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Melinda Halasz

Systems Biology Ireland

Tel: +353 1 716 6338
Email: melinda.halasz@ucd.ie

Biography

I grew up in Paks, a small town located on the banks of the Danube in Hungary. As a child, my most ardent wish was to  do research in the field of cancer biology, thus I entered the Medical School, University of Pecs (Pecs, Hungary) and joined the Students' Scientific Research Club. My undergraduate scientific work focused on deciphering the signalling pathways of a molecule named Progesterone-Induced Blocking Factor (PIBF) that mediates the immunological effects of progesterone during pregnancy and might facilitate tumour growth by suppressing local anti-tumour immune responses.

During my medical training, I had the opportunity to practice tropical medicine at the Khartoum Tropical Diseases Teaching Hospital in Sudan.

After obtaining my MD degree in 2007, I started a PhD in Immunology and continued my project on elucidating the role of PIBF in trophoblast and tumour invasion under the supervision of Julia Szekeres-Bartho at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology (Medical School, University of Pecs). I completed my PhD requirements in 2011.

I am currently a post-doctoral fellow at Systems Biology Ireland, working on the ASSET (Analysing and Striking the Sensitivities of Embryonal Tumours) project supported by the EU FP7 Framework Programme. Our goal is to analyse the signalling and transcriptional networks that drive highly aggressive embryonal tumours by using -omics and systems biology approaches.

Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2008.
Title: Best Abstract Award in Basic Immunological Research
Year: 2005.
Title: Travel Grant
Year: 2006.
Title: Travel Grant
Year: 2009.
Title: Travel Grant
Year: 2010.
Title: Travel Grant
Year: 2009.
Title: 1st Prize, Royan International Research Award in Female Infertility
Year: 2005.
Title: Young Signalling Researcher of 2005
             

Education

Year 2007 Institution:
Qualification: MD Subject: General Medicine major, Medical School University of Pecs
Year 2011 Institution:
Qualification: PhD Subject: Medical Sciences- Immunolgy; Medical School University of Pecs
         

Publications

 

Book Chapters

Szekeres-Bartho, J; Kozma, N; Halasz, M; Polgar, B; Miko, E; Palkovics, T; Szereday, L (2006) 'Immuno-Endocrine Signals' In: Szekeres-Bartho, J; Kozma, N; Halasz, M; Polgar, B; Miko, E; Palkovics, T; Szereday, L (eds). Embryo implantation: From basics to clinics - University Handbook. Croatia: University of Rijeka. [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

Kolch, W; Halasz, M; Granovskaya, M; Kholodenko, BN. (2015) 'The dynamic control of signal transduction networks in cancer cells'. Nature Reviews Cancer, 15 (9):515-527. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Romano, D; Nguyen, LK; Matallanas, D; Halasz, M; Doherty, C; Kholodenko, BN; Kolch, W. (2014) 'Protein interaction switches coordinate Raf-1 and MST2/Hippo signalling'. Nature Cell Biology, 16 (7):673-684. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Horvath, G; Reglodi, D; Brubel, R; Halasz, M; Barakonyi, A; Tamas, A; Fabian, E; Opper, B; Toth, G; Cohen, M; Szereday, L (2014) 'Investigation of the Possible Functions of PACAP in Human Trophoblast Cells'. Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN, . [Details]
Halasz, M; Polgar, B; Berta, G; Czimbalek, L; Szekeres-Bartho, J (2013) 'Progesterone-Induced Blocking Factor differentially regulates trophoblast and tumour invasion by altering matrix metalloproteinase activity'. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 70 (23):4617-4630. [DOI] [Details]
Halasz, M; Szekeres-Bartho, J. (2013) 'The role of progesterone in implantation and trophoblast invasion'. JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY, 97 (1):43-50. Link to full text [Details]
Par, G; Szereday, L; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Halasz, M; Miseta, A; Hegedus, G; Szekeres, J; Mozsik, G; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2013) 'Rapid virological response to peg-interferon plus ribavirin therapy is associated with increased TNF-α and IL-6 production by Toll-like receptor 4 stimulated monocytes in patients infected with hepatitis C virus genotype 1'. PLoS ONE, . [Details]
Miko E, Halasz M, Jericevic-Mulac B, Wicherek L, Arck P, Arató G, Skret Magierlo J, Rukavina D, Szekeres-Bartho J (2011) 'Progesterone-induced blocking factor (PIBF) and trophoblast invasiveness'. JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY, 90 (1):50-57. [Details]
Szekeres-Bartho J, Halasz M, Palkovics T (2009) 'Progesterone in pregnancy; receptor-ligand interaction and signaling pathways'. JOURNAL OF REPRODUCTIVE IMMUNOLOGY, 83 (1-2):60-64. [Details]
Kozma N, Halasz M, Polgar B, Poehlmann TG, Markert UR, Palkovics T, Keszei M, Par G, Kiss K, Szeberenyi J, Grama L, Szekeres-Bartho J (2006) 'Progesterone-induced blocking factor activates STAT6 via binding to a novel IL-4 receptor'. J IMMUNOL, 176 (2):819-826. Available Online [Details]
Kozma N, Halasz M, Palkovics T, Szekeres-Bartho J (2006) 'The progesterone-induced blocking factor modulates the balance of PKC and intracellular Ca'. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 55 (2):122-129. [Details]

Other Journals

Pár G, Berki T, Pálinkás L, Balogh P, Szereday L, Halász M, Szekeres-Barthó J, Miseta A, Hegedus G, Mózsik G, Hunyady B, Pár A (2006) '[Immunology of HCV infection: the causes of impaired cellular immune response and the effect of antiviral treatment]' Orvosi Hetilap . [Details]
                                                                               

Published abstracts

Halasz, M; Santra, T; Rodriguez, J; Kholodenko, B; Kolch W (2014) Proteomic profiling of N-Myc-associated proteins in neuroblastoma. Published abstracts [Details]
Halasz, M; Berta, G; Czimbalek, L; Polgar, B; Szekeres-Bartho, J (2012) Progesterone-induced blocking factor (PIBF) controls trophoblast invasion. Published abstracts [Details]
Halasz, M; Szereday, L; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Vincze, A; Par, A; Par, G (2012) Impaired STAT4 phosphorylation is associated with non-response to PEG-IFN plus Ribavirin treatment in chronic HCV Hepatitis patients. Published abstracts [Details]
Szekeres-Bartho, J; Halasz, M; Miko, E; Polgar, B; Palkovics, T (2010) PIBF regulates trophoblast invasion. Published abstracts [Details]
Halasz, M; Polgar, B; Kozma, N; Berki, T; Szekeres-Bartho, J (2009) What harbours the cradle of life? The progesterone-dependent immunomodulation. Published abstracts [Details]
Halasz, M; Polgar, B; Kozma, N; Berta, G; Toth, G; Szekeres-Bartho, J (2009) The key and the lock: Characterization of the receptor-binding part of Progesterone-Induced Blocking Factor (PIBF). Published abstracts [Details]
Ermisch, C; Halasz, M; Poehlmann, TG; Weber, M; Szekeres-Bartho, J; Markert, UR (2008) Expression and silencing of Progesterone Induced Blocking Factor in Jar choriocarcinoma cells. Published abstracts [Details]
Halasz, M; Polgar, B; Kozma, N; Berta, G; Toth, G; Szekeres-Bartho, J (2008) Identifying the receptor-binding part of PIBF. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Szereday, L; Berki, T; Halasz, M; Miseta, A; Szekeres-Bartho, J; Hegedus, G; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2008) Altered surface expression of inhibitory KIR2DL3 and activating CD160, NKG2D receptors on NK and cytotoxic T cells in chronic HCV hepatitis. Published abstracts [Details]
Polgar, B; Marki, A; Halidi, N; Halasz, M; Kozma, N; Palkovics, T; Szekeres-Bartho, J (2007) A Molecule of Challenge: Hunting for PIBF Receptor. Published abstracts [Details]
Szekeres-Bartho, J; Polgar, B; Halasz, M; Kozma, N; Miko, E; Palkovics, T; Barakonyi, A; Szereday, L (2007) Progesterone-Dependent Immunomodulation. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Halasz, M; Szereday, L; Miseta, A; Faust, Zs; Hegedus, G; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2007) Rapid virological response is associated with increased pretreatment Th1 type cytokine production of Toll-like receptor 4 stimulated monocytes in HCV1 patients. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Halasz, M; Szereday, L; Miseta, A; Faust, Zs; Hegedus, G; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2007) Cytokine profiles of peripheral blood monocytes may predict rapid virological response in chronic hepatitis C. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Halasz, M; Szereday, L; Miseta, A; Faust, Zs; Hegedus, G; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2007) Increased Th1 cytokine production may predict rapid virological response in chronic HCV hepatitis. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Halasz, M; Szereday, L; Miseta, A; Faust, Zs; Hegedus, G; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2007) Pretreatment increased T helper 1 type cytokine production of peripheral blood monocytes may predict rapid virological response to PEG-IFN+RBV therapy in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Szereday, L; Halasz, M; Miseta, A; Hegedus, G; Faust, Zs; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2006) Transforming growth factor-beta 1 downregulates NKG2D killer activator receptor expression on cytotoxic cells in patients with chronic HCV hepatitis. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Szereday, L; Halasz, M; Szekeres-Bartho, J; Miseta, A; Hegedus, G; Faust, Zs; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2006) Increased TGFβ1 secretion via down-regulating NKG2D killer activator receptor expression results in impaired natural killer cell activity in patients with chronic HCV hepatitis. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Szereday, L; Halasz, M; Miseta, A; Hegedus, G; Faust, Zs; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2006) The potential role of regulatory T cells and TGF-b1 in downregulating NKG2D killer activator receptor expression on cytotoxic cells in patients with chronic HCV hepatitis. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Halasz, M; Faust, Zs; Hegedus, G; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady, B; Par, A (2006) TNFalpha production of LPS-stimulated peripheral blood monocytes predict virological response in patents with chronic HCV hepatitis. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Par, A; B,erki, T; Palinkas, L; Faust, Zs; Halasz, M; Mozsik, Gy; Hunyady B (2005) Th-1 type cytokine production of the macrophages may predict the virological response of IFN in chronic hepatitis C. Published abstracts [Details]
Par, G; Berki, T; Palinkas, L; Halasz, M; Faust, Zs; Hegedus, G; Hunyady, B (2005) Pretreatment T-helper1/T-helper2 cytokine profile may predict virological response in chronic hepatitis C patients and the effect of IFN plus ribavirin treatment. Published abstracts [Details]
Szekeres-Bartho, J; Polgar, B; Nagy, E; Miko, E; Kozma, N; Palkovics, T; Papp, O; Halasz, M (2004) Genomic bases of progesterone-dependent immunomodulation. Published abstracts [Details]
Szekeres-Bartho, J; Polgar, B; Nagy, E; Miko, E; Kozma, N; Palkovics, T; Papp, O; Halasz, M (2004) PIBF as a double agent; pregnancy and tumour. Published abstracts [Details]
         

Research

Research Interests

   As part of the ASSET (Analysing and Striking the Sensitivities of Embryonal Tumours) project, I am investigating the pathogenesis of neuroblastoma by using -omics and systems biology approaches.
   Neuroblastoma is the most common childhood tumour in infancy with a highly variable prognosis. Elevated expression of TrkA and N-Myc (without amplification) is associated with a favourable outcome since spontaneous regression or differentiation may occur. However, MYCN amplification and overexpression of TrkB confers a highly malignant phenotype.
   Therefore, my work focuses on 1) understanding the NGF/BDNF induced cell fate decisions and signalling responses in TrkA/TrkB overexpressing neuroblastoma cells; 2) mapping the N-Myc interactome in neuroblastomas with different prognosis; 3) examining the N-Myc interactome in the presence or absence of TrkA/TrkB overexpression.