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School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Rachel O'Callaghan


Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Biomedical Science

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6649
Room Number: Room 4.28, Fogg building


Dr Rachel O'Callaghan is currently on maternity leave.  Contact Dr Greg Szulgit in Dr O'Callaghan's absence.


I lecture on the Biomedical Physiology modules in year 1 and year 2 of the Biomedical Science programme.

In the past, I have lectured both undergraduate and postgraduate students in various clinical disciplines at Trinity College, Dublin. 

Whilst lecturing at Trinity College I spent a number of years working part-time as a paediatric Physiotherapist in Ireland's largest paediatric hospital.

I am also chair of the Teaching Interest Group and Education Research committee. 


Research Interests:

My research interests involve exercise and the ageing brain. Over recent years exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on the brain and it has been proposed that exercise may act as a neuroprotectant to preserve cognitive function. Although this area has been well-researched, the mechanisms underlying an exercise-induced effect within the brain remain unclear.  

Given that chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have been associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment, it is critical that we understand how exercise is mediating its effects within the brain and we identify what type of exercise is most effective. Exercise known to slow the onset of cognitive decline should be prescribed for all population groups at risk of cognitive impairment and the management of patients with chronic disease and cognitive impairment must be carefully considered.

Public Engagement

I have always had a strong interest in volunteer work and outreach activities and have, in recent years, volunteered with Special Olympics as a swimming coach for children with special needs. I am also a STEM ambassador.