Researchers at UCD


Maria Prencipe

Research Fellow

Conway Institute
Dublin 4

Tel: Ext: 6716


Dr. Maria Prencipe was awarded her Degree in Biological Sciences in 1999 followed by a Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2001 from L'Aquila University, Italy. After 3 years as a research assistant in the research hospital "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza", San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, she moved to Ireland where she was awarded her PhD in Cancer Biology from University College Dublin, studying the mechanisms of resistance to taxane treatment in breast and ovarian cancer. As a postdoctoral fellow within Molecular Therapeutic for Cancer Ireland (MTCI) research cluster, she studied the molecular mechanisms of resistance to advanced prostate cancer treatments, identifying novel transcription factors as potential new therapies for advanced prostate cancer. She was awarded an Irish Cancer Society research fellowship in 2012 to carry on her work on transcription factors' role in prostate cancer which she expanded as part of the Fast-Path Marie Curie FP7 People work programme, Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP), spending one year in OncoMark Ltd. Dr. Prencipe's work has resulted in a number of important publications and prizes such as the St. Luke's Young Investigator award in 2014. 


Honours and Awards

Year: 2014.
Title: St. Luke's Young Investigator Award


Association: American Association for Cancer Research, Function/Role: Member
Association: European Association for Cancer Research, Function/Role: Member
Association: Irish Association for Cancer Research, Function/Role: Member of the Junior Council

Conference Contributions

Prencipe, M (2016) Novel molecular targets for advanced prostate cancer. [Oral Presentation], Irish Association for Cancer Research Meeting, Cork , 25-FEB-16 - 26-FEB-16.
9. McGrogan B, Phelan S, Fitzpatrick P, Maguire A, Prencipe M, Brennan D, Doyle E, O¿Grady A, Kay E, Furlong F, McCann A. (2015) Spindle assembly checkpoint protein expression correlates with cellular proliferation and shorter time to recurrence in ovarian cancer. [Poster Presentation], The Ireland-Northern Ireland ¿ National Cancer Institute (NCI)Cancer Consortium Conference, Queen's University Belfast , 11-MAY-15 - 13-MAY-15.



Peer Reviewed Journals

Prencipe M, O'Neill A;O'Hurley G;Nguyen LK;Fabre A;Bjartell A;Gallagher WM;Morrissey C;Kay EW;Watson RW (2015) 'Relationship between serum response factor and androgen receptor in prostate cancer'. Prostate, 75 (15):1704-1717. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Murphy L, Prencipe M;Gallagher WM;Watson RW (2015) 'Commercialized biomarkers: new horizons in prostate cancer diagnostics'. Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics, 15 (4):491-503. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Fitzgerald KA, Evans JC;McCarthy J;Guo J;Prencipe M;Kearney M;Watson WR;O'Driscoll CM (2014) 'The role of transcription factors in prostate cancer and potential for future RNA interference therapy'. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 18 (6):633-649. [DOI] [Details]
O'Hurley G, Prencipe M, Lundon D, O'Neill A, Boyce S, O'Grady A, Gallagher WM, Morrissey C, Kay EW, Watson RW (2014) 'The analysis of serum response factor expression in bone and soft tissue prostate cancer metastases'. Prostate, 74 (3):306-313. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
McGrogan B, Phelan S;Fitzpatrick P;Maguire A;Prencipe M;Brennan D;Doyle E;O'Grady A;Kay E;Furlong F;McCann A (2014) 'Spindle assembly checkpoint protein expression correlates with cellular proliferation and shorter time to recurrence in ovarian cancer'. Human Pathology, 45 (7):1509-1519. [DOI] [Details]
Prencipe M, Madden SF, O'Neill A, O'Hurley G, Culhane A, O'Connor D, Klocker H, Kay EW, Gallagher WM, Watson WR (2013) 'Identification of transcription factors associated with castration-resistance: is the serum responsive factor a potential therapeutic target?'. Prostate, 73 (7):743-753. [DOI] [Details]
Furlong F, Fitzpatrick P;O'Toole S;Phelan S;McGrogan B;Maguire A;O'Grady A;Gallagher M;Prencipe M;McGoldrick A;McGettigan P;Brennan D;Sheils O;Martin C;W Kay E;O'Leary J;McCann A (2012) 'Low MAD2 expression levels associate with reduced progression-free survival in patients with high-grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer'. Pathology, 226 (5):746-755. [DOI] [Details]
O'Connell K, Prencipe M, O'Neill A, Corcoran C, Rani S, Henry M, Dowling P, Meleady P, O'Driscoll L, Watson W, O'Connor R (2012) 'The use of LC-MS to identify differentially expressed proteins in docetaxel-resistant prostate cancer cell lines'. Proteomics, 12 (13):2115-2126. [DOI] [Details]
Corcoran C, Rani S, O'Brien K, O'Neill A, Prencipe M, Sheikh R, Webb G, McDermott R, Watson W, Crown J, O'Driscoll L (2012) 'Docetaxel-resistance in prostate cancer: evaluating associated phenotypic changes and potential for resistance transfer via exosomes'. PLoS ONE, 7 (12). [DOI] [Details]
O'Neill AJ, Prencipe M;Dowling C;Fan Y;Mulrane L;Gallagher WM;O'Connor D;O'Connor R;Devery A;Corcoran C;Rani S;O'Driscoll L;Fitzpatrick JM;Watson RW (2011) 'Characterisation and manipulation of docetaxel resistant prostate cancer cell lines'. Molecular Cancer, 10 . [DOI] [Details]
Prencipe M, McGoldrick A, Perry AS, O'Grady A, Phelan S, McGrogan B, Fitzpatrick P, Watson JA, Furlong F, Brennan DJ, Lawler M, Kay E, McCann A; (2010) 'MAD2 downregulation in hypoxia is independent of promoter hypermethylation'. Cell, 9 (14):2856-2865. [Details]
Hoque MO, Prencipe M;Poeta ML;Barbano R;Valori VM;Copetti M;Gallo AP;Brait M;Maiello E;Apicella A;Rossiello R;Zito F;Stefania T;Paradiso A;Carella M;Dallapiccola B;Murgo R;Carosi I;Bisceglia M;Fazio VM;Sidransky D;Parrella P (2009) 'Changes in CpG islands promoter methylation patterns during ductal breast carcinoma progression'. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology, 18 (10):2694-2700. [DOI] [Details]
Prencipe M, Fitzpatrick P, Gorman S, Tosetto M, Klinger R, Furlong F, Harrison M, O'Connor D, Roninson IB, O'Sullivan J, McCann A; (2009) 'Cellular senescence induced by aberrant MAD2 levels impacts on paclitaxel responsiveness in vitro'. British Journal of Cancer, 101 (11):1900-1908. [DOI] [Details]


Prencipe, M,O'Neill, A,O'Hurley, G,Klocker, H,Kay, EW,Watson, WR (2012) DHT Regulates Serum Response Factor Transcription Activity in Castrate-resistant Prostate Cancer Cell Lines. Abstract [Details]
McKeown, S,O'Neill, A,Kennedy, S,Watson, RWG,Prencipe, M (2011) THE ROLE OF PBX1 IN ANDROGEN RESISTANT PROSTATE CANCER. Abstract [Details]
Phelan, SM,McGrogan, B,Prencipe, M,Fitzpatrick, P,Brennan, D,O'Herlihy, C,Foley, M,Doyle, E,Harford, J,O'Grady, T,Kay, E (2010) Immunolocalisation of Key Spindle Assembly Checkpoint Proteins - Correlation with Cellular Prolifaration and Chemotherapeutic Response. Abstract [Details]
Furlong, F,Prencipe, M,McGoldrick, A,McGettigan, P,Carney, D,Doyle, E,Kay, F,McCann, A (2010) miR-433 overexpression attenuates the spindle assembly checkpoint response to paclitaxel. Abstract [DOI] [Details]


Research Interests

Despite initial response to androgen ablation, patients with advanced disease relapse to develop castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) which is difficult to treat. The aim of my research is to understand the mechanisms associated with CRPC and to use this knowledge to develop new targeted therapies.  By using transcriptomics data in combination with bioinformatics, I have identified eleven transcription factors associated with CRPC in an in vitro model of resistance. The relevance of these transcription factors to patients has been validated by immunohistochemistry. We are currently manipulating some of these transcription factors in vitro to look at their impact on cellular processes relevant to cancer such as cell viability, apoptosis, invasion and migration. Next, we will translate our in vitro findings into Patient Derived Xenografts in vivo.

UCD Medicine Research Theme: Translational Oncology 

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Cancer Society (ICS)
Title : Building a pipeline for novel therapies in castrate-resistant disease; the SRF paradigm
Start Date / End Date : 26-AUG-16 / 26-SEP-16