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Committee Members

Chair: Meghan Gilfoyle

Meghan Gilfoyle is a doctoral student based in the School of Medicine in the University of Limerick under the supervision of Dr Jon Salsberg and co-supervisor Prof Anne MacFarlane. Her PhD involves using a trust lens to inform a social network theory of participatory health research, by defining, influencing and measuring the social-relational dimensions of research partnerships. Her previous academic and work experience has had a public health and health systems focus, with specific areas of expertise in cancer prevention and screening, epidemiology, statistical analysis of population health data, evidence-informed public health practice, and knowledge translation. Meghan has a keen interest in engaging public and patient groups in health research in a meaningful and respectful manner. For instance, she has previously worked with entrepreneurs to identify how to best engage people with dementia in the design, testing, and commercialization of an information communication technology. As a Canadian researcher in Ireland, Meghan looks forward to innovative research collaborations as well as networking opportunities within an international context.

Contact: Follow on Twitter @mgilfoyle01, Email

Deputy Chair: Aidan Buffey

Aidan Buffey is a Structured PhD student in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick. He is funded by the Health Research Institute and supervised by Prof. Alan Donnelly and Dr Brian Carson. Aidan is in the third year of his PhD project titled ‘Design and evaluation of an intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve health in older adults’. This project aims to implement an office-based intervention designed to interrupt sedentary behaviour with light-intensity physical activity with an emphasis on improving cardiometabolic health markers. Aidan has an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science – Physiology (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2018-2019) and a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2015-2018). 

Contact: Follow on Twitter @AidanBuffey, Email:

Events and Activities Coordinator: Patrick Dolan

Patrick is a US native, born and raised in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral researcher and member of the Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance (IRIS) team in partnership with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), and is funded by the Health Research Institute (HRI). His role with the IRIS project focuses on reducing injuries in adult amateur rugby union across Ireland. He comes to UL most recently from working for Red Bull New York, overseeing Strength and Conditioning for their six academy teams. Additionally, he remains a Sports Science network professional for US Soccer, providing support in strength and conditioning and sport science to US Youth National Teams during domestic and international training camps and matches.  Prior to working in professional soccer, he developed as a strength and conditioning coach primarily working in the US collegiate system (NCAA). He completed his BSc in Sport & Exercise Physiology with a minor in Psychology from DeSales University in 2012, and his MSc in Human Performance from Lindenwood University in 2015. His master’s thesis, “Effect of Carbohydrate, Caffeine, and Carbohydrate + Caffeine Mouth Rinsing on Intermittent Running Performance in Collegiate Male Lacrosse Athletes” was published in the September 2017 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR).

Patrick is an Approved Mentor for the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa) while also holding their Strength and Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) certificate since 2015. He became a Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach (RSCC) in 2017 and began as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) in 2012 with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He also holds the Functional Range Conditioning Specialist Mobility Specialist (FRCms) certification with Functional Anatomy Seminars and Basic Life Support through the American Red Cross. He intends on completing his PhD during the Summer of 2023.

Contact: Follow on Twitter/Instagram @coachpdolan; Email:

Communications and Reports Coordinator: Avantika Bhardwaj

Avantika is a PhD candidate focusing on the implementation of online delivery of the GLA:D programme, an exercise and education programme for people with hip and knee osteoarthritis. She has a background in Exercise Science and Medicine, completing her B.Sc. in Purdue University and M.Sc. at the University of Glasgow. Having lived in India, USA, Jamaica, South Africa, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Scotland, Avantika is passionate about exploring cultures and seeking opportunities that make for an excellent match with her aspirations of continuing to learn, grow and bring about catalytic change in sports science and healthcare.

Contact: Follow on Twitter @_AvantikaB, Email:   

Abigail Browne is a Structured PhD student in the School of Allied Health, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Limerick under the supervision of Dr Roisin Cahalan and Dr Kieran O’Sullivan.  Her PhD involves exploring the role of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia in the treatment of patients with comorbid persistent musculoskeletal pain and disordered sleep.  Abigail is a physiotherapist who loves working with persistent pain patients, this is where her drive to join the research movement to improve the care for this large patient group.  Abigail has completed a Master of Manual Therapy from the University of Western Australia in 2007 and a BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy from the University of Manchester in 2003.  Prior to becoming a physiotherapist, Abigail was a professional Irish dancer working for a number of years with Riverdance-The Show.