Dr. Sheehan is a Senior Research Officer at the Teagasc Food Research Centre Moorepark. Coming from a background in technology transfer, he has established his research programme relatively recently; however he already has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals as well as invited contributions to books in his field. He holds a BSc in Food Science, an MSc in Food Technology, a PhD in Food Chemistry (University College Cork) and a diploma in Leadership (Irish Management Institute).
His research group are focused on investigating interactions between cheese matrix physico-chemistry and microstructure and the microbial metabolic activity of bacteria entrapped within. As part of this research programme, he is researching the role of carotenoid forming bacteria within dairy matrices. This includes working with bacteria not traditionally associated with food matrices but which have the capacity to create carotenoid in-situ which alter the colour of foods but which may potentially offer health benefits. He has coauthored a patent application and research papers in this area.
Other areas of interest include eye formation in continental type cheeses, microbial diversity and cheese consistency, cheese pinking, milk seasonality and development of new analytical technologies. Between 2010-2015 he was a programme manager for a public private partnership which is focused on converting research expertise into commercial outputs and has led the development of products from concept to market launch as well as licensing IP protected technologies to industrial partners. He is a leading co-ordinator of the cheese symposium conference series, sat on the organising and scientific committees for the 6th IDF Cheese Ripening and Technology conference, is an editorial board member for the International Journal of Dairy Technology and has recently been appointed adjunct lecturer to Dublin Institute of Technology.