. Shah, G.B. Boylan, J.M. Rennie, Monitoring of seizures in the newborn, Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition, vol. 97, pp. F65-F69, 2012.

  5. C. Hartley, L. Berthouze, S.R. Mathieson, G.B. Boylan, J.M. Rennie, N. Marlow, S.F. Farmer. Long-Range Temporal Correlations in the EEG Bursts of Human Preterm Babies. PLoS ONE. vol 7(2), pp. e31543, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031543, 2012.

  6. A. Temko, G. Lightbody, E.M. Thomas, G.B. Boylan, W. Marnane. Instantaneous measure of EEG channel importance for improved patient-adaptive neonatal seizure detection. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. vol. 59(3), pp. 717-727, March 2012.  

  7. A. Temko, N. Stevenson, W. Marnane, G. Boylan, G. Lightbody, Inclusion of temporal priors for automated neonatal EEG classification. Journal of Neural Engineering, vol 9. 10 pages, 046002, 2012.

  8. Walsh BHBroadhurst DIMandal RWishart DSBoylan GBKenny LCMurray DM The metabolomic profile of umbilical cord blood in neonatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e50520. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050520. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

  1.  B.H. Walsh, D.M. Murray, G.B. Boylan, "The use of conventional EEG for the assessment of hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in the newborn: A review" , Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 122, no. 7, pp. 1284-1294, July 2011.
  2. A. Temko, E. Thomas, W. Marnane, G. Lightbody, G.B. Boylan, "EEG-based neonatal seizure detection with support vector machines", Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 122, no. 3, pp. 464-473, March 2011.
  3. A. Temko, E. Thomas, W. Marnane, G. Lighbody, G.B. Boylan, "Performance assessment for EEG-based neonatal seizure detectors", Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 122, no. 3, pp. 474-482, March 2011. 
  4. B.H. Walsh, E. Low, C.O. Bouge, D.M. Murray, G.B. Boylan, "Early continuous video electroencephalography in neonatal stroke", Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 89-92, January 2011.
  5. I. Korotchikova, N.J. Stevenson, B.H. Walsh, D.M. Murray, G.B. Boylan, "Quantitative EEG analysis in neonatal hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy", Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 122, pp. 1671-1678, August 2011.
  6. M. Nadeem, D.M. Murray, G.B. Boylan, E.M. Dempsey, C.A. Ryan, "Early blood glucose profile and neurodevelopmental outcome at two years in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy", BMC Pediatrics, vol 11, article no. 10, February 2011.
  7. G.B. Boylan, "EEG monitoring in the neonatal intensive care unit: A critical juncture", Clinical Neurophysiology, DOI:10.1016/j.clinph.2011.03.015
  8. B.H. Walsh, G.B. Boylan, D.M. Murray, "Nucleated red blood cells and early EEG: Predicting Sarnat stage and two year outcome", Early Human Development, vol. 87, pp. 335-339, May 2011.
  9. A. Temko, C. Nadeu, W. Marnane, G.B. Boylan, G. Lightbody, "EEG Signal Description with Spectral-Envelope-Based Speech Recognition Features for Detection of Neonatal Seizures", IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine, vol. 15,  pp. 839-847, November 2011
  1. G.B. Boylan, L. Burgoyne, C. Moore, B. O'Flaherty, J.M. Rennie. "An International Survey of EEG use in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit", Acta Paediatrica. vol. 99 (8), pp. 1150-1155, March 2010.

  2. K. Palmu, S. Wikström, E. Hippeläinen, G. Boylan, L. Hellström-Westas, S. Vanhatalo, "Detection of ‘EEG bursts’ in the early preterm EEG: Visual vs. automated detection", Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 121 (7), pp. 1015-1022, July 2010. 

  3. N.J. Stevenson, M. Mesbah, G.B. Boylan, P.B. Colditz, B. Boashash, "A nonlinear model of newborn EEG with nonstationary inputs", Annals of Biomedical Engineering, vol. 38 (9), pp. 3010-3021, September 2010.

  4. O.M. Doyle, A. Temko, W. Marnane, G. Lightbody, G.B. Boylan, "Heart rate based automatic seizure detection in the newborn", Medical Engineering and Physics, vol. 32 (8), pp. 829-839, October 2010.

  5. I. Korotchikova, G.B. Boylan, E.M. Dempsey, C.A. Ryan, "Presence of both parents during consent process in non-therapeutic neonatal research increases positive response". Acta Paediatrica, vol. 99 (10), pp. 1484-1488, Ocotber 2010.

  6. E.M. Thomas, A. Temko, G. Lightbody, W.P. Marnane, G.B. Boylan. "Gaussian mixture models for classification of neonatal seizures using EEG". Physiological Measurement, vol. 31 (7), pp. 1047-1064. July 2010. 

  7. D.M. Murray, P. Bala, C.M. O'Connor, C.A. Ryan, S. Connolly, G.B. Boylan. "The predictive value of early neurological examination in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy and neurodevelopmental outcome at 24 months". Developmental Medicine in Child Neurology, vol. 52 (2), pp. e55-59, February 2010.

  8. M. Nadeem, D. Murray, G. Boylan, E.M. Dempsey, C.A. Ryan. "Blood carbon dioxide levels and adverse outcome in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy". American Journal of Perinatology, vol. 27 (5), pp. 361-5. May 2010.

  9. N.J. Stevenson, M. Mesbah, B. Boashash, "Multiple-view time-frequency distribution based on the empirical mode decomposition", IET Signal Processing, vol. 4 (4), pp. 447-456, 2010.

  10. K. Palmu, N. Stevenson, S. Wikström, L. Hellström-Westas, S. Vanhatalo, J. Matias Palva, "Optimization of an NLEO-based algorithm for automated detection of spontaneous activity transients in early preterm EEG", Physiological Measurement, vol. 31, pp. N85-N93, 2010.

International Conferences

  1. P.D. Healy, R.D. O'Reilly, G.B. Boylan, J.P. Morrison, "Web-based remote monitoring of live EEG", in Proceedings of the IEEE 12th International Conference on E-Health Networking, Application & Service (IEEE HealthCom '10), Lyon, France, pp. 169-174, 1-3 July 2010.

  2. A. Temko, G.B. Boylan, W.P. Marnane, G. Lightbody, "Speech recognition features for EEG signal description in detection of neonatal seizures", Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), pp. 3281-3284, 31 August - 4 September 2010

  3. O.M. Doyle, A. Temko, D.M. Murray, G. Lightbody, W.P. Marnane, G.B. Boylan, "Predicting the neurodevelopmental outcome in newborns with hypoxic-ischaemic injury", Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), pp. 1370-1373, 31 August - 4 September 2010

  4. A. Temko, I. Korotchikova, W. Marnane, G. Lightbody, G. Boylan, "Validation of an automated seizure detection system on healthy babies", INSTICC/IEEE International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, Valencia, Spain, January 2010

  1. I. Korotchikova, S. Connolly, C.A. Ryan, D.M. Murray, A. Temko, B.R. Greene, G.B. Boylan, "EEG in the healthy term newborn within 12 hours of birth", Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 120, no. 6, pp. 1046-1053, June 2009.

  2. A. Malone, C.A. Ryan, A. Fitzgerald, L. Burgoyne, S. Connolly, G.B. Boylan, "Interobserver agreement in neonatal seizure identification". Epilepsia. vol. 50, no. 9, pp. 2097-2101, 2009.

  3. D.M. Murray, M.N. O'Riordan, R. Horgan, G. Boylan, J.R. Higgins, C.A. Ryan. "Fetal Heart Patterns in Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy: Relationship with Early Cerebral Activity and Neurodevelopmental Outcome". American Journal on Perinatology. vol. 26, pp. 605-612, 2009.

  4. O.M. Doyle, I. Korotchikova, G. Lightbody,W. Marnane, D. Kerins and G.B. Boylan, "Heart rate variability during sleep in healthy term newborns in the early postnatal period", Physiological Measurement, vol. 30., pp. 847-860, August 2009.

  5. D.M. Murray, G.B. Boylan, C.A. Ryan, and S. Connolly, "Early EEG findings in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy predict outcome at 2 years", Pediatrics, vol. 124, pp. e449-e467, September 2009. 

International Conferences

  1. A. Temko, E. Thomas, G. Boylan, W. Marnane, G. Lightbody, "An SVM-Based System and Its Performance for Detection of Seizures in Neonates", IEEE International Conference on Engineering in Medicine and Biology 2009, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, September 2009

  2. S. Faul, A. Temko, W. Marnane, "Age-independent Seizure Detection", IEEE International Conference on Engineering in Medicine and Biology 2009, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, September 2009

  3. E. Thomas, A. Temko, G. Lightbody, W. Marnane and G. Boylan, "A Gaussian mixture model based statistical classification system for neonatal seizure detection", IEEE Workshop on Machine Learning for Signal Processing, Grenoble, France, September 2009

  4. D. Kelleher, S. Faul, A. Temko, W. Marnane, "On the Effect of Reduced Sampling Rate and Bitwidth on Seizure Detection", IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Signal Processing, Budapest, Hungary, August 2009

  5. E. Thomas, A. Temko, G. Lightbody, W. Marnane and G. Boylan, "A comparison of generative and discriminative approaches in automated neonatal seizure detection", IEEE International Symposium on Intelligent Signal Processing, Budapest, Hungary, August 2009



  1. B.R. Greene, S. Faul, W. Marnane, G. Lightbody, I. Korotchikova, and G.B. Boylan, "A comparison of quantitative EEG features for neonatal seizure detection", Clinical Neurophysiology, 119 (2008), 1248-1261.

  2. D.M. Murray, G.B. Boylan, I. Ali, C.A. Ryan, B.P. Murphy ans S. Connolly, "Defining the gap between electrographic seizure burden, clinical expression, and staff recognition of neonatal seizures". Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal Neonatal Edition. 2008; 93; F187-F191.

  3. B.R. Greene, W.P. Marnane, G. Lightbody, R.B. Reilly and G.B. Boylan, "Classifier models and architectures for EEG based neonatal seizure detection", Physiological Measurement. 29 (2008), 1157-1178.

  4. P. Mahon, R.G. Kowalski, A.P. Fitzgerald, E.M. Lynch, G.B. Boylan, B. McNamara, and G.D. Shorten. "Spectral Entropy as a monitor of depth of propofol induced sedation", Journal Clinical Monitoring and Computing,  2008; 22:87–93.

  5. P. Mahon, B.R. Greene, C. Greene, G.B. Boylan and G.D. Shorten, "Behaviour of spectral entropy, spectral edge frequency 90%, and alpha and beta power parameters during low-dose propofol infusion", British Journal of Anaesthesia, 101 (2): 213–21 (2008).

  6. D.M. Murray, G.B. Boylan, A.P. Fitzgerald, C.A. Ryan, B.P. Murphy, S. Connolly, "Persistent lactic acidosis in neonatal hypoxic–ischaemic encephalopathy correlates with EEG grade and electrographic seizure burden", Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition, May 2008; 93: F183 - F186.

Book Chapters

  1. G.B. Boylan, "Principles of EEG and CFM", in Neonatal Cerebral Investigation Eds:  Rennie, Robertson and Hagmann. Cambridge University Press: Publish date: Jan 2008.

  2. G.B. Boylan and D.M. Murray, "The normal neonatal EEG", in Neonatal Cerebral Investigation Eds: Rennie, Robertson and Hagmann. Cambridge University Press: Publish date: Jan 2008

International Conference

  1. E. Chah, B. R. Greene, G. B. Boylan, and R. B. Reilly, "Investigation of Entropy and complexity Measures for Detection of Seizures in the Neonate," presented at Biosignals 2008, Funchal, Portugal, 2008.

  2. B.R. Greene, G.B. Boylan, W.P Marnane, G. Lightbody, S. Faul, and S. Connolly, “Automated Single Channel Seizure Detection in the Neonate”, Proceedings of the 30th Annual IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 20-24 August 2008, pp. 915-918.

  3. O.M. Doyle, B.R. Greene, W.P. Marnane, G. Lightbody, and G.B. Boylan, “Characterisation of Heart Rate Changes and their Correlation with EEG During Neonatal Seizures”, Proceedings of the 30th Annual IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 20-24 August 2008, pp. 4984-4987.

  4. E.M. Thomas, B.R. Greene, G. Lightbody, W.P. Marnane, and G.B. Boylan, “Seizure Detection in Neonates: Improved Classification through Supervised Adaptation”, Proceedings of the 30th Annual IEEE International Conference of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 20-24 August 2008, pp. 903-906.



  1. S. Faul, G. Gregorcic, G. Boylan, W. Marnane, G. Lightbody and S. Connolly. "Gaussian process modelling of the EEG for detection of neonatal seizures". IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 2007, 54, 2151-2162. 

  2. B.R. Greene, G.B. Boylan, R.B. Reilly, P. de Chazal, S. Connolly. "Combination of EEG and ECG for improved automatic neonatal seizure detection". Clin Neurophysiol. 2007 Jan;118(6):1348-59.

  3. J. Rennie & G.B. Boylan. Treatment of neonatal seizures. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2007 Mar;92(2):F148-50.

  4. Barry R. Greene, Philip de Chazal, Geraldine B Boylan, Richard B. Reilly, Sean Connolly. Electrocardiogram based neonatal seizure detection. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 2007 Apr;54(4):673-82. 

 International Conference

  1. O. M. Doyle, B. R. Greene, D. M. Murray, L. Marnane, G. Lightbody, and G. B. Boylan, "The effect of frequency band on quantitative EEG measures in neonates with Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.," Proceedings of the 29th International Conferences of the IEEE-EMBS Conference, Lyon, 2007.
  2. B.R. Greene, P. Mahon, B. McNamara, G.B. Boylan, and G. Shorten, "Automated Estimation of Sedation depth from the EEG," Proceedings of the 29th International Conferences of the IEEE-EMBS Conference, Lyon, 2007.

Book Chapters

  1. Boylan, GB. Neurophysiology of the Neonatal Period. In Neonatal and Paediatric Neurophysiology, Eds: Pressler R, Cooper R & Binnie CD, Elsevier, London , 2007

National Conference

  1. E. M. Thomas, G. Lightbody, L. Marnane, B. R. Greene, and G. B. Boylan, "Seizure Detection in Neonates using Discriminant Analysis," Irish signals and systems conference, Derry, 2007


  1. Boylan GB. & Rennie JM. Automated neonatal seizure detection. Clinical Neurophysiology 2006;117: 1412-1413
  2. Greene B.R., de Chazal P, Boylan GB, Reilly RB, O'Brien C, Connolly S: “Heart and Respiration Rate Changes in the Neonate during Electroencephalographic Seizure”. Med. Biol. Eng. Comput. 2006, 44:27-34.
  3. Murray D.M, Boylan GB, Ryan CA, Connolly S. Early continuous EEG monitoring in acute near total intrauterine asphyxia. Pediatric Neurology 2006; 35:52-56
  4. Murray D.M, Ryan CA, Boylan GB, Fitzgerald T, Connolly S. Prediction of seizures in asphyxiated neonates: correlation with continuous video-EEG monitoring. Pediatrics 2006;118:41-46

International Conference

  1. Boylan GB. A Proposal for the implementation of an MSc in Child Health using a learning outcomes approach. International Symposium on Implementing Learning Outcomes, UCC February 2006
  2. Boylan GB. Advances in automated seizure detection in the newborn. European Congress of Epilepsy, Helsinki, July 2006 Invited Speaker
  3. Boylan, G.B, Murray, D, Greene B.R., Ryan, A, McNamara, B, Connolly, S. “What is Neonatal Status Epilepticus?” Proceedings of the XXVIIIth International Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology, Edinburgh, September 2006.
  4. Faul, S., Boylan GB, Connolly S, Marnane L, Lightbody G. Automated Seizure Detection for Newborns. European Congress of Epilepsy, Helsinki, July 2006
  5. Faul, S. Gregorčič, G. Boylan, G. Marnane, W. Lightbody, G. Connolly, S. Gaussian Process Modelling as an Indicator of Neonatal Seizure. Proceedings of the third IASTED International Conference on Signal Processing, Pattern Recognition and Applications (SPPRA 2006), Innsbruck, Austria, Feb 2006, pp 177-182
  6. Greene B.R. , Reilly RB, Boylan G, de Chazal P, Connolly S. “Multi-channel EEG based Neonatal Seizure Detection”, IEEE EMBS Conference. New York 2006
  7. Greene B.R., Boylan G.B, Reilly R.B Connolly S. “Heart Rate Variability in Neonates with Seizures”. Proceedings of the 7th European Congress of Epileptology. Helsinki, July 2006.
  8. Greene B.R., Boylan, G.B, Reilly, R.B, de Chazal P, Connolly S. “Neonatal Seizure Detection using a combination of EEG and ECG analysis” Proceedings of the XXVIIIth International Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology, Edinburgh, September 2006.
  9. Malone A, Boylan GB, Ryan A and Connolly S. Ability of medical personnel to accurately differentiate neonatal seizures from non-seizure movements.  28th International Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology , Edinburgh, September 2006
  10. Murray, D.M, GB Boylan, CA Ryan, S Connolly. The prediction of neuro-developmental outcome using early continuous video-EEG monitoring in neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. European Congress of Epilepsy, Helsinki, July 2006

National Conference

  1. Malone A, Boylan GB, Ryan CA, Connolly S. The Ability of Medical Personnel to detect seizures from non-seizure movements in neonates. Annual UCC Faculty of Medicine and Health 14th Annual Medical Faculty Research Day 2006 Medal for best Presentation
  2. Murray, D.M, Campbell, SM, Boylan, GB Ryan, CA, Nucleated red blood cells and early neurodevelopmental outcome in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Irish Perinatal Society. May 12th 2006
  3. Murray, D.M. Campbell, SM, Boylan, GB, Ryan, CA, Nucleated red blood cells and early neurodevelopmental outcome in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Annual UCC Faculty of Medicine and Health 14th Annual Medical Faculty Research Day 2006. Special commendation.


  1. Boylan GB, Rennie JM, Chorley G, Pressler RM, Fox GF, Farrer K et al. Second-line anticonvulsant treatment of neonatal seizures: a video-EEG monitoring study. Neurology 2004; 62(3):486-488.
  2. Faul, S. Boylan, G. Connolly, S. Marnane, W, Lightbody, G. An Evaluation of Automated Neonatal Seizure Detection Methods, Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 116 (7), pp 1533-1541, July 2005
  3. Filan F, Boylan GB, Chorley G, Davies A, Fox GF, Pressler R, Rennie JM. The relationship between the onset of electrographic seizure activity after birth and the time of cerebral injury in utero. BJOG 2005;112:504-507

International Conferences

  1. Boylan GB, Rennie J, Ryan CA & Connolly SC Seizure burden and outcome in the newborn baby European Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology, May 2005, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Boylan GB. Clinical neurophysiology in the neonate: challenges for clinicians and engineers. Meeting of the Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine London, February 22nd 2005 Invited Speaker
  3. Faul, S. Geraldine Boylan, Sean Connolly, William Marnane and Gordon Lightbody, "A Method for the Blind Separation of Sources for use as the First Stage of a Neonatal Seizure Detection System", Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP '05), Philadelphia, March 2005, vol 5, pp 409-412
  4. Faul, S., Geraldine Boylan, Sean Connolly, William Marnane and Gordon Lightbody, Chaos Theory Analysis of the Newborn EEG: Is it Worth the Wait? 2005 IEEE International Workshop on Intelligent Signal Processing (WISP '05), Faro, Portugal, Sept 1, 2005, pp 381-386
  5. Murray DM, Boylan G B, Connolly S, Murphy BP, Ryan CA. Correlation of continuous video EEG monitoring and serial lactate measurements in hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health; 9th spring meeting; University of York, 18-21 April 2005
  6. Murray, DM, MN O’Riordan, S. Gashout, GB Boylan, CA Ryan. Fetal heart rate patterns and timing of injury in HIE.. International Conference of Clinical Neurophysiology, Stockholm, May 2005

National Conferences

  1. Mahon, P.,Khan, E., Lynch, E., Faul, S., Boylan, G., McNamara, B., Shorten, G.  A comparison of EEG entropy (using SE/RE indices) and predefined EEG parameters as monitors of sedation depth in ASA 1 or 2 adult patients receiving low dose propofol, South of ireland association of Anaesthetists, Autumn Scientific Meeting, Killarney, Oct 2005
  2. Dollard, J, Boylan GB, Ryan CA. How can we tell what is abnormal without knowing what is normal? Sleep patterns in the early post-natal period. Irish Paediatric Association Autumn Meeting, Dublin November 2005. Medal for best presentation
  3. Faul, S., Boylan, G.B. Connolly, S. Marnane, W. Lightbody, G. A Novel Automatic Neonatal Seizure Detection System, IEE Irish Signals and Systems Conference 2005, (ISSC '05), Dublin City University, Ireland, Sept 2005, pp 377
  4. Greene, B.R., G.B Boylan, P. de Chazal, R.B Reilly, C.A Ryan, “Analysis of Heart Rate Change in Neonates with Seizures”, 1st Annual Interdisciplinary Conference UCC, Cork, Nov 2005
  5. Mun, S., Murray,DM., Boylan, GB.,Connolly, S., Ryan, CA. Cerebral Blood Flow Velocity and continuous EEG monitoring in HIE. Annual UCC Faculty of Medicine and Health 13th Annual Medical Faculty Research Day 2005
  6. Murray DM, Ryan CA, Boylan GB, Fitzgerald AP, Connolly S. Prediction of seizures in asphyxiated neonates: correlation with continuous video-electroencephalographic monitoring. Irish Paediatric Association Autumn Meeting. November 2005.
  7. Murray, DM, Ali, I., Boylan, GB., Murphy, BP, Ryan, CA. Clinical expression of neonatal seizures: the tip of the iceberg. Annual UCC Faculty of Medicine and Health 13th Annual Medical Faculty Research Day 2005. Special commendation.
  8. Murray, DM, Boylan, GB, Connolly, S, Murphy, BP, Ryan, CA. Correlation of continuous video-EEG monitoring and serial lactate measurements in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Irish Perinatal Society Meeting, May 2005.
  9. Murray, DM, GB Boylan, Connolly, S., Murphy, BP., Ryan, CA. Correlation of continuous video-EEG monitoring and serial lactate measurements in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. Annual UCC Faculty of Medicine and Health 13th Annual Medical Faculty Research Day 2005
  10. Murray, DM. Boylan, GB., Ryan, CA, Connolly, S. The evolution of early 24 hour video-EEG monitoring in hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE). Irish Neurological Association Annual Meeting, May 2005.


  1. Boylan GB, Rennie JM, Chorley G, Pressler RM, Fox GF, Farrer K et al. Second-line anticonvulsant treatment of neonatal seizures: a video-EEG monitoring study. Neurology 2004; 62(3):486-488.

International Conferences

  1. Faul, S., Boylan, GB, Connolly, S. Marnane, W. Lightbody, G. Automated Algorithms for Seizure Detection in Neonates, Meeting of the British Society of Clinical Neurophysiologists, London, Oct 2004
  2. Faul, S., Boylan, GB, Connolly, S. Marnane, W. Lightbody, G., An Automatic Seizure Detection System for Newborn Infants. IPEM,IEEE,IEE,ACPIN Symposium on Signal Processing in Clinical Neurophysiology, York, Feb 2004 

National Conferences

  1. Faul, S., Boylan, GB, Connolly, S. Marnane, W. Lightbody, G., Computer-aided Seizure Detection in Newborn Infants, ISSC 2004, Proc. IEE Irish Signals and Systems Conference, Belfast, pp 428-433


Book Chapters

  1. R Pressler, B Bady, CD Binnie, GB Boylan, JA Connell et al. Neurophysiology in Paediatrics in Clinical Neurophysiology  vol 2; 2003. Eds CD Binnie, R Cooper, F Mauguiere, J Osselton, P Prior, & B Tedman pages 447-619. Elsevier London

  2. Rennie J.M., Boylan GB. Neonatal Seizures. In: David TJ, editor. Recent Advances in Paediatrics. London: Churchil Livingstone, 2000: 19-32

National Conferences

  1. Stephen Faul, Geraldine Boylan, Sean Connolly, William Marnane and Gordon Lightbody, Computer-aided Seizure Detection System for Newborn Infants, Brain Research Meeting, Cork, Dec 2003
  2. Stephen Faul, Geraldine Boylan, Sean Connolly, William Marnane and Gordon Lightbody
    Cork University Hospital Faculty of Medicine and Health Research Day, June 2003
Prof Geraldine Boylan
SFI PI awards 2011

Geraldine Boylan is Professor of Neonatal Physiology at University College Cork. Together with Louise Kenny, Geraldine led the successful Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre bid, which underpins INFANT, and is a founding Director.

Geraldine has a career long track record in clinical neurophysiology and since 1996 has worked exclusively in the field of neonatal neurophysiology. Her PhD thesis from Kings College London focused on EEG and cerebral blood flow velocity during neonatal seizures. She is a Science Foundation Ireland and Wellcome Trust funded Principal Investigator and as an INFANT PI, Geraldine leads the thematic research areas related to the neonatal brain. Geraldine’s group comprise a multidisciplinary research team that have established an international reputation in the area of neurological monitoring in the neonatal intensive care unit, particularly in seizure detection and early diagnosis of brain injury. Researchers in Geraldine’s group are developing automated algorithms for monitoring brain activity and remote monitoring tools for physiological data acquisition in the neonatal intensive care unit.  One such innovation, an automated seizure detection algorithm for newborn babies, is the focus of a large multicentre trial, ANSeR, funded by a Strategic Translational Award from the Wellcome Trust and led by INFANT.  Geraldine is co-coordinator of the FP7 funded NEMO study, Europe’s first multicentred dose finding and safety study of Bumetanide for the treatment of seizures in newborn babies.


Please click here to see Geraldine’s full Profile:


E-mail: g.boylan@ucc.ie

Prof Eugene Dempsey

Professor Eugene Dempsey is a Consultant Neonatologist in the Cork University Maternity Hospital and Clinical Professor of Paediatrics in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork. He qualified from University College Cork in 1995, trained in the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, National Maternity Hospital Holles Street and Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin before moving to McGill University, Montreal where he completed subspeciality training in Neonatology at the Royal Victoria Hospital and Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University (2002-2005).
Gene is the coordinator of the EU FP7 funded HIP trial (http://www.hip-trial.com). He is also the Irish lead for the SafeboosC trial in neonates (SafeboosC).

Eugene's full IRIS profile is here:

Niamh Denihan
Niamh D

Niamh is a Molecular Medicine Ireland Clinical and Translational Research Scholar, with a BSc (Hons) in Chemical and Pharmaceutical science from Dublin City University, 2011. She is currently undertaking a PhD funded by Molecular Medicine Ireland within the Neonatal Brain Research Group, Cork University Maternity Hospital to identify and validate umbilical crd blood Biomarkers in Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy.

Previous and ongoing work in the NRBG (The BiHivE study) has identified potential biochemical markers in umbilical cord blood which can accurately identify infants who will progress to moderate/severe encephalopathy. Niamh’s work will use a combination of metabolomics and proteomics to validate the biochemical markers in a further cohort of infants. She aims to establish the quantitative changes in biochemical markers with the best potential for development into a clinically useful bedside predictive test.

Email: 111224166@umail.ucc.ie

Dr Peter Filan

Dr Peter Filan MB BCh BAO, MD, DCH, MRCPI

Dr Peter Filan is a Consultant Neonatologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital.  He qualified from University College Dublin in 1994 and initially trained at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles St., Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and the Children’s University Hospital, Temple St. In 2000 Peter moved to London to commence Higher Specialist Registrar training in Paediatrics at the South Thames London Deanery and in 2004 completed sub speciality training in Neonatology. There under the mentorship of Dr Janet Rennie he developed his interest in neonatal neurology. In 2004 he commenced a neonatal fellowship at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and undertook an MD thesis (awarded by UCD, 2008) supervised by Prof Terrie Inder. The thesis, based on advanced neonatal magnetic resonance imaging techniques, investigated the influence of surgery on the immature infant brain. Current interests include the developing infant brain, neonatal neuroimaging and EEG. 

Email: Peter.Filan@hse.ie 

Robert Goulding

Robert Goulding holds a BSc(Hons) Clinical Neurophysiology and is a qualified Specialist Clinical Physiologist (Neurophysiology). Robert previously worked within the Clinical Neurophysiology Department at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and is currently undertaking a PhD (Paediatric and Child Health) with the Neonatal Brain Research Group, Cork University Maternity Hospital as part of the NEOPRISM project. The overall objective of this project is to develop an automated neonatal EEG classification algorithm, based on advanced feature extraction and machine learning techniques that could be used for constant surveillance of the neonatal EEG in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Robert also aims to combine the automated assessment of neonatal EEG abnormality, seizure activity, and other physiological markers to produce an overall index of neonatal brain health.

E: r.goulding@ucc.ie

Dr Liudmila Kharoshankaya

Dr Liudmila Kharoshankaya is the ANSeR Clinical Trial Research Fellow at the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork.

In 2001 Liudmila qualified from Vitebsk State Medical University, Belarus, where she specialised in Neonatology and Paediatrics. She completed her Clinical Residency at the State Medical Academy of Post- Graduate Education, Minsk Belarus in 2010, and has 9 years of clinical experience.

Her current research interest is evolution of EEG characteristics during the first 72 hour after birth in infants with Hypoxic- Ischaemic Encephalopathy treated with controlled hypothermia and correlation of EEG changes with neurodevelopmental outcome at the age of 24 months.

Dr Irina Korotchikova

Dr Irina Korotchikova is a former member of the NBRG.
Dr Irina Korotchikova, MB, BCh, BAO 
research interests is the EEG of the newborn baby in the early post natal period. There is very little data available on the neonatal EEG in hypoxia-ischaemia early in the newborn period i.e. between 0-12 hours of birth and virtually nothing is known about the EEG of the normal neonate during this time period. 
The influence of factors such as labour, delivery method and maternal anaesthesia has not been studied early in this time period. This information is essential before we can accurately identify the severity of hypoxia ischaemia early in the newborn period, provide accurate prognosis in this period and correctly identify those babies that will benefit most from neuroprotective therapies.
Her PhD was completed in 2011 and its aims were:
·        To establish normal EEG and sleep patterns in the immediate post-natal period in healthy full term neonates.
·        To determine the effects of labour, delivery method and maternal anaesthesia on these early EEG and sleep patterns. 
·        To compare these patterns to the early EEG patterns of babies with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. 

Her PhD was supervised by Prof Geraldine Boylan and Prof CA Ryan, and ran in collaboration with the Department of Electrical Engineering, UCC and Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.

Rhodri Lloyd

Rhodri Lloyd is undertaking a PhD within the Neonatal Brain Research Group at Cork University Maternity Hospital. He is a Clinical Physiologist (Neurophysiology) from Cardiff, where he was employed within the Clinical Neurophysiology Department at The University Hospital of Wales. He previously gained a BSc Neuroscience degree at Cardiff University, before achieving a BSc Clinical Physiology degree at The City of Westminster College, Middlesex University.

 Rhodri works within the research group to help gain further knowledge of the neonatal brain and it’s EEG, whilst providing observation of on-going EEG recordings within the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). 

His particular project concentrates more specifically on the research of the electrophysiological brain function of pre-term neonates and their potential seizure activities.

Ann Marie Looney

Ann Marie Looney is a HRB funded PhD student working within the Neonatal Brain Research Group, Cork University Maternity Hospital. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) Neuroscience, University College Cork in 2009 and was awarded her Master of Science in 2012 for a joint project between the Department of Paediatric and Child Health and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology through the Anu Research Centre, Cork University Maternity Hospital.  Focusing on Neonatal Asphyxia and Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, this project examined the feasibility of using placental biopsies to obtain a potential biomarker for the condition.

 Ann Marie is currently working in the area of detection and validation of potential cord blood Biomarkers for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, through the BiHIvE 2 project. Her PhD has a specific focus on the miRNA profile of cord blood from the asphyxiated neonate.

Email: am.looney@ucc.ie

Dr Evonne Low

Dr Evonne Low:  Former Wellcome Trust PhD Clinical Research Fellow

Evonne Low is a former member of the NBRG where her research work involved EEG in both the term and preterm.

Research Interests
The definite diagnosis of seizures in preterm and full term infants is critically dependent on expert interpretation of the full standard EEG.  However, this service may not be pragmatically available around the clock.  It is necessary to have an effective and a robust system to detect seizures with precision and as rapidly as possible following application of the full standard EEG, to enable clinicians to instigate the appropriate intervention for the newborn. 

Read more »
Dr Brendan Murphy

Brendan Murphy is a Consultant Neonatologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital and Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University College, Cork. He qualified from University College Dublin in 1989, and completed Higher Specialist Paediatric and subspecialist Neonatology training in Edinburgh UK in 2001 following his Fellowship in Neonatal –Perinatal Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. His MD Thesis awarded from University College Dublin in 2001 based on original work carried out under the mentorship of Prof J.J. Volpe in Harvard explored the use of quantitative MRI imaging techniques to examine post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus in very low birthweight infants. Since returning initially to Edinburgh and subsequently to Cork as Consultant Neonatologist in 2002, he has continued to develop his research interests exploring how pathological processes in the neonatal period disturb the brain and its subsequent function by leading not only to tissue injury but also by disturbances of subsequent brain development.

As the Clinical Director of Neonatology he played a central role in commissioning the Clinical Department of Neonatology and development of the Cork Neonatal Research Centre at the newly opened Cork University Maternity Hospital in 2007.

He continues to be the Coordinator for the Republic of Ireland of the NICORE (Neonatal Intensive Care Outcomes Research & Evaluation) Ireland All Ireland Quality Improvement in Neonatology Project for auditing and benchmarking neonatal outcomes in Ireland both nationally and internationally.

He was the Clinical Lead in the Department of Neonatology at Cork University Maternity Hospital for the NEMO Trial funded by a European FP7 grant. This exploratory dose finding and pharmacokinetic multi-centre clinical trial is a collaborative trial between clinical centres in Ireland, UK, and Europe examining the use of Bumetanide as an adjunct therapy to Phenobarbitone for the treatment of NEonatal seizures using Medication Off-patent.

Dr Deirdre Murray

Dr Deirdre Murray's research strategy is to promote high quality paediatric research in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. To do this, with the support of Prof Jonathan Hourihane, we have formed a collaborative research team which has recently received funding to establish the first Irish birth cohort and first neonatal biobank, the BASELINE study. This birth cohort will gather detailed information from 3000 Irish children as they grow and develop over several decades, with a large biobank of stored umbilical cord blood. Deirdre has recently been awarded a prestiguous HRB Clinician Scientist Award to validate biomarkers in hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy through the BiHIVE study.

Deirdre's full IRIS profile is here:



Jackie O'Leary

Jackie O’Leary is a qualified general nurse since 1988 and commenced working as a clinical research nurse in a privately owned company, Shandon Clinical Trials Ltd in 1990. Shandon CT operated as a clinical research centre and its services included protocol and case record form development, IRB and Irish Medicines Board (IMB) submissions, recruitment and screening, clinical phase, data management and statistical analysis, and clinical report writing services. The company also provided subjects for pharmacokinetic studies, including relative bioavailability of established and experimental formulations, single and multiple-dose kinetic studies, food-effect kinetic studies, selected interaction studies, pharmacokinetic analyses of pilot and development batches of medicines, immediate and modified release formulations, kinetics in slow and fast metabolisers, and OTC and prescription-only drugs, as well as bioequivalence testing. Initially Ms O’Leary was employed as a Clinical Trials Nurse/Manager and spent 5/6 years in this position before moving to the role of Study Monitor. In 2000 the position of Quality Control Manager became vacant and she assumed this role for the company. During her time as Quality Control Manager she gained a lot of experience in the conducting and execution of clinical trials as every aspect of a clinical trial from protocol writing to final study report writing including statistics was quality controlled.

Ms O’Leary updated her training on a regular basis during her time with Shandon Clinical Trials with various GCP and Auditing courses. She also completed a Diploma in Quality Management in 2006, first class honours BBUS degree in Business from Cork Institute of Technology in 2012 and recently received a Masters in Clinical Trials with honours from The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2014. Ms O’Leary was the NEMO Clinical Trial Monitor and is currently the ANSeR Clinical Trial Monitor.

Email: jackie.oleary@ucc.ie

Catherine O'Connor

Catherine O’Connor is a clinical psychologist, and is currently a part-time PhD student with the Neonatal Brain Research Group and the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, UCC, under the supervision of Dr. Deirdre Murray and Prof. Geraldine Boylan. Her research is focused on the long-term follow up of children who experienced hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy in the neonatal period. Her interest developed from working for many years at Enable Ireland services in Cork which provides multidisciplinary services to children and adolescents with a physical/neurological disability and to their families/carers. Her role concentrated on supporting each child’s unique learning and other strengths and needs in home and school settings. She has also worked closely with siblings using the ‘sibshops’ model.

Email: catherineoconnor@ucc.ie

Marc Paul O'Sullivan

Marc O’Sullivan is a NCRC funded PhD student working with the Neonatal Brain Research Group in Cork University Maternity Hospital. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Neuroscience from University College Cork (2014). Marc has previously worked on core temperature variability in Hypoxic-Ischemic neonates with seizure burden, and is now focused on “Biomarkers for neonatal growth and brain development”. His phD has a specific focus on the microRNA profile of cord blood from the asphyxiated neonate, he is also looking at early rapid weight gain in newborns more susceptible to later life obesity.

Email: marc.osullivan@ucc.ie
Niamh Geaney

Niamh Geaney qualified as a Registered General Nurse in the UK in 1990.  She worked in a large London hospital for 10 years before returning to Cork where she worked in the Intensive Care Unit in the Mercy University Hospital.  In 2003 she began working in working in a privately owned Clinical Research Organisation, Shandon Clinical Trials Ltd.  There, she worked as a Clinical Research Nurse initially before moving to the role of Study Monitor. During her time as Study Monitor, she gained a great deal of experience in the conducting, execution and reporting of clinical trials.  

 After leaving Shandon Clinical Trials, she then worked as a Pharmacovigilance Officer in SMPC Ltd, a company providing contract Pharmacovigilance services to the Pharmaceutical Industry. She also worked as a Clinical Research Manager for Atlantia Food Clinical Trials Ltd., an independent Clinical Research Organisation specialising in clinical trials in the area of food for health.  Ms Geaney joined the Neonatal Brain Research Group, (part of The INFANT Centre), Cork University Maternity Hospital in September 2013 as Study Monitor for the HIP Study. The HIP Trial is an EU FP7 funded project and is the largest multi centred European study in Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns (ELGANs).

Email: ngeaney@ucc.ie

Dr Caroline Ahearne

Caroline Ahearne is the BiHIVE (Validation of Biomarkers in Hypoxic-Ischaemic Encephalopathy) Study Research Fellow and is undertaking a PhD with the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in University College Cork.

Caroline graduated with a degree in Medicine (MB BCh BAO) from University College Dublin in 2010. She then completed postgraduate basic specialist training in Paediatrics with the Royal College of Physicians Ireland. Following 3 years of clinical experience, Caroline joined the BiHIVE Study where her research interests are the assessment of neurodevelopmental outcome in children following perinatal asphyxia, correlation of outcome with perinatal biomarkers and the development of new tools to assess cognitive development in children. 

Gavin Hawkes

Gavin Hawkes is a final year PhD candidate in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health. Having completed an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences from University College Cork in 2011 he then completed training as an Emergency Medical Technician, prior to beginning his PhD in 2012.

The primary aim of his PhD is to investigate the role of enhanced monitoring, in the form of electrocardiography and capnography, during resuscitation of preterm infants in the delivery room. Secondary aims of his PhD relate to various areas of neonatal resuscitation training. Professor Eugene Dempsey and Professor Anthony Ryan supervise his PhD.

Taragh Keily

Taragh Keily is the Project and Quality Manager for the Wellcome Trust ANSeR Project “Clinical Evaluation of Neonatal Seizure Detection Algorithm”. Graduated from the University of Ulster with a BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition and subsequently worked in the private sector for 13 years before joining the ANSeR Project in 2013.

Ita Herlihy

Ita Herlihy is a Clinical Research Nurse who joined the team at the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) in February 2012. She has amassed 10 years’ experience working within Clinical Trials. Ita is currently working with Professorr.Eugene Dempsey, Consultant Neonatologist, Cork University Maternity Hospital on two projects. The HIP Trial is an EU FP7 funded project and is the largest multi cantered European study in Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns (ELGANs), it is a Phase III Clinical Trial entitled ‘HIP - Management of Hypotension In the Preterm’. This trial is currently enrolling. The SafeboosC trial (Safeguarding the brain of our smallest children) SafeboosC is now in the follow up phase having recruited 21 infants in Cork born less than 28 weeks gestational age to monitor cerebral oxygen levels using Near Infrared Spectroscopy. It is an investigator-initiated randomised, blinded, multinational, phase II feasibility clinical trial. She has also been responsible for  recruitment for the RSV study.  RSV is an observational study of the risk factors for RSV hospitalisation in a cohort of infants born between 32 and 36 weeks and 6 days gestational age. Ita recruited a total of 211 subjects onto this study over a 9 month period.).Ita is also a member of the Neonatal Brain Research Group based in the Cork University Maternity Hospital University for the past 3 years.

Conal Wrigley

Conal Wrigley holds a BA (Hons) in Applied Psychology and is currently undertaking an MA Applied Psychology degree in the University College of Cork.

Conal has worked on previous NBRG projects, in particular the development of a European survey to identify treatment practices of neonatal seizures by neonatologists and paediatric neurologists (NEMO Survey), the BRANE-Child project (Brain Research After Neonatal Encephalopathy) and database development for the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT).

As part of his dissertation, Conal is investigating the application of a digitalised touchscreen-based measurement of executive functioning in toddlers under the supervision of Dr Deirdre Murray. This project aims to investigate working memory deficits in toddlers. The INFANTapp will be compared to previously standardised tests and tasks of executive functioning to investigate the validity of the application in a non-clinical population.

Email: c.wrigley@ucc.ie

Rehan Ahmed

Rehan received his bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology Taxila, Pakistan in 2008 and Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering from University of Boras, Sweden in 2010.

In his Masters final project, he developed a textile sensor based wireless sweat detection device for hemodialysis patients. Based on this work, he was awarded the Best Poster Presentation Award 2009-10 from Universiy of Boras. After completing his Masters in August 2010, he was invited to do research on the binaural hearing aids in Department of Signal Theory and Communication, University of Alcala, Spain  on the European Training Scholarship, awarded by the University of Boras in 2010-11 and Industrial Scholarship in 2011 by University of Alcala.

Currently (Sep 2011- present) he is working towards his Ph.D. degree as a SFI scholar in Neonatal Brain Research Group, University College Cork, Ireland under the Supervision of Dr. Gordon Lightbody.

Research Interests
Biomedical Signal Processing, Neonatal Seizure detection, Machine Learning, Dynamic Classifiers, Support Vector Machines

PhD title

 “Pattern Recognition Systems for Continuous Neurological Monitoring in Neonates"
Dr Gordon Lightbody

Gordon Lightbody graduated first in his class with the MEng degree (distinction) (1989), and then PhD (1993) both in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queen's University Belfast. After completing a one year post-doctoral position funded by Du Pont, he was appointed by Queen's University as a Lecturer in Modern Control Systems. At Queens, his research focused primarily on the application of intelligent control, system identification and fault detection/diagnosis to the chemical process industry.

In 1997 he was appointed as a Lecturer in Control Engineering at University College Cork, and subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008.  His current research focuses on the application of intelligent control techniques to key application areas, which include; biomedical applications, wind and wave power, power system control and harmonic analysis, and chemical process control. In the past six years, he has been awarded in excess of €5.5M of research funding. He has published over 135 peer-reviewed papers in these areas and has received prizes at ACC 1995 in Seattle, IEE Control 1994 in Warwick England and an honourable mention at the IFAC World Congress in San Francisco, 1996. His H index (according to Google Scholar) is currently 20. 

Gordon's full IRIS profile is here:


Dr Liam Marnane

Dr William Marnane BE, DPhil (Oxford)(D.S.P.), MIEEE, AMIEE


Liam Marnane received the B.E. degree in electrical engineering from University College Cork in 1984 and the D.Phil degree from University of Oxford in 1989 studying test vector generation and design for test of VLSI designs. He was a lecturer in VLSI design at the School of Electronic Engineering Science, University of Wales, Bangor from 1989 to 1993. In 1992 he was a Visiting Researcher and Marie Cure Fellow at the Institute de Recherche en Informatique et Systemes Aleatoires, at the University of Rennes, France. In 1993 he was appointed as lecturer in Digital Signal Processing in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering at University College Cork and as senior lecturer in 1999. In 1999 he was a visiting researcher to the Electronic Devices Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Linköping. He has been awarded the "Giner de Los Ríos" Visiting Research Fellowship of the University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain, for 2007. His research interests include Biomedical Signal Processing and digital design for DSP, coding and cryptography. He is a member of the IEEE.

Liam's full IRIS profile is here:

Email: l.marnane@ucc.ie

Dr Keelin Murphy


Dr Keelin Murphy is a post-doctoral researcher on a fellowship from the Irish Research Council.  She obtained her PhD from the University Medical Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 2011. Her thesis focused on automated medical image analysis, specifically nodule detection and intra-patient registration in thoracic CT. Her current project focuses on automatic interpretation of MRI scans of neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

E: Keelin.Murphy@ucc.ie

Sunil Belur Nagaraj


Sunil Belur Nagaraj received his B. Eng (2006) degree in Electrical and Electronics from M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology , Bangalore, India. Later, he received  M. Eng. (2010) degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Victoria, Canada. Currently he is pursuing his Doctoral studies (PhD) in University College Cork, Ireland under the guidance of Prof. Gordon Lightbody, Prof. William Marnane and Prof. Geraldine Boylan in Neonatal Brain Research Group. More details about the project can be found here (youtube link).

Read more »
Dr Nathan Stevenson
Dr Nathan Stevenson's research involves the analysis of neonatal brain waves using advanced signal processing techniques.  I am using the computer to automate the decision making process of an experienced neurophysiologist.  The automation of this decision making process provides the experience of a trained neurophysiologist, around the clock, to clinical settings that may not have such access.  Automation of neonatal brain wave analysis also has the potential to be applied when long periods of data must be considered (for prognosis) or when the speed of a decision is crucial (for diagnosis).

IRIS profile can be found here:research.ucc.ie/profiles/c005/nstevenson/Home  
Email: n.stevenson@ucc.ie
Dr Andriy Temko
Short bio:

Andriy Temko is a senior postdoctoral researcher in Neonatal Brain
Research Group working on machine learning algorithms for EEG
processing in automated newborn monitoring. He has a PhD in
Telecommunication Signal Processing from Universitat Politecnica de
Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. His research primarily spanned around
detection of events of interest in various signals, such as acoustic
events in audio signals, speech activity detection, seizures in
neonatal EEG, epileptiforms in adult EEG, allergy reaction in
pediatric ECG, etc. He has been involved in several EU and national
governments funded projects on audio/speech and biomedical signal

IRIS profile is here:

Google Scholar profile is here:

Email: andreyt@rennes.ucc.ie

Dr John O'Toole

Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

John M. O' Toole received the B.E. (1997) and M.Eng.Sc. (2000) degrees from the University College Dublin, Ireland, and the Ph.D. (2009) degree from the University of Queensland, Australia. His Ph.D. thesis received the Dean's award for outstanding research in 2010. Prior to Ph.D. study, he worked in industry (2001-2003) as a consultant engineer in control systems and as a research assistant (2003-2005) at the Signal Processing Research Centre in the Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

His postdoctoral research has included topics in signal processing and biomedical applications at the Centre for Clinical Research (2008-2010), University of Queensland, Australia; DeustoTech-eLIFE Group (2011-2013), University of Deusto, Spain; and from 2013 on at the Neonatal Brain Research Group, now part of INFANT, at University College Cork, Ireland.

Research interests include time-frequency signal analysis, discrete-time signal processing, efficient algorithm design, and biomedical signal analysis. Papers and computer code can be found at http://otoolej.github.io/.

T: +353 21 4205940
E: jotoole@ucc.ie

Dr Cillian O'Driscoll

Cillian O'Driscoll completed his PhD studies in Electrical Engineering in UCC in 2006 on the subject of performance analysis of the acquisition of weak GPS signals. From 2007 to 2010 he was a senior research engineer in the Position, Location And Navigation (PLAN) group at the University of Calgary in Canada. In Calgary his research focussed on high sensitivity Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver design, integration of GNSS and Inertial sensors and the development of real-time software GNSS receivers.

From 2011 to 2013 he was with the European Commission, first as a researcher at the Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy then as a Policy Officer with the European Satellite Navigation Programmes Directorate in Brussels. He returned to UCC in January 2014 to take up a position as a research support officer in the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) centre.
E: cillian.odriscoll@ucc.ie

Denis Dwyer

Denis Dwyer is a software research engineer in the Neonatal Brain Research Group.

Denis received his BSc Honours Degree (Computer Science) from UCC in 1990 and prior to joining the NBRG had almost 20 years experience as a software engineer in the private sector.

Within the group he is responsible for the design and implementation of the EEG algorithm in a real-time programming environment. His main tasks involve the reading and analysing of the EEG signal to produce an end-user Seizure Detection application.

 Email: denisd@rennes.ucc.ie

Jerry Deasy

Jerry graduated from UCC with a BSc in Computer Science, and completed a MSc in Interactive Media in 2011. Jerry joined the Neonatal Brain Research Group (NBRG) in February 2014 as Research Systems Manager and prior to joining has worked for more than 10 years in the Healthcare and Medical Education areas.

His focus is designing and implementing technology solutions for the NBRG group including the coordination of existing and new technology partners. This includes investigation in the use of both on premises and Cloud solutions and how they may be best harnessed for research activity. He manages the data and data flow in NBRG ensuring the highest standards are maintained.

Dr Vicki Livingstone

Dr Vicki Livingstone is a Biostatistician working with the Neonatal Brain Research Group, Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research. She has worked with the group since 2010 providing biostatistical support (study design, statistical analysis and reporting of results) for the various research projects that are being conducted. Prior to working with the group, she was a Lecturer in Biostatistics in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. As part of that role, she also provided statistical consultation to researchers from a wide variety of disciplines. Before this she was a Lecturer in Statistics in the Department of

Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Limerick where she received her PhD in Statistics in 2001. She is interested in the application of statistics to real-life problems in the health sciences area and has been co-author of 12 papers since 2012.

Email: V.Livingstone@ucc.ie
Dr Seán Connolly

Dr Connolly is current Dean of the Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and is also a member of the British Society of Clinical Neurophysiology, the Association of British Neurologists, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine and the American Academy of Neurology and an external collaborator of the NBRG.

Dr Seán Connolly received his MB, MCh, BAO degrees in 1984 from the National University of Ireland. In 1988 he received his MRCPI degree from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland , and in 1994 he was awarded an MD degree by the National University of Ireland. He was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 1998. From 1989 to 1996 he worked and trained in Clinical Neurophysiology at The Middlesex Hospital, London, Newcastle General Hospital, UK and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA . Since July 1996 he has been Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.

Dr Janet Rennie

Dr Janet Rennie is a Consultant Neonatologist with a special interest in brain injury in babies and an external collaborator of the NBRG. 

Dr Rennie was a Lecturer in Paediatrics, University of Cambridge from 1985-to 1987, and held a Consultant appointment in Cambridge until 1995. Whilst in Cambridge she was also Director of Medical Studies at Girton College. Dr Rennie held an appointment as Consultant in Neonatal Medicine at King’s College Hospital in London from 1995 to 2004 and now holds a similar post at University College London Hospitals where she is the Clinical Lead in Neonatology. She has contributed chapters to the major British textbook of paediatrics and many other books, and co-authored  “Manual of Neonatal Intensive Care 4th Edition” with Dr NRC Roberton. She is the editor of  “Rennie & Roberton’s Textbook of Neonatology 5th Edition", and also the Editor of the 4th edition. Dr Rennie was also the sole author of “Neonatal Cranial Ultrasound”, and co-author of the updated version entitled “Neonatal Cerebral Investigation” (highly commended in the BMA Book Prize 2009 and by Doody’s Book Reviews). Dr Rennie was elected a Fellow ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2008.

Dr Rennie is involved in research into neonatal brain injury, and has published many papers on this topic. The NBRG currently holds a Wellcome technology transfer grant, for work on automated seizure detection, and Dr Rennies is also a co-investigator in a European study (FP-7) of antiepileptic drug treatment of neonatal seizures: NEMO. She was on the board of the Archives of Disease in Childhood for ten years and served on the national executive committee of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine for a similar length of time. She currently serves on the board of the Mac Keith Press and was the Chair of the RCPCH Specialist Advisory Committee, responsible for setting standards regarding training in neonatal medicine in the UK, from 2002 to 2005, having been on the committee since 1997. She has advised CESDI, and RCOG-led advisory groups on “Safer Childbirth” and “Standards for Maternity Care” and was Chair of the NICE guideline development group on neonatal jaundice 2007-10.

Jean Conway

Jean Conway joined The Neonatal Brain Research Group (NBRG) in December 2013 as Project Manager for HRB funded BiHIVE 2 Study with Dr. Deirdre Murray. In March of 2013 Jean's role expanded to encompass Assistant Clinical Project Manager for Professor Geraldine Boylan's Wellcome Trust funded ANSeR Study.

Jean has twenty plus years research experience as a clinical trials manager in a private clinical research organization. She is proficient in ICH and GCP guidelines for Investigational Medicinal Products as well as being trained to ISO standards for medical device studies. She has also worked as a pharmacovigilance officer for a small drug company.

Jean studied nursing at The University of New Hampshire in the USA from 1982-1986 before moving to Ireland in 1993 with her family. She is currently enrolled at The University of Edinburgh studying for a Masters in Clinical Research.

Mairead Murray

Mairead Murray, began working in the field of Clinical research by providing Maternity cover for the Research Manager of an observational study (BASELINE)  based in University College Cork (UCC). She then became the Research Manager for NBRG, UCC and in particular responsible for the local involvement in the NEMO clinical Trial.  NEMO stands for: Treatment of NEonatal seizures with Medication Off-patent: evaluation of efficacy and safety of bumetanide. NEMO is an EU FP7 funded project that will be the largest multicentered European study of neonatal seizures and their treatment. She has been involved in the NEMO project from its beginning and has in particular been involved in the Data Management and Dissemination and the Study Monitoring and Ethics WorkPackages. Among other responsibilities she have also been involved in the regulatory applications and amendments and maintenance of the Investigator Site File documentation for the NEMO Clinical Trial in Cork

 Ms Murray completed a BSc (Biotechnology) in Dublin City University in 1993 and a HDip (Computer Science) in UCC in 2002.

Brenda O'Flynn
Ms Brenda O'Flynn is research support officer and financial manager for the Neonatal Brain Research Group and its associated research projects.
Niamh O'Shea

Niamh joined University College Cork in January 2011 as the Trial Coordinator for a Phase III Clinical Trial entitled ‘HIP - Management of Hypotension In the Preterm Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn’. The HIP Trial is an EU FP7 funded project and is the largest multi centered European study in Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns (ELGANs). Niamh is also the research assistant for Professor Eugene Dempsey, a lead Principle Investigator of INFANT and has assisted Professor Dempsey in two of his previous research projects – the SafeBoosC trial and the RSV trial. Her responsibilities include regulatory and ethical clinical trial applications, regulatory and monitoring audits, overseeing and managing trial master files, drafting clinical trial documentation, sponsor and client liaison, good clinical practice training for study staff, sample handling and processing and document control.

Niamh was previously employed as the Project Manager with an independent, single-center CRO which carried out Phase I bioequivalence and bioavailability clinical trials and dental and cosmetic studies. Niamh has been working within the research industry for 10 years.

Niamh is currently a second year MSc student of the Royal College of Surgeons, studying ‘Healthcare Ethics and Law’.

Email: N.OShea@ucc.ie