Prof Connolly graduated in medicine from NUIG, holds a Masters in Public Health from University College Dublin and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her areas of expertise include health security, disease surveillance, emerging infectious diseases, pandemic preparedness and humanitarian emergencies. Her research interests include the application of informatics, modelling and simulation to public health, participatory surveillance and use of big data for disease surveillance, use of visual analytics to support decision making in outbreak response and game-based learning for pandemic management.
She is currently PI of the H2020 PANDEM project at the School of Medicine at NUIG with Insight as partner. Prior to joining NUIG, she worked at WHO/HQ in Geneva for 15 years as Coordinator for Disease Control in Emergencies and subsequently Advisor to WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security up to 2012. Her role included setting the global research agenda for emergencies. She has implemented international research projects funded by the EC, ECHO, USAID, DFID and Irish Aid. She has over 50 WHO technical reports and peer-reviewed publications and has published three books on communicable diseases in emergencies. She was a member of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team and has worked on UN missions in 15 emergency affected countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.