Research

Introduction

The Irish Society for Gynaecological Oncology comprises a number of members active in translational research and keen to bring research findings from the laboratory to the clinic.

The mission of this group is to improve the outcomes for gynaecological cancer in Ireland.  Over 1400 gynaecological cancers are diagnosed in Ireland annually (NCRI 2020 Annual Report), representing over 12% of female cancers. 

The group cover a range of expertise including; Medical Oncologists, Gynaecological Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists, Geneticists, Scientists,  Mathematical Modellers, Bioinformaticians, Clinical Nurse Specialists. Central to this are the Patient advocacy groups and charities.

For more information or to include your profile contact Sharon O’Toole, shotoole@tcd.ie

 

Adele-Connor

Adele Connor, PhD Student

(University College Dublin)

Adele Connor is funded by the Irish Cancer Society. For her PhD project Adele will image ovarian tumours to understand how their different cell types and features affect a woman’s response to therapy.

 

Amanda McCann

Prof Amanda McCann, Professor

(University College Dublin)

Prof McCann cancer research interests are focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying chemoresistance for women presenting with triple negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer including comparative oncology approaches.

 

Antoinette Perry

Antoinette Perry, Associate Professor

(University College Dublin)

Antoinette Perry is an Associate Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology at University College Dublin, where she leads a research team focusing on translational cancer epigenetics; understanding the role of epigenomic aberrations in the pathogenesis of ovarian and prostate cancer and harnessing these aberrations to develop prognostic and predictive biomarkers. Prof Perry has a particular interest in studying DNA methylation changes in “liquid biopsies” that can act as surrogates for non-invasive tumour detection and monitoring. Her research has also highlighted the importance of epigenetic dysregulation of the Wnt and IGF axis in prostate cancer, and has identified a number of potential biomarkers for aggressive prostate cancer. Other research avenues involve the exploration of the anti-cancer properties of marine and terrestrial plants.

 

Asia Jordan

Asia Jordan, PhD Student

(University College Dublin)

Asia PhD project is funded by the Irish Research Council and Breakthrough Cancer Research under the supervision of Prof Antoinette Perry. Her project aims to improve the early detection of ovarian cancer via noninvasive epigenetic biomarkers.

 

Bashir Mohamed

Dr Bashir Mohamed, Research Fellow

(Trinity College Dublin)

Bashir’s research interest focuses on the use of nanomedicine application to improve efficacy, the specificity of Immunotherapeutics and chemotherapeutic agents and to potentially reduce the rise of drug resistance development. Another side of his research interest is to develop a cancer theranostic platform.  He is a member of the Irish Association for Cancer Research and Nanomedicine Zone.

 

byran-hennesy

Prof Bryan Hennessy, Medical Oncologist

Beaumont Hospital Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland)

Dr. Bryan T Hennessy research interests are in the area of kinome and kinase signaling research and in clinical and translational research in breast and the gynaecologic cancers.

 

Cara Martin

Dr Cara Martin, Assistant Professor in Molecular Pathology and Tumour Biology

(Trinity College Dublin and Coombe Women and Infants’s University Hospital)

Dr Martin leads the HPV Research Group in TCD. Her research programme consists of translational health services-based research and basic research approaches in cancer screening, female gynaecological cancers, head and neck cancers and other HPV associated cancers. She is co-founder, lead investigator and programme manager of CERVIVA, The Irish Cervical Screening Research Consortium (www.cerviva.ie).

 

Claire_Hughes

Claire Hughes, PhD Student

(University College Dublin)

Claire Hughes is funded by the Irish Research Council and CB1 Botanicals. Claire’s research focuses on the anti-cancer effect of Cannabis bioactive compounds. Claire lost her mom, Vivienne to ovarian cancer and is passionate about improving the survival of this disease.

 

Claire Thompson

Dr Claire Thompson, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin)

Dr Thompson is Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and Rotunda Hospital. She is Clinical Lead for the Colposcopy Service in the Rotunda and has the role of Clinical Lecturer for UCD and the RCSI. Her main surgical interests are cytoreductive surgery for advanced ovarian cancer, laparoscopic pelvic surgery and vulval cancer.

 

david-gallagher

Prof David Gallagher, Medical Oncologist and Medical Geneticist

(St. James’s Hospital Dublin and Trinity College Dublin)

Professor Gallagher is the National Clinical Lead in Cancer Genetics. He has both clinical and translational research interests. He was awarded the first ISMO Fellowship to MSKCC in 2006, and uniquely completed training in both Medical Oncology and Medical Genetics between Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, and New York Presbyterian Cornell University Hospital.  He is an active member of ​Cancer Trials Ireland.

 

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Prof Donal Brennan, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology

(University College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, St Vincent’s University Hospital)

Prof Brennan is Academic Lead of the UCD Gynaecological Oncology group, the Mater Misericordiae and St Vincent’s University Hospitals. He has multiple research interests in gynaecological oncology and has led the Irish Cancer Society Women’s Health Initiative at UCD which is focused on improving care for women after cancer. He is also a Principal Investigator at Systems Biology Ireland where he leads a number of clinical and translational research projects.

 

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Dr Dearbhaile Collins, Medical Oncologist

(Cork University Hospital)

Dr Dearbhaile Collins MBBCh MA PhD IMRCS MRCPI is an Irish trained Medical Oncologist with speciality interest in lung cancer and gynaecological malignancies but also treats a wide variety of other cancers. She has both a PhD in translational oncology and MA in Medical Ethics and Law. She has extensive experience in both surgical and medical oncology with numerous publications, presentations, grants and awards. Dearbhaile pursues translational research in tumour resistance to targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

 

Eugene Kashdan

Dr Eugene Kashdan, Adjunct Associate Professor

(University College Dublin)

Eugene’s research is dedicated to applying most advanced mathematical and statistical techniques including computer vision, machine learning and AI to cancer modelling on both micro- and macro-levels, treatment analysis and early diagnosis. He is an Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering covering the area of “mathematical medicine”.

 

Feras AbuSaadeh

Dr Feras Abu Saadeh, Gynaecological Oncologist

(St. James’s Hospital, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin)

Dr Abu Saadeh research interest is in the area of coagulation and gynaecological cancers, in particular prediction of venous thrombosis (VT) and the mechanisms involved.

 

Fiona Furlong

Dr Fiona Furlong, Senior Lecturer

(Queens University Belfast)

The focus of Dr Furlong’s research is to understand cellular responses to anticancer drugs and investigating ways to predict patient response to cancer therapies.

 

Fionán Donohoe

Dr. Fionán Donohoe, Specialist Registrar

(University College Dublin)

Dr. Fionán Donohoe is a Specialist Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and is currently working as Clinical Research Fellow with the Living Well Cancer Programme. Fionán is a member of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK. Fionán is a graduate of UCD School of Medicine and holds a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Leadership from UCC.  Fionán is currently pursuing a PhD qualification focusing on menopausal symptoms after cancer treatment at UCD and plans to specialise in Gynaecological Oncology with a special interest in survivorship.

 

Glenn McCluggage picture

Prof Glenn McCluggage, Histopathologist

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast and Honorary Professor in Gynaecological Pathology of Queen’s University of Belfast)

Prof McCluggage is a consultant Histopathologist who has published approximately 580 papers in peer reviewed journals with an interest in gynaecological oncology. He is on the Editorial Board of several major pathology journals. He has served roles of all the major Pathology societies. In his clinical role he receives numerous consultation cases from all over the world. He was part of the last three World Health Organization (WHO) groups formulating the classification of Tumours of the Female Genital Tract and am one of the editors on the latest 2020 WHO Classification.

 

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Dr Ian Harley BSc MD FRCOG, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Northern Ireland Regional Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital)

Ian Harley graduated in Medicine from the Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB) in 1993. In 2003-2006 he left Belfast to train as a Gynaecological Oncologist at the University of Toronto, Canada. He is a member of the Ovarian Cancer research group at the University’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology. Ian is currently President of the Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology. Interests include MAS in Gynaecological Oncology, Hereditary Gynaecological Cancers and Translational Research.

 

James Beirne

Dr James Beirne, Gynaecological Oncologist

(St. James’s Hospital, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin)

Dr Beirne is an RCOG and ESGO accredited Gynaecological Surgical Oncologist with a strong interest in Translational research in Gynaecological Oncology and Surgical Gynaecology. His main research focus is in the molecular biology of High Grade Serous Carcinoma; particularly DNA methylation and exploiting this biology for the identification of novel cfDNA-based biomarkers.

 

John Coulter

Dr John Coulter, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Cork University Maternity Hospital)

Dr Coulter is chairman of the Cork Gynaecological Oncology Group Multidisciplinary Team. He is a member of the National Cancer Control Program guideline committee on hereditary gynaecological cancers. His research interests lie in the area of gestational trophoblastic disease.

 

john oleary

Prof John O’Leary, Pathologist

(Trinity College Dublin, St. James’s Hospital and Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin)

Prof. John O’Leary heads a multi-investigator group of 40 scientists at TCD focused on the molecular characterisation of several cancer systems including: Ovary, cervix, prostate, thyroid and head and neck cancer and cancer stem cell biology and the diagnosis of paediatric infections. He has a large research program in the area of cancer metastasis.

 

john-stratton

Dr John Stratton, Gynaecological Oncologist

(University Hospital Waterford)

Dr Stratton established and runs the gynaecological cancer and colposcopy services in University Hospital Waterford. He has published extensively on all aspects of gynaecological cancer and in particular on ovarian cancer genetics. Current areas of interest include laparoscopic surgery, fertility sparing surgery and neoadjuvant therapy.

 

Karen Cadoo

Professor Karen Cadoo

(St. James’s Hospital Dublin, Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute)

Karen is a medical oncologist and cancer geneticist at St. James’s Hospital Dublin. In her medical oncology practise she takes care of women with gynaecologic, primarily ovarian, cancers. She co-leads the inherited cancer genetics programme at St. James’s Hospital and the cancer prevention pillar of the Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute. Her research is centred on drug development, inherited genetics, the interplay with tumour biology and the potential to target these therapeutically. She has served as principal investigator for multiple therapeutic clinical trials in gynaecologic cancers in addition to exploring the role of inherited cancer predisposition across multiple cancer types.

 

Lucy Norris

Lucy Norris, Senior Experimental Officer/Principal Investigator

(Trinity College Dublin)

Lucy is Principal Investigator of the Coagulation Research group at the Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute. Her research programme focuses on the prediction and prevention of venous thrombosis in gynaecological cancer and the role of coagulation gene expression in the aetiology of ovarian cancer. She is co-editor in chief of the journal “Thrombosis Update” and a member of the editorial board of Thrombosis Research and European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology.

 

Marion Butler

Dr Marion Butler, Lecturer

(Maynooth University)

Her research spans both immunology and cancer. Researchers in Dr Butler’s group are carrying out studies to understand more about what proteins to target when drug-resistance develops which will help with new drug efforts to improve treatment options for women facing drug-resistant disease.

 

Mark Bates image

Dr Mark Bates, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

(Trinity College Dublin)

Mark is based in the department of Histopathology and has worked on a number of projects examining prognostic and predictive biomarkers in cervical, oesophageal, ovarian and prostate cancer. Mark’s current research focuses on the role of platelets in promoting breast cancer metastasis and the potential of Aspirin treatment in preventing this effect.

 

Mark Ward

Mark Ward, Research Fellow

(Trinity College Dublin)

Mark Ward graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA (Mod.) in Biochemistry (2012) and a PhD in Pharmacology (2016). His main research interests are in the area of “liquid biopsy” and the isolation and molecular characterisation of rare circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from breast and ovarian cancer patients. His research interests also include the role platelets and immune play in the metastatic cascade, as well as understanding the mechanisms and risk factors underpinning cancer-associated thrombosis in gynaecological cancers.

 

matt-hewitt

Dr Matt Hewitt, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Cork University Maternity Hospital)

Dr Hewitt practices in Low risk pregnancy, General Gynaecology, Gynaecological Oncology and Colposcopy. Dr Hewitt has a special interest in robotic surgery and is a past Vice President of the British and Irish Association of Robotic Gynaecological Surgeons. Matt is the colposcopy lead for Cork, the second busiest colposcopy unit in the country.

 

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Dr Michael O’Leary, Gynaecological Oncologist

(University College Hospital, Galway)

Dr Michael O’Leary qualified from UCD in 1998. He trained in Ireland in Dublin and Galway before travelling to Australia and New Zealand to complete a RANZCOG fellowship in Gynaecological Oncology. He been in post in Galway since 2009. He is the NCCP national consultant liaison for Gynaecological Oncology. He is the RCPI BST and HST coordinator for the west of Ireland. He is the treasurer of ISGO.

 

Niamh Buckley

Dr Niamh Buckley, Senior Lecturer

(Queen’s University Belfast)

Dr Buckley’s research focuses on the integration of in vitro, in vivo, bioinformatics and pathology approaches to identify key pathways underpinning poor outcome breast and ovarian cancer and uses detailed knowledge of this biology to identify appropriate targeted treatment options, personalising therapy in an area of unmet clinical need.

 

Padmaja Naik

Padmaja Naik, Senior Medical Scientist and PhD student

(Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin)

Padmaja’s work involve cervical cytomorphology, HPV genotyping and study of molecular biomarkers in cervical cancer and pre cancer. She is a fellow of ACSLM and holds IBMS specialist qualification in cytopathology. She is pursuing her PhD at TCD.

 

Patrick J Maguire

Dr Patrick J. Maguire, Gynaecological Oncologist and Pelvic Surgeon,

(Trinity-St James’s Cancer Institute, St James’s Hospital)

Patrick is a Gynaecological Oncology Surgeon accredited by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. His research interests include management of post-treatment sequelae of cervical pre-cancer and cancer, and quality improvement in gynaecological cancer surgery. He also provides clinical support for the work of the DISCOVARY resource, the largest ovarian cancer bioresource in Ireland based at St James’s Hospital.

 

Paul Mullan

Dr Paul Mullan, Reader

(Queen’s University Belfast)

The focus of Dr Mullan’s research is to identify blood markers of ovarian cancer, which could allow for more accurate and earlier diagnosis, to ultimately improve survival rates for ovarian cancer patients.

 

Prerna_Tewari

Prerna Tewari, Senior Research Fellow

(Trinity College Dublin)

Prerna’s research centres around the key drivers of actionable knowledge in cancer space. She has a particular interest in improving cancer screening strategies, identification of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and evaluation of novel therapeutic agents that target the cancer metabolome.

 

Radka Fahey

Radka Fahey (Saldova), Independent Investigator

(National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training)

Radka’s research interests are in Glycobiology, glycoanalytic technology development, regulation and role of glycosylation in disease and biopharmaceuticals. Radka is also Adjunct Research Fellow in UCD School of Medicine and CÚRAM Investigator.

 

Romina Silva

Romina Silva, PhD student

(University College Dublin)

Romina is funded by the Irish Cancer Society. The aim of her research is to understand how changes in the epigenome might be implicated in the emergence of therapeutic resistance in prostate and ovarian cancers. Romina is highly involved in public and patient involvement and lay science communication.

 

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Mr Ruaidhri McVey, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Mater, St Vincents’s and National Maternity Hospital)

Mr. Ruaidhri McVey is an honours graduate of Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. In 2013 Ruaidhri received his academic doctorate, MD, from the National University of Ireland. In 2015 Ruaidhri completed a three-year gynaecologic oncology fellowship program through the University of Toronto Canada based at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Ruaidhri is based in the Mater, St Vincent’s and National Maternity Hospitals Dublin. Ruaidhri is on the steering committee of the ISGO. Ruaidhri sees his patients as partners in their care and is committed to improving quality of life for all patients. In his spare time, he tries to positively influence his three daughters.

 

SEAMUS O_Reilly

Dr Seamus O’Reilly, Medical Oncologist

(Cork-Mercy & South Infirmary Victoria University Hospitals)

Dr O’Reilly is Vice Clinical Lead of Cancer Trials Ireland. His research interests include gynaecological cancers and in particular he clinical trials in this area. He is a member of the board of the Cork Cancer Research Centre. Charitable activities include Chairperson Cork ARC Cancer Support House and co-founder of the South Eastern Cancer Foundation.

 

Sharon McKenna

Dr. Sharon McKenna, Principal Investigator

(Cancer Research, University College Cork)

Dr Sharon McKenna leads a research group looking at the role of Autophagy in Cancer. Autophagy is a cellular recycling process that helps cancer cells to survive in abnormal conditions and helps them to resist chemotherapy. Her group have a particular interest in poor prognosis cancers such as ovarian cancer, which frequently develop resistance to chemotherapeutic regimes. Dr McKenna has also been evaluating how biomarkers can predict response to chemotherapy and how novel drug combinations can improve the efficacy of chemotherapy.

 

Sharon-O-Toole-250x250

Dr Sharon O’Toole, Senior Research Fellow

(Trinity College Dublin)

Sharon’s research interests centre around diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and understanding the fundamental biology of the metastatic cascade and circulating tumour cells. She sits on the board of the Irish Society for Gynaecological Oncology and co-founded a public and patient involvement group (ISGOPPI). She coordinates the Irish Network for Gynaecological Oncology (link to INGO).

 

Kelly_Tanya_Photo

Dr Tanya Kelly, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

(Trinity College Dublin)

Tanya is a recent graduate of Trinity College Dublin whose research at present involves interrogating platelet-cancer cell interactions in both the tumour microenvironment and in the circulation, and how these contribute to metastasis. She has previously performed research in single-domain antibodies, and is particularly interested in the role viral infections play in cancers.

 

tom-walsh

Dr Tom Walsh, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin)

Dr Tom Walsh has a wide range of interests in general Obstetrics and Gynaecology and completed a fellowship program in Gynaecological Oncology in Australia. He has a special interest in advanced ovarian cancer surgery, advanced laparoscopic pelvic surgery including total laparoscopic hysterectomy and laparoscopic radical hysterectomy.

 

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Yvonne O’Meara, Systemic Psychotherapist and Psychosocial Oncologist

(University College Dublin)

Yvonne O’Meara is a Systemic Psychotherapist and Psychosocial Oncologist. Yvonne has worked as a Medical Social Worker in psychosocial oncology and palliative care since 2004 in teaching hospitals in Ireland and North America. Yvonne is the co-founder of the ISGO-PPI (Irish Society of Gynaecological Oncology Public and Patient Involvement).  In 2020 Yvonne took up a post at the UCD School of Medicine as Women’s Cancer Survivorship Research coordinator based in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.