Dr. John Nolan, PhD
Professor John Nolan is a Fulbright Scholar and currently holds a Chair for Human Nutrition Research at the School of Health Science, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Prof Nolan is the Founder and Director of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) and is also the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG, a specialized research group within this centre). HOWARD CHAIR IN HUMAN NUTRITION, FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR, ERC FELLOW, was born and raised in the Republic of Ireland, where he studied Science at the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). It was at WIT where Professor Nolan obtained his primary degree and also completed his PhD. He then worked at the Medical College of Georgia in the US as part of the Fulbright Scholar Program. Upon successful completion of the Fulbright Scholarship, he returned to Ireland, where he established the Macular Pigment Research Group. This group of scientists have spent 18 years studying the role of nutrition for the eye and brain, with some
His research group studies the role of nutrition for vision, cognitive function and prevention of age-related disease. In 2011, Prof Nolan won a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) research grant to study the impact of nutritional supplementation on visual function via two major clinical trials (CREST 281096; Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials). These trials identified how targeted nutrition can improve visual function for the general population, and for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Current studies at the NRCI are investigating the link between nutrition and brain health and function, and over the last number of years the Nolan and team have published novel papers on how targeted nutrients enhance cognitive function for the general population and improve quality of life for patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. Nolan’s work has had a major societal impact for patients suffering with AMD and for enhancing vision of the general population; for recognition, the CREST project was recently selected for presentation at a high-level conference entitled ‘EU Research & Innovation in Daily Life’, which took place at the European Parliament in Brussels to highlight the impact of EU-funded research and innovation in daily life.
Prof Nolan has published 106 peer-reviewed scientific papers on his area of research (4926 = citations, H index = 43). In 2014, he successfully edited a CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group book publication entitled “Carotenoids and Retinal Disease.” He has also edited a special issue in the prestigious Journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (MNF) “Nutrition for the Eye and Brain”. Professor Nolan has editorial roles at the European Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. A major career highlight is his role as Chair of the International Brain and Ocular Nutrition Conference (BON Conference), which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University (www.bonconference.org). See www.profjohnnolan.com for further details and access to his scientific publications and full academic profile.
Dr. James Stringham, PhD
Dr. James Stringham is an internationally recognized authority in the field of nutrition and eye health focusing on the many facets of visual performance. Dr. Stringham is a principle investigator and has designed and led numerous studies. He has authored or co-authored over 35 research papers on visual performance, macular health, blue light/screen time, contrast sensitivity, glare recovery and more, primarily in relation to the use of dietary supplements including lutein, zeaxanthin, meso-zeaxanthin, carotenoids, and others. He has taught at six universities, including the University of Georgia and Duke University Medical School, and won numerous academic awards.
Dr. James Stringham earned doctoral degrees in experimental psychology and neuroscience from the University of New Hampshire in 2003. During postdoctoral appointments at Harvard medical School and the Medical College of Georgia, he conducted research on the effects of the dietary carotenoids lutein zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin on age‐related macular degeneration, visual performance, and the plasticity of the visual system. Subsequent positions have included senior vision scientist with the Air Force Research Laboratory, and research professor at the University of Georgia and the Duke Eye Center. He is continuing his research on the effects of nutrition on visual performance, neurophysiology, and cognition in both normal and clinical populations.
He is also a founder of Maculearn, a transatlantic partnership between the Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland and Salus University Pennsylvania College of Optometry. MacuLearn is a new online learning resource allowing optometrists and eye care technicians to complete certified training about the importance of nutrition to eye health at their desk or using a mobile device.
Dr. Rebecca Power, PhD
Rebecca is a recent PhD a the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland in Waterford Institute of Technology. Rebecca has a keen interest in the role of nutrition for optimising health and wellbeing, with a specific interest in the potential role of nutrition in maintaining cognitive health and reducing the risk of neurological diseases, namely Alzheimer’s disease. Her current project, the Cognitive Impairment Study (CARES), is investigating the role of nutrition supplementation on cognitive function among individuals with mild cognitive impairment in comparison to age-matched controls. This research is being performed under the supervision of Professor John Nolan, Professor Stephen Beatty and Professor Riona Mulcahy, and support from Dr Robert Coen.
Rebecca has previously worked as a Research Technician on the European Research Council-funded Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST), which investigated the impact of enrichment of macular pigment on visual performance. Rebecca holds a BA (Honours) in Health Promotion. She has also completed an MSc (by Research) in sedentary behaviour, which involved characterising the habitual physical activity and sedentary patterns of individuals with peripheral arterial disease. In 2018, Rebecca was awarded the School of Health Science student of the year award in WIT.
Dr. Ríona Mulcahy, MD, PhD
Professor Ríona Mulcahy was appointed Consultant Physician in General and Geriatric Medicine at University Hospital Waterford in 2000 and Undergraduate Dean, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland in 2011. Her areas of specialist interest include Dementia, Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease and Poly pharmacy in the Elderly. She has also extensive ongoing research including collaboration with Professor John Nolan in Waterford Institute of Technology looking at the role of nutrition in Dementia and Age related Macular Degeneration.