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Professor Helen Sheridan

Professor (Pharmacy)

Helen Sheridan BSc (UCD), PhD (UCD), is Professor in Pharmacognosy and former Director of Research at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SoPPS) at TCD. She is the academic founder and director of the TCD centre for natural product research, NatPro. She is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Society of Chemistry; a recipient of the TCD Provost's award for teaching excellence and a recipient of the TCD Innovation Award for 'Societal Impact'. Helen has over 100 publications including 7 international patents. She has mentored 35 PhD/ MSc students and 26 postdoctoral researchers. She was awarded 19 million euro in grant income from national and international sources. Helen's collaborative and interdisciplinary research is in Natural Product (NP) chemistry; Traditional Medicine (TM); ethnopharmacology; global health and bioeconomy. Her research focusses on finding new therapies for disease and addressing global issues that may be resolved using NP approaches. During her career she identified a lead molecule which her team advanced from discovery to human clinical trials. Helen co-founded the TCD Campus company, Trino Therapeutics Ltd, and was co-PI on funding of approximately 13 million euro. She was also co-applicant on seven patents in the US, EU and Asia. In later years Helen has become involved in global ethnopharmacology, investigating quality, safety and efficacy of TMs, and the link between the established use of TM and its role in international development. She has supervised 5 research projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Helen was recently awarded €6M to direct a project entitled 'Unlocking Nature's Pharmacy from Bogland Species' focused on the therapeutic and economic potential of the Irish bog land plants, from scientific and educational perspectives. She is a collaborator on the HEI funded IKC3 project €3.5m. Helen was the Phytochemical expert to the Irish Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) for over 20 years and remains as a clinical advisor. She is on the Board of the International Natural Product Sciences taskforce (INPST); the Board of the GP-TCM Research Association; and most recently was appointed by the Cross-Government Bioeconomy Implementation Group (BIG) to the Expert Advisory Group (CECC and DAFM), as the expert in NP science, to support the National Bioeconomy Forum. Helen holds a TCD award for excellence in teaching. She has taught at all levels across the SoPPS curriculum and has contributed to courses across faculties. Her teaching is research led, maps frontier developments, is informed by government policy and international regulation, and is aligned with global development goals. Her course design and delivery involve synergy at the interfaces governing her discipline. She has recently been funded by the IRC New Foundations scheme, to build educational and research collaborations between TCD, and Maseno University (Kenya). This project which involves bi-lateral travel, is on hold until the Covid situation has stabilised. Helen has held senior administrative positions in College, including Director of Research SoPPS (2016-9); Academic Disability Liaison Officer (2006-To date); positions in safety at school, faculty and college level and is the faculty representative on the College Safety Committee. She was faculty representative on the Trinity International Development Initiative steering committee. Helen has acted as external examiner to the School of Pharmacy in UCL (2015-8); has examined at masters and PhD level nationally and globally; has acted as an international grant reviewer on several programmes. Helen is engaged in outreach with a range of stakeholders. Most recently she and her group have launched a national programme for Transition Year students looking at biodiversity and scientific potential of bogland ecosystems. Over 8,000 students have engaged with this programme. Helen hopes her research, teaching, and outreach will make a difference to society.
  ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE   Antiinflammatory drugs   Autoimmune Diseases (Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis)   Biotransformation   Chemical Biology   Development of drugs for malaria, Cancer and inflammatory diseases   Drug discovery   Fungi   Herbal medicine   In Vitro Testing, Trial Methods   Indanes, indanones, muscel, nast cell stabilisation, immunosuppressants   Inflammation   Inflammatory Bowel Disease   Medicinal plants   Multiple Sclerosis   Natural Product Chemistry   Organic chemistry   Over-the-Counter Drugs   Pharmacognosy   Phytochemical and pharmacological evaluations of native and foreign plants   Phytomedicines   Plant and algal cell monocultures   Secondary plant metabolism   The use of cell cultures for the discovery of novel drugs   Traditional and Indigenous health systems in developing countries   Traditional Chinese Medicine
 Unlocking Nature's Pharmacy from Bogland Species
 Formulation development of natural products (NPs) from therapeutic plants
 Functional Food and Pharmaceuticals - Marine Micro-Algae
 Identification and characterisation quinoa strains with high antiinflammatory activity
 Assessment of the therapeutic potential of two lead anti-inflammatory molecules with a novel carbon scaffold in ex-vivo colonic explant tissue.

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Details Date
External examiner to the University of Westminster. UK December 2021
Member of an Expert Advisory Group to support the National Bioeconomy Forum August 2021
Elected Board member of the Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research International Association (GP-TCM) August 2021
Grant evaluator for the ​Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) 2021
Expert on Advisory Board to the European Innovation Partnership -The Cultural Heritage of the Comeragh Mountains. June 2021
Academic Director of the NatPro The TCD Centre for Natural Product Research November 2019
Founder of 'NatPro', the TCD Centre for Natural Product Research and development December 2019
External Examiner to Postgraduate taught Master's Degrees in University College London (4 year term) 2015-2018
Founder of the TCD spinout company Trino Therapeutics Ltd 2000
Natural Product advisor to the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) Herbal Medicines Sub-Committee 2006 to date
Irish Medicines Board Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Ad Hoc sub-committee. 2000 - 2006
Board Member of the International Natural Product Science taskforce 2017 - To date
Grant evaluator: International Foundation for Science, Sweden; 2009 to date
Grant evaluator for the Medical Research Council UK 2012
External Examiner to Victoria University of Wellington. Wellington, New Zealand 2014
External examiner for the University of Westminster. UK Autumn 2021
Examiner University College London 2019
External Examiner Cardiff University PhD Thesis 1991
Examiner King's College London 2019
Youth Science committee of the Royal Dublin Society 1990-1992
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Medium Medium
Details Date From Date To
Elected Board member of the Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Association (GP-TCM) Jan 2020 2022
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 1989 To date
Board member of the Board of Directors of the Natural Product Sciences Task force INPST 2016 To date
Life member GP-TCM RA (Good Practice in TCM Research Association). 2009 To date
Member of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research. Gesellschaft für Arzneipflanzen- und Naturstoff-Forschung e.V. (GA). 2014 To date
Member of the SCT (Societe De Chimie Therapeutique The French Society for Medicinal Chemistry) 2014 To date
NPRONET: Natural products discovery and bioengineering network 2017 to date
Tao Zhang, Christine O"Connor ,Helen Sheridan, James W. Barlow, Vitamin K2 in Health and Disease: A Clinical Perspective, Foods, 13, 2024, p1646-, Notes: [], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Joshua Jacobtorweihen, ismael obaidi, Lee Sherlock, Helen Sheridan, Verena Spiegler, A new lanosyl guanidine from Vertebrata lanosa with anti-inflammatory activity, Natural Product Research, 2024, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
C McShane, F O'Connell, M Pigott, I Obaidi, H Sheridan, D Kevans, J O'Sullivan, P103 Natural compounds in Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Insights from immune-metabolic profiles, Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 18, 2024, pi384 - i385, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Bioactive Indanes: Development and Validation of a Bioanalytical Method of LC-MS/MS for the Determination of PH46A, a New Potential Anti-Inflammatory Agent, in Human Plasma in, editor(s)Dr. Mithun Rudrapal , Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, IntechOpen, IntechOpen, 2023, ppDOI: 10.5772/intechopen.112275 , [ T Zhang, GA Scalabrino, N Frankish, H Sheridan], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Shipra Nagar, Maria Pigott, Sophie Whyms, Apolline Berlemont, Helen Sheridan , Effect of Extraction Methods on Essential Oil Composition: A Case Study of Irish Bog Myrtle -Myrica gale L., Separations, 2023, Journal Article, IN_PRESS  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Wen Qiu, Shouli Yuan, Robbie Kelleher, Lina Sun1, Wei Chen1, Helen Sheridan Junying Liu*, Weiguang Lv*, A Systems Pharmacology Approach, Using Molecular Docking and Dynamics Simulation, to Unlock Potential New Therapies for Alzheimer"s Disease: A Case Study of Cinnamon Species, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Research, 7, (2), 2023, p97 - 132, p97-132 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Yan, Q. and Zhang, T. and O'Connor, C. and Barlow, J.W. and Walsh, J. and Scalabrino, G. and Xu, F. and Sheridan, H., The biological responses of vitamin K2: A comprehensive review, Food Science and Nutrition, 2023, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
F Hedigan, H Sheridan, A Sasse, Benefit of inhalation aromatherapy as a complementary treatment for stress and anxiety in a clinical setting"A systematic review, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 52, 2023, 101750-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
S Nagar, M Pigott, W Kukula-Koch, H Sheridan, Unravelling Novel Phytochemicals and Anticholinesterase Activity in Irish Cladonia portentosa, Molecules 2, 28, (10), 2023, p4145-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Tao Zhang, Vilmar Bandero, Claire Corcoran, Ismael Obaidi, Manuel Ruether, John O'Brien, Lorraine O'Driscoll, Neil Frankish, Helen Sheridan, Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of a Novel Bioactive Indane Scaffold 2-(diphenylmethylene) c-2, 3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-one with Potential Anticancer Activity, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES, 188, (106529), 2023, p1 - 14, p1-14 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED

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Shouli Yuan, Ismael Obaidi, Tao Zhang, Maria Pigott, Shibo Jiang, Helen Sheridan, Junying Liu,, Network pharmacology and molecular docking reveal the mechanisms of action of Panax notoginseng against post-COVID-19 thromboembolism, REVIEW OF CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY AND PHARMACOKINETICS, INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 2024, p181 - 184, Notes: [], Journal Article, PUBLISHED
C McShane, F O'Connell, M Pigott, I Obaidi, H Sheridan, D Kevans, J O'Sullivan, P103 Natural compounds in Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Insights from immune-metabolic profiles, Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 18, (1), 2024, pi384-i385 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Fiona Shannon, Astrid Sasse, Michael Heinrich and Helen Sheridan, A repository of knowledge - the Schools' Manuscript Collection, offering a unique insight into medicinal practices in 1930s Ireland, 'Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Healing, Charms and Medicine'. , Department of Celtic languages and literature. Harvard University. , April 5-7th 2018., 2018, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Fiona Shannon, Astrid Sasse and Helen Sheridan. , Ethnomedicinal practices in 1930s Ireland. History of Medicine Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine, History of Medicine, Dublin, Ireland, 9th May, 2018, Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Jinfan Wang, Ingrid Hook, Malte Brummerloh, Jandirk Sendker, Astrid Sasse and Helen Sheridan. , From Monograph to Metabolomics: A Scientific Evaluation of the Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine Houttuynia cordata Thunb (鱼腥草Yu Xing Cao) Saururaceae - a case study, The 6th Annual Meeting of Good Practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine Research Association (GP-TCM RA). , Jordell Laboratories. Kew Gradens. London UK, July 4-6th. , 2018, Notes: [Joint First Prize], Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Ciara M Fallon, Jessica Smyth, Natalia Lajczak, Helen Sheridan and Stephen J Keely. , Neutraceutical targeting of the bile acid receptor, farnesoid X receptor, for intestinal disease, The FALK Symposium 211 XXV International Bile Acid Meeting: Bile Acids in Health and Disease. , Dublin, Ireland, July 6 - 7, 2018, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
J. Wang, Ingrid Hook, Malte Brummerloh, Jandirk Sendker, Astrid Sasse and Helen Sheridan. , Best Practice for the Scientific Evaluation of Traditional Herbal Medicines: Houttuynia cordata Thunb (鱼腥草Yu Xing Cao) Saururaceae - A Case Study. , 66th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) jointly with the 11th Shanghai TCM conference, Shanghai, August 26 - 29, 2018, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Helen Sheridan, Fiona Shannon, Astrid Sasse and Michael Heinrich, Insight into Healing Herbs used in Post-famine Ireland, 66th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research (GA) jointly with the 11th Shanghai TCM conference, Shanghai, China, August 26 - 29, 2018, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Fiona Shannon, Astrid Sasse and Helen Sheridan., A repository of knowledge. The Schools' Manuscript Collection, offering a unique insight into medicinal practices in 1930s Ireland. , London, 2018, The British Society for the History of Pharmacy (BSHP)., Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Shanahan, F., Michael heinrich, Sasse, A, Sheridan, H., Traditional Medicinal Knowledge in Ireland in the 1930s - Exploring Botanical Treatments. , 58th Annual Meeting of the Society of Economic Botany. L, Braganca, Portugal, 5th June 2017, edited by Conference Committee , 2017, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Trinity Innovation Award in the category 'Societal Impact' December 2021
Government appointment as Natural Product expert to the Expert Advisory Group to the National Bioeconomy Forum July 2021
Selected for participation in the Science Foundation Ireland - National Science Foundation US, for participation in the NSF Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) Programme. June 2021
Appointed to Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin -FTCD 20.04.2020
Co-founder NatPro - The TCD Centre for Natural Product Research November 2019
Trinity College Dublin: Trinity Excellence in Teaching Awards - Provost's Teaching Award 2019
SFI TIDA Award 2017
Appointed to Fellowship of The Royal Society of Chemistry 2017
Wellcome Trust Strategic Translation Award (co-PI) 2013
Irish American Partnership Research Award - with Pfizer 1992
Travel awards: British Council 1991
RIA Travelling award 1990
Department of Education Post Doctoral Fellowship (UCD). 1984-1985
Royal Commission for the 1851 Exhibition - Overseas Traveling Scholarship 1983-1984
French Government research Award - CNRS. Gif-Sur-Yvette 1983
NBST Young Researcher award with Dr. Hector Rubelcava (UCD) 1979
My research has always been multidisciplinary; built on collaboration with pharmacologists/ molecular-biologists/ bio-technologists/ botanists/anthropologists and sociologists and is recognised at a national and inter-national level. The driving force behind my work is to find new therapeutic treatments for unmet clinical need and to finding meaningful uses for natural molecules, and to improve the position on communities in the developing world who have a cultural and financial reliance on Traditional Medicine. I have learned a lot about the journey from therapeutic drug discovery to human trials, and the challenges and obstacles that line the road. However, experience led decision making about research is invaluable. Through this lens of experience, the molecules my group is working on have real therapeutic potential and have been designed to eliminate some of the insurmountable obstacles to drug development. My drug discovery focus, has been informed by the natural world, ethnomedical practice across the globe; molecular design, based on hybridised natural molecules; and using computer modelling to find natural molecules that target important receptors. In my natural product research I have engaged with International, multidisciplinary Consortia establishing good practice and gold standards for quality, safety and efficacy of complex natural medicines as nutraceuticals, and as food supplements. One of my core research and teaching beliefs is that 'it is at the interface of disciplines and expertise that new ideas and creativity emerge'. My current research falls under four main themes. 1) Multidisciplinary approach Drug discovery for the treatment of inflammatory disease and cancer Finding new therapies targeted at diseases with unmet clinical need. Currently I am PI on an SFI TIDA award and have 50 molecules being tested at level 2 in the Lilly Open Innovation Platform, with six significant nanomolar hits against a key target in Chemotherapy and radiation resistant cancer cells. 2) Drug discovery from the natural world is still ongoing. We use of natural materials (plants, cell cultures, microalgae) for the discovery of novel bio-active materials. 3) Traditional Herbal Medicine. Overview the best practice methodology, recommend applications, and future directions for metabolic profiling, component analysis and purification of secondary metabolites in preparations utilised in Traditional Medicine by large populations (Asia and Africa). Utilising metabolomic techniques to establish best practice for the determination of quality, safety and efficacy of herbal medicines for human and veterinary use. 4) Exploring traditional medicine (TM) in Ireland and in Sub-Saharan-Africa in the context of a changing global healthcare landscape, using a community in West Pokot, Kenya as a case study. I am Co-founder of Trino Therapeutics (Formerly Pharmatrin ltd), a TCD campus company whose activities are centered on drug discovery/development. Through this vehicle my research progressed through a significant Medicinal Chemistry programme of lead optimisation, GMP synthesis of lead, pre-clinical evaluation, regulatory approval and progression through Phase 1 Clinical trials. My ethnomedical research was presented in Harvard (2018), and my overall research work has been presented internationally and most recently on an invited lecture tour in China.