Centre for Colerectal Disease

Group Overview

The Centre for Colorectal Disease was established at St Vincent’s University Hospital in 1993 with the aim of delivering quality care to all patients with colorectal disorders (notably colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and pelvic floor disorders) while at the same time developing high quality research, teaching and education.

At the core of the Centre is the collaboration between a multidisciplinary clinical team (consisting of colorectal surgeons, medical gastroenterologists, oncologists, pathologists, radiologists and specialist nurses) with our dedicated team of scientific staff.


Prof P. Ronan O'Connell

President, European Society of Coloproctology

Head of Section of Surgery and Surgical Specialties,

University College Dublin, St Vincent's University Hospital


Dr Elizabeth Ryan

Senior Research Scientist, Centre for Colorectal Disease


Dr Glen Doherty

Consultant Gastroenterologist, Senior Clinical Lecturer

National Representative, European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation, 2013-2015

Board Member, Irish Society of Gastroenterology, 2012-present

Lead for Endoscopy Training, St Vincent’s University Hospital


Prof Kieran Sheahan

Clinical Professor, UCD School of Health Sciences (2014)

President, Irish Society of Surgical Pathology (2013-2016)

Chair, Histopathology Steering/QA Group, National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (2011- present)

Irish Cancer Society, Bowel Expert Panel (2010- present)


Prof Des Winter

Associate Professor Clinical Surgery, University College Dublin

Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, St Vincent’s University Hospital

Editor, BJS (British Journal of Surgery incorporating European Journal of Surgery and Swiss Surgery).

President, Surgical Section, Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland


Prof Hugh Mulcahy

Clinical Associate Professor of Gastroenterology

Consultant Gastroenterologist, Clinical Lead for Endoscopy, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Fellow, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland


Dr David Fennelly

Consultant Medical Oncologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Inaugural National Specialty Director – Medical Oncology


Dr Garret Cullen

Consultant Gastroenterologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Clinical Lecturer, University College Dublin


Mr Sean Martin

Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, St Vincent’s University Hospital


Dr David Gibbons

Consultant Histopathologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital


Dr Ray McDermott

Consultant Medical Oncologist, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Chair, Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group

Board Member, Irish Cancer Society

Member, National Cancer Control Programme, Gastro-Intestinal Cancer Guidelines Working Group


Prof John Hyland

Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Clinical Associate Professor in Surgery, University College Dublin

President of the Irish Society of Gastroenterology

Past President of Coloproctology Great Britain and Ireland Member of the Council

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Regional Director of Cancer Services

Past member of Intercollegiate Court of Examiners


Prof Diarmuid O’Donoghue

Consultant Gastroenterologist, St Vincent’s Heathcare Group

Newman Professor of Clinical Research, University Hospital Dublin

Past President, Irish Society of Gastroenterology

Interim Clinical Lead for Bowel Screen, National Cancer Screening Service

Dr Grainne Lennon – Post Doctoral Scientist, UCD Conway Institute

Dr Francesco Caiazza- Merck Sorono Newman Research Fellow

Dr Louise Elliott –Post Doctoral Scientist, St. Vincent’s Hospital

Dr David Gibson – MD Student (from July 2012 -), AbbVie Newman Research Fellow

Dr Chun Seng Lee – MD Student (from July 2012-), Helsinn Birex Newman Research Fellow

Dr Edel McDermott -  PhD Student (from July 2011-), Boston Scientific Newman Research Fellow

Dr Zaid Heetun – MD Student (from July 2014)

Dr Karen Hartery –MD Student (from July 2014)

Dr Aongus Lavelle –PhD student (2010-2013)

Dr Helen Mohan – PhD student (2010-2013)

Ms Aine Balfe, PhD student (2011-)

Dr Helen Earley, MD student (2013-)

Dr Judith Evers PhD student (2011-)

Dr Liam Devane MD student (2012-)

Ms Miriam Tosetto – Senior Research Associate

Mr Robert Geraghty – Senior Medical Scientist

Ms Blathnaid Nolan – Colorectal Research Nurse

National Collaborators


Prof Jochen Prehn, RCSI and Dr Bryan Hennessy, Beaumont Hospital.

Multisite study between SVHG, RCSI and Beaumont (PI  - Gibbons, Collaborator Sheahan)

Project Title: Molecular determinants of rectal cancer responsiveness and resistance to neoadjuvant 5-fluorouracil-based chemoradiation therapy.


Dr Jean Fletcher, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin (Ryan/Doherty)

Project Title: Role of Treg in the host immune response to colorectal cancer


Dr Emma Creagh, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin (Doherty/Sheahan/Ryan)

Project Title: The role of inflammatory caspases in IBD


Prof. Jacintha O’Sullivan, St James’s/Trinity College Dublin (Sheahan/Doherty/Ryan)

Project Title: Influence of the tissue microenvironment on the activity of dendritic cells during disease progression in Barrett’s Oesophagus patients; identification of novel therapeutic targets


Prof. Cliona O’Farrelly, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin (Sheahan/Ryan)

Project Title: New immunological parameters as prognostic indicators of liver colorectal metastasis


Prof Cliona O’Farrelly and the Irish Hepatitis C Research Consortium (Ryan)

Project Title:  Is Natural Resistance to Hepatitis C in an Irish Cohort Associated with JAK/STAT Resistance to HCV Targeting? Towards New Anti-Viral and Vaccination Strategies


Dr. Seamas Hussey, Our Lady’s Childrens Hospital, Crumlin

Project Title: Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease; cancer and mortality study -PIBD C&M Study (Doherty – PI for Adult Centres)


Dr Paul Leonard, Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, Dublin City University

Project Title: Point of care testing for Drug Monitoring in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Clinical Lead – Doherty)


Prof Fergus Shanahan, Alimentary Pharmacobiotic Centre, University College Cork (O’Connell /Winter)


Dr Paul Ross, Teagasc, Fermoy, Co Cork (O’Connell / Winter)


Prof Calvin Coffey, Graduate Entry Medical School, University of Limerick (O’Connell / Winter)


Dr Brendan Doyle, Dept Pathology, TCD  

Project Title: The role of p53 mutations in cetuximab-treated liver metastasis.  (Sheahan/Doherty/Ryan)



International Collaborations 


Dr. Joshua Korzenik, Associate Prof of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Project Title: Outcomes of low grade dysplasia in ulcerative colitis (Cullen/Sheahan)


Prof Simon Robson, Professor of Medicine/Chief of Gastroenterology, Beth Israel Deaconess medical Centre and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Project Title: Role of purinergic signalling in disease recurrence in Crohn’s Disease (Doherty/Ryan)


Dr Christianne Buskens and Dr Saloomeh Sahameh, Amsterdam Medical Centre, NL

Project Title: ACCURE (RCT) and PASSION  trials of appendectomy in treatment of ulcerative colitis (Winter)


Prof P. Johnston & Dr Sandra Van Schaeybroeck, Centre for Cancer Research, Queen’s University, Belfast. Molecular Taxonomy of Colorectal Cancer: Identification & targeting of clinically relevant molecular & genetic subtypes in Stage II/III Colo rectal cancer.  (Sheahan/Doherty/Ryan)

This is a multi-centre study involving 8 institutions in the Europe & the USA.


Dr J Willis, Department of Pathology, University Hospitals Case Medical Cente, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA.  Global Study of Molecular Profiles of Colorectal Cancer. (Sheahan)


Dr M Kojima, Research Centre for Innovative Oncology, National Cancer Centre, Chiba, Japan. International multicentre study for the assessment of blood vessel & lymphatic invasion in early colorectal cancer. (Sheahan)


Dr Therese Murphy, University of Exeter, UK

Project Title: Epigenetic regulation of gene expression in IBD (Ryan/Mulcahy)


Prof Charles Knowles, Queen Mary College, Barts and the London Medical School, London UK (O’Connell)


Prof Soren Laurberg, Aarhus University, Denmark. (O’Connell)

Prof Alan Baird

Prof Cormac Taylor

Prof Walter Kolch

Dr Dermot Leahy

Prof Dermot Malone

Prof William Hall

Prof James Jones

Dr Marguerite Clyne

Dr Kate Killick

Dr Neil Docherty

Dr Colm McMahon

Prof Kevin Malone

Prof Donal O’Shea

Prof Carel LeRoux

Dr Aoife Lally

Dr Eoin Cotter

Dr Cillian DeGascun

Dr Alfonso Blanco