Professor Mary Cahill

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Clinical Professor, Consultant Haematologist

Mary Cahill graduated from UCC Medical School in 1986. Following two years training in Cork University Hospital (CUH), she worked in Leicester Royal Infirmary and the Royal London Hospital for training and research posts in Haematology over a 9 year period. In London, she completed two years of full time research on platelets and platelet function in myeloproliferative neoplasms and in inflammation, culminating in an MD award from the University of London and the British Society Haematology, Young Investigator award.

She left London in 1997 returning to become the first Consultant Haematologist in the Mid-Western Health Board serving Nenagh, Ennis, St John’s Hospitals and based at University Hospital Limerick-UHL. She grew the Haematology Department there to a 2 consultant, multidisciplinary clinical and laboratory service and gained funding from the HRB to begin a clinical trials unit in UHL.

She moved to Cork University Hospital (CUH) in 2004 where she continued her interest in clinical trials and developed integrated teaching for medical, nursing and science students in UCC and MTU. She has also developed a number of new clinics and progressed laboratory accreditation both in CUH and University Hospital Kerry.


Professor Cahill combines her full time clinical post with ongoing collaborative research. Over the years this research has addressed topics as diverse as autophagy in leukaemia (with her colleague Dr Sharon McKenna in Cancer Research @UCC), usage and demand management of laboratory tests for myeloma (with a Sphere Scholar, Sharon Cadogan from the School of Public Health), study of siRNA in suppressing ‘bad gene’ expression in acute leukaemia in vitro. She has been PI and co-PI on numerous clinical trials. In 2014 she was awarded a Clinical Professor title by UCC.

She is a founder member of Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) which, in 2015, was awarded a Science Foundation Ireland/Irish Cancer Society (SFI/ICS) grant, led by NUIG and collaborating with TCD. BCNI established an all-Ireland phase one clinical trials network, linked in National Cancer Registry with enhanced registration for AML and established BBCI (Biobank Blood Cancers Ireland). This initiative has resulted in novel clinical trials available in CUH, high quality data on cancer registration in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and novel qualitative research in survivorship in Lymphoma. The latter two projects are co-operative between the School of Public Health, the National Cancer registry and the BCNI).

Prof Cahill has served as Vice president and President (2003-2007) of the Haematology Association Ireland (HAI), been a board member of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS), and UCC Academic Council (2000-2004) and was appointed Interim Director of Cancer Research in UCC (2017-2019), pending the appointment of a full time director. She is an exams convener and examiner for the Royal College Physicians Ireland (2003-2008) and currently for the Royal College of Pathologists London. She has been instrumental in bringing the FRCPath exam to Ireland where candidates from the Island of Ireland can sit the exam conveniently in Dublin. 

She has supervised 6 Doctoral theses and numerous Masters theses to completion, has authored over 70 PubMed listed papers and 3 Book Chapters and together with Professor Roisin Connolly and Professor Seamus O’Reilly is leading the HRB Funded UCC Cancer Clinical Trials Group work package dedicated to promoting learning and research supervision of trainee cancer doctors through the development of fellowships in cancer research.  She looks forward continuing to serve patients through supporting service delivery and research in the South-South West and beyond.


Health Research Board

Irish Cancer Society

Breakthrough Cancer Research

Cancer Research @UCC

4th floor, Western Gateway Building , Western Road, Cork