Colette McDonagh studied undergraduate physics at the National University of Ireland in Galway and was awarded a Ph.D. in Physics from Trinity College, Dublin. After postdoctoral work at Trinity College and at the Department of Applied Science at the University of California, Davis, she took up an academic position in the School of Physical Sciences at Dublin City University in 1986. She currently holds the position of Full Professor. She is Head of the Optical Sensors Laboratory (OSL) in the School of Physical Sciences at DCU She is a member of the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR) and of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI). Funding for research comes from a variety of sources including industry, EU and national funding bodies. She has over 120 publications has over 3500 citations.