Researchers at UCD


Elizabeth Ryan

Senior Scientist/Research Fellow

School of Medicine
Health Sciences Centre
Dublin 4

Tel: 353 1 2213464



Senior Scientist & Principal Investigator, Centre for Colorectal Disease 2010 - Present

Research Senior Lecturer, School Biochemistry & Immunology, TCD 2007 - 2010

Senior Scientist, Liver Research Group, St. Vincent's Hospital 2005 - 2007

Marie Curie Industry- Host Fellow, Sanofi-Pasteur, France 2003 - 2005

Senior Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle 2000 -2003



PhD (Immunology), NUI Maynooth

Post-Graduate Diploma Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster

B.Sc. (Hons) Biotechnology, Dublin City University



Journals Edited

Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers And Prevention: Reviewer.
Biomaterials: Reviewer.
Clinical Cancer Research: Reviewer.
Frontiers In Cellular And Infection Microbiology: Reviewer.
World Journal Of Gastroenterology: Reviewer.
Journal Of Translational Medicine: Reviewer.
Frontiers In Oncology: Co-Editor.



Kelly, A. and Ryan, E.J. and O'Farrelly, C. (2012) Hepatic and blood dendritic cell subsets in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. : Nova Science Publishers, Inc. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

McDermott, E; Ryan, EJ; Tosetto, M; Gibson, D; Burrage, J; Keegan, D; Byrne, K; Crowe, E; Sexton, G; Malone, K; Harris, RA; Kellermayer, R; Mill, J; Cullen, G; Doherty, GA; Mulcahy, H; Murphy, TM (2016) 'DNA Methylation Profiling in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Provides New Insights into Disease Pathogenesis'. Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 10 (1):77-86. [Details]
Caiazza F, Ryan EJ, Doherty G, Winter DC, Sheahan K (2015) 'Estrogen receptors and their implications in colorectal carcinogenesis'. Frontiers in Oncology, 5 . [DOI] [Details]
Gibson, DJ; Elliott, L; McDermott, E; Tosetto, M; Keegan, D; Byrne, K; Martin, ST; Rispens, T; Cullen, G; Mulcahy, HE; Cheifetz, AS; Moss, AC; Robson, SC; Doherty, GA; Ryan, EJ (2015) 'Heightened Expression of CD39 by Regulatory T Lymphocytes Is Associated with Therapeutic Remission in Inflammatory Bowel Disease'. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 21 (12):2806-2814. [Details]
Flood B, Oficjalska K, Laukens D, Fay J, O'Grady A, Caiazza F, Heetun Z, Mills KH, Sheahan K, Ryan EJ, Doherty GA, Kay E, Creagh EM (2015) 'Altered expression of caspases-4 and -5 during inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer: Diagnostic and therapeutic potential'. Clinical and Experimental Immunology, . [DOI] [Details]
Caiazza F, Elliott L, Fennelly D, Sheahan K, Doherty GA, Ryan EJ (2015) 'Targeting EGFR in metastatic colorectal cancer beyond the limitations of KRAS status: alternative biomarkers and therapeutic strategies'. Biomarkers in Medicine, 9 (4):363-375. [DOI] [Details]
Lee CS, Murphy DJ, McMahon C, Nolan B, Cullen G, Mulcahy H, Sheahan K, Barnes E, Fennelly D, Ryan EJ, Doherty GA (2015) 'Visceral Adiposity is a Risk Factor for Poor Prognosis in Colorectal Cancer Patients Receiving Adjuvant Chemotherapy'. Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, . [DOI] [Details]
Kelly, A., Ryan, E. J., O'Farrelly, C. (2014) 'Reply to: Dendritic cell subset composition in the human liver is more complex than it seems'. J Hepatol, 60 (5):1098-9. Available Online [Details]
O'Toole, A. and Michielsen, A.J. and Nolan, B. and Tosetto, M. and Sheahan, K. and Mulcahy, H.E. and Winter, D.C. and Hyland, J.M. and O'Connell, P.R. and Fennelly, D. and O'Donoghue, D. and O'Sullivan, J. and Doherty, G.A. and Ryan, E.J. (2014) 'Tumour microenvironment of both early- and late-stage colorectal cancer is equally immunosuppressive'. British Journal of Cancer, 111 (5):927-932. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Lee CS, Ryan EJ, Doherty GA (2014) 'Gastro-intestinal toxicity of chemotherapeutics in colorectal cancer: the role of inflammation'. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 20 (14):3751-3761. [DOI] [Details]
Kelly, A., Fahey, R., Fletcher, J. M., Keogh, C., Carroll, A. G., Siddachari, R., Geoghegan, J., Hegarty, J. E., Ryan, E. J., O'Farrelly, C. (2014) 'CD141(+) myeloid dendritic cells are enriched in healthy human liver'. J Hepatol, 60 (1):135-42. Available Online [Details]
Gibson DJ, Ryan EJ, Doherty GA (2013) 'Keeping the Bowel Regular: The Emerging Role of Treg as a Therapeutic Target in Inflammatory Bowel Disease'. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, . [DOI] [Details]
Stevenson, N. J., Bourke, N. M., Ryan, E. J., Binder, M., Fanning, L., Johnston, J. A., Hegarty, J. E., Long, A., O'Farrelly, C. (2013) 'Hepatitis C virus targets the interferon-alpha JAK/STAT pathway by promoting proteasomal degradation in immune cells and hepatocytes'. FEBS Lett, 587 (10):1571-8. Available Online [Details]
Michielsen, A. J., Ryan, E. J., O'Sullivan, J. N. (2012) 'Dendritic cell inhibition correlates with survival of colorectal cancer patients on bevacizumab treatment'. Oncoimmunology, 1 (8):1445-1447. Available Online [Details]
Nanda KS, Brady JJ;Murray BF;Sullivan O;Fearon U;McKenna MJ;Hegarty JE;O'Farrelly C;Ryan EJ (2012) 'Elevated circulating osteoprotegerin and reduced matrix-metalloprotease-9 in post-menopausal women with chronic Hepatitis C virus infection'. Cytokine, 60 (2):328-333. [DOI] [Details]
Sarwar S, Ryan EJ;Iqbal M;McCormick PA;O'Farrelly C;Hegarty J (2012) 'Rapid, early and sustained virological responses in a cohort of Irish patients treated with pegylated interferon and ribavirin for chronic hepatitis C virus infection'. Irish Journal of Medical Science, 181 (1):53-58. [DOI] [Details]
Michielsen, A. J., Noonan, S., Martin, P., Tosetto, M., Marry, J., Biniecka, M., Maguire, A. A., Hyland, J. M., Sheahan, K. D., O'Donoghue, D. P., Mulcahy, H. E., Fennelly, D., Ryan, E. J., O'Sullivan, J. N. (2012) 'Inhibition of dendritic cell maturation by the tumor microenvironment correlates with the survival of colorectal cancer patients following bevacizumab treatment'. Molecular Cancer Therapy, 11 (8):1829-37. Available Online [Details]
Michielsen, A. J., O'Sullivan, J. N., Ryan, E. J. (2012) 'Tumor conditioned media from colorectal cancer patients inhibits dendritic cell maturation'. Oncoimmunology, 1 (5):751-753. Available Online [Details]
Walsh CE, Ryan EJ, O'Farrelly C, Golden-Mason L, FitzGerald O, Veale DJ, Bresnihan B, Fearon U (2011) 'Differential expression of NK receptors CD94 and NKG2A by T cells in rheumatoid arthritis patients in remission compared to active disease'. PLoS ONE, . [Details]
Michielsen, A. J., Hogan, A. E., Marry, J., Tosetto, M., Cox, F., Hyland, J. M., Sheahan, K. D., O'Donoghue, D. P., Mulcahy, H. E., Ryan, E. J., O'Sullivan, J. N. (2011) 'Tumour tissue microenvironment can inhibit dendritic cell maturation in colorectal cancer'. PLoS One, 6 (11). Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., O'Farrelly, C. (2011) 'The affect of chronic hepatitis C infection on dendritic cell function: a summary of the experimental evidence'. J Viral Hepat, 18 (9):601-7. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., Stevenson, N. J., Hegarty, J. E., O'Farrelly, C. (2011) 'Chronic hepatitis C infection blocks the ability of dendritic cells to secrete IFN-alpha and stimulate T-cell proliferation'. J Viral Hepat, 18 (12):840-51. Available Online [Details]
Ryan EJ, Dring M, Ryan CM, McNulty C, Stevenson NJ, Lawless MW, Crowe J, Nolan N, Hegarty JE, O'Farrelly C (2010) 'Variant in CD209 promoter is associated with severity of liver disease in chronic hepatitis C virus infection'. Human Immunology, 71 (8):829-832. [DOI] [Details]
Tajuddin, T., Ryan, E. J., Norris, S., Hegarty, J. E., O'Farrelly, C. (2010) 'Interferon-alpha suppressed granulocyte colony stimulating factor production is reversed by CL097, a TLR7/8 agonist'. J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 25 (12):1883-90. Available Online [Details]
McGrath, E,Ryan, EJ,Lynch, L,Golden-Mason, L,Mooney, E,Eogan, M,O'Herlihy, C,O'Farrelly, C; (2009) 'Changes in Endometrial Natural Killer Cell Expression of CD94, CD158a and CD158b are Associated with Infertility'. Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 61 :265-276. [DOI] [Details]
Nanda, K. S., Ryan, E. J., Murray, B. F., Brady, J. J., McKenna, M. J., Nolan, N., O'Farrelly, C., Hegarty, J. E. (2009) 'Effect of chronic hepatitis C virus infection on bone disease in postmenopausal women'. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 7 (8):894-9. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., Magaletti, D., Draves, K. E., Clark, E. A. (2009) 'Ligation of dendritic cell-associated lectin-1 induces partial maturation of human monocyte derived dendritic cells'. Hum Immunol, 70 (1):1-5. Available Online [Details]
Stevenson, N. J., Addley, M. R., Ryan, E. J., Boyd, C. R., Carroll, H. P., Paunovic, V., Bursill, C. A., Miller, H. C., Channon, K. M., McClurg, A. E., Armstrong, M. A., Coulter, W. A., Greaves, D. R., Johnston, J. A. (2009) 'CCL11 blocks IL-4 and GM-CSF signaling in hematopoietic cells and hinders dendritic cell differentiation via suppressor of cytokine signaling expression'. J Leukoc Biol, 85 (2):289-97. Available Online [Details]
Golden-Mason, L,Madrigal-Estebas, L,McGrath, E,Conroy, MJ,Ryan, EJ,Hegarty, JE,O'Farrelly, C,Doherty, DG; (2008) 'Altered natural killer cell subset distributions in resolved and persistent hepatitis C virus infection following single source exposure'. Gut, 57 :1121-1128. [DOI] [Details]
Harenberg, A., Guillaume, F., Ryan, E. J., Burdin, N., Spada, F. (2008) 'Gene profiling analysis of ALVAC infected human monocyte derived dendritic cells'. Vaccine, 26 (39):5004-13. Available Online [Details]
Rowan, A. G., Fletcher, J. M., Ryan, E. J., Moran, B., Hegarty, J. E., O'Farrelly, C., Mills, K. H. (2008) 'Hepatitis C virus-specific Th17 cells are suppressed by virus-induced TGF-beta'. J Immunol, 181 (7):4485-94. Available Online [Details]
Zaman, MB, Ryan, EJ, Leonard, MO, Nolan, NP, Maguire, D, Mulcahy, H, Traynor, O, Taylor, CT, Hegarty, J, Geoghegan, JG, OFarrelly, C, ; (2007) 'Activation of the transcription factor Nrf-2 in donor liver during ischemia reperfusion is associated with less inflammatory damage and lower trasaminase levels posttransplant'. Liver Transplant, 13 :101-101. [Details]
Ryan, E. J., Harenberg, A., Burdin, N. (2007) 'The Canarypox-virus vaccine vector ALVAC triggers the release of IFN-gamma by Natural Killer (NK) cells enhancing Th1 polarization'. Vaccine, 25 (17):3380-90. Available Online [Details]
Zaman, M. B., Nolan, N. P., Hoti, E., Maguire, D., Mulcahy, H., Traynor, O., Taylor, C. T., Hegarty, J. E., Geoghegan, J. G., O'Farrelly, C., Leonard, M. O., Ryan, E. J., ; (2007) 'Lower expression of Nrf2 mRNA in older donor livers: A possible contributor to increased ischemia-reperfusion injury?'. Transplantation, 84 (10):1272-1278. [Details]
Zaman, MB; Leonard, MO; Ryan, EJ; Nolan, NP; Maguire, D; Traynor, O; Taylor, CT; Hegarty, JE; Geoghegan, JG; O'Farrelly, C; ; (2006) 'Activation of hepatic Nrf-2 following ischemia-reperfusion of donor organ during orthotopic liver transplantation'. Journal of Hepatology, 44 (4):472-473. [Details]
Bengtsson, A. K., Ryan, E. J., Giordano, D., Magaletti, D. M., Clark, E. A. (2004) '17beta-estradiol (E2) modulates cytokine and chemokine expression in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells'. Blood, 104 (5):1404-10. Available Online [Details]
Olson, N. E., Graves, J. D., Shu, G. L., Ryan, E. J., Clark, E. A. (2003) 'Caspase activity is required for stimulated B lymphocytes to enter the cell cycle'. J Immunol, 170 (12):6065-72. Available Online [Details]
Craxton, A., Magaletti, D., Ryan, E. J., Clark, E. A. (2003) 'Macrophage- and dendritic cell--dependent regulation of human B-cell proliferation requires the TNF family ligand BAFF'. Blood, 101 (11):4464-71. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., Marshall, A. J., Magaletti, D., Floyd, H., Draves, K. E., Olson, N. E., Clark, E. A. (2002) 'Dendritic cell-associated lectin-1: a novel dendritic cell-associated, C-type lectin-like molecule enhances T cell secretion of IL-4'. J Immunol, 169 (10):5638-48. Available Online [Details]
Bengtsson, A. K., Ryan, E. J. (2002) 'Immune function of the decoy receptor osteoprotegerin'. Crit Rev Immunol, 22 (3):201-15. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., Daly, L. M., Mills, K. H. (2001) 'Immunomodulators and delivery systems for vaccination by mucosal routes'. Trends Biotechnol, 19 (8):293-304. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., Nilsson, L., Kjellman, N., Gothefors, L., Mills, K. H. (2000) 'Booster immunization of children with an acellular pertussis vaccine enhances Th2 cytokine production and serum IgE responses against pertussis toxin but not against common allergens'. Clin Exp Immunol, 121 (2):193-200. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., McNeela, E., Pizza, M., Rappuoli, R., O'Neill, L., Mills, K. H. (2000) 'Modulation of innate and acquired immune responses by Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin: distinct pro- and anti-inflammatory effects of the nontoxic AB complex and the enzyme activity'. J Immunol, 165 (10):5750-9. Available Online [Details]
McGuirk, P., Johnson, P. A., Ryan, E. J., Mills, K. H. (2000) 'Filamentous hemagglutinin and pertussis toxin from Bordetella pertussis modulate immune responses to unrelated antigens'. J Infect Dis, 182 (4):1286-9. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, E. J., McNeela, E., Murphy, G. A., Stewart, H., O'Hagan, D., Pizza, M., Rappuoli, R., Mills, K. H. (1999) 'Mutants of Escherichia coli heat-labile toxin act as effective mucosal adjuvants for nasal delivery of an acellular pertussis vaccine: differential effects of the nontoxic AB complex and enzyme activity on Th1 and Th2 cells'. Infect Immun, 67 (12):6270-80. Available Online [Details]
Ryan, M., Murphy, G., Ryan, E., Nilsson, L., Shackley, F., Gothefors, L., Oymar, K., Miller, E., Storsaeter, J., Mills, K. H. (1998) 'Distinct T-cell subtypes induced with whole cell and acellular pertussis vaccines in children'. Immunology, 93 (1):1-10. Available Online [Details]
Mills, K. H., Ryan, M., Ryan, E., Mahon, B. P. (1998) 'A murine model in which protection correlates with pertussis vaccine efficacy in children reveals complementary roles for humoral and cell-mediated immunity in protection against Bordetella pertussis'. Infect Immun, 66 (2):594-602. Available Online [Details]


Tajuddin, T,Ryan, E,Hegarty, J,O'Farrelly, C (2007) GM-CSF may modulate the response to therapeutic IFN-alpha in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Abstract [Details]
Zaman, MB,Ryan, EJ,Leonard, MO,Nolan, NP,Maguire, D,Mulcahy, H,Traynor, O,Taylor, CT,Hegarty, J,Geoghegan, JG,O'Farrelly, C (2007) Activation of the transcription factor Nrf-2 in donor liver during ischemia reperfusion is associated with less inflammatory damage and lower trasaminase levels posttransplant. Abstract [Details]
Zaman, MB,Leonard, MO,Ryan, EJ,Nolan, NP,Maguire, D,Traynor, O,Taylor, CT,Hegarty, JE,Geoghegan, JG,O'Farrelly, C (2006) Activation of hepatic Nrf-2 following ischemia-reperfusion of donor organ during orthotopic liver transplantation. Abstract [Details]


Research Interests


Study of Human Dendritic Cell Subsets in different patient cohorts with the goal of manipulating DC therapeutically

Applications for therapy in cancer, chronic viral infection and inflammation


Current Research Team:

Francesco Caiazza PhD (Merck Serono Newman Fellow, Tumour Microenvironment)

Louise Elliott PhD (HRB funded Post-doctoral Fellow, Human Dendritic Cells)

Miriam Tosetto MSc (Centre for Colorectal Disease, Research Assistant)

Edel McDermott Clinical PhD  (Boston Scientific Newman Fellow, Methylation in IBD)

Chun Seng Lee  MD Fellow (Helsinn-Birex Newman Fellow, Chemotherapy toxicities)

David Gibson MD Fellow (AbbVie Newman Fellow, JAK/STAT pathway and T cells in IBD)

Together with my clinical colleagues I am developing a research programme focusing on immune regulation in the gastrointestinal tract of colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease patients.


A particular interest is the study myeloid lineage cells in human tissue and investigating how they can be perturbed by disease. 

In addition, we have developed a method to study the immunomodulatory role of the tumour microenvironment of colorectal cancer.

UCD Medicine Research Group: Colorectal 

Research Projects

Sponsor : Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)
Title : Developing Multiplex Substrate Profiling by Mass Spectrometry as a prognostic tool for colorectal cancer
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-15 / 31-DEC-16
Sponsor : University College Dublin Foundation Ltd.
Title : Merck Serono Newman Fellowship in Medical Oncology
Start Date / End Date : 10-JUL-15 / 09-JUL-17
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Cytokine signatures to predict the response of Hepatitis C patients to IFN-alpha/ribavirin therapy
Start Date / End Date : 09-JAN-06 / 08-JAN-07
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Establishment of a colorectal and liver ex vivo biopsy culture model to examine responses to biologic therapies in advanced colorectal cancers with liver metastasis
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-07 / 01-DEC-08

Recent Postgraduates

Edel McDermott, PhD 2016

David Gibson, MD 2015 

Aoibhlinn O'Toole, MD 2014

Aoife Kelly, PhD 2013

Brian Parkinson, MSc 2013

Adriana Michielsen, PhD 2012

Kavin Nanda, MD 2011 

Current Postgraduate Students

Louise Elliott, Master of Science (MSc)   -   Secondary Supervisor
Zaid Heetun, Medicine (MD)   -   Secondary Supervisor
Karen Hartery, Medicine (MD)   -   Thesis Supervisor


Internal Collaborators

Dr Glen Doherty, Dr David Fennelly, Prof Kieran Sheahan, Prof Hugh Mulcahy and the Centre for Colorectal Disease ( (Immune regulation in colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease)
Prof Guenther Eissner, UCD (Monocyte/endothelial cell differentiation in colorectal cancer)
Prof Walter Kolch, UCD (EGFR signalling pathway in colorectal cancer patients)
Dr Kate Killick and Prof Des Higgins (Bioinformatics analysis of RNAseq on clinical samples)
Dr. Garret Cullen (Centre for Colorectal Disease)and Dr. Cillian De Gascun (National Virus Reference Laboratory); Vaccination in IBD patients
Dr Ursula Fearon, Prof Doug Veale and Dr. Eamon Malloy, Rheumatology Research Group, St Vincent¿s University Hospital.(Characterization of tissue resident DC in rheumatic disease)

External Collaborators

Cliona O'Farrelly, TCD (Liver immunity in colorectal cancer patients and HCV)

Jean Fletcher, TCD (Regulatory T cell in human colorectal cancer)

Jacintha O'Sullivan, TCD (Immune evasion in pre-neoplastic condition Barrett's Oesophagus)

Aideen Long, TCD (Immune regulatory role of PKC-β in the JAK/STAT signalling pathway)

Emma Creagh, TCD / Prof Elaine Kay, RCSI (Role of human Caspase 4/5 in the gut)

Jochen Prehn, RCSI (Markers of response to chemotherapy in Colorectal Cancer)

Sandra Van Schaeybroek and Paddy Johnston, QUB (Molecular Taxonomy of Colorectal Cancer)

Jonathan Mill, Therese Murphy, University of Exeter (Methylation analysis of clinical samples)

Edward Clark, University of Washington  (Role of CD40 and CD80 in tumour immunity)