Healthcare and Life Sciences 50

John Nolan/Waterford Institute of Technology

Professor John Nolan is the founder and director of the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) and is also the Principal Investigator of the Macular Pigment Research Group within this center. In addition, Prof. Nolan has established two sister laboratories in the U.S. (at UCSD and Duke University), with the capacity to conduct human studies for optimizing vision and brain function.

His research group studies the role of nutrition on vision. In 2011, Professor Nolan won a European Research Council research grant to study the impact of nutritional supplementation on visual function via two major clinical trials; Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST). These trials identified how targeted nutrition can improve visual function for the general population, and for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The CREST project was recently selected for presentation at a high-level conference entitled “EU Research & Innovation in Daily Life.”

The nutritional compounds that Prof. Nolan and his team identified as essential for supporting retinal health and function now represent a standard of care for patients with AMD. This nutritional formulation is available as MacuHealth in the U.S (www.macuhealth.com) and MacuPrime in Europe. Current studies at the NRCI are investigating the link between nutrition and brain health and function, with important implications for Alzheimer’s disease (www.memoryhealth.com).

Professor Nolan has published 101 peer-reviewed scientific papers on his area of research (3965 = citations, H index = 39). In 2014, he successfully edited a CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group book publication entitled Carotenoids and Retinal Disease. He has also edited a special issue in the prestigious journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (MNF) “Nutrition for the Eye and Brain.” Professor Nolan has editorial roles at the European Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. A major career highlight is his role as Chair of the International Brain and Ocular Nutrition Conference (BON Conference), which is held at Downing College, Cambridge University (www.bonconference.org). See www.profjohnnolan.com for further details and access to the scientific publications.

Away from his work, Professor Nolan is a devout family man. He and his wife, Jane, have two baby daughters, Penny and Bea. He is a native of Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary and is a passionate supporter of the Tipperary senior hurling team. He is also a competitive middledistance runner. ♦