Dr. Tracey O'Donovan

Contact Details:


Principal Investigator

Research Area:

Autophagy and Cell Differentiation

Dr. Tracey O'Donovan completed a BSc Honours Degree in Biological/Chemical Science (Physiology) in 2001 in University College Cork. She then worked as a research assistant in the Cellular Physiology Research Unit in UCC – which confirmed her desire to follow a career in research and she completed her PhD in UCC - Ph.D. Title: Investigation of the Mechanism of Chemo-Resistance in Oesophageal Cancer.

Tracey worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Cork Cancer Research Centre for five years, continuing her work in pre-clinical models of oesophageal cancer. During this time she was involved in the establishment of Phase I Clinical Trial. This trial was proposed, based on the work which is documented in ‘Induction of autophagy by drug-resistant esophageal cancer cells promotes their survival and recovery following treatment with chemotherapeutics’ and ‘Lithium modulates autophagy in esophageal and colorectal cancer cells and enhances the efficacy of therapeutic agents in vitro and in vivo’.  

Since 2013 Tracey has worked as a Research Fellow in Cancer Research @UCC. 


Tracey's primary research interest is in cell death and survival mechanisms in poor prognosis cancers, including Oesophageal, Ovarian and blood cancers. She has research expertise in:

  • Cell death and survival assays
  • Differentitation analysis
  • Autophagy and apoptosis assays
  • Immunofluorescence and immunochemistry
  • Flow cytometry
  • Bio-marker analysis as predictors of patient outcome
  • Pre-clinical cancer models – oesophageal, ovarian, colorectal, lung
  • Processing of primary tissue from cancer patients


Brid Carr Memorial Fund

Breakthrough Cancer Research

Medical Research Charities Group (MRCG)

Health Research Board 

Breakthrough Cancer Research


Cancer Research @UCC

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