Dr Deirdre Walsh, D1 Now Programme Manager 

Dr. Deirdre Walsh is a health psychologist and currently works as the D1 Now programme manager. Her role includes working as part of the team to manage the development, feasibility and piloting of the D1 Now intervention. 

Deirdre completed an MSc in Positive Psychology (University of East London) where her interest in chronic conditions, health behaviour change and well-being emerged. Deirdre also completed a PhD in Health Psychology in NUI Galway and is currently a member of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group. 

Website links: research/people/medicine/ deirdremwalsh/

Dr Blathin Casey

Dr. Blathin Casey is a physiotherapist leading on D1 Now intervention testing and refining. Blathín graduated from the University of Limerick (UL) in 2013 with a BSc, 1st class honours degree in physiotherapy. Blathín has completed her MS Ireland-funded PhD which she conducted in UL which involved the development and piloting of an intervention called ‘Activity Matters’ to promote physical activity in people with MS.

Sarah Simkin, Project Manager, JIGSAW Galway

Sarah has a HDip in Education and MSc in Health Service Management.  Sarah has experience in community, university and youth mental health settings.

Sarah provides advice and guidance to the study on how they can meaningfully engage young adults in the research.

Prof Declan Devane, Director of the Health Research Board (HRB-TMRN)

Professor Devane is Director of the Health Research Board - Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) and  Professor of Midwifery at NUI Galway.

Declan has a particular interest in the implementation and evaluation of models of maternity care and on methods of fetal monitoring including cardiotocography and intermittent auscultation. His methodological areas of expertise are randomised trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Dr Debbie Cooke PhD, CPsychol

Expert in health psychology and behavioural medicine applied to diabetes self-management. 

Contribution in an advisory capacity to the study management group. Will provide expertise  and provide oversight to the psychosocial and self-management elements of the study.

Website links: healthsciences/people/ academic/deborah_cooke/ 

Dr Hamish Courtney, Consultant Diabetologist

Hamish Courtney trained in Endocrinology and Diabetes in Northern Ireland and San Diego. Since 2005 he has been a consultant diabetologist in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

Dr Hamish Courtney and the Royal Victoria Hospital will collaborate by acting as a recruitment site for either the pilot or definitive trial. They also envisage becoming involved in the post pilot methodological discussions prior to commencement of the definitive trial and furthermore participate in the Study Management Group or Study Steering Committee.

Dr. Paddy Gillespie

Paddy Gillespie is a Lecturer in Economics at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics and the Director of the Health Economics and Policy Analysis Centre (HEPAC) at NUI Galway. His research activity is focused in the area of Health Economics and in particular the applied techniques of economic evaluation and econometrics.

Dr Paddy Gillespie will provide guidance on the health economic component of the D1 Now Study.

Vincent Jordan, Deputy Delivery Director for Acute Hospitals, Office of the Chief Information Officer HSE

Vincent Jordan works with the HSE to align ICT investments in hospital groups with their clinical and service needs. He delivers large-scale IT-enabled business change initiatives across acute and community healthcare settings.

His role in D1 Now is to ensure the technology approach to supporting the young adults and key-workers is created through user-centred design, is aligned with the technology principles of the HSE, and is sustainable for the life of the study.

Website link:

Dr Elizabeth Dymond, Deputy Director of Enterprise, West of England Academic Health ScienceNetwork

Elizabeth is a Chartered Engineer and has a PhD from the University of Sheffield. Career highlights include a five week travel fellowship to USA awarded by the Institute of Physics & Engineering in Medicine. She has over 10 years’ experience in healthcare innovation and holds a Diploma in Innovation & Change Management from the Chartered Management Institute. Elizabeth’s most recent NHS role was as Innovation Manager at North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust where she was responsible for licensing research outputs to pharma plus commercialising a range of assessment & educational tools developed by Trust staff. 

As Deputy Director of Enterprise at the West of England Academic Health Science Network, Elizabeth leads the Diabetes Digital Coach Test Bed with 11 company partners and contributes to the Enterprise team's impact in accelerating the generation and adoption of new innovations delivering:

Dr Lisa Hynes

Dr. Lisa Hynes is a health psychologist, experienced in the use of different research methods to understand the needs of young people with chronic health conditions. She currently holds a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Pediatric Psychology Lab at West Virginia University.

Lisa is one of the behavioural science team members guiding and conducting D1 now research projects and other study activities. She has been working with the D1 now team since the study began.

Website links:

Dr Maire O'Donnell

Dr O'Donnell is an experienced health services researcher whose main research interests are in exploring ways of involving people more in their health care and how best to support this involvement.  

Dr O’Donnell will contribute to discussions on study design, methods, recruitment, analysis and dissemination of results.