Current research

Cancer researcher John Daly

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The public donations that make all of our research possible allow us to fund the work of over 100 talented research professionals in top Irish institutions. Their research focuses on a range of cancer types across a number research priority areas including prevention, early detection, better treatments, clinical trials, and survivorship.

Irish Cancer Society research networks

The Irish Cancer Society funds a number of collaborative cancer research programmes which focus on personalised cancer treatment.

Our biomedical research

Researcher: Dr Emma Allott
Award: The John Fitzpatrick Fellowship 2016 (Supported by Sanofi and Janssen)
About: Emma’s goal is to discover how high blood cholesterol impacts survival time of men with prostate cancer. Emma also wants  to understand if lifestyle changes to lower blood cholesterol can be combined with treatment in order to increase survival time in men with prostate cancer.

Researcher: Dr Daniel Angelov
Award: Translational research scholarship 2021
About: Daniel’s PhD project aims to improve treatment of a rare and incurable form of blood cancer call follicular lymphoma by testing a promising new drug. Not only does he hope that these treatments will be more effective, but that patients will suffer from less treatment-associated side effects.

Researcher: Prof Adrian Bracken, Trinity College Dublin
Award: Cancers With Unmet Needs Translational Research Award 2020
About: Adrian is investigating the underlying disease biology of the paediatric brain tumour, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an area of unmet clinical need.

Researcher: Professor Donal Brennan, University College Dublin
Award: Women’s Health Initiative
About: The overall aim is to improve health and wellbeing for women cancer survivors at all stages of their cancer journey, by effectively managing menopausal symptoms, sexual dysfunction, mood and sleep disturbance.

Researcher: Martin Brennan
Award: Translational research scholarship 2021
About: Martin Brennan’s research hopes to help women avoid the devastating loss of fertility that often comes with treatment for endometrial cancer.

Researcher: Karen Cadoo
Award: : Clinician Researcher Leadership Award
About: Prof Cadoo will use this award to help achieve her vision to give more people better access to genetic testing and the kinds of insights that can indicate their level of risk and what should be done in relation to it.

Researcher: Dearbhaile Collins
Award: Clinician Research Leadership Award
About: Dr Collins hopes to identify new ways to target cancers - especially the ones that we struggle with, those that are resistant to immunotherapy and targeted treatments.

Researcher: Professor Roisin Connolly , University College COrk
Award: Women’s Health Initiative
About: Roisin will develop and coordinate a multi-disciplinary nurse-led survivorship clinic and symptom management
pathway which integrates hospital and community services.

Researcher: Adele Connor, University College Dublin
Award: Translational Research Scholarship 2020
About: Adele has started her PhD research in ovarian cancer, titled, 'Investigating the heterogeneic biology of ovarian cancer metastases by high-resolution imaging to inform novel combination therapies'.

Researcher: John Daly, National University of Ireland Galway
Award: Irish Cancer Society Biomedical Research Scholarship Programme 2017
About: John will examine the role sialylation plays in immune evasion and provide a rationale for enhancing immunotherapy for Multiple Myeloma.

Researcher: Professor Josephine Hegarty
Award: Genetic Services Scoping Project 
About: Conducting an environmental scan to outline the cancer genetics services in an Irish context underpinned by a mixed methods approach.

Researcher: Luke Jones
Award: Cancer Research Fellowship
About: Luke’s research is particularly focused on a type of leukaemia called acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The goal of this fellowship is to identify more effective treatments for paediatric blood cancers.

Principal Investigator: Prof Aoife Lowery
Award: Women’s Health Initiative and Clinician Researcher Leadership Award
About: Professor Aoife Lowery will be leading the extension of the Women’s Health Initiative to Galway, where they will not only assist in the recruitment of UCC’s LYSA clinical trial, but also carry out a study investigating cardiotoxicity in breast cancer patients, facilitated by the buy-out time from the Clinician Research Leadership Award. 

Researcher: Lydia Lynch
Award: Immuno-oncology Award
About: Dr Lynch will work with Professor Donal Brennan, UCD Professor of Gynaecological Oncology and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecological Oncologist, to undertake important research focused on the role of the immune system in ovarian cancer.

Principal Investigator: Eibhlin Mulroe
Award: Core and strategic funding for Cancer Trials Ireland
About: The Irish Cancer Society provide support annually to Cancer Trials Ireland.

Researcher: Jarushka Naidoo
Award: Clinician Researcher Leadership Award
About: Prof Naidoo will be supported in expanding her research and leadership in immunotherapy for lung cancer through the Irish Cancer Society’s Clinician Research Leadership Award.

Researcher: Rebecca O'Brien, Trinity College Dublin
Award: Irish Cancer Society Biomedical Research Scholarship Programme 2018
About: Rebecca’s PhD project will investigate the relationship between complement proteins and immune cells to understand how immune cells affect response to chemoradiation therapy.

Researcher: Shirley Potter
Award: Clinician Research Leadership Award
About: Dr Potter is carrying out research into using less extensive surgery for melanoma patients, resulting in less scarring and postoperative pain, as well as faster recovery and hopefully the same survival outcomes.

Researcher: Rebecca Sheridan, University College Dublin
Award: Irish Cancer Society Biomedical Research Scholarship Programme 2019
About: Rebecca’s PhD research aims to unveil new strategies to prevent the progression of blood cancer by preventing vesicle signalling between cancer and normal cells.

Researcher: Romina Silva, University College Dublin
Award: Irish Cancer Society Biomedical Research Scholarship Programme 2017
About: Romina’s PhD research will study DNA methylation to understand why some patients stop responding to prostate and ovarian cancer drugs.

Researcher: Dr Graeme Sullivan
Award: Translational research fellowship 2021
About: Graeme’s research is focused on relapsed multiple myeloma, looking firstly to understand why existing treatments aren’t always effective, identifying new targets, and testing new drug combinations to target them, translating into improved survival and QOL for patients.

Our social, nursing and allied health research

Researcher: Dr Alice le Bonniec, National University of Ireland Galway
Award: Social Science, Nursing, and Allied Health Fellowship
About: This project aims to improve colorectal cancer screening uptake to improve patient outcomes. A novel intervention will be developed through assessment of the scientific literature and consultation workshops with the public, healthcare professionals, and the National Screening Service. The feasibility of this new intervention will be evaluated by the team.

Researcher: Prof Declane Devane
Award: Misinformation and Disinformation in Cancer: An Intervention Development Award
About: The researcher team want to provide people impacted by a cancer diagnosis with the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and assess the reliability of treatment claims and choices. They will create an online learning resource, to help people recognise and act on reliable claims, supporting them to make well-informed health decisions.

Researchers: Catriona Duggan
Award: Cancer Nursing Research Award 2021
About: This research project is a mixed methods study to evaluate the effectiveness of ultrasound for peripheral intravenous cannulation in oncology patients.

Researcher: Dr Nicholas Clarke, Dublin City University
Award: Increasing Bowel Screening Uptake Research Award 2019
About: This study will develop a bowel screening intervention built upon the team's previous research and the important differences between Ireland's screening programme and international programmes with higher uptake.

Researcher: Jennifer Fitzpatrick
Award: SNAH Scholarship 2021
About: Jennifers’s project is titled, “The development, implementation and evaluation of a health behaviour change intervention for adolescents who have completed active cancer treatment”

Researcher: Suzanne Guerin
Award: Underrepresented Communities Award and Cancer Research Engagement Award
About: Prof Guerin and her excellent team will examine the experience of cancer and cancer treatment among adolescents and young adults in Ireland. The research carried out by Prof Guerin will gather much needed information on the groups of adolescents and young adults who are experiencing poorer cancer outcomes. Once the information is collected; recommendations for improving services can be shared with those who facilitate these services to ensure equity of access for all and improve outcomes for those underserved groups who were identified.

Researcher: Emer Guinan
Award: COVID-Cancer Rapid Response Award
About: Emer’s Project is titled “Personalised Exercise Rehabilitation in Cancer Survivorship: The PERCS Programme”. The project aims to evaluate the real-world application of an exercise triage and referral system, supported by an online repository of exercise rehabilitation tools and social prescribing resources specific to Ireland, on physical and psychosocial outcomes in cancer survivors treated during the coronavirus pandemic.

Researcher: Yvonne Hanhauser (Advanced Nurse Practitioner St James’) and Prof Anne-Marie Brady (Professor of Nursing and Chronic Illness, TCD)
Award: Irish Cancer Society Nursing Research Award 2019 (in collaboration with Health Research Board, the National Cancer Control Programme, and the Office of the Nursing & Midwifery Services Directory)
About: This project will develop and online tool to assist women with a BRCA+ gene mutation to make decisions about their care. 

Researcher: Professor Juliette Hussey (Trinity College Dublin)
Award: MRCG/HRB Joint Funding Scheme 2018 
About: Professor Hussey's research project is titled 'Preoperative Exercise to Improve Fitness in Patients Undergoing Complex Surgery for Cancer of the Lung or Oesophagus'.

Researcher: Dr. Sinéad Lynch
Award: COVID-Cancer Rapid Response Award
About: This research project is titled, “Comparing group-based Compassion Focused Therapy and breathing pattern retraining with a Cancer Thrive and Survive program on the psychological functioning of patients diagnosed with cancer recurrence during COVID: a randomised control trial”

Researcher: Chloe Moore
Award: SNAH Scholarship 2021
About: Chloe’s research project is titled, “ ENHANCE- EnhaNcing Health literAcy amoNg Cancer caregivErs”. The aim of this research is to develop and pilot test an intervention for cancer caregivers designed to increase their health literacy levels.

Researcher: Sophie Mulcahy Symmons
Award: SNAH Scholarship 2021
About: Sophie’s research project will aim at promoting HPV cervical screening by co-designing an educational intervention to overcome barriers and promote screening uptake in under-represented groups

Researcher: Amara Naseer
Award: SNAH Fellowship 2021
About: Amara is working on guideline development for the prevention of osteoradionecrosis in head and neck cancer patients. The research will evaluate patients treated for oropharyngeal and oral cavity cancers for Osteoradionecrosis (ORN) in relation to oral health, radiation dose.

Researcher: Dr Maria Pertl, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland 
Award: Psycho-Oncology Research Award (in collaboration with the National Cancer Control Programme)
Dr Pertl's research project is titled ‘Managing depression among patients with cancer: Identifying what works best through network meta-analysis and stakeholder consultation.’

Researchers: Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Dr Janice Richmond (Letterkenny University Hospital) & Professor Andrew Murphy (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Award: Irish Cancer Society Nursing Research Award 2019 (in collaboration with Health Research Board, the National Cancer Control Programme, and the Office of the Nursing & Midwifery Services Directory)
About: This project involves developing an integrated care model for the management of patients receiving oral anti-cancer agents in the community.  

Researcher: Dr Janice Richmond
Award: Implementation of the newly developed cancer survivorship initiative (Moving On Programme) as part of standardised cancer services with the aim of improving the health and wellbeing of cancer survivors.

Researcher: Dr Aoife Ryan, University College Cork
Award: Alternative Therapy Scoping Award
About: Dr Ryan's research project is titled ‘A National survey to investigate the use of complementary and alternative medicine in Irish oncology patients.’

Our patient and public engagement research

Researcher: Anne-Marie Baird
Award: Cancer Research Engagement Award
About: Currently, there are very few people impacted by lung cancer involved in cancer research. The overall aim of this project is to increase education and awareness around research. Hopefully by doing this, the project can enable and encourage more people impacted by lung cancer to become actively involved in and be part of the lung cancer research community.

Principal Investigator: Professor Amanda McCann
Award: The Patient Voice in Cancer Research 2019 funding
About: The Patient Voice in Cancer Research (PVCR), is an initiative to actively engage cancer patients, cancer researchers and other interested parties (patient advocates, families, carers and health care professionals, policy makers and those with an interest in cancer research) in discussions and decision-making processes, which positively impact on cancer treatment and
outcomes for patients  .

Researcher: Deirdre Nally
Award: Cancer Research Engagement Award
About: Surgery for bowel cancer changes over time. New technology can give extra information (data) to help to improve the operations we perform. Digital surgery refers to applying and integrating these new technologies to clinical surgery. The Digital Surgery Unit at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital is conducting research in this area. With the support of the Irish Cancer Society, we have launched a PPI process to explore the perspectives of patients, healthcare professionals and the general public towards these research and clinical activities.

Researcher: Kayleigh Slater, University College Dublin
Award: Irish Cancer Society Cancer Research Engagement Awards 2019
About: Kayleigh will organise a research engagement day, that will be open to patients and members of the public, to provide accurate and understandable information about ongoing uveal melanoma research from researchers and clinicians in the field.

Our summer studentship researchers

Researcher: Diana Cooke
Award: SNAH Summer Studentship
About: Diana is a psychology student in NUIG. Her project will investigate the impact of social supports, anxiety, and depression on quality of life and coping in individuals with hereditary cancer predispositions. The research aims to add on to the knowledge base emphasising the importance of social supports in producing a high quality of life which may result in promotion of communication within the family and formation of further specialised support groups.

Researcher: Sara Finnie
Award: SNAH Summer Studentship
About: Sara is a physiotherapy student at RCSI. Her project will investigate whether all people with advanced cancer in specialist palliative care are getting the opportunity to benefit from Physiotherapy. It will allow for the design and development of ways to improve access to rehabilitation for these patients. Ultimately, improving people’s mobility, function and overall quality of life.

Researcher: Mark Leahy
Award: Translational Summer Studentship
About: Mark’s project aims to use mRNA technology to increase the expression of potential therapeutic targets. This will allow for the use of conventional therapeutics in triple negative breast cancer, opening up many new avenues for these patients.

Researcher: Shanu Xavier
Award: Translational Summer Studentship
About: Shanu’s project aims to create a hydrogel system mimicking collagen present in tumour tissue. The clinical applications of these hydrogels can improve survival and quality of life of pancreatic cancer patients. Specifically, they can be used to assess patient-derived cancer cell behaviour in response to combination therapeutics targeting both the collagenous stroma and the cancer cells.

For more information

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