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Researchers from around Ireland honoured at Irish Cancer Society Research Awards

People involved in ground-breaking research projects around the country were honoured at the Irish Cancer Society Research Awards on Monday.

Among those to claim top honours were Senior Researcher of the Year Award Recipient, Dr Janice Richmond, as well as Ashley Bazin from the Clinical Trials Unit at Tallaght University Hospital who scooped the Support Staff of the Year title. The prize of PhD Researcher of the Year went to Rebecca O’Brien, with Kay McKeon taking home the award for Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Champion of the Year.

The event celebrated the central contribution of patients and survivors to innovative research projects that help to improve the lives of those impacted by cancer. This was reflected in the category of Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Champion of the Year, which went to breast cancer survivor Kay McKeon for her valuable input across a number of cutting-edge programmes.

Commenting on her award which recognises her contribution of a patient perspective to a number of developments, including an eHealth portal to address information deficits for those affected by cancer, graphic designer Kay McKeon said: 
“The information deficits that I and other patients have experienced inspired that research. It changed my life, and I love that I can use my design work to help others. It’s something I’m really passionate about, and as long as I’m helping patients with healthcare and communication then I’m happy.”

Welcoming her Support Staff of the Year award recognising her long service to the Oncology and Haematology Clinical Trials Unit in Tallaght University Hospital, Ashley Bazin said: "It’s so rewarding working with patients in this role. You’re constantly offering hope with the new treatments available, which is very satisfying. When I saw what was written about me for the nomination it brought home all that’s involved in the role which you never really think about day to day. It’s nice to feel that someone thinks you’re doing a good job.”

Congratulating the winners, Irish Cancer Society Acting Head of Research Dr Claire Kilty said: 
“It was fantastic to get an appreciation of the amazing cancer research projects happening right across the country, which provide so much hope to those impacted by cancer right through from offering better diagnosis and treatment, to supports in helping people lead full and fulfilling lives during and after treatment.

“It’s a real testament to the work of our dedicated cancer researchers around Ireland to see such a flourishing environment for forward-looking research projects as evidenced by this year’s winners, and it’s great to be able to recognise the incredible effort they put into making people’s lives better at such a difficult time.”

The 2023 Irish Cancer Society Research Awards was the first event to be held in person since before the pandemic in 2020, and was special guest hosted by prominent patient advocate John Wall.

 The event comes ahead of the return of the Society’s Daffodil Day fundraiser on Friday March 24, which provides crucial support for ground-breaking cancer research. For information on how to give or get involved, visit