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

- Chahin N, Uribe LA, Debela AM, Thorimbert S, Hasenknopf B, Ortiz M, Katakis I & O'Sullivan CK  2018, 'Electrochemical primer extension based on polyoxometalate electroactive labels for multiplexed detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms', Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 117, 201 - 206.

- Ortiz M, Debela AM, Methivier C, Thorimbert S, Hasenknopf B & O'Sullivan CK 2018, 'Stable Carboxylate-Terminated Gold Surfaces Produced by Spontaneous Grafting of an Alkyltin Compound', Chemistry-a European Journal, 24, 43, 11177 - 11184.

- Jauset-Rubio M, Tomasso H, Bashammakh AS, El-Shahawi MS, Alyoubi AO & O’Sullivan CK 2018, 'Duplex Lateral Flow Assay for the Simultaneous Detection of Yersinia pestis and Francisella tularensis', Analytical Chedmistry, 90(21), pp. 12745-12751 

Selected research activities

- Executive Editor of Analytical Biochemistry

- Visting Professor at University fo Western Cape (South Africa) and Newcastle University (UK)

- 3 co-directed PhD students graduated

- "Controlling cellular biochemistry with electronic signals – a step towards bioelectronic hybrids", Human Frontiers Science Prize, 300,000 USD

- Dispositivos bioanalíticos para la detección rápida y rentable de Gambierdiscus y ciguatoxinas, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, BIO2017-87946-C2-1-R, 242.000€, Participating as Researcher

- Cost-Effective Tools for Mycotoxin Testing, 2017-2020, King Abdulaziz University, 550.000€, PI

- PoC in-office device for identifying individuals at high risk of Osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture, 2017-2021, European Commission, Contract nº767325, 2017-2021, 601.291,25€, PI

- Ultrasensitive, extremely rapid lateral flow assays exploiting nanoparticles for the detection of biogenic amines, detection of adulteration of food with meat products and identification of contaminating meat and viruses, 2016-2019, King Abdulaziz University, 500.000€.