Ciara O'Sullivan

Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

Engineering Sciences

Ciara O' Sullivan received a BSc in Analytical Chemistry from Dublin City University in 1992, a PhD in Biotechnology from Cranfield University in 1996 and then went on to lead the sensors group at University College Cork from 1996-99. She then took up a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (1999-2001) and was then awarded a Ramón y Cajal Fellowship which she pursued for 1 year prior to taking up her current position as ICREA Research Professor and establishing the Nanobiotechnology and Bioanalysis Group at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. She is group leader of the GENCAT funded Consolidated Group INTERFIBIO.

Research interests

Her research interests lie in the development of electrochemical and optical biosensors exploiting advances in tailored biocomponents. Presently, her work focuses on reducing to practise cost-effective molecular diagnostics for screening and monitoring of disease, as well as on the development of aptamers for application in optical and electrochemical molecular aptamer beacons. The approaches for molecular diagnostics being developed include parallelised real-time electrochemical next generation sequencing, electrochemical array based primer extension and quantitative paper diagnostics as companion tools for the future paradigm of pharmacogenomics and personalised medicine.

Selected publications

– Debela AM, Beni V, Thorimbert S, Hasenknopf B, O’ Sullivan CK* & Ortiz M* 2016, ‘Electrochemical primer extension for detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the cardiomyopathy associated MYH7 gene’, Chem. Commun., 52, 757-759.

– Jauset Rubio M, Mairal T,  Svobodová M, Saeed A, Nooredeen Abbas M, El-Shahawi M, Bashammakh AS,… Alyoubi AO & O ‘Sullivan CK 2016, ‘Ultrasensitive, rapid and inexpensive detection of DNA using paper based lateral flow assay’, Sci Rep, 6, 37732.

– Jauset Rubio M, Mairal T, Svobodová M, Keegan N, McNeil C, El-Shahawi M, Bashammakh AS,… Alyoubi AO & O ‘Sullivan CK 2016, ‘Aptamer lateral flow assays for ultrasensitive detection of β-conglutin combining recombinase polymerase amplification and tailed primers’, Analytical Chemistry, 88 (21), pp 10701–10709.

– Jauset M, Mairal T, Svobodova M and O’ Sullivan CK 2016, ‘Surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) for analysis of DNA aptamer:β-conglutin interactions’, Methods, 97, 20-26.

– Acero Sanchez JL et al. 2016, ‘Multiplex PCB-based electrochemical detection of cancer biomarkers using MLPA-barcode approach’, Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 15; 82: 224-32.

– Sabaté del Rio J, Conejeras P & O’ Sullivan CK 2016, ‘Electrochemical detection of Piscirickettsia salmonis genomic DNA from salmon samples using solid-phase recombinase polymerase amplification’, Anal Bioanal Chemistry, 408(30), 8611-8620.

– Dabbagh-Bazarbachi H et al. 2016, ‘A simple liposome assay for the screening of zinc ionophore activity of polyphenols’, Food Chemistry, 197, pp. 916-923.

Selected research activities

Executive Editor of Analytical Biochemistry.

Editorial Board of Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Director of Interfibio – AGAUR funded Consolidated Research Group.

Technology transfer contract from 2Bind GmBH for aptamer selection.

Visiting Professor Newcastle University, UK and University of the Western Cape, South Africa.