Dr Joanne Feeney

Meet the CARDI Fellows: Joanne Feeney

Employed by Queen’s University Belfast

Mentor: Professor Ian Young

Dr. Joanne Feeney graduated with a Ph.D. from TCD in 2010. Her thesis examined neurocognitive changes in associative and working memory with age, and in relation to the stress hormone cortisol. She also holds a postgraduate diploma in statistics from TCD and a first class honours BSc. in pharmacology, from UCD (2005). She joined TILDA at TCD in July 2011, where her research interests included the impact of psychological and physiological stress on healthy ageing, with a particular focus on neurocognitive and cardiovascular health. Joanne was the lead researcher on the Neurocognitive Working Group within TILDA, overseeing the cognitive and mental health domains of the study. She also chaired the Vision Working Group and contributed to research linking retinal health and brain function.  

For the CARDI Leadership Programme, she will explore the impact of stress on the neurocognitive and cardiovascular health of older adults in the North and South of Ireland, using data from NICOLA and TILDA. The experience of severe or persistent psychological stress can alter immune mediators, trigger inflammatory processes and increase oxidative stress, damaging brain and cardiovascular health. Determining the impact of stress on neurocognitive and cardiovascular health is important in order to help uncover potential pathways to, and early indicators of, disease and disability.