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Staff Profile

Dr Owen Kavanagh

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Owen Kavanagh

After graduating from University College Dublin with a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology (minor in Biochemistry) I gained a PhD in Veterinary Immunology from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). Since then I have gained extensive biomedical research experience in Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas (USA) and as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at QUB.



I teach all levels of the new BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science and am module leader for:

I currently teach on the Biomedical Science and Applied Biosciences programmes:

  • Module Director - BIO4002M Human Anatomy and Physiology 
  • Module Director - 3B1104 Pharmacology and Toxicology 

I also teach the: 

  • (1) Immunology/Virology component of BIO4006M Introduction to Microbiology and Immunology
  • (2) Immunology component of BIO5002M Haematology, Immunology and Transfusion 

Level three

Prior to starting at York St John University in 2015, I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (PGCHET) and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA).

I also have served on external (University of Ulster) and internal (YSJU) Degree Quality Assurance Panels & am a member of our School's Quality Panel (SQP) since 2020.



My research interests are diverse but mainly focus on identifying and quantifying human biological markers (biomarkers) including:

  • Physiological biomarkers (e.g. vitamin D, CRP, cytokines) in academy footballers (with The i2i soccer academy)
  • Salivary biomarkers of stress (with Professor Andy Hill, York St John University)
  • Identifying markers of exercise-induced Cancer prevention (with Dr Sam Orange, Newcastle University)

Other research interests include:

  • Cancer pharmacology
  • Plant-derived medicines (natural products)

Guest Editor for Applied Sciences Special Issue: "Novel Approaches for Natural Product-Derived Immunomodulators"
I serve as a Review Editor for Frontiers in Immunology (Immunotherapy & Vaccines) and an invited reviewer for Plants, Food Chemistry, Food Analytical Methods, Journal of Virological Methods & BMC Veterinary Research.

I have published my research in internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals such as Vaccine, Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Analytica Chimica Acta, Journal of Travel Medicine, Epidemiology and Infection, Environmental Science & Technology and Research in Veterinary Sciences.



Peng, D., Kavanagh, O., Gao, H., Zhang, X., Deng, S., Chen, D., Liu, Z., Xie, C., Situ, C., Yuan, Z., Surface plasmon resonance biosensor for the determination of 3-methyl-quinoxaline-2-carboxylic acid, the marker residue of olaquindox, in swine tissues, Food Chemistry (2019).

Page MJ, Hill AP, Kavanagh O, Jones S. Multidimensional perfectionism and cortisol stress response in non-clinical populations: A systematic review and evaluation. Personality and Individual Differences 2018;  124: 16-24.

Kavanagh, Owen and Jones, Sue (2017) The Pros and Cons of Using Personal Response Systems in an Interactive Scientific Debate. British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science , 19 (2). pp. 1-11.

Kavanagh O, Elliott CT, Campbell K. Progress in the development of immunoanalytical methods incorporating recombinant antibodies to small molecular weight biotoxins. Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2015; 407(10):2749-70.

Ajami NJ, Kavanagh OV, Ramani S, Crawford SE, Atmar RL, Jiang ZD, Okhuysen PC, Estes MK, DuPont HL. Seroepidemiology of norovirus-associated travellers' diarrhea. Journal of Travel Medicine 2014 (1): 6-11.

Brownlow T, Kavanagh OV, Logan EF, Hartskeerl RA, Savage R, Palmer MF, Krahl M, Mackie DP, Ellis WA. 'Leptorapide' - a one-step assay for rapid diagnosis of human leptospirosis. Epidemiology and Infection 2013: 1-6.

Kavanagh OV, Adair BM, Welsh M, Earley B. Immunogenetic responses in calves to intranasal delivery of bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) epitopes encapsulated in poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microparticles. Research in Veterinary Science 2013; 95(2): 786-93.

Kavanagh OV, Adair BM, Welsh MD, Earley B. Local and systemic immune responses in mice to intranasal delivery of peptides representing bovine respiratory syncytial virus epitopes encapsulated in poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microparticles. Research in Veterinary Science. 2013; 94(3): 809-12.

Suárez-Pantaleón C , Huet AC , Kavanagh O , Lei H, Dervilly-Pinel G, Le Bizec B , Situ C, Delahaut P. Production of specific polyclonal antibodies for the detection of recombinant bovine somatotropin. Analytica Chimica Acta 2012; 761: 186-93.

Kavanagh O, Zeng XL, Ramani S, Mukhopadhya I, Crawford SE, Kang G, Estes MK. A time-resolved immunoassay to measure serum antibodies to the rotavirus VP6 capsid protein. Journal of Virological Methods 2012; 189(1): 228-31

Kavanagh O, Estes MK, Reeck A, Raju RM, Opekun AR, Gilger MA, Graham DY, Atmar RL. Serological responses to experimental Norwalk virus infection measured using a quantitative duplex time-resolved fluorescence immunoassay. Clinical Vaccine Immunology 2011; 18(7): 1187-90.

da Silva AK, Kavanagh OV, Estes MK, Elimelech M. Adsorption and aggregation properties of norovirus GI and GII virus-like particles demonstrate differing responses to solution chemistry. Environmental Science & Technology 2011; 45(2): 520-6.

Reeck A, Kavanagh OV, Estes MK , Opekun AR, Gilger MA, David Y. Graham DY , Atmar RL. Serologic Correlate of Protection against Norovirus-Induced Gastroenteritis. Journal of Infectious Disease 2010; 202(8): 1212-8.

Kavanagh OV, Ajami NJ, Cheng E, Ciarlet M, Guerrero RA, Zeng CQ, Crawford SE, Estes MK. Rotavirus enterotoxin NSP4 has mucosal adjuvant properties. Vaccine 2010; 28(18): 3106-11.

Mukhopadhya I, Anbu D, Iturriza-Gomara M, Gray JJ, Brown DW, Kavanagh O, Estes MK, Kang G. Anti-VP6 IgG antibodies against group A and group C rotaviruses in South India. Epidemiology and Infection 2010; 138(3): 442-7.

Kavanagh OV, Earley B, Murray M, Foster CJ, Adair BM. Antigen specific IgA and IgG responses in calves inoculated intranasally with ovalbumin encapsulated in poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) microspheres. Vaccine 2003; 21 (27-30): 4472-4480.

Recent Conferences Papers

Development of specific antibodies to detect recombinant bovine growth hormone in milk. 5th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Food Analysis, Prague Czech Republic, November 1-4 2011

Development of immunoassays for rapid detection of recombinant bovine growth hormone in milk. Food Integrity and Traceability Conference. QUB Belfast, Northern Ireland 21-24 March 2011

Serological Correlate of Protection against Norovirus-Induced Gastroenteritis. 4TH International Calicivirus Conference, Santa Cruz, Chile October 16-19 2010

Rotavirus proteins as molecular binders. Wellcome Trust Tri-National Initiative, Cape Town, South Africa May 9-12 2008


Professional Activities


I am also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

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