Working Life: Professor John Nolan, WIT

Professor John Nolan, co-founder Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI), Waterford Institute of Technology.

Working Life: Professor John Nolan, WIT

6am

I squeeze in an early run before organising breakfast for my wife, Jane, and daughter Penny, aged three. I love running — I clock up 50 to 60 miles per week, including half marathons at the weekend. I have a keen competitive edge which stands to me in the workplace.

8.45am

I drop Penny to Montessori en route to work. She’s changed my day, in a good way. It doesn’t take long to get to the campus — a short commute and access to parking are among the luxuries of living in Waterford.

9.05am

The first two hours are spent reading research papers and catching up on paperwork. Our research team recently completed a major two-year European Council-funded clinical trial involving 100 people diagnosed with early-stage, age-related macular degeneration, a disease that affects the back of the eye and one of the most common causes of blindness. Participants were given a dietary supplement of carotenoids — naturally occurring pigments that give fruit and veg their colour — and 40% had what is deemed to be a clinically meaningful improvement in vision after 24 months.

11.15am

I meet up with my researchers — four PhD students and three post-docs. We discuss their research papers, approaches to problem solving and, my favourite bit, statistical analysis of their data.

1pm

Workload permitting, we all meet up for lunch which can turn into a brain-storming session. My students are never on the clock, but key to our research is an honest work ethic and enjoyment of what we do. Sometimes we get a negative set of results but we publish the negative as well as the positive.

2pm

I have research to do on behalf of our stakeholders — Enterprise Ireland and the European Research Council. We place huge emphasis at NRCI on having our papers published in journals, publishing 10 to 12 per year. The results of CREST (Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trial) have just been published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, the most respected, peer-reviewed journal in eye science. Marigold petals from Mexico were used as the basis for the carotenoid supplement we used in the trial.

6pm

I head home for dinner with my family. After reading Penny her bedtime story, I work on research papers .

More in this section

img MPU

#BreakTheBias

Join our host Irish Examiner Life/Style Editor, Esther McCarthy with guests Caroline Casey, Emer O'Neill, Edel Coffey and Dr. Tara Shine as we make a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

ieFood pic
ieFood Logo

In the Kitchen with

 Video Series

Join Colm O'Gorman in his kitchen as he makes flatbreads in minutes and crispy air fryer chicken. Explore why he thinks chilli is the spice of life, and find out why his 50-year-old food mixer is his most important piece of kitchen equipment.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up