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About Dr Aoife Ryan

  Dr Aoife Ryan

Biography Summary

Dr Ryan is a Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences and a Registered Dietitian. Her research group focuses on nutrition and cancer. They use CT images to assess body composition and examine how muscle wasting impacts on tolerance to chemotherapy and quality of life. The group are also running several clinical trials aimed at developing new treatments to slow down/prevent loss of muscle during cancer therapy.

Theme / Team

Cancer & Nutrition, Nutrition

Cancer type(s)

Lung cancer, Prostate cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Colorectal cancer, Oesophageal cancer, Gastric cancer, Kidney cancer, Metastatic Melanoma


+353 (0) 21 490 2406

Email Address


Biography Detailed

Aoife Ryan graduated from Trinity College Dublin/Dublin Institute of Technology with a BSc (1H) Human Nutrition and Dietetics in 2000 and was the recipient of a Trinity College gold medal. She initially worked as a dietitian at St. James's Hospital for 7 years during which time she completed her PhD (2008) at the Department of Surgery, Trinity College Dublin. She then moved to New York and took up a faculty position as Assistant Professor of Nutrition at New York University until 2010. In 2011 she returned to Ireland and took up the position of Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at UCC.

Aoife’s main area of interest is the effect of cancer on nutritional status. She was awarded Research Dietitian of the Year in 2009 by the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI). Her current research programme focuses on: (1) cancer cachexia and sarcopenia and the impact on quality of life, toxicity to chemotherapy treatment and survival (2)the role tube feeding enriched with omega-3 fatty acids on inflammation, weight loss & physical activity in surgical oncology patients;(3) the development of functional foods to treat anorexia of aging and disease (4) role of nutrition in the prevention of cancer.

Aoife is currently principle investigator on a multi-centre randomised double-blinded clinical trial with a tube feed enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids in the setting of major cancer surgery which is funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). She has recently published a book 'Good nutrition for cancer recovery' funded also by the HRB. In 2013 she was awarded a work package on ‘appetite modulation’ as part of Food for Health Ireland II (FHI). This will investigate the role of bioactive peptides on appetite in malnourished elderly.  She is also leading a number of studies investigating the impact of sarcopenia and body composition (measured by CT scan) on toxicity to common chemotherapy drugs (industry funded). Aoife has attracted €2.1m in research income through competitive funding programmes (e.g. HRB, Industry funding, FHI, SFI).   

She has taught Nutrition at Trinity College Dublin, New York University and University College Cork to nursing, medical, public health and dietetic students, and has presented her research at several international scientific meetings. She is currently the programme coordinator for the Post Graduate Diploma in Nutritional Sciences at UCC.