Ciara O'Sullivan

Universitat Rovira i Virgili

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 elongation for multiplexed SNP detection, multiplexed electrochemical miRNA detection and quantitative paper diagnostics as companion tools for the future paradigm of pharmacogenomics and personalised medicine. 

Selected publications

- Pourhassan H, Clergeaud G, Hansen AE, Østrem RG, Fliedner FP, Melander F, Nielsen OL, O'Sullivan CK, Kjær A & Andresen TL 2017, 'Revisiting the use of sPLA2-sensitive liposomes in cancer therapy', Journal of Controlled Release, 261, 163-173.

- Skouridou V, Jauset-Rubio M, Ballester P, Bashammakh AS, El-Shahawi MS, O Alyoubi AO & , O’Sullivan CK 2017,' Selection and characterization of DNA aptamers against the steroid testosterone', Microchimica Acta, 184:1631–1639

- Leonardo S, Rambla-Alegre M, Samdal IA, Miles CO, Kilcoyne J, Diogène J, O'Sullivan CK & Campàs M 2017, 'Immunorecognition magnetic supports for the development of an electrochemical immunoassay for azaspiracid detection in mussels', Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 92, 200-206.

- Acero Sanchez JL, Henry OYF, Joda H, Werne Solnestam B, Kvastad L, Johansson E, Akan P, Lundeberg J, Lladach N, Ramakrishnan D, Riley I & O’Sullivan CK 2017, 'Electrochemical genetic profiling of single cancer cells', Analytical Chemistry, 89(6), 3378-3385

- Svobodová M, Skouridou V, Botero ML, Jauset-Rubio M, Schubert T, Bashammakh AS, El-Shahawi MS, Alyoubi AO & O'Sullivan CK 2017, 'The characterization and validation of 17β-estradiol binding aptamers', Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 167, 14-22.    

- Debela AM, Svobodová M, Thorimbert S, Hasenknopf B, Ortiz M & O' Sullivan CK 2017, 'PCR incorporation of polyoxometalate modified deoxynucleotide triphosphates and their application in molecular electrochemical sensing of Yersinia Pestis', Chemistry: A European Journal, 23, 10597–10603.

- Rubio JM, El-Shahawi M, Bashammakh AS, Alyoubi AO & O‘Sullivan CK 2017, 'Advances in aptamer based lateral flow assays', TRAC, 97, 385-398.

Selected research activities

- Executive Editor, Analytical Biochemistry.

- Partner in H2020 NMBP-13-2017, Project ID: 767325, PoC in-office device for identifying individuals at high risk of Osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture, From 2017-10-01 to 2021-09-30.

- Two PhD students defended PhD.