Following her BSc (Food Science) from University College Cork in 1981, Nora O’Brien completed a Masters in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota, a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Louvain. She returned to a Lectureship in Nutrition in University College Cork in 1989. She initiated a research programme on the relationship between nutrition and health which has grown very successfully over the years. Nora has obtained over €6 million in competitive grant awards from national, including a Science Foundation Ireland Investigator Programme Award, and international funding sources. These funds have supported the research activity of approximately 50 individuals whom Nora has supervised at Masters, PhD and Post-doctoral levels. The group’s work has resulted in over 180 peer-reviewed research publications in the international scientific literature as well as numerous conference presentations. Over the years many members of her group have received awards for their work. Nora herself has been a recipient of the Royal Irish Academy Nutrition Medal in 2000. Nora has also been active in public service including membership of the Irish Council for Bioethics and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Food Safety Promotion Board. She has given many public lectures to diverse groups on her research interests.
Within AgriDiet, Nora is leading the surpervision of the Ethiopian nutrition PhD student (Work Package 5), as well as advising on nutritional issues in the development of the methodology guidelines and conceptual framework (WP3).