Sinead O'donovan, PhD

Director of Translational Studies

University of Toledo

Sinead received her undergraduate degree in Neurosciences from Trinity College, the University of Dublin, Ireland. She conducted her PhD thesis, “The Molecular, Cellular and Behavioral Effects of Electroconvulsive Stimulation in the Rodent,” with the Neurobiology of Depression research group in the Depat. of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin. This project examined the effects of electroconvulsive stimulation on rat hippocampal and frontal cortex proteomes. It also established a novel animal model of ECS administration, ultra-brief pulse stimulation, to aid in studying the parameters of this treatment for severe depression.

In 2014, Sinead joined the McCullumsmith laboratory in the Dept. of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati as a postdoctoral fellow, continuing her work in translational neuroscience. This research focused on abnormalities of glutamate transporters (EAAT2) in schizophrenia, using postmortem tissue. It also highlighted the necessity of examining cell-specific and subcellular-level alterations in molecular systems in severe mental illness. Using methods such as laser capture microdissection, significant, cell-subtype specific changes in EAAT2 and it’s splice variants, particularly EAAT2b, were identified in corticothalamic regions in schizophrenia. In addition, she is interested in the aberrant metabolism of the adenosine system in disease. Adenosine modulates the glutamate and dopamine neurotransmitter systems which are dysregulated in schizophrenia and contribute to the positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.

In Summer 2018, Sinead will take up a position of Research Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Neurosciences at The University of Toledo, continuing her research in dysregulated molecular mechanisms of severe mental illness.


  • B.A. Moderatorship in Natural Sciences (Neuroscience), 2007

    Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland

  • Ph.D. Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience & Department of Psychiatry, 2012

    Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Neuroscience & Department of Psychiatry, 2014

    Trinity College of Dublin, Ireland

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, 2018

    University of Cincinnati

  • Research Assistant Professor, 2018

    University of Toledo