Mentors & Leads
We innovate at the forefront of healthcare in a real world clinical setting
Head of Innovation
Dr. Natalie Cole
Dr. Cole has over 20 years of national and international experience in Health Research & Innovation. She initially pursued a career in academic research and was Assistant Professor of Neurogenetics at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago.
On returning to Ireland Dr. Cole supported the development of the spin-out company Neuropath at Trinity College Dublin.
Dr. Cole has extensive change and project management experience and was Change and Benefits lead for the Office of the CEO of the HSE and delivered large complex healthcare projects. Dr. Cole has a passion for the translation of innovative projects for the benefit of patients and service users.
Clinical Innovation Specialist
Sinéad is the new Clinical Innovation Specialist with Innovate Health at Tallaght University Hospital.
Sinéad is educated to Masters Level with 13 years of experience working in the Critical Care environment within Tallaght University Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Ireland. Sinéad began her career at the Hospital after completing her nursing degree at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Sinéad is a dedicated Clinical Nurse Educator in Critical Care, teaching, mentoring and supporting staff in ICU.
Sinéad is an Innovative clinical nurse leader with an exemplary record and passion for continuous learning and professional development. In 2021, Sinéad was instrumental in setting up an innovative new graduate nurse programme in the Hospital’s ICU Department. This was an important new initiative given the problem of a current shortage of critical care nurses. The project won the Nurse Led Project of the Year in 2022, at the Irish Health Care Centre Awards.
In collaboration with the Irish Association of Critical Care Nurses Sinéad along with another colleague here in Tallaght, helped to develop “Hot Topics”. This online expert-led training is available to critical care nurses, anywhere in the country. She has also been involved in plans to develop a new support app for graduate nurses in ICU.
Sinéad says, “I enjoy supporting staff to foster new ideas and get great satisfaction when I see projects translated to the frontline, as this ultimately transfers to patients receiving enhanced quality care.”
In her new role, Sinéad is keen to support the delivery of innovation projects across the Hospital and engage with industry, academia and government agencies.
Designer in Residence
Alexander Fives is the latest addition to the Tallaght Innovate Health team. He is the hospital’s first ever Designer in Residence and will use his expertise to work alongside healthcare staff to identify problems and develop solutions.
Alexander graduated from TU Dublin last year and has won a number of awards including Irish Healthcare Student Project of the Year. Following an internship with the HSE’s Spark Innovation Program, Alexander is thrilled to be based full-time at Tallaght University Hospital.
With his background as a product designer, Alexander is focused on creating innovative solutions that improve patient care and enhance the overall healthcare experience. “Being based in the hospital offers an amazing opportunity to collaborate with healthcare professionals, patients, and stakeholders to identify issues and design products and services that address the needs of those who come to the hospital for treatment.”
The new Designer in Residence position has been partly funded by the HSE Spark Innovation Programme. Alexander will be facilitating workshops on design thinking methodology and how it can be used on the frontline.
Laboratory Quality Innovation Manager
Dr. Ann Leonard
Dr. Ann Leonard leads the Laboratory Medicine Innovation Hub (LMIH) at Tallaght University Hospital, the first of its kind in Europe. Ann is a chief medical scientist and a research fellow/clinical senior lecturer at Trinity College Dublin.
Ann is also the co-founder of the National Peri-Ananlytic and Laboratory Medicine Society (PALMSoc) and Tallaght University Hospital Academy of Phlebotomy (TAP).
Dr. Leonard has a keen interest and expertise in the peri-analytic phases (pre and post) of the laboratory total testing process and has a proven track record in supporting and delivering innovation in this area.
Professor of Medicine
Professor Seamas Donnelly
Professor Donnelly is an international leader in Translational Medicine and his research epitomizes classical bench to bedside on an international stage. He was recently awarded an Honorary Professorship by the University of Edinburgh for international leadership in Translational Medicine.
Professor Donnelly has partnered with academia and industry in assessing wearable and non-wearable sensors as valid measurements of an individuals quality of life. Recent industry partners have included Novartis, Resmed and Fujitsu.
Prof Donnelly is lead-PI on the Dublin-Midlands Health Innovation Hub Ireland and is responsible for both the assessment of early-development technologies in the healthcare sector and the delivery of a boutique of postgraduate educational offerings in the healthcare innovation space.
Clinical Engineering Innovation Liasion
Neil is a Clinical Engineer in Tallaght University Hospital and also works as Clinical Engineering liaison for Health Innovation Hub Ireland. Neil works with a team of 5 clinical engineers who are responsible for medical device technology in Renal Services, Outpatients, Emergency Department, Medical Equipment Library, Age Related Healthcare and the general ward areas.
He has a BSc in Physics, Medical Physics and Bioengineering and an MSc in Energy Management, both from Technological University Dublin.
Consultant Physician and Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Gerontology
Professor Sean Kennelly
Professor Kennelly is a consultant physician in geriatric and stroke medicine in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) and Clinical Associate Professor of Medical Gerontology in Trinity College. He is Director of the Institute for Memory and Cognition, and the Cognitive Clinical Trials Unit in Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin.
He is clinical director of the National Intellectual Disability Memory Service in TUH. He is co-lead investigator on Dementia Trials Ireland, a national clinical trials network, and is chair of Dementia Research Network Ireland (DRNI).
A fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London & Ireland, Professor Kennelly has extensively published in his main research areas of Ageing, brain health and dementia.
He has served as chief and principal investigator on several international clinical trials in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. He is principle investigator and lead-clinical advisor on several industry collaborations investigating novel applications of digital gait and speech biomarkers in detection of cognitive decline.
He has experience and interest in supporting the development and application of digital solutions to support people with changing care needs “live well” within their own homes.
Professor Kennelly is co-founder and clinical director of Digital Gait Labs, a company committed to developing a reliable, and accessible AI-based gait analysis platform.