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Shane Hegarty, Ph.D.

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University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.Postgraduate Certificate (NFQ Level 9)06/2017Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.PhD06/2014Neuroscience
University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.BSc (Hons)06/2010Neuroscience
Neuroscience Ireland Early Career Investigator Award
ECNP Workshop on Neuropsychopharmacology Best Poster Presentation
New Horizons Conference Best Poster Presentation
Neuroscience Ireland Travel Award
UCC College of Medicine and Health Doctoral Student Travel Bursary
Neuroscience Ireland Conference Best Poster Presentation
Certificate of Excellence (top ranked student) from College of Science, Engineering and Food Science
2006 - 2010
University College Cork 'Title of College Scholar'

Graduated as top ranked student of Neuroscience BSc with a 1st Class Hons from UCC in 2010, having been awarded the distinction of ‘College Scholar’ in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in 2010 for academic excellence. In 2010, I was awarded the prestigious ‘IRCSET EMBARK Postgraduate Scholarship’ by the Irish Research Council (IRC) to carry out my proposed 3-year PhD project in the Dept. Anatomy and Neuroscience, UCC, under the supervision of Professor Aideen Sullivan and Dr. Gerard O’Keeffe. Following completion of my PhD in Jan. 2014, I was employed as a Post-Doctoral Researcher by Dr. Barry Boland in the Dept. of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. To embark on an independent research career, I was awarded the highly competitive 'Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellowship' by the IRC in 2014, and the 'NUI Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Sciences' by the National University of Ireland in 2015, to facilitate my Post-Doctoral research in the Dept. of Anatomy and Neuroscience, UCC, which built on work from my PhD. As a researcher, I have been awarded a place on two European training courses (NSAS & ECNP), as well as two travel bursaries (NI & UCC). I have been invited to present at a number of national and international conferences, at which I have regularly been awarded ‘best presentation’ (NI, YNS, New Horizons & ECNP). I have published 23 peer-reviewed journal articles (17 first author; 2 senior author) to date, 4 of which were included in ‘Top 25 Most Downloaded Articles’. My ‘h-index’ is 13 on Google Scholar, and my publications have generated a total of 561 citations (at January 2020). My Research Gate score of 27.52 ranks within top 15% of researchers (from all fields) in the world. To engage with the public, I was awarded the IRC 'New Foundation Award’ to launch the ongoing ‘BRAINTALK’ outreach project. To gain international experience, I was awarded the prestigious 'Charlemont Grant' in 2016 from the Royal Irish Academy to extend my research by visiting the laboratories of Prof. Danny Huylebroeck in the Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands and KU Leuven, Belgium. From September 2013, I held a part-time lecturing position in Dept. of Anatomy and Neuroscience, UCC, and in August 2016 I began employment as a full-time Lecturer in Dept. of Anatomy and Neuroscience, UCC. In September 2016, I was awarded the prestigious Neuroscience Ireland ‘Early Career Investigator Award’ which recognises an ‘outstanding research scientist in the Neuroscience community who has made exciting contributions to the field of Neuroscience’. In August 2017, I began my current employment as a Research Fellow in Neurobiology in the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center laboratory of Professor Zhigang He, in Dept. of Neurology, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), Harvard Medical School (HMS), Boston, USA. In September 2018, I took up a position as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sciences, Wentworth Institute of Technology, USA. In January 2020, as a principal investigator I was granted the 'William Randolph Hearst Fund Award' for 2020 through HMS by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation in recognition of, and to further progress, my current research work in Harvard and BCH. Moreover, as co-primary applicant, in May 2020 I secured ‘Equipment and Core Resource Allocation Committee’ Funding from the BCH Research Executive Council to purchase important equipment to support this research.

My research focus can be divided into three integrated and progressive levels:
1.) Characterization of the molecular, cellular, developmental and metabolic mechanisms regulating survival and (re-)growth of clinically-relevant neuronal populations.
2.) Identification of biologically-relevant and functionally-significant molecular pathways that can promote neuro-protection/-regeneration in clinically-translatable models of central nervous system disease or injury.
3.) Development of effective neuroprotective and/or neuroregenerative manipulations in preclinical models, that have viable and scalable potential for translation into the industrial and clinical setting, in order to restore function in neurological disorders, such as CNS injury and neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition to my Neuroscience research, I have a passion for public engagement. Indeed, during my time as a Lecturer and Researcher in UCC, I was awarded the 'New Foundation Award' by the Irish Research Council to launch the ongoing 'BRAINTALK' (Brain Research And Individuals Networking for Teaching, Assisting, Learning and Knowledge) project. This project aims to create an active and interconnected Parkinson’s community in Ireland, which together strives to improve the management and research outcomes of PD. The project involved the organisation of the 'Parkinson's Community Meeting & Exhibition' and the 'Exploring Parkinson's through Art' Workshop, as well as the 'Shane Marathons for Parkinson's' fundraising event (raised over €2,000) in 2015. The details of this ongoing project can be found at: http://www.ucc.ie/en/braintalk/. Other public engagement projects and fundraising events included Brain Awareness Week 2016 FENS 'Healthy Brain Ageing' Initiative in local Cork schools, 'All About That Brain' team for 'UCC Relay For Life 2016' charity event, the Science Week 2016 event ‘Jelly Brain & Case of Protective Skull!’ for local Cork schools, and the 'FiftyTwoWords' public speaking event 'Struggle'. I also engage in science writing for the wider public (blog page: http://svh_neuro.svbtle.com/), from which I have contributed to the PLOSNeuro and Biochemical Society blogs.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. ECRAC Funding Cycle VI (Zhigang He/Shane Hegarty) Jun 4, 2020 - Dec 31, 2020
    Boston Children's Hospital Research Executive Council
    Equipment and Core Resource Allocation Committee (ECRAC) Funding Cycle VI
    Role: Co-Principal Applicant
  2. William Randolph Hearst Fund (Shane Hegarty/Zhigang He) Jan 1, 2020 - Dec 31, 2020
    William Randolph Hearst Foundation
    Characterizing the role of a novel kinase in neuronal survival and regeneration after CNS injury
    Role Description: This project aims to develop a novel kinase as a druggable therapeutic target for CNS neuroregeneration strategies.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. Charlemont Grant (Shane Hegarty/Gerard O'Keeffe/Aideen Sullivan/Danny Huylebroeck) Jun 1, 2016 - Aug 31, 2016
    Royal Irish Academy
    Identification of Smad-interacting protein 1 as a novel regulator of the neurite growth of ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons
    Role Description: Awarded the ‘Charlemont Grant' in 2016 from the Royal Irish Academy to extend my Post-Doctoral Research, on the 'Identification of Smad-interacting protein 1 as a novel regulator of the neurite growth of ventral midbrain dopaminergic neurons', by visiting the laboratory of Professor Danny Huylebroeck in the Dept. of Cell Biology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The mutant mouse portion of this research work was carried out in his laboratory in KU Leuven, Belgium.
    Role: Visiting Research Fellow
  4. Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Sciences (Shane Hegarty/Gerard O'Keeffe/Aideen Sullivan) Oct 1, 2015 - Aug 30, 2017
    National University of Ireland
    Identification of Smad-interacting protein 1 as a novel regulator of ventral midbrain (VM) dopaminergic (DA) neuron development.
    Role Description: BMP2 and GDF5 have potent neurotrophic effects on VM DA neurons in vitro and in vivo. Recent research by our group demonstrated that BMP2 and GDF5 promote DA neuronal growth by activating canonical BMP-Smad signalling. Despite these findings, the intracellular molecules that regulate the effects of BMP-Smad signalling on VM DA neurons remain unknown. Sip1 is a negative regulator of Smad signalling, and may thus play a pivotal regulatory role in BMP-Smad-induced DA neurotrophic effects. The proposed research therefore aimed to examine the hypothesis ‘Sip1 is a novel regulator of the development of VM DA neurons’.
    Role: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
  5. New Foundations Award (Shane Hegarty/Gerard O'Keeffe/Aideen Sullivan) Mar 1, 2015 - Sep 30, 2015
    Irish Research Council
    BRAINTALK (Brain Research And Individuals Networking for Teaching, Assisting, Learning and Knowledge) Project
    Role Description: BRAINTALK project (https://www.ucc.ie/en/braintalk/) Activities: - ‘Shane Marathons for Parkinson’s’ charity fundraising event, Dublin Marathon, Oct. 2015 (raised €2087). - In 2015, I was PI & co-organiser of the IRC-funded ‘BRAINTALK’ project which brought together over 150 researchers, clinicians and people with Parkinson’s at the ‘Parkinson’s Community Meeting & Exhibition’ and ‘Exploring Parkinson’s with Art’ Workshop in the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, UCC. The ongoing ‘BRAINTALK’ project aims to create an active and interconnected Parkinson’s community in Ireland, which together strives to improve the management and research outcomes of PD. Through these events, researchers-patients-clinicians-public exchange and disseminate knowledge, and outline why research is beneficial to society as a whole. My goal with this outreach project is to build the support and active engagement of the public who fund our work, and to engage with the people that are the beneficiaries of it. The success of the events has been acknowledged and publicised by the IRC and a number of national and international Parkinson’s-related organisations, such as the Irish PD Association & Michael J Fox Foundation. - Microscopy Art Exhibition: The ‘Living with Parkinson’s Exhibition’ displayed in the Lewis Glucksman Gallery from 7-13th of Sept. 2015. It featured a collection of microscopic art, of PD-relevant scientific images, that I both submitted and curated, as well as painted artworks prepared by the people with Parkinson’s and their carers at the ‘Exploring Parkinson’s with Art’ Workshop. Additionally, a video of the Move4Parkinson’s set dancing session, and an artistic depiction of a song from ‘The Voices of Hope Choir’ were also displayed.
    Role: Principal Investigator

Featured Content

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Hegarty SV, Green HF, Niclis J, O'Keeffe GW, Sullivan AM. Editorial: The Role of Stem Cells, Epigenetics and MicroRNAs in Parkinson's Disease. Front Neurosci. 2020; 14:515. PMID: 32655345.
  2. Liu Y, Hegarty S, Winter C, Wang F, He Z. Viral vectors for neuronal cell type-specific visualization and manipulations. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2020 Aug; 63:67-76. PMID: 32344323.
  3. Alshangiti AM, Wyatt SL, McCarthy E, Collins LM, Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Association of distinct type 1 bone morphogenetic protein receptors with different molecular pathways and survival outcomes in neuroblastoma. Neuronal Signal. 2020 Apr; 4(1):NS20200006. PMID: 32714600.
  4. Alshangiti AM, Tuboly E, Hegarty SV, McCarthy CM, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. 4-Hydroxychalcone Induces Cell Death via Oxidative Stress in MYCN-Amplified Human Neuroblastoma Cells. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019; 2019:1670759. PMID: 31885773.
  5. Alshangiti AM, Togher KL, Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. The dietary flavonoid isoliquiritigenin is a potent cytotoxin for human neuroblastoma cells. Neuronal Signal. 2019 03; 3(1):NS20180201. PMID: 32269833.
  6. Chen B, Li Y, Yu B, Zhang Z, Brommer B, Williams PR, Liu Y, Hegarty SV, Zhou S, Zhu J, Guo H, Lu Y, Zhang Y, Gu X, He Z. Reactivation of Dormant Relay Pathways in Injured Spinal Cord by KCC2 Manipulations. Cell. 2018 09 06; 174(6):1599. PMID: 30193115.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  7. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Inhibition of miR-181a promotes midbrain neuronal growth through a Smad1/5-dependent mechanism: implications for Parkinson's disease. Neuronal Signal. 2018 Mar; 2(1):NS20170181. PMID: 32714583.
  8. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Targeting transcriptional regulators to regenerate midbrain dopaminergic axons in Parkinson's disease. Neural Regen Res. 2017 Nov; 12(11):1814-1815. PMID: 29239326.
  9. Curran EA, O'Keeffe GW, Looney AM, Moloney G, Hegarty SV, Murray DM, Khashan AS, Kenny LC. Exposure to Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy Increases the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Affected Offspring. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Jul; 55(7):5557-5564. PMID: 28975539.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    
  10. Hegarty SV, Wyatt SL, Howard L, Stappers E, Huylebroeck D, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Zeb2 is a negative regulator of midbrain dopaminergic axon growth and target innervation. Sci Rep. 2017 08 17; 7(1):8568. PMID: 28819210.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    
  11. Hegarty SV, Togher KL, O'Leary E, Solger F, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Romidepsin induces caspase-dependent cell death in human neuroblastoma cells. Neurosci Lett. 2017 Jul 13; 653:12-18. PMID: 28506690.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  12. O'Keeffe GW, Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM. Targeting bone morphogenetic protein signalling in midbrain dopaminergic neurons as a therapeutic approach in Parkinson's disease. Neuronal Signal. 2017 Apr; 1(2):NS20170027. PMID: 32714578.
  13. Hegarty SV, Lee DJ, O'Keeffe GW, Sullivan AM. Effects of intracerebral neurotrophic factor application on motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2017 May; 38:19-25. PMID: 28215730.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  14. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Endocytosis contributes to BMP2-induced Smad signalling and neuronal growth. Neurosci Lett. 2017 03 16; 643:32-37. PMID: 28188849.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  15. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. The Epigenome as a therapeutic target for Parkinson's disease. Neural Regen Res. 2016 Nov; 11(11):1735-1738. PMID: 28123403.
    Citations: 3     
  16. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Protocol for evaluation of neurotrophic strategies in Parkinson's disease-related dopaminergic and sympathetic neurons in vitro. J Biol Methods. 2016; 3(3):e50. PMID: 31453215.
  17. Hegarty SV, O'Leary E, Solger F, Stanicka J, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. A Small Molecule Activator of p300/CBP Histone Acetyltransferase Promotes Survival and Neurite Growth in a Cellular Model of Parkinson's Disease. Neurotox Res. 2016 10; 30(3):510-20. PMID: 27256286.
    Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  18. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Zeb2: A multifunctional regulator of nervous system development. Prog Neurobiol. 2015 Sep; 132:81-95. PMID: 26193487.
    Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  19. Hegarty SV, O'Keeffe GW, Sullivan AM. Neurotrophic factors: from neurodevelopmental regulators to novel therapies for Parkinson's disease. Neural Regen Res. 2014 Oct 01; 9(19):1708-11. PMID: 25422631.
    Citations: 11     
  20. Collins LM, Adriaanse LJ, Theratile SD, Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Class-IIa Histone Deacetylase Inhibition Promotes the Growth of Neural Processes and Protects Them Against Neurotoxic Insult. Mol Neurobiol. 2015; 51(3):1432-42. PMID: 25065734.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  21. Hegarty SV, Collins LM, Gavin AM, Roche SL, Wyatt SL, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Canonical BMP-Smad signalling promotes neurite growth in rat midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Neuromolecular Med. 2014 Jun; 16(2):473-89. PMID: 24682653.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  22. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Roles for the TGFß superfamily in the development and survival of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Oct; 50(2):559-73. PMID: 24504901.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  23. Hegarty SV, Spitere K, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Ventral midbrain neural stem cells have delayed neurogenic potential in vitro. Neurosci Lett. 2014 Jan 24; 559:193-8. PMID: 24342440.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  24. Hegarty SV, O'Keeffe GW, Sullivan AM. BMP-Smad 1/5/8 signalling in the development of the nervous system. Prog Neurobiol. 2013 Oct; 109:28-41. PMID: 23891815.
    Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  25. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. BMP2 and GDF5 induce neuronal differentiation through a Smad dependant pathway in a model of human midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2013 Sep; 56:263-71. PMID: 23831389.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  26. Hegarty SV, Sullivan AM, O'Keeffe GW. Midbrain dopaminergic neurons: a review of the molecular circuitry that regulates their development. Dev Biol. 2013 Jul 15; 379(2):123-38. PMID: 23603197.
    Citations: 24     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.