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AJ McKnight

Prof Amy Jayne (AJ) McKnight has a keen interest developing excellent research and improving resources for individuals living and working with rare diseases.  AJ has worked for rare disease communities for ~40 years, more recently extending this interest into formal research at QUB where we are building an enthusiatic and productive rare disease research team. 

 

For more information on AJ's research click here for more information on AJ's research

Our Staff

I'm delighted to share the news that our team were runners-up in the QUB staff excellence awards under the 'Team of the Year' category in 2019 - well done everyone!

A formal pic and more relaxed on the night...spot who took the second picture with the empty chair :-)

Image of our team at the Lanyon steps in 2019

Image of our rare disease team as runners up in the staff excellence awards 2019

 

 

Our Staff

Dr Julie McMullan is a post doctoral research fellow carrying out research around communication and education of rare diseases.  Julie enjpys meeting the people 'on the ground' and hearing their stories and experiences.  Julie is keen that the work she does raises awareness of rare diseases as well as contributing to improving care in Northern Ireland and further afield. 

Since joining our team in 2017, Julie has worked on multiple rare disease research projects.  In 2018 Julie was shortlisted for the QUB postdoc's 'outstanding engagement' award for her rare disease work; this quote from a rare disease patient says it all, “Julie has boundless energy, rolling her sleeves up and giving her all to help identify and prioritise rare disease actions”.

For more information on Julie's research click here for more information on Julie's research

Dr Laura Smyth completed her PhD with Prof Maxwell and Dr McKnight researching molecular risk factors for chronic kidney disease.  As a post doctoral research fellow, Laura is extending her complementary wet-lab and bioinformatic expertise to help identify and better understand molecular risk factors for rare diseases.

For more information on Laura's research click here for more information on Laura's research

 

 

Our PhD students...

Ashleen Crowe is undertaking her PhD with Prof McKnight, (Dr McAneney), Dr Duffy, and Dr Julie McMullan, which is titled, 'Improving communication and identifying priorities for modernising rare disease services with healthcare practitioners, patients, families and advocacy groups'.  Ashleen has recently returned from maternity leave and has recommenced her studies.

 

Ashleen's research is currently funded by the Department for the Economy PhD studentship scheme.

For more information on Ashleen's research click this link for more information on Ashleen's research

Katie Kerr (Brown) is undertaking her PhD with Prof McKnight, (Dr McAneney), Dr Flanaghan, and Dr Laura Smyth developing effective ‘omic’ strategies for rare disease research and diagnosis in Northern Ireland.

 

Katie's research is currently funded by a CAST PhD studentship by the Department for the Economy and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust as part of the NI Genomic Medicine Centre project, which is funded by the Department of Health NI and the Medical Research Council.

For more information on Katie's research click this link for more information on Katie's research

 

Caitlin Bailie (Montgomery) is currently undertaking her PhD with Prof Maxwell and Prof McKnight.  After taking some time out with her growing family, Caitlin is now extending her molecular expertise to practical rare disease issues.  

 

Caitlin's research is currently funded by the Department for the Economy PhD studentship scheme.

For more information on Caitlin's research click this link for more information on Caitlin's research

Philip Watt started his PhD with Dr Helen McAneney & Prof AJ McKnight, which is titled, 'How social determinants of health impact on people with Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland'. 

Philip is working on his PhD part-time alongside his day-day commitments and has taken a leave of absence to manage his other responsibilities during this COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rasha Alhazzaa is undertaking her PhD with Dr Shane McKee and Prof AJ McKnight, working on, "Maximising e-health initiatives to support the diagnosis and tracking of rare diseases".

 

Ghada Abozaid is undertaking her PhD with Dr Shane McKee, Prof McKnight and Dr. Al- Omar, focused on , "Accessibility for Rare Diseases RD(s) Therapies".