• Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Dr Maria Mulhern is a Lecturer in Food Science within the School of Biomedical Sciences at Ulster University where she leads the Biostatistics teaching across the School.  She obtained a BSc Hons Biomedical Sciences with Diploma in Professional Practice (Pathology) from Ulster along with Practitioner in Biomedical Sciences from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.  In 2007, Dr Mulhern received her PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Ulster University, specialising in vitamin D in health and disease.  Following her PhD, she completed two postdoctoral research positions within the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) at Ulster (1) investigating the dietary requirements of vitamin D and associations with health outcomes and (2) risk-benefits of fish consumption during pregnancy on neurodevelopment as part of the Seychelles Child Development study, a project in which she continues to be a key researcher. 

Dr Mulhern is Co-Chair of the School of Biomedical Sciences Ethics Filter Committee, Academic Lead for the Research Ethics Management System and a Member of Ulster University Research Governance Committee and the University’s Human Tissue Act Working Group.  She is a Fellow of Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Chair of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST NI Branch) and acts as IFST Ulster University Contact.

Research Interests

Dr Mulhern is an active researcher in the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) where she is a core member of the ‘Nutrition, Toxicology and Child Development’ and ‘Nutritional Immunology for Health and Disease’ subgroups.  Dr Mulhern has published >40 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of vitamin D in health & disease; pre and post-natal effects of nutrition on cognitive development, bone health and immune function; selenium and iodine requirements for health and gene-nutrient interactions.  Dr Mulhern has supervised a number of PhDs to completion across these research areas and has international collaborations with University of Rochester USA, Ministry of Health, Republic of Seychelles, Lund University and Karolinska University, Sweden.

Teaching Interests

Dr Mulhern’s teaching interests include Biostatistics, Research Methodologies, Research Ethics and Governance & Food Product Development (including sensory analysis) at both undergraduate & postgraduate level (on-campus & Distance Learning).  Dr Mulhern is Active Learning Champion at Ulster and uses a range of interactive technologies to enhance her teaching & learning and is a Nearpod Certified Educator & Associate Member of the Association for Learning Technology.  Dr Mulhern obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (2016), is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification


Award Date: 27 Jun 2016

Institute of Biomedical Sciences

Award Date: 1 Sep 2014


Oct 2003Apr 2007

Award Date: 17 Dec 2007

The Higher Education Academcy

Award Date: 2 Jun 2006

Institute of Biomedical Sciences

Award Date: 1 Sep 2003


Sep 1999Jun 2003

Award Date: 30 Jun 2003

External positions

External Examiner, Letterkenny Institute of Technology


Communications and Events Coordinator & Website Manager (NI Branch), Institute of Food Science & Technology

2013 → …

University Contact, Institute of Food Science & Technology

2013 → …


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