Rita Hickey is a senior research officer in the Food Biosciences Dept. at Teagasc Food Research Centre. Rita was a Research Officer by the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) and has previously worked in industry with Abbott Diagnostics as a process specialist in Sligo. Her main research interests focus on investigating the biological properties of oligosaccharides isolated from food sources. Rita was the lead PI on the FHI Infant Nutrition work package for Food for Health Ireland and was a funded PI on the SFI-funded Alimentary Glycobiology Research Cluster (AGRC). She is a faculty member of the APC and a major area of interest is the effect of food ingredients on host-microbial interactions in the gut. In the Hickey lab, strategies to increase the colonization of infant-associated Bifidobacteria have been extensively investigated in recent years with promising results. Rita has been awarded a Walsh Scholar PhD student to carry out research in alignment with Spoke 7 dairy processes with Maynooth University.