- 4th Floor, Western Gateway Building, Western Road Location Map
Dr. Orla P. Barry, Dr. Sharon McKenna
Róisín is a PhD student with the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Cancer Research @UCC under the supervision of Dr Órla Barry and Dr Sharon McKenna. She graduated as the top student with a first-class honours degree in Biochemistry. She was initially awarded a Research Masters on Oesophageal Cancer within the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics and the former Cork Cancer Research Centre with Dr Barry and Dr McKenna, funded by Breakthrough Cancer Research. This Research Masters was then converted into a 4 year PhD scholarship from Breakthrough Cancer Research.
Oesophageal Cancer is an aggressive cancer which is poorly studied. The clinical challenge with oesophageal cancer is limited effectiveness of the current anti-cancer drug regimens, resulting in recurrence and metastasis of the cancer. Thus, new strategies are necessary to improve treatment options for patients with oesophageal cancer. Recent genome sequencing has identified widespread epigenetic dysregulation in oesophageal cancer. Epigenetics is a relatively new field of molecular biology. Epigenetic changes are reversible and thus can be manipulated pharmacology. Presently, we are investigating whether epigenetic modifiers can chemosensitise oesophageal cancer cells to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. It is our desire that epigenetic therapy may be identified as an efficacious adjuvant treatment strategy for patients with oesophageal cancer.