Mark is a Principal Investigator at Cancer Research @UCC, Senior Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland, Director of the UCC SynBioCentre and Head of the iEd Hub. Mark has previously worked at various international institutions (Los Angeles, Boston, Copenhagen) and published extensively in the fields of cancer, gene & cell therapy and microbiology.
As various research fields progress, so too do potential avenues towards the development of improved disease treatment and detection strategies arising from these disparate research fields. The microbiome of cancer patients represents one such evolving avenue. Differences in the composition of the gut microbiome between different cancer patient cohorts have been reported for several years, and the existence of a tumour microbiome is receiving increasing attention (the ‘oncobiome’). Following such characterisation studies by our team (‘what’), we pursue ‘so what’ studies to understand any significance and mechanisms of interactions with the body. For development of medical interventions, we apply our findings in ‘now what’ studies. For example, we engineer designer bacteria (tumour-colonising bacteria) and designer proteins as therapeutics or diagnostics.
Theme: Host-Microbe Dialogue
SDGs: 3, 9
Research key words: Cancer, Synthetic Biology, Microbiome, Gene & Cell Therapy
Research interests: Research interests include associations between bacteria and cancer, development of bacteria and proteins as cancer therapeutics and diagnostics; synthetic biology; and entrepreneurship.