Conference Speakers – DICE 2018

DICE 2018 – Conference & Exhibition for Medical Health Professionals

February 23rd in Croke Park Conference Centre


Dr Pratik Choudhary is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant in Diabetes at King’s College Hospital where he is also the clinical lead for the islet transplant service. He is also the Diabetes Lead for the pancreas transplantation service at Guy’s Hospital. Dr Choudhary’s main clinical interest is in the management of patients with problematic hypoglycaemia and  is involved in the development and delivery of all aspects of care for Type 1 diabetes.

Dr Choudhary is widely published and his main research interests include the investigation of mechanisms for hypoglycaemia unawareness. He is also interested in the use of technology in the management of diabetes and is involved in the development and clinical testing of new technology.



Vicky Whitelock is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Psychological Science at the University of Liverpool, UK. She is interested in cognitive and social influences on eating behaviour.


Vicky has a PhD from Middlesex University, UK. Her PhD project investigated the role of short-term memory in food intake decisions in healthy adults and adults with type 2 diabetes, and tested the efficacy of memory training to improve dietary habits and diabetes control. Currently, her work examines how encouraging a more attentive eating style can improve memory for recent eating and help people to eat less and lose weight.



Maggie Shepherd trained as a nurse at King’s College Hospital and worked as a Diabetes Specialist Nurse in Greenwich prior to joining the monogenic diabetes team in Exeter in 1995.  She has a PhD in Medical Science and qualifications in Medical Education and Genetic Counselling.  She is Honorary Clinical Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School and lead Nurse for Research at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and lead co-ordinator of the national, award winning Genetic Diabetes Nurse project.


Particular interests include increasing awareness of monogenic diabetes, ensuring correct diagnosis and treatment.  She has 100 publications (30 first author) and  is an Editorial Board Member of the European Diabetes Nursing Journal. She has delivered the Janet Kinson award lecture at DUK in 2003. She is a member of the team receiving the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2006, Hospital Doctor Academic Medicine Team of the Year 2005 and BMJ diabetes team of the year 2016.



Professor Carel le Roux graduated from medical school in Pretoria South Africa, completed his specialist training in metabolic medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospitals and the Hammersmith Hospitals, his PhD at Imperial College London and was later promoted to Reader. He moved to University College Dublin for the Chair in Pathology and he is now Co-Director of the Metabolic Medicine Group.


He previously received a President of Ireland Young Researcher Award, Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute Health Research in the UK , a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellowship for his work on how the gut talks to the brain.



Prof Suzanne Norris is a consultant hepatologist/gastroenterologist at St James’s Hospital and is Professor in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Trinity College Dublin. A graduate of University College Dublin, she trained in hepatology at the National Liver Transplant Centre at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, and the Institute of Liver Studies at King’s College Hospital, and was appointed consultant in viral hepatitis and liver transplantation in 2000 at Kings’ College. In 2002, Prof Norris returned as Consultant Hepatologist and Senior Lecturer at St James’s Hospital/Trinity College Dublin, and subsequently was appointed Professor in Gastroenterology & Hepatology in 2008 at Trinity College Dublin.


Prof Norris is a former member of the National Consultative Council for Hepatitis C, former member of the governing board of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (2007-2008), EASL Scientific Committee (2005-2008), AASLD Education Committee (2007-2009) and former committee member of the British Society of the Study of the Liver (2000-2004). She was National Specialty Director for gastroenterology/hepatology registrar training in Ireland from 2007- 2012 at the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, and Vice-Dean of Postgraduate Specialist Training 2012-2015.

Prof Norris is the co-founder and former chair of the Irish Hepatitis C Outcomes Research Network. Prof Norris was the first Clinical Lead to the HSE National HCV Treatment Programme. Prof Norris has established Liver Wellness®, an innovative model of care to promote Liver Health and Wellness and to provide a  screening service for individuals at risk of liver disease i.e. FibroScan®”


Ms Denise Blanchfield completed her general nurse training in Mid Glamorgan School of Nursing (1992), and later completed a higher diploma in Diabetes Nursing and Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice (University College Dublin). She has been working with St Luke’s General hospital for the past 24 years  and as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner Diabetes for the past 10 years.


She has worked at local and national level to promote nurse education, publish and research within the discipline of nursing and facilitate clinical placement for the UCD Higher Diploma of Diabetes Nursing and undergraduate students.


She was nurse lead for the HSE National Diabetes Programme from 2011-2013. In 2015 she commenced a PhD in University College Dublin, aiming to identify the ability of the nursing profession to demonstrate professional and clinical leadership in the management of  client’s cohorts, complex individual needs which straddles primary and secondary care interfaces. Her primary focus  is to improve patient care delivery to    meet the expectations of participants in care.



Professor Jim Lucey (MD, PhD, FRCPI, FRCPsych) is Medical Director of St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College.  His primary clinical and research interest is in the psychological and biological treatment of Anxiety Disorders. His MD at Trinity College examined Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) using neuroendocrinological techniques, and this was followed by a Wellcome Trust Junior Fellowship to study SPECT functional neuroimaging in Panic Disorder, PTSD and OCD at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College.


For more than 30 years he has been working with adults with a range of mental health problems, specialising in the assessment, diagnosis and management of OCD and other anxiety disorders. For the past 10 years he has been medical director of Ireland’s oldest and largest independent mental-health provider. During this time Professor Lucey has been clinical lead of an executive team that has radically modernised all of St. Patrick’s services as well as successfully introducing new children’s services and community clinics. He is a public speaker, writer and broadcaster whose interests include health service management, advocacy, teaching and broadcasting about mental health. He is a member of the current board of the Mental Health Commission, a member of the Health Committee of the Medical Council of Ireland, a Governor of St. Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview and a Laurence O’Toole Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin.  His book ‘In My Room’ was an Irish Times bestseller and his recent publication ‘The Life Well Lived’ is published by Penguin Transworld Books. He features regularly on Today with Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio 1.


Dr Maria O’Brien, works as the Project Manager for the Making Every Contact Count Programme in HSE as part of the team working with Dr. Orlaith O’Reilly, National Clinical Advisor and Programme Group Lead for Health and Wellbeing.  Maria is one of the authors of the Making Every Contact Count – A Health Behaviour Change Framework and Implementation Plan for Health Professionals in the Irish Health Service.


Maria took up her current role almost 2 years ago,  from Health Promotion and Improvement Department having spent over 10 years working as a Health Promotion Officer.  Maria has many years experience working in developing and delivering on Health Promotion and Improvement priorities for the prevention of chronic disease within the health service.


Maria has a PhD in Nutritional Science and her previous roles include the development and delivery of training for Brief Interventions for healthcare staff .



Dr Colin Kenny MB FRCGP MMEd has been a general practitioner in Dromore, Co Down since 1985.  He has recently retired after working for a spell in New Zealand.  He has been a GP trainer, GP tutor, course organiser and an associate director of medical education in the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency.


He ran a diabetes clinic in his practice from 1986, and writes and lectures regularly on diabetes related subjects. He was founding chairman of the Primary Care Diabetes Society for the UK and Ireland. He has been the editor of Diabetes and Primary Care, and now is editor of Diabetes Distilled.


He is also involved with the ‘World of Diabetes’ podcast, and is tutor on the distance learning Higher Diploma in Diabetes with iHEED.


Cathy Breen, Senior Dietitian, St Columcilles Hospital, Loughlinstown.

Cathy qualified from TCD/DIT with a BSc (Human Nutrition and Dietetics) in 2002. She has worked as a Senior Dietitian specialising in diabetes and weight management in the Endocrine Service, St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin since 2003. She has represented the INDI on the Irish National Obesity Taskforce Treatment Algorithm- and Nutrition-sub groups, and  RCPI Policy Groups on Obesity and a National Type 1 Diabetes Guideline. She has been involved with DAFNE both as an educator and as a researcher since 2004 and led the European Federation of Associations of Dietitians Diabetes Specialist Network from 2011-2013.

Her research interests include the translation of evidence to clinical practice in weight and diabetes management, and she completed her PhD in the area in 2016 – exploring Type 2 diabetes patients’ understanding and use of carbohydrate in the management of their diabetes. Following on from this she was invited to sit on Diabetes UK’s Nutrition Guideline Committee which is currently undertaking a systematic review for a 2018 update on the nutritional management of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.


Dr Tony O’Sullivan is a general practitioner at Irishtown Primary Care Centre in Dublin,  and a member of the Primary Care Team based there. He is a tutor with the Irish College of General Practitioners, teaching courses in minor surgery and previously a course in diabetes. He is currently Course Director on a distance learning Higher Diploma in Diabetes with iHEED.


Tony has been living with type 1 diabetes for 40 years.





Dr Carmel Mullaney is a Specialist in Public Health Medicine with the HSE. She led the development of the HSE National Framework for Self-management Support for chronic conditions, which was launched in November 2017, which is a work stream of the Integrated Care Programme for Chronic Disease prevention and management. She is currently the clinical lead for self-management support, and HSE representative and co-chair of the HEI collaborative group developing an undergraduate curriculum for self-management support.
She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin.


She has worked in General Practice and in Public Health, in both Ireland and the UK. She is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of the RCPI, and of the UK Faculty of Public Health.




Joe Solowiejczyk, RN MSW CDE, Diabetes Nurse Educator & Family Therapist, has worked in the field of diabetes for over 30 years, in clinical and industry settings, developing and implementing unique, creative and successful clinical treatment and training programs for patients, their families and health care professionals.  He specialises in assessing how family dynamics impact the management of diabetes and designs interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal metabolic control.


He is a full-time faculty member of the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute and is on the faculty of Children with Diabetes. He is president and founder of a diabetes consulting and publishing business called A Mile In My Shoes. He is the author of an e-book A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe.

Joe has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 40 years and is able to translate his personal experiences into patient care.



Louise Reynolds, Dietitian, INDI

Louise is a dietitian with a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics from DIT/TCD and an MSc in Science Communications from DCU.  She also has a Diploma in Public Relations from the PRII.  She is a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI).

She has over 20 years experience of working in the nutrition communications industry and also as a medical journalist. She also lectured on nutrition to Primary School Teaching students in St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra for 10 years. Louise is a regular contributor on nutrition for Ireland AM on TV3 and regularly contributes to articles on a wide range of nutrition issues in the media.

Louise now works as the Communications Manager of the INDI.





Margaret Humphreys. M. Sc. MINDI

Margaret qualified as a dietitian at the Dublin Institute of Technology and completed her M. Sc. in Human Nutrition at University College Cork in the area of Type 1 diabetes.


She has been appointed as Clinical Specialist Dietitian for Diabetes at Cork University Hospital since 2001. Her main areas of interest include the use of technology in the management of Type 1 diabetes & structured patient education.  She has completed a Higher Diploma in Health Care Management at the Royal College of Surgeons and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning for Third Level.

Currently Margaret is on secondment to the HSE division of Health and Wellbeing to work towards expanding the availability of Diabetes Self Management Support Nationally.



Dr Conor Maguire is a General Practitioner with special interest in Travel Medicine based in Leopardstown, Dublin. Conor graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1986, has lived and worked in Canada, Scotland and Algeria. After completing GP training in Ireland and Scotland, he completed the MSc in Travel Medicine of the University of Glasgow in 2001.

He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Travel Health of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and was awarded the Certificate in Travel Health of the International Society of Travel Medicine in 2008.

Conor is a trainer with the RCSI and Dublin North East Vocational Training Scheme for General Practice, undergraduate tutor with University College Dublin, past secretary of the Merrion faculty of the Irish College of General Practitioners and past provost of the Republic of Ireland faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He is president of the Travel Medicine Society of Ireland having joined the executive of the TMSI in 2006 as editor of the society newsletter, founded by Dom Colbert. Conor is also a member of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

Travel Medicine is an integral part of General Practice and Conor strives to link practitioners in both disciplines. Having experienced the savage beauty and heat of the Sahara desert for seven years, Conor now prefers colder climates to indulge his passion for sailing and skiing.



Pauline Dunne, Senior Dietitian, Western Regional Development Officer with Diabetes Ireland. Pauline has a broad skill mix, and is experienced in both health promotion and primary care nutrition & dietetic services.


Pauline’s role covers a broad range of areas – from delivery of structured education (CODE) to people with type 2 diabetes, health promotion initiatives in the wider community such as with community groups, pharmacies, and workplaces, and provision of information sessions for service providers within the intellectual disability sector.





Marie Ronan is a Senior Clinical Pharmacist (Antimicrobials) who joined the Antimicrobial Stewardship Team in Mayo University Hospital in August 2015. Prior to this she was Senior Ward Based Clinical Pharmacist in Tallaght Hospital for 7 years.

Amongst the activities she co-ordinates in Mayo University Hospital are: targeted stewardship rounds with the consultant microbiologist; identifying patients who would benefit from early review of antimicrobial therapy; ensuring patients are treated appropriately with the correct antimicrobials for the appropriate length of time.

Other initiatives that Marie is involved in are: implementation of a antimicrobial reserve policy; introduction of a prescriber’s antimicrobial reminder card; publication of a quarterly newsletter; operation of a programme of continuous audit and surveillance and feedback to prescribers. She also ensures all mandatory reporting of consumption data to HPSC is carried out, and assists with the running of the pharmacy dispensary.



Ryan Mason, Senior Orthotist,  started out as a dual practising Prosthetist/Orthotist based in Cappagh Orthopaedic Hospital where he spent 8 years as part of the team who maintained the provision of Orthotic services in the North West of the country.


After a brief 2 years in the UK working as the lead Orthotist in Northamptonshire with Blatchfords, his sights were drawn further afield, and he moved himself and his young family over to Indonesia for a 3 year  teaching post in Orthotics with Exceed Worldwide. Ryan has now returned to the North West of Ireland where he has spent the last 2 years as a Senior Orthotist for the HSE and provides clinical services primarily around County Donegal





Assumpta Coyle is a senior podiatrist in the University Hospital Limerick, specialising in active diabetic foot care. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Podiatric Medicine from the University of Sunderland, in 2000.  Later completing a postgraduate Diploma in Primary Care Diabetes Management in 2006.

Assumpta has worked in the UK NHS for over 13 years, where she gained extensive podiatry experience before returning to Ireland in 2013.


The spectrum of her NHS experience stems from that of clinical podiatrist to operational management within the Podiatry Service.  Clinical practice included routine care, biomechanics and nail surgery provided across a number of different healthcare settings.  As student facilitator her role required working closely with the Universities in terms of organising and supporting rotational student placements.  Moving into a managerial role, she became the Lead Podiatrist for Older Persons and Health Promotion.

She has since furthered her managerial abilities in 2017 by completing a BA Degree in Management Practices from the University of Limerick.

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