March 2018 | Márta 2018

Improving Survival Rate of Children and Teens Affected by Blood Cancers

Fri, 30 March 18 11:52

The School is pleased to announce a new research programme focus on improving survival rates of children and teens affected by cancers of the blood.  With funding from the National Children's Research Centre and CMRF Crumlin, the School has been able to establish the Brendan McGonnell UCD Professor of Paediatric Molecular Haematol-Oncology and has appointed Prof Jonathan Bond to this position,

The result of an innovative partnership between the three organisations, this new professorship has been developed to advance research into paediatric and adolescent cancers of the blood, with the aim of improving survival rates for those affected.

The new Chair is supported, under the NCRC Research Leadership Award Scheme, by a significant legacy donation from the late Mr Brendan McGonnell to CMRF Crumlin.

The NCRC Research Leadership Award Scheme aims to build research capacity in key areas of child health, and this new Chair at UCD will play a pivotal role in the development of a molecular and translational research programme into childhood blood cancers.

said Dr Jacinta Kelly, Chief Executive of the NCRC.

Child and young adolescent haematological cancers account for approximately 40% of all cancers in children up to the age of 16. Professor Bond’s research programme, which will be carried out at Systems Biology Ireland, UCD, will focus on understanding how normal gene regulation is subverted in acute leukaemia with the ultimate goal of developing new and better treatments for every child and adolescent with this blood cancer.

Jacintha Kelly Jonathan Bond and Owen Smith

From Left to Right: Dr Jacintha Kelly, Chief Executive, NCRC ; Prof Jonathan Bond, Brendan McGonnell UCD Professor of Paediatric Molecular Haemato-Oncology and Prof Owen Smith CBE, Profesor of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

Professor Owen Smith CBE, Professor of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine said,

We are sincerely grateful to the NCRC and CMRF for their commitment to further research into paediatric blood cancers at University College Dublin which is a truly fitting gesture in memory of Brendan McGonnell and his extraordinary philanthropy.

We are delighted to welcome Professor Bond to the University, where he will be a significant asset to our research activities in paediatric haemato-oncology. His appointment will have a major impact in the field of paediatric cancer in Ireland and internationally.

Professor Jonathan Bond, Brendan McGonnell UCD Professor of Paediatric Molecular Haemato-Oncology said,

I am very grateful that NCRC, CMRF Crumlin and UCD have used Brendan McGonnell’s generous donation to create this position. This is a hugely exciting opportunity to perform research that will improve the treatment of children with blood cancers.”

Lisa-Nicole Dunne, CEO, CMRF Crumlin, said,

We are delighted to be able to support this incredible work with the NCRC. Paediatric cancer is one of the research areas we are proud to fund at CMRF Crumlin. We receive no governmental funding, so legacies left by the likes of Brendan McGonnell really have a wonderful, lasting impact on the treatments available for future generations of sick children.

Professor Bond has relocated to Ireland following the completion of a research fellowship at the Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris. He completed his undergraduate medical study at Trinity College Dublin and trained as a clinical paediatric haematologist in Ireland before obtaining a PhD in Molecular Haematology at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre (now the London Institute of Medical Sciences) and Imperial College London.

About the National Children's Research Centre

The National Children’s Research Centre (NCRC) is over 50 years old and was the first dedicated research centre on the site of an Irish hospital. Today, it offers state of the art research laboratories, research funding through competitive grant calls, and a children’s clinical research unit at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, where clinical trials and studies take place. Together, these facilities allow the NCRC to support full bench to bedside research for children. It has been funded by charitable donations to CMRF, Crumlin, since its inception.

CMRF Crumlin (the Children’s Medical Research Foundation) was established in 1965 and is the principal fundraising body for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and The National Children’s Research Centre. We drive fundraising to allow for research into the cause, treatment, care and prevention of children’s illness and disease and to actively support excellence in the care and treatment of sick children by providing additional equipment, facilities and assistance to patients and their families within Children’s Hospital at Crumlin.

About the Late Brendan McGonnell

Brendan McGonnell, Business man, philanthropist and vintage car enthuasiat

The late Brendan McGonnell was a successful business man, philanthropist, vintage car enthusiast and patron of the arts.  Born in Dublin in 1944, a pupil of CBS Synge Street, his kindness and thoughtfulness for sick children and the disadvantaged in our society was evident by the many worthy causes he supported throughout his life.  He developed Heathers, a Swedish-style country lodge in Glencree Valley complete with a Children's Village.  Following his death in 2014, he made bequests to various Irish charity groups including the Children's Medical Research Foundation.