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Dr. Edel  McNeela

Title:

Lecturer in Biochemistry

School/ Department:

School of Science & Computing - Dept of Science

Telephone:

+353 0 051832056

Room Name/ Num:

Office 314 1969 - Main Building

Campus:

Main Campus

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My Biography

Edel McNeela, PhD, is a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Science, Waterford Institute of Technology, where she has been teaching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students since September 2014. 

Edel received a BSc in Biotechnology (First Class Honours) from Dublin City University in 1998 and subsequently completed a PhD in Immunology in NUI Maynooth and Trinity College Dublin on research involving mucosal vaccines under the supervision of Professor Kingston Mills. Her thesis was entitled “Modulation of innate and adaptive immune responses by intranasally delivered adjuvants”.

After her PhD, Edel gained over 8 years postdoctoral research experience in research labs in Dublin and Spain. Two years of this research were spent in an internationally-renowned laboratory in The Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia (CNB) Madrid, Spain, where she secured her own funding for research.  This research involved examining the properties of a novel group of proteins termed schlafens from poxviruses.

Edel was awarded a lectureship in biochemistry in the School of Science, Athlone Institute of Technology in 2012 before joining WIT in 2014. 

Research

Edel McNeela is involved in the supervision of both undergraduate research projects and postgraduate students at Waterford Insitute of Technology.  Her current research interests are focused on the identification and characterisation of novel anti-inflammatory agents from natural products, on the development of oral vaccines and the modulation of innate and adaptive immunity by vaccine adjuvants.  She has extensive experience and expertise in a broad range of techniques including immunoassays, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and western blotting, flow cytometry, tissue culture (cell lines, primary cells including dendritic cells, macrophages, lymphoctyes and human PBMC), molecular biology techniques (including RNA extraction, PCR, DNA transfection and gel electrophoresis), protein purification and virus purification as well as training and expertise in animal handling, tissue dissections and vaccinations.  

Edel has published 15 peer-reviewed publications to date (cited over 1000 times), one book chapter and three review articles and has a H-index of 14. Her research has been presented at numerous national and international symposia (most recent presentations are listed below).

Edel was a member of the organising committee for the 8th European Mucosal Immunology Group Meeting (EMIG) which took place in Dublin, October 2012. She has also reviewed several articles in immunology journals and was internal examiner for a Master's thesis (AIT, 2014).

 

Most recent presentations of research at national/international symposia:

1. “The novel oral vaccine delivery technology SmPill (R) significantly increases vaccine-specific intestinal antibody responses.”  Longet, S., Davitt, C., McNeela, E., Aversa, V., Tobias, J., Lebens, M., Rosa, M., Holmgren, J., Coulter, I. and Lavelle, E. C., 9th European Mucosal Immunology Group Meeting, Glasgow, UK. October 2014. Poster Presentation.

2. “NLRP3 is required for protective immunity to respiratory infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae.”  McNeela E.A., Burke A., Neill D.R., Baxter C.,  McLoughlin R.M., Kadioglu A.,  and Lavelle E.C., International Congress of Mucosal Immunology, Paris, France. June 2011. Oral presentation.

3. “Pneumolysin promotes NALP3 inflammasome activation and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines independently of TLR4.” McNeela E.A., Burke A., Neill D.R., Baxter C.,  McLoughlin R.M., Kadioglu A.,  and Lavelle E.C., Annual Meeting of the Irish Society of Immunology (ISI), Dublin, Ireland. September 2009. Oral Presentation. 

 

Funding awarded to date:

Date Project Title Funding Programme

Collaborators/

Principal Investigator

Funding awarded
2004-2006 "The role of chemokine receptors in poxvirus replication and pathogenesis” Juan de la Cierva (Spanish post-doctoral funding) PI: Dr. Antonio Alcami €94,050
2015-2018 “Investigations into the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products from Irish wildflowers” WIT Postgraduate Scholarship 2015 Collaborators: Dr. Damian Connolly and Dr. Cara Daly €48,000

Teaching

Waterford Institute of Technology (2014-present):

  • Currently teaches a number of modules on Pharmaceutical Science and Applied Biology programmes including biology, biochemistry, protein chemistry and enzymology, protein biotechnology and immunology.
  • Developed and/or supervises practical classes in a number of modules including biology, immunology, biochemistry, agriculture and the environment and protein chemistry and enzymology.
  • Supervises undergraduate 3rd and 4th year research projects and postgraduate students.

 

Athlone Institute of Technology (2012-2014):

  • Designed and delivered lectures for modules in pathophysiology, immunology, pharmacology and biochemistry to undergraduate students in the Departments of Life and Physical Science and Nursing and Health Science.
  • Organised and delivered practical laboratory sessions for modules in molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, biochemistry and toxicology to undergraduate students in the Departments of Life and Physical Science and of Nursing and Health Science.
  • Supervised undergraduate 4th year research projects.

 

Trinity College Dublin (2010-2012):

  • Designed and delivered lectures for immune signalling module to Senior Sophister undergraduate students in Biochemistry with Immunology.

Professional

Edel McNeela collaborated with several biopharmaceutical companies during her research:

  1. 2007-2012: Sigmoid Pharma Ltd., The Invent Centre, DCU, Dublin 9. Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships IP/2007/0451 and IP/2009/0046. "Optimisation of liquid emulsion drug delivery system (LEDDSTM) based oral vaccines to promote protective immunity against mucosal pathogens".
  2. 2006-2007: Merrion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., CityWest Business Campus, Dublin 24. Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships IP/2006/0372. "Development of patented targeting technologies to produce oral vaccines".
  3. 1998-2002: West Pharmaceuticals, Nottingham, UK and Novartis Vaccines (formerly Chiron Corporation), Siena, Italy. EU 5th Framework Project (MUCADJ) on mucosal adjuvants for intranasal immunization.

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Papers:

McNeela, E.A., Davitt, C.J., Longet, S. (joint first authors), Tobias, J., Aversa, V., McEntee, C.P., Rosa, M., Coulter, I.S., Holmgren, J. and Lavelle E.C. (2016) A novel adjuvanted capsule based strategy for oral vaccination against infectious diarrhoeal pathogens. J Control Release 233: 162-173

Misstear, K., McNeela, E., Murphy, A.G., Geoghehan, J.A., O’Keefe, K.M, Fox, J., Chan, K., Heuking, S., Collin, N., Foster, T.J., McLoughlin, R.M. and Lavelle E.C. (2014) Targeted nasal vaccination provides antibody independent protection against Staphylococcus aureus. J. Inf. Dis. 209(9): 1479-84

Mori A., Oleszycka E., Sharp F.A., Coleman M., Ozasa Y., Singh M., O'Hagan D.T., Tajber L., Corrigan O.I., McNeela E.A., Lavelle E.C. (2012) The vaccine adjuvant alum inhibits IL-12 by promoting PI3 kinase signalling while chitosan does not inhibit IL-12 and enhances Th1 and Th17 responses. Eur. J Immunol. 42:2709-19.

McNeela, E.A., Burke, A., Neill, D.R., Baxter, C., Fernandes, V.E., Ferreira, D., Smeaton, S., El-Rachkidy, R., McLoughlin, R.M., Mori, A., Moran, B., Fitzgerald, K.A., Tschopp, J., Pétrilli, V., Andrew, P.W., Kadioglu, A. and Lavelle E.C. (2010) Pneumolysin activates the NLRP3 inflammasome and promotes proinflammatory cytokines independently of TLR4. PLoS Pathogens 6: e1001191.

Lüthi, A. U., Cullen, S.P. [joint first authors], McNeela, E.A., Duriez, P.J., Afonina, I.S., Sheridan, C., Brumatti, G., Taylor, R.C., Kersse, K., Vandenabeele, P., Lavelle, E.C. and Martin, S.J.  (2009) Suppression of IL-33 bioactivity through proteolysis by apoptotic caspases. Immunity 31:84-98.

Huo, Z., Sinha, R., McNeela, E.A., Borrow, R., Giemza, R., Cosgrove, C., Heath, P.T., Mills, K.H., Rappuoli, R., Griffin G.E. and Lewis, D.J. (2005) Induction of protective serum meningococcal bactericidal and diphtheria-neutralizing antibodies and mucosal immunoglobulin A in volunteers by nasal insufflations of the Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C polysaccharide-CRM197 conjugate vaccine mixed with chitosan. Infect. Immun. 73:8256-65.

McNeela, E.A., Jabbal-Gill, I., Illum, L., Pizza, M., Rappuoli, R., Podda, A., Lewis, D.J.M. and Mills, K.H.G. (2004) Intranasal immunization with genetically detoxified diphtheria toxin induces T cell responses in humans: enhancement of Th2 responses and toxin-neutralizing antibodies by formulation with chitosan. Vaccine 22:909-14.

Bowe, F., Lavelle, E.C., McNeela, E.A. (joint first authors), Hale, C., Clare, S., Arico, B., Giuliani, M.M., Rae, A., Huett, A., Rappuoli, R., Dougan, G. and Mills, K.H.G. (2004) Mucosal vaccination against serogroup B meningococcus: Induction of bactericidal antibodies and cellular immunity following intranasal immunization with NadA of Neisseria meningitidis and mutants of Escherichia coli heat-labile entertotoxin. Infect. Immun. 72: 4052-60.

Higgins, S.C., Lavelle, E.C., McCann, C., Keogh, B., McNeela, E., Byrne, P., O’Gorman, B., Jarnicki, A., McGuirk, P. and Mills, K.H. (2003) Toll-like receptor 4-mediated innate IL-10 activates antigen-specific regulatory T cells and confers resistance to Bordetella pertussis by inhibiting inflammatory pathology. J. Immunol. 171:3119-27.

Lavelle, E.C., McNeela, E., Armstrong, M.E., Leavy, O., Higgins, S.C. and Mills, K.H. (2003) Cholera toxin promotes the induction of regulatory T cells specific for bystander antigens by modulating dendritic cell activation. J. Immunol. 171:2384-92.

Mills, K.H.G., Cosgrove, C., McNeela, E.A., Sexton, A., Giemza, R., Jabbal-Gill, I., Church, A., Lin, W., Illum, L., Podda, A., Rappuoli, R., Pizza, M., Griffin, G.E. and Lewis, D.J. (2003) Protective levels of diphtheria-neutralizing antibody induced in healthy volunteers by unilateral priming-boosting intranasal immunization associated with restricted ipsilateral mucosal secretory immunoglobulin A. Infect. Immun. 71: 726-32.

Lavelle, E.C., Grant, G., Pusztai, A., Pfuller, U., Leavy, O., McNeela, E., Mills, K.H. and O’Hagan, D.T. (2002) Mistletoe lectins enhance immune responses to intranasally co-administered herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D2. Immunology 107:268-74.

McNeela, E.A., O’Connor, D., Jabbal-Gill, I., Illum, L., Davis, S.S., Pizza, M., Peppoloni, S., Rappuoli, R. and Mills, K.H.G. (2000) A mucosal vaccine against diphtheria: formulation of cross reacting material (CRM197) of diphtheria toxin with chitosan enhances local and systemic antibody and Th2 responses following nasal delivery. Vaccine 19: 1188-98.

Ryan, E.J., McNeela, E., Pizza, M., Rappuoli, R., O’Neill, L. and Mills, K.H.G. (2000) Modulation of innate and acquired immune responses by Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin: distinct pro- and anti-inflammatory effects of the non-toxic AB complex and the enzyme activity. J. Immunol. 165: 5750-9.

 

Review Articles:

McNeela E.A. and Lavelle E.C. (2012) Recent advances in microparticle and nanoparticle delivery vehicles for mucosal vaccination. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 354: 75-99

Lavelle E.C., McNaughton, A. and McNeela E. (2011) NLRP3 in protective immunity and vaccination against respiratory infection. Expert Rev Vaccines 10: 255-7.

Lavelle, E.C., Jarnicki, A., McNeela, E., Armstrong, M.E., Higgins, S.C., Leavy, O. and Mills, K.H. (2004) Effects of cholera toxin on innate and adaptive immunity and its application as an immunomodulatory agent.  J. Leukoc. Biol. 75: 756-63.

McNeela, E.A. and Mills, K.H.G. (2001) Manipulating the immune system: humoral versus cell-mediated immunity. Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 51: 43-54.

Science Outreach

Trinity Access Programmes (TAP), Trinity College (2011)

Edel contributed to the TAP outreach programme by meeting school students and discussing their poster presentations with them.  This programme aims to encourage adults and students who come from socio-economic groups that are under-represented in third-level to go to university.  

Scifest, Athlone Institute of Technology (2014)

Edel was involved in judging and discussing science projects undertaken by second level students and presented at a large science fair hosted by Athlone Institute of Technology.