Susan Kelleher

Susan Kelleher


Dr Susan Kelleher is an Assistant Professor of Soft Materials based in the School of Chemistry in UCD. Her research is focused on the engineering of nanostructured surfaces, the chemistry of polymeric biomaterials, and the interaction of materials at the biointerface.

In 2017, Dr Kelleher established the Nanostructured Biomaterials Group in UCD. The work of the group focuses on the production of high resolution nanostructures in the range of 20-250 nm, using a combination of soft lithography and nanolithography. The methods employed include controlling the self-assembly of block copolymers to form surface nanopatterns, as well as utilising naturally occurring nanostructures such as those found on the wings of cicadas, dragonflies, and butterflies. Further fabrication processes enable the translation of these nanostructures to polymeric biomaterials, controlling the chemical and physical properties of the surfaces, to ensure appropriate material properties for relevant biomedical applications. Current projects investigate the use of these materials in in vivo and in vitro drug delivery applications, as antibacterial/antibiofouling surfaces, and as surfaces which can act as coatings for medical devices. To support her research, Dr Kelleher has secured over €1.16 million in research funding over the last 5 years.

Dr Kelleher was awarded her degree in medicinal chemistry from Trinity College Dublin in 2005 and her PhD in organic chemistry from University College Dublin in 2009, for which she won the BOC Gases PhD Award. In 2015 she was awarded a Technology Innovation Development Award from SFI/EI and in 2016 she was awarded a Starting Investigator Research Grant from SFI. She has been a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry since 2015.

Dr Kelleher has published 18 peer-reviewed research articles to date, across the areas of organic chemistry, materials chemistry, and nanotechnology. She regularly contributes to peer-review for several chemistry and nanotechnology journals and was named as one of the top 10 Outstanding Reviewers in 2016 for RSC Materials Horizons.

To date, Dr Kelleher has supervised 13 undergraduate researchers, 5 MSc, and 8 PhD students. She regularly acts as a reviewer for European grant proposals and collaborates with a number of industrial and government partners including Intel Ireland, Mergon, the European Space Agency, and NASA.

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