Translational Oncology

Theme Overview

The primary vision of the UCD Academic Centre in Translational Oncology (ACTO) is to (a) acknowledge and foster the exceptional cancer initiatives already in place, with a particular focus on gaining international recognition within academic and industrial sectors, and (b) to unify the basic, translational and clinical cancer research communities across all UCD affiliated hospitals, Dublin East Hospitals, Institutes and Schools.

The ACTO translational research agenda envisages collaboration with other centres of cancer research activity (physical and virtual) to improve patient outcomes.

Translational Oncology is the crucial bridge that enables application of scientific discoveries into clinical practice with the intention of improving clinical outcomes of cancer treatment. This can only be achieved by establishing a critical mass of clinicians and researchers, driven by a similar agenda. The recent creation of the Dublin East network of hospitals, provides a catchment population in excess of one million and includes two of the eight designated centres in Ireland (Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St Vincent’s University Hospital) that together currently treat the largest numbers of patients affected by all the major cancers (Breast, Prostate, Colorectal, Lung, Pancreas) within the country. This critical mass provides opportunities for enhanced basic research collaboration but also crucially will greatly enhance interactions with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

More Information About Translational Oncology Research at UCD

ACTO has obtained commitments from over 50 colleagues in UCD to move this collaborative research agenda forward. The group represents a cross-section of UCD cancer research interests. Formal recognition as an Academic Centre in Translational Oncology will greatly enhance applications for significant national and international funding including the Irish Cancer Society Collaborative Cancer Research Centres programme, the SFI Centres call and the Horizon 2020 Funding Programme.

The ACTO group includes active PIs in computational biology, innovative model systems including canine, rodent, zebra fish and xenopus model systems, high-throughput proteomic and biomarker discovery platforms, substantial cancer tissue cohorts (through the Prostate Cancer Research Consortium, Molecular Therapeutics for Cancer Ireland, the TNBC Mater/SVUH alliance, CRC), synthetic chemistry, chemical biology and imaging. Moreover, Systems Biology Ireland (SBI) led by Professor Walter Kolch (Director, UCD Conway Institute) gives an exceptional pathway analysis approach integral to deciphering the complexity that cancer displays. As the ACTO develops, it will be in a very strong position to strategically recruit expertise as required.

The ACTO group published over 90 peer reviewed publications, while securing Euro 7 million in funding. Recognition of the proposed Academic Centre will consolidate efforts in continuing to secure additional significant funding to support the unified agenda of translational oncology research.

Research Team

Dr Amanda McCann
Senior Lecturer

Dr Maria Bengoechea Alonso
Research Fellow

Prof Donal Buggy
Consultant and Professor of Anaesthesia

Dr Ger Cagney
Lecturer and Principal Investigator

Prof Dolores Cahill
Professor of Translational Science

Prof Sean Callanan
Professor of Pathobiology

Prof Leslie Daly
Professor of Epidemiology and Biomedical Statistics

Prof Kenneth Dawson
Professor of Bionanoscience

Prof Michael J. Duffy
Professor of Medicine

Dr Aurelie Fabre
Consultant Histopathologist & Clinical Lecturer

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Dr Fidelma Flanagan
Consultant and Senior Clinical Lecturer

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Dr Patricia Fitzpatrick
Senior Lecturer

Dr Helen Gallagher
College Lecturer

Prof William Gallagher
Associate Professor of Cancer Biology

Dr Eric Heffernan
Consultant Radiologist

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Dr Carmel Hensey
Senior Lecturer

Prof Michael J. Duffy
Professor of Medicine

Dr Nobue Itasaki
Senior Lecturer

Mr Malcolm Kell
Surgical Oncologist

Dr Cathy Kelly
Consultant Medical Oncologist

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Prof Walter Kolch
Professor and Head of Systems Biology Ireland

Dr Leo Lawler
Consultant Radiologist

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Dr Dermot Leahy
Research Scientist

Prof Padraic Mac Mathuna
Consultant and Associate Professor of Medicine

Prof Ray McDermott
Consultant Medical Oncologist

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Dr Margaret McGee
Lecturer & Conway Fellow

Dr John McCaffrey
Consultant Medical Oncologist

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Ms Patricia McGowan
Irish Cancer Society Fellow

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Prof Ronan O’Connell
Professor of Surgery

Prof John Crown
Consultant Oncologist

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Dr Darran O’Connor
Research Fellow & Lecturer

Dr Peadar O’Gaora
Bioinformatician/Senior Lecturer

Dr Peter O’Gorman
Consultant Haematologist, Director MIRT

Dr Cecily Quinn
Consultant Histopathologist & Senior Clinical Lecturer

Prof Stephen Pennington
Professor of Proteomics

Prof Louise Rocks
Centre for Bionano Interactions

Dr Liz Ryan
Senior Scientist

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Dr Anna Salvati
Centre for Bionano Interactions

Prof Kieran Sheahan
Consultant and Professor of Histopathology

Dr Matthias Tacke
Senior Lecturer

Prof William Watson
Associate Professor of Cancer Biology

Prof Des Winter
Professor and Consultant Surgeon

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Dr Madeline Murphy
Principle Investigator