Ornela Bardhi

Bachelors in Computer Engineering,

MSc. in Pervasive Computing and Communication for sustainable development


ESR1: Ethnographic analysis of the current care pathway from a patient perspective

Host: UoD (Acad-Spain); Partners: BEAC (Non Acad-Ireland) [18M]

Contact information: ornela.bardhi[at]deusto.es

Ornela has a bachelor’s degree on Computer Engineering from Polytechnic University of Tirana and a Joint MSc. degree on Pervasive Computing and Communication for Sustainable development from University of Lorraine, Lappeenranta University of Technology and Lulea University of Technology. Her current research focus is machine learning and deep learning in medicine, particularly on patient’s care pathway, but also ehealth and ICT for sustainability. Becoming part of the CATCH programme offered Ornela a great opportunity to work on a project that combines technology with medicine and involves academia, industry and healthcare providers. Her previous experiences include working as a graduate researcher and on startups. She has participated in and won severa; hackathons, and has an entrepreneurial spirit. Ornela founded and co-founded 2 startups in Sweden and Finland respectively.


Her interests include technology, traveling, photography, Sudoku, getting to know new cultures, people and learning new languages.

Twitter @ornelabardhi

Gabriel Signorelli

M.Sc. Sports & Exercise Science


ESR2: Quantification of health habits and needs of people affected by cancer for improve their quality of life (QOL) through physical activity.

Host: ONCO (Non Acad-Spain); Partners: UCD (Acad-Ireland) [14M]

Contact information: g.signorelli[at]oncoavanze.es

With a Master’s in Sports & Exercise Science, I worked in the fitness business for 10 years. Nevertheless, I wanted to return to the academic field and get a PhD, with a more practical intervention in Connected health.


Having won prizes at Bodytech Company - one of the biggest fitness companies in the world - I was invited to join the Innovation Department, developing new products, activities and spaces. When Bodytech decided to develop an Fitness App, I was again invited to join as a Coordinator. My job at BTFIT was to specify the products and manage the user experience department.


I published scientific articles and won academic prizes as best scientific congress abstract and second best scientific paper of the year by the Brazilian Journal of Cardiology in 2012. I studied some epidemic issues, but my focus was on exercise benefits in ageing. I was supported by a Government Scholarship.

Twitter/Instagram @gasignorelli

Gillian O'Neill

B.Sc.(Hons), M.Sc., CPsychol


ESR3: Strategies for increasing mental wellbeing in patients with cancer.

Host: UCD (Acad-Ireland); Partners: SALU (Non Acad-Spain) [12M], ONCO (Non Acad-Spain) [6M]

Contact information: gillian.nicola.oneill[at]gmail.com

I am passionate about using research and working within interdisciplinary teams to find new ways to improve the quality of life of people living with long-term conditions such as cancer. Having trained as a health psychologist and worked with chronic pain patients, older adults, their families and carers, I have developed a particular interest in applying behaviour change models to understand and encourage participation in positive health-related behaviours and in one’s own health rehabilitation. I am interested in exploring the growing role of connected health in the personalisation of healthcare delivery.


As an Early Stage Researcher within CATCH working on the ESR3 project, I will be able to combine my interests in health psychology and human computer interaction to contribute to the development and evaluation of new connected health technologies aiming to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of those living with cancer, and establish international cross-sectoral collaborations.

Twitter @GillianONeill17

Francisco Miguel Monteiro Guerra



ESR4: Gamification Strategies for Health Promotion of People Affected by Cancer

Host: SALU (Non Acad-Spain); Partners: UCD (Acad- Ireland) [12M], BEAC (Non Acad-Ireland) [6M], ONCO (Non Acad-Spain) [6M]

Contact information: franciscoguerra[at]salumedia.com

As a Biomedical Engineer, Francisco balances his research and technical skills to develop technology that addresses the challenges of the medical field.


Holding a degree in Biomedical Engineer from Técnico de Lisboa (Portugal), he then specialized in human function technology at the University of Twente (The Netherlands). For his master thesis he worked in the field of sensory substitution for users of wearable lower-limb exoskeletons; as an intern, he assisted in a project involving transcranial magnetic stimulation at the Neurorehabilitation Lab of the University of Birmingham (UK); and, since the beginning of 2016, he was involved in different projects at Starlab Neuroscience Barcelona as a Junior Researcher.


To explore his growing interest in the potential of digital health to empower patients in better self-manage their care, he is currently working on his PhD as a CATCH ESR. 

Twitter @FMMGuerra

Dominic O'Connor



ESR5: Artificial Exercise Support

Host: UCD (Acad-Ireland); Partners: BEAC (Non Acad-Ireland) [6M], ONCO (Non Acad-Spain) [12M]

Contact information: dominic.oconnor[at]ucdconnect.ie

Dominic will be an ESR investigating artificial exercise support in cancer care. Dominic was awarded a 1 st class Honours degree in sport and exercise science in 2014. Following a year in New Zealand, he returned to complete his MSc in Exercise Physiology which he finished at the end of 2016 just prior to commencing his PhD with CATCH in February. His MSc worked involved high intensity exercise in sedentary populations and his work thesis will be presented at the European College of Sports Science conference in Essen, Germany in July 2017.

With a strong interest in exercise as medicine, experience working with cancer sufferers and survivors and a good understanding of the fundamental science of exercise physiology, he is excellently placed to tackle the issues faced by cancer survivors with artificial exercise support to help bridge the gap between inactivity and voluntary exercise participation in cancer rehabilitation.

Twitter @Dom_OConnor1

Louise Brennan



ESR6: Targeted rehabilitation exercise biofeedback system for cancer care

Host: BEAC (Non Acad-Ireland); Partners: SALU (Non Acad-Spain) [12M], UCD (Acad-Ireland) [6M]

Contact information: louise.brennan[at]insight-centre.org

Louise is a Chartered Physiotherapist who received a BSc in Physiotherapy from Trinity College Dublin in 2009. Since then, she has been working clinically in the National Health Service in London and Kent. Her work has focused on rehabilitation across a variety of specialities, particularly in neurology and orthopaedics.


Through this clinical work, Louise has observed both the lasting and profound effect that cancer and its treatment can have on an individual, and the ability of exercise to improve quality of life in this population. She is excited for the opportunity to combine her inherent interests in research and rehabilitation to work as an Early Stage Researcher in CATCH ITN. Under the supervision of Prof Caulfield at UCD, Ailish Daly at the Beacon Hospital and Dr Luis Fernandez Luque at Salumedia, she will be investigating how connected health can enhance targeted rehabilitation exercises programmes in cancer care.

Twitter @Louise_Brennan_

Mercè Bonjorn Dalmau

Degree in Communication Science, Executive MBA and Master in Communication

ESR7: Supporting commercialization of technology-enabled cancer solutions through design thinking.  

Host: SDU (Acad-Denmark); Partners: SALU (Non Acad-Spain) [18M]

Contact information: mdalmau[at]sam.sdu.dk


Mercè has a Degree in Communication Science, an Executive MBA and a Master in Communication. More than twenty years of professional experience in Healthcare. Fourteen years in Marketing and Sales Oncology Department in the Pharmaceutical Company. In the last six years of his career she has developed a strong professional profile in a Digital Health environment. Within this world of digital health has done Consulting, Project Management, Organization of Events, Communication Strategies, working side by side with Private and Public Organizations in the Healthcare, among others.


She is a Digital Health Woman Advocate, with passion for innovation health outreach, highly motivated in add value and she loves the challenges. CATCH is the perfect project to achieve new professional and personal goals fully targeted in her focus. Her new challenge is to do this industrial PhD in the environment of Connected Health, to contribute relevant research in the development and commercialization of the use of Digital Solutions for patients with Cancer and also, doing it in a European environment and establish international cross-sectoral collaborations.

Twitter/Instagram @merbondal

Juan Miguel Muñoz Peñas

Industrial Engineer

Master Degree in Industrial Organization

Executive Master in Business Administration


ESR8: Qualifying private organisations’ commercialization efforts through stakeholder interactions.

Host: SDU (Acad-Denmark); Partners: BEAC (Non Acad-Ireland) [10M], SALU (Non Acad-Spain) [8M]

Contact information: juan[at]sam.sdu.dk


Juan is an industrial Engineer with an Executive MBA. He has twelve years of professional experience in Sales, Process Engineering, Industrial Processes Optimization, Purchasing, Product Quality, Project Management and Consultancy, amongst others. The possibility of continuing to work in the field of Connected Health appealed to Juan. He is particularly excited by the European perspective of CATCH and the possibility of working in closer contact with the stakeholders and experts from academia and industry. Attaining a PhD with a focus on Connected Health would open his professional career to other fields such as, consultancy, academia and managing PPI projects.

Twitter @MunozPenas

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