Kieran McDermott is the Professor of Anatomy and Head of Teaching and Research in Anatomy at the Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick. He received a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from University College Cork, an MSc in Experimental Pathology and Toxicology from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith Hospital, London and undertook a PhD in Developmental Neurobiology in the Department of Neuropathology in the Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London.  Postdoctoral work in developmental neurobiology, funded by a Wellcome Trust Travelling Fellowship, was subsequently undertaken at the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, USA and later in experimental neuropathology at the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Cambridge, UK.  He was subsequently appointed Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy at University College, Cork (UCC) and played a key role in setting up the BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience at UCC, the first such degree in Ireland. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer and contributed extensively medical, dental, neuroscience and postgraduate programmes.  He served as Head of the Department of Anatomy in UCC on a number of occasions, most recently from February 2010 until July 2011 and in this period played a key leadership role in the design and development of new state-of-the-art anatomy teaching facilities and in the relocation of the Department of Anatomy from its historic home in the Windle Building to the new Western Gateway Building. He has been an External PhD Examiner for the Universities of London, Portsmouth and Cambridge and a Programme External Examiner for the University of Liverpool. He is a reviewer for numerous anatomy, neuroscience and developmental neurobiology journals. He became the first elected President of Neuroscience Ireland, Ireland’s new national neuroscience association in 2006, serving a three year term.  He was elected to the Council of the Anatomical Society in 2012, awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Anatomical Society in 2013 and invited to become the Deputy Treasurer of the Society in 2015.

His primary research interests focus on interlinked studies in developmental biology and regeneration which aim to bridge clinical and basic sciences.  Particularly, as regeneration of tissues, in large part, recapitulates developmental events , it is hoped to elucidate new avenues for therapeutic intervention based on detailed examination of cell behaviour and the molecular control of cell differentiation and fate determination. His research is also looking into the vulnerability of nervous system development to intrinsic and extrinsic perturbation and the potential causative role this could have with respect to conditions thought to have neurodevelopmental underpinnings such as epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia and potentially certain neurodegenerative diseases.


O'Leary CJ, Weston M, McDermott KW. (2018) An ex vivo model to quantitatively analyze cell migration in tissue. Dev Dyn.  Jan 247(1) 201-211.

O’Loughlin E., Pakan, J.M.P., Yilmazer-Hanke, D. and McDermott, K.W. (2017). Acute in utero exposure to lipopolysaccharide induces inflammation in the pre- and postnatal brain and alters the glial cytoarchitecture in the developing amygdala.  Journal of Neuroinflammation. 14(1): 212.

Yilmazer‐Hanke, D., O'Loughlin, E. and McDermott, K. (2016), Contribution of amygdala pathology to comorbid emotional disturbances in temporal lobe epilepsy. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 94: 486-503.

Dmitriev, R. I., Borisov, S. M., Kondrashina, A. V., Pakan, J. M., Anilkumar, U., Prehn, J. H., Zhdanov, A. V., McDermott, K. W., Klimant, I. and Papkovsky, D. B. (2015) Imaging oxygen in neural cell and tissue models by means of anionic cell-permeable phosphorescent nanoparticles, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 72: 367-81.

Fitzpatrick, J. K., Anderson, R. C. and McDermott, K. W. (2015) MicroRNA: Key regulators of oligodendrocyte development and pathobiology, The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 65: 134-138.