Dr. Teerna Bhattacharyya

Project: Characterising the effect of genetic alterations on Polycomb protein networks to identify therapeutic targets for high-risk childhood leukaemia

Dr. Teerna Bhattacharyya completed her PhD at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India. She also holds a Masters degree in Chemical Sciences from the University of Hyderabad, India. Her DevelopMed project uses systems biology approaches to characterise the molecular consequences of alterations in epigenetic regulators such as Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 leading to transcriptional dysregulation in acute leukaemia. She is currently based in Systems Biology Ireland in UCD.
Supervisor: Prof. Jonathan Bond | University College Dublin


Dr. Michela Coan

Project: Thera-lncRNA - RNA precision therapeutics for non-small cell lung cancer: accelerating translation through single-cell genomics

Dr. Michela Coan received her PhD in Biomolecular Medicine (2018) at the University of Verona. Her research was conducted at the National Cancer Institute (CRO) in Aviano, Italy, and focused on the impact of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) regulated by mutant p53 in ovarian and breast cancer metastasis. In 2020, she joined Prof. Rory Johnson’s group at University College Dublin, Ireland, as a postdoctoral researcher working on the identification of novel therapeutic lncRNAs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In 2021, she was awarded a DevelopMed fellowship to develop and apply methods for understanding the mode of action of anti-NSCLC lncRNAs, bringing their application closer to the clinic.
Supervisor: Associate Prof. Rory Johnson | University College Dublin

Dr. Sahil Malhotra

Project: Buccal Delivery of Anti-cancer Peptide Drugs Using 3D Printed Mucoadhesive Patch

Dr. Sahil Malhotra completed his PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi, and holds an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Delhi. Prior to commencing his MSCA fellowship he worked as a Principal Scientist at Biocon Biologics Ltd where he conducted physicochemical characterisation of biosimilars including insulin and monoclonal antibodies. The aim of his DevelopMed project is to develop next generation mucoadhesive buccal films to systemically deliver anti-cancer peptide therapeutics via the buccal cavity using combinations of permeation enhancers and mucoadhesive polymers. He is currently based in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin.
Supervisors: Prof. David Brayden & Prof. Jeremy Simpson | University College Dublin


Dr. Aranzazu Martinez De Maranon Peris

Project: Identification of ISG15 modified autophagy proteins and their potential as novel targets for oesophageal cancer (ISGAutoCan)

Dr. Aranzazu Martinez De Maranon Peris completed her PhD in Biomedicine and Pharmacy at the University of Valencia, Spain. She also holds a Masters in Biomedical Biotechnology from Valencia Polytechnic University. Her DevelopMed project is exploring whether ISG15 modifies the function of specific proteins known to be involved in autophagic and mitophagic processes. She also hopes to study the functional implications of these modifications in oesophageal cancer cells and whether it affects chemoresistance. Aranzazu is currently based in University College Cork.
Supervisor: Dr. Sharon McKenna | University College Cork


Dr. Matthieu Moncan

Project: Regulation of breast and pancreatic cancer functions by IRE1α

Coming from France, Dr. Matthieu Moncan trained in the European Magisterium in Genetics of Paris University before starting his PhD in the Imagine Institute where he studied the genetic origin of autoimmune diseases and the role of the IRE1α protein in cellular biology and immunity. Following his curiosity on IRE1α, he decided to join Prof. Adrienne Gorman’s laboratory as a post-doctoral researcher to learn more about this protein by analyzing its role in breast and pancreatic cancer. His project aims to find new inhibitors which will help regulate specific downstream pathways of IRE1α which are fundamental for cancer progression.
Supervisor: Prof. Adrienne Gorman | University of Galway


Dr. Rashmi Sharma

Project: Regulation of crosstalk and signaling switches between RAF and MST2 pathways in neuroblastoma

Dr. Rashmi Sharma completed her PhD at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, and subsequently completed postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, under the supervision of Dr. Yifat Merbl and Prof. Yosef Shaul. During her work as a DevelopMed fellow she aims to determine the biological role of the RAF1 and MST2 pathways and their crosstalk in switching cell fate decisions in MYCN amplified high-risk NB. She is currently based in Systems Biology Ireland (SBI) in UCD and is also co-funded through SBI's Precision Oncology Ireland programme (P2.6 with partner the National Children's Research Centre)
Supervisor: Prof. Walter Kolch | University College Dublin


Dr. Zekiye Altan

Project: CRISPR-powered RNA therapeutics for hepatocellular carcinoma

Dr. Zekiye Altan completed her Master's and PhD in Medical Biology and Genetics at Gaziantep, Türkiye. Her postgraduate research focused on the interactions between lncRNA and miRNA, as well as the role of lncRNAs in the cell cycle of colorectal cancer. In 2023, she joined Professor Rory Johnson's lab at University College Dublin, Ireland, as a postdoctoral researcher. Her DevelopMed project aims to develop efficient RNA therapeutics to improve patient outcomes in Hepatocellular carcinoma by using cutting edge CRISPR technology.
Supervisor: Prof. Rory Johnson | University College Dublin


Dr. Lucas Dantas

Project: Lipid profile of extracellular vesicles in lung diseases: mechanisms for Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition

Dr. Lucas Dantas is a pharmacist with a PhD in Biological Sciences awarded by the University of São Paulo, Brazil. His DevelopMed project aims to identify the lipid profile of exosomes in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and investigate the effect of different lipid classes on signalling cascades involved in epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis of LAM cells. He is currently based at the UCD Conway Institute.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Cormac McCarthy & Prof. Michael Keane | University College Dublin


Dr. Inas Elsayed

Project: Development of digital twins for cancers of children and young adults using genomic data for predicting drug response and toxicity

Dr. Inas Elsayed received her BSc in pharmacy from University of Gezira (Sudan) and her PhD in pharmacology from China pharmaceutical University (China). Her DevelopMed project uses systems biology approaches to develop digital twins to predict therapeutic response in Childhood and Young Adults Cancers. She is currently based in Systems Biology Ireland in UCD.

Supervisor: Prof. Walter Kolch | University College Dublin


Dr. Prateek Ranjan Yadav

Project: Bio-Pill: A modelling approach to optimise the insertion of microneedle-based devices in gastrointestinal tissue

Dr. Prateek Ranjan Yadav completed his PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur. The aim of his DevelopMed project is to develop a platform for modeling device-mediated delivery of biologics in the GI tract using microneedle-based devices. He is currently based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University College Dublin.

Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Eoin O’Cearbhaill | University College Dublin


Dr. Christopher Shannon

(Now Departed)
 Microbial regulation of metabolic inflammation as a prelude to liver cancer

Dr. Chris Shannon completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nottingham, UK and undertook subsequent postdoctoral training in the Diabetes Division at UT Health San Antonio, USA. His research is broadly focused on understanding the metabolic basis of human disease, with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic approaches to combat aging, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. As a DevelopMed fellow, Chris will be studying the role of the microbiome and metabolic inflammation in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients, to better understand its progression to hepatocellular carcinoma. He is currently based at the UCD Conway Institute.
Supervisor: Prof. Helen Roche | University College Dublin


Dr. Claire Robinson

(Now Departed)
Investigating the Therapeutic Potential of Targeting Inositol Requiring Enzyme 1 (IRE1) in Cancer (INTAC)

Dr. Claire Robinson received a BSc and PhD from University College Dublin, Ireland. Claire completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto, Canada. Claire currently works as a DevelopMed Fellow in the group of Prof. Afshin Samali at the Apoptosis Research Centre in NUI Galway. Her work investigates the impact of targeting a cell stress response, called the unfolded protein response, in difficult to treat cancers.
Supervisor: Prof. Afshin Samali | University of Galway

Dr. Alessandra Conforte

(Now Departed)
Determining the cellular and molecular heterogeneity driving acute myeloid leukaemia for the design of informed therapeutic strategies

Dr. Alessandra Conforte is a biologist with an MSc in Genetics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a PhD in Computational and Systems Biology awarded by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her DevelopMed project aims to determine how leukaemia cell heterogeneity is related to drug resistance and disease relapse. Single-cell RNA-Seq data was obtained for longitudinal samples from AML patients, which allows the characterisation of subpopulations of AML cells within each patient. The project combines computational and functional cell biology, and the results obtained will be used to design an informed therapeutic strategy that has potential for long-term cure.
You can read more about her research here.

Supervisor: Dr. Eva Szegezdi | University of Galway

Dr. Yasuhito Sekimoto

(Now Departed)
The role of circulating serum exosomes in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and the pre metastatic niche in lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Dr. Yasuhito Sekimoto completed his M.D. and PhD at Jutendo University in Japan. His research aims to characterise the functional content of serum exosomes in LAM and investigate their effect on epithelial and endothelial cells. He also hopes to identify signalling cascades involved in EMT, EndMT and metastasis of LAM cells. He is currently based at the UCD Conway Institute.
Supervisors: Assoc. Prof. Cormac McCarthy & Prof. Michael Keane | University College Dublin


Dr. Ayush Attery

(Now Departed)
Treating leukaemia by re-programming the bone marrow microenvironment by targeting the NEDDylation pathway

Dr. Ayush Attery obtained his PhD from the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India. He subsequently completed postdoctoral training at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.


Supervisor: Dr. Eva Szegezdi | University of Galway


Dr. Sutanu Nandi

(Now Departed)
Development of a machine learning framework to decipher and predict context-specific synthetic lethality in cancer

Dr. Sutanu Nandi obtained his PhD the Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR), India (Nodal Lab: CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India). He also holds an MSc in Software Technology from VIT University, Vellore, India.

Supervisor: Dr. Colm Ryan | University College Dublin


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 945425