News Archive 2017

Former United States Vice-President Joseph Biden Jr. Delivers Keynote Address at World Proteomics Congress Event in Dublin

Wednesday, 20 September, 2017 

The 47th Vice-President of the United States of America, Joseph R. Biden Jr, delivered the keynote address at a Global Leadership Gala event, (held on Saturday evening 16September), as part of the 16th Annual World Congress of the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO).

The event was organised by HUPO and Professor Stephen Pennington, Professor of Proteomics, UCD and chair of the World Congress organising committee, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) International Cancer Proteogenome Consortium (ICPC). The Gala event was held in the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin.

It brought together the world’s leading proteomic (protein discovery) and genomic researchers, including those working on cancer research, with government, academia and industry leaders.

Pictured (l-r): Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact; Professor Stephen Pennington, Professor of Proteomics, UCD, and Chair of the 16th HUPO World Congress organising committee; Joseph R. Biden Jr, former US Vice-President; Dr Robert O'Connor, Head of Research, Irish Cancer Society and Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland.

During his address entitled ‘International Co-operation in the Fight Against Cancer’ and echoing the call of the Cancer Moonshot initiative, which he launched in 2016 to accelerate progress against cancer around the world, Joseph R. Biden Jr., said, “Every day, every minute matters to patients and we must bring that sense of urgency to our cancer research and care systems.”

Professor Stephen Pennington, Professor of Proteomics, University College Dublin and Chair of the 16th Annual World HUPO Congress organising committeesaid, “The aim of this gala dinner event was to focus on raising awareness of HUPO and its activities, as well as advances in proteomics and their impact on human health. In addition, the aim was also to raise further awareness of the ICPC which currently comprises 11 countries and seeks to encourage more institutions to join this global partnership to accelerate the understanding of common and rare cancers around the world.”

He added, “This year’s HUPO Annual World Congress is encouraging further collaborations among countries and institutions that represent the great diversity of people and of cancers.”

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact and an event MC said, “The vision for this year’s HUPO Congress, which I am delighted is being held in Dublin, is to bring together world leaders with a new generation of scientists, many of who are based here in Ireland, to advance our knowledge of the Human Proteome and the impact this will have on our understanding of health, disease and ageing.”

She added, “Under the leadership of Professor Pennington, a world-class researcher, proteomics is one of UCD’s key research strengths. Our objective is to apply proteomics to a diverse range of research programmes, including personalised medicine. Our aim is to develop translational projects that align research results to the clinical setting and to the development of methods for discovery and subsequent quantitative measurement of proteomic biomarkers which can impact on the lives of patients with diseases such as cancer.”

She concluded, “Proteomics forms a key pillar of UCD’s expertise in personalised/ precision medicine. Combining information from proteomics and genomics, our researchers can identify patients who will respond to particular cancer therapies. This greatly improves patient outcomes.  As the Vice-President has said, every day, every minute matters to cancer patients. Ineffective treatments waste valuable time and resources.”

“At UCD, we are committed to changing the outcome for Irish cancer patients and have brought together a consortium of leading researchers, clinicians and global industry players who can address these challenges in a new Human as a System (H-SYS) Research Centre. The Centre has been approved by Science Foundation Ireland, following international review, but needs state investment to start work.”

“The establishment of this Centre, if funded, is a golden opportunity to change the way cancer is treated.”

The 16th Annual World Congress of the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) was held in Dublin from 17-21 September.