Introducing the Physical Activity for Health Cluster & Programme Manager – Dr Bláthín Casey

Introducing PAfH

The PAfH cluster is funded by the Health Research Institute (HRI) in UL and has recently celebrated its 1st birthday (April 2020). The cluster aims to build a national and international hub of excellence in the area of physical activity (PA) and health research by bringing together a multidisciplinary group of physiologists, sports and exercise scientists, physiotherapists, and health, sports and exercise psychologists. The cluster is led by Prof Alan Donnelly, associate professor in exercise physiology, alongside 9 colleagues across departments/disciplines in UL (see image below).

The activity of the cluster can be summarised under 3 key areas; 1) Research Excellence and Impact, 2) Collaboration and Networking and 3) Capacity Building and Training.

Aims include:

  • Enhancing Research Funding
  • Maximising Research Outputs
  • The creation a PAfH data and bio-bank
  • Optimising existing collaborations with key stakeholders
  • Maximising PAfH national and international networks
  • Enhancing PAfH training and mentoring for emerging researchers
  • Enhancing research student training and supervision
  • Developing international hosting and exchange programmes.


Introducing PAfH Programme Manager Dr Bláthín Casey

Bláthín is not a stranger to UL and is delighted to be back on campus since she began in post in February 2020 with PAfH. She completed a BSc in Physiotherapy in 2013 and graduated with her PhD in August 2019, supervised by PAfH member Prof Susan Coote. Bláthín’s PhD aimed to understand physical activity behaviour among people with Multiple Sclerosis through health psychology theories. She developed a web-based resource from this body of work, entitled ‘Activity Matters’ which is currently being piloted by MS Ireland.

As Programme Manager, Bláthín will work closely with all PAfH members to ensure the cluster meets its aims and deliverables. Although she is only 3 months in post, Bláthín has provided a flavour of her role to date.

‘I am really enjoying this new role, in particular how diverse it is. One day I can be working on a large grant submission and the next organising and hosting events. I am looking forward to my continued time with PAfH and getting to know everyone in PESS (when we are back in the office)’

Contact Bláthín on email at, or follow on Twitter at @BlathinCasey and @PAfH_UL. View Bláthín’s research profile:  Researchgate, ORCID: 0000-0001-9086-1258

Interested in becoming an affiliate or postgraduate PAfH member?

If you want to be included on our mailing list and given priority for any of our training events, join as an affiliate or postgrad member.  Contact our PM, for more information.  Also check out all our news and updates on Twitter@PAfH_UL

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