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Dr. Nicholas Mahony

Asst Prof & MSc Sports Medicine Co-ordin (Anatomy)

I was educated at Batley Grammar School in Yorkshire and Portora Royal School Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh and then studied medicine in TCD in the 1980's. Following pre-registration house officer posts at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro and Royal Naval Hospital Plymouth, I served as a medical officer and completed my higher training in general practice in the Royal Navy. On leaving the Navy I mainly worked in Emergency Medicine until moving back to Ireland to undertake an MSc in Sports Medicine under the tutelage of Professor Moira O'Brien in TCD in 1995. I held posts as demonstrator and temporary lecturer in Anatomy from 1996-1997, and in 1998 I was appointed Lecturer in Anatomy and also took over as course coordinator of the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine programme and as Medical Officer to the Anatomy department's Human Performance Laboratory. My interest in sports and exercise stems from a former life as an Irish and British championship winning club rower in both sculls and sweep rowing and as a former Irish lightweight international. I coached TCD's college rowing team from 1996-1999 and again from 2003-2008 and was Irish International Rowing Team Doctor from 1998-2003, and Doctor to Ireland's International Kayaking team from 2003-2008. I remain an active and keen skier, windsurfer, flat-water marathon kayaker,swimmer, cyclist and runner. Clinically in academic sports medicine since 1998, I have provided a pre-participation medical screening and exercise testing and training prescription service for athletes from junior to elite international levels from a variety of endurance sports in the Human Performance Laboratory. I was an instructor and course director on AHA/IHF Advanced Cardiac Life Support courses for over 6 years and acted as a Medical Service Provider to the Irish Sports Council Elite Athletes Carding Scheme since 2001. In service to the Discipline of Anatomy I was Secretary and Chair of the Anatomical Committee of the Irish Medical Schools (ACIMS) from 2014-2016 and presently I am the secretary of the Dublin Anatomical Committee. I have played a key role in the development of Sports and Exercise Medicine in Ireland, in 2003 I was a founding fellow of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine (RCSI&RCPI), I have been a board member since 2011 and Chair of its Annual Scientific Conference Committee since 2012. In 2016 I was appointed Vice Dean of the FSEM and recently in conjunction with faculty colleagues I developed a Post CCST Higher Specialist Training programme in Sports and Exercise Medicine which was recently approved by the Medical Council and Minister for Health and is due to be rolled out in late 2017. Since 1998 I have supported research in TCD as a supervisor and as medical service provider to over 35 research projects in the MSc Sports and Exercise Medicine programme and when required provided medical cover and pre-participation screening for numerous other exercise related BSc, MSc and PhD projects in Physiology run in collaboration with the Human Performance Laboratory. I completed my own PhD in Bioengineering under the supervision of Prof David Taylor in 2013 and then as Head of Anatomy I have refocused the Discipline's primary research strategy towards tissue and animal models of spinal axonal regeneration in our new neuroscience research laboratory; and, in addition with colleagues in Physiology, TCIN and Bioengineering I am now embarking on a major collaborative project with UCLA involving neuro-electrical stimulation and robotic walking in the rehabilitation of spinal cord injury patients. Initially a single patient pilot study this major 'follow on' project currently undergoing HPRA approval, will have expanded patient numbers and external matched funding from Industry, Mark Pollock Trust and Irish Funding bodies and is due to commence in the CRF St James's hospital in late 2017.
  Anatomy   Bioengineering and radiologic imaging   Biomechanics   Exercise physiology   Sports and Exercise Medicine   SPORTS INJURIES
Details Date
Vice Dean Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine (RCSI & RCPI) 2016
Secretary Dublin Anatomical Committee 2016
Chair Anatomical Committee Irish Medical Schools 2015
Secretary Anatomical Committee of Irish Medical Schools 2014
Chairman, Organising Committee, Annual Scientific Meeting, Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine in Ireland, 2012 to date 2012
Board member Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine in Ireland 2011
Medical officer Human Performance Laboratory TCD 1998
Board Member FSEM 2012-2017 Vice Dean FSEM 2017-2018
Details Date From Date To
Anatomical Society UK and IRL 2015
Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine 2003
European College of Sports Science 1998
Member of the Irish College of General Practitioners 1999 2002
Boland, M., Crotty, N., Mahony, N., Donne, B., Fleming, N. , A Comparison of Physiological Response to Incremental Testing on Stationary and Dynamic Rowing Ergometers., International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 17, (4), 2022, p515 - 522, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
EANNA McGRATH, NICK MAHONY, NEIL FLEMING, ALESSIO BENAVOLI, and BERNARD DONNE, Prediction of Functional Threshold Power from Graded Exercise Test Data in Highly-Trained Individuals, International Journal of Exercise Science, 15, (4), 2022, p747 - 759, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
McGovern, Aoife, Mahony, Nicholas, Mockler, David, Fleming, Neil, Efficacy of resistance training during adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy in cancer care: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Supportive Care in Cancer, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Nick Mahony and Neil Heron , Oxford Handbook of Sports and Exercise Medicine 7th Edition, 7th , Oxford UK, Oxford, 2021, Book, IN_PRESS
EANNA McGRATH, NICK MAHONY, NEIL FLEMING CONOR RALEIGH and BERNARD DONNE, Do Critical Power and Functional Threshold Power equate in Highly Trained Athletes? , International Journal of Exercise Science, 14, (4), 2021, p45 - 59, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Nora May Nuala Crotty; Marie Boland; Nick Mahony; Bernard Donne; Neil Fleming, Reliability and Validity of the Lactate Pro 2 Analyser, Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 25, (3), 2021, p202 - 211, Notes: [DOI:], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  URL
Lisa Ho (MB ChB); Nick Mahony (MD PhD); Neil Fleming (PhD); Bernard Donne (MSc), Modified Concussion Balance Test (COBALT) identifies persistent balance deficits in concussed athletes following return-to-play protocols., Journal of Orthopaedics and Sports Physical Therapy, 2020, Journal Article, SUBMITTED
BEATA KIS, NICK MAHONY, NEIL FLEMING and BERNARD DONNE, Relationship between Functional Threshold Power and Lactate Derived Performance Markers in Female Amateur Triathletes., International Journal of Exercise Science, 2020, Journal Article, SUBMITTED
Rowe A, Mahony N, Fleming N and Donne B, The effect of diurnal variation in exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, Journal of Asthma, (July ), 2019, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Mc Grath, Eanna M.; Mahony, Nicholas; Fleming, Neil; and Donne, Bernard, Is the FTP Test a Reliable, Reproducible and Functional Assessment Tool in Highly-Trained Athletes?, International Journal of Exercise Science, 12, (4), 2019, p1334 - 1345, Notes: [], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL

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Oleg Irlin, A retrospective observational study of patients presenting with shoulder pain to a private physiotherapy practice, TCD, 2021, Thesis, SUBMITTED
Aaron Concannon, Student activity levels and readiness to participate in sport in Trinity College Dublin, TCD, 2021, Thesis, SUBMITTED
Nuala Crotty, Reproducibility of blood lactate measurement: laboratory versus hand-held device, TCD, 2020, Thesis, SUBMITTED
Mike Murphy, A review of the effects of detraining in athletes , TCD, 2020, Thesis, SUBMITTED
Sarah O'Farrell, An audit of routine preparticpation evaluation in athletes attending for laboratory based exercise testing, TCD, 2020, Thesis, SUBMITTED
Marie Boland, A comparison of physiological responses to rowing on stationary and dynamic ergometers in male sub-elite rowers, TCD, 2020, Thesis, SUBMITTED
N.M. Nuala Crotty, Marie Boland, Nick Mahony, Reproducibility of blood lactate measurement: laboratory bench vs. hand-held device., FSEM Annual Scientific Meeting, Dublin, 14th September, edited by O'Donovan J , 2019, Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Lisa Ho Cuiying, Nick Mahony, Bernard Donne, , Comparison of balance variables, pre and post-vestibular challenge, between previously concussed and non-concussed age matched athletes, FSEM PG Spring Meeting, Athlone Institute of Technology, 12th April, 2019, Conference Paper, PRESENTED
Sean Farrell, Diurnal variation of hip range of movement in male rugby players, TCD, 2019, Thesis, SUBMITTED
Lisa Ho, Comparison of balance variables pre and post-vestibular challenge, between previously concussed and non-concussed age matched athletes, TCD, 2019, Thesis, SUBMITTED


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The key direction of my research throughout my career has been human research in sports and exercise science and medicine. In exercise science I have examined performance, physiological, immune and biomechanical movement responses to exercise and training in endurance sport athletes, namely; rowers, runners, kayakers, cyclists and lately triathletes. In sports medicine I have had a career long interest in two conditions; exercise induced asthma and athlete bone health. In asthma related research I have conducted studies on the effects of exercise and laboratory asthma tests, environmental factors and diurnal effects on athlete respiratory function; and, my interest in bone fragility and stress fractures lead to my PhD studies. My PhD studies lead me into the world of bioengineering and specifically examined the effect of bone mineral density on bone strength in an animal model of the bone disorder osteoporosis. More recently I have journal publications, journal submissions, and am conducting ongoing MSc and PhD project supervision in the following exercise science and sports medicine related areas: rowing machine exercise responses, measurement reliability of blood markers of exercise intensity, further studies on exercise induced asthma, clinical audit of athlete medical screening forms, concussion and sub-concussive head injury in rugby players, and with my PhD student a number of studies examining predictive modelling of performance in triathletes integrating machine based measurements of power output with physiological measurements and blood markers. In light of the COVID19 crisis and limitations on human research my key direction in MSc level projects has necessarily shifted to survey based studies and large critical reviews; namely, a survey of workload, injury and illness in cycle couriers; and two large critical reviews one on strength training in Cancer patients and one on neuroelectric stimulation of the spinal cord in spinal cord injury patients. In regard to future directions, on resumption of human research, in spinal cord injury we are currently awaiting funding for a large study which will examine the effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation in spinal cord injury. This new direction of my research is particularly exciting as neuro-electrical stimulation of the spinal cord with implanted or in our case transcutaneous stimulators represents a paradigm shift in the science; and, ultimately the care of spinally injured patients. This new research direction was inspired by a small single patient case study examining the effects of robotic walking and transcutaneous neuro-electrical stimulation that myself and a small team conducted 5 years ago. Supported by the Mark Pollock Trust this was the first study of its kind in Ireland and it has spurned many such other studies in other 3rd level institutes throughout Ireland. In summary the key directions of my research throughout my career has been human research in the broad, emerging and niche discipline of sports and exercise medicine and science.