Ciara O'Sullivan

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.  Her group details can be found at

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

– Magrina I, Toldra A, Campas M, Ortiz M, Simonova A, Katakis I, Hocek M & O’Sullivan CK 2019, ‘Electrochemical genosensor for the direct detection of tailed PCR amplicons incorporating ferrocene labelled dATP’, Biosensors & Bioelectronics, 134, 76 – 82.

– Mairal Lerga T, Jauset-Rubio M, Skouridou V, Bashammakh AS, El-Shahawi MS, Alyoubi AO & O’Sullivan CK 2019, ‘High Affinity Aptamer for the Detection of the Biogenic Amine Histamine’, Analytical Chemistry, 91, 11, 7104 – 7111.

– Toldra A, Alcaraz C, Diogene J, O’Sullivan CK & Campas M 2019, ‘Detection of Ostreopsis cf. ovata in environmental samples using an electrochemical DNA-based biosensor’, Science Of The Total Environment, 689, 655 – 661.

– Toldra A, O’Sullivan CK & Campas M 2019, ‘Detecting Harmful Algal Blooms with Isothermal Molecular Strategies’, Trends In Biotechnology, 37, 12, 1278 – 1281.

Selected research activities

Executive Editor Analytical Biochemistry (Elsevier, to end 2019)

Associate Editor Analytical Chemistry /ACS)

International Advisory Board Microchimica Acta (Springer), Analytical Bioanalytical Chemistry (Springer,to end 2019)

Participating in H2020 ICT and H2020 HEALTH Integrated Projects

Participating in Human Frontiers Science Project

Participating in Plan Nacional (MINECO)

4 PhD students defended in 2019

Director of international training course on selection of apatmers (AptaSel)

Reviewer of H2020 FET, ICT; ANR (France)

International Advisory Board Member of i-SENSE (UK)

Participating in Masters in Nanoscience at University of Western Cape (South Africa)

Co-direction of PhD students from University of the Philippines at Diliman and University of the Western Cape

Co-direction of MSc students from Ulm University

Teaching activities: 7,5 ECTS in Masters in Nanoscience (Nanobiotechnology)