Assoc. Prof

Primary Department
School of Biotechnology
Academic Staff
Phone number: 01 700
Glasnevin Campus
Room Number

Academic biography

Ciarán Ó'Fágáin [Ciarán Fagan]

Member, National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB)
Member, National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR)

2011-14 Head, School of Biotechnology.
2009  Invited speaker, 8th International Conference on Protein Stabilisation – ProStab2009, Apr 14-17, Graz, Austria.
2006-10 Deputy Head, School of Biotechnology.

2004 School Research Convenor (until 2008); Promoted Senior Lecturer (Dec).

1997 Published 200-page sole-author Stabilizing Protein Function, Springer, Berlin ISBN 3 540 63189 5.
Appointed to permanent academic position. 1987-90 Postdoc researcher, temporary lecturer, NIHED/ DCU.
1984-7 Noctech Ltd (later Cambridge Diagnostics), Galway: immunodiagnostics development.

1981-4 WBE Ltd (later InterBio), Dublin: microbial biomass product development and technical services.

1982 PhD, University of Dublin (Trinity College) for 1979-81 research on mammalian arylsulphatases (Biochemistry Dept.; 2 peer-reviewed papers, 1 conference paper).

1978 BA (Mod), H2.1, Biochemistry, University of Dublin (Trinity College).

Total Graduations and Publications: 9 PhD, 4 MSc Graduates.
>40 peer-reviewed papers, 8 refereed reviews (including 2 invited articles), 1 sole-author book, 10 book chapters, 2 patent applications, 8 conference/ other papers.

Research interests

Dr. Ciarán Fagan seeks to improve the stability of enzymes.
Enzymes are ideal “green” catalysts: they can enable newer processes that are less hazardous and less costly than traditional methods, while producing less waste.
Enzymes’ many industrial applications range from detergents to the food and (bio)pharma industries. Unfortunately, enzymes may become unstable and lose their catalytic abilities under the demands of process conditions, or upon prolonged use or extended storage.
Dr. Fagan uses two main strategies to increase the stability of enzymes, namely protein engineering and chemical modification. He has prepared enzymes that are more tolerant of heat, organic solvents or oxidizing conditions, or that give improved biosensor performance.
Although he has worked on numerous enzymes, his special focus is on plant peroxidases (which are used for a variety of purposes). These, together with a “resurrected” ancient plant peroxidase, an evolutionary precursor of the modern-day enzymes, provide opportunities for postgraduate research.
See a selection of publications at