Current Projects in Cancer

Current Projects in Cancer

Niamh Irwin

Supervisor: Dr. Ruaidhrí Carmody

The main direction of this lab lies in identifying key nuclear events that shape the transcriptional outcome of receptor activated NF-κB. NF-κB is a protein complex that acts as a transcription factor in the cell. My project revolves around the characterisation of the p50 NF-κB subunit, which when present in the nucleus as a homodimer acts as a negative regulator of transcription.

Niamh Irwin


Amy Lyons

Supervisor: Prof. Rosemary O' Connor

I am carrying out my first rotation project in Almac diagnostics in Belfast, in collaboration with Professor Rosemary O’ Connors lab in UCC, with the aim of finding novel clinically relevant biomarkers for the IGF signalling pathway in cancer.  Enhanced IGF-1R signalling facilitates cancer cell survival, growth and invasion.Currently, there is significant interest in targeting the IGF-1R and its signalling pathway for the treatment of cancer and at least 70 clinical trials are underway to test several different IGF-IR kinase inhibitors and blocking antibodies. However, one of the major challenges to targeting the IGF-IR in cancer is the lack of suitable biomarkers. My research is currently focused on identifying biomarkers in ovarian cancer, which is the leading cause of death among all gynaecological cancers in the western world.


Stephanie Davis

Supervisor: Dr. Karen Keeshan

The primary research focus of the Keeshan laboratory is the molecular mechanisms involved in oncogenic transformation in haematopoietic malignancies. AML (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia), a heterogenous disease characterized by increased proliferation and a block in cell differentiation, is commonly associated with chromosomal translocations, genetic mutations and transcription factor perturbations. Trib2 has been identified as an oncogene that induces AML in an in vivo murine bone marrow transduction and transplantation model. The expression of Trib2 is dysregulated in a subset of human AML, in which elevated Trib2 expression and dysregulated C/EBPalpha (crucial for granulopoiesis) is exhibited. My project aims to investigate the effects of Trib2 knockdown on myeloid differentiation, T cell differentiation and Trib2 leukemia maintenance through the use of shRNA Trib2 constructs. 

Stephanie Davies


Eileen Russell

Supervisor: Dr. Tom Moore

The pregnancy-specific glycoproteins (PSG) are expressed in the placenta throughout gestation and are the most plentiful fetal proteins in the maternal blood at term of pregnancy. The complete biological role of PSGs is still unknown. However, a number of experiments have provided evidence for their crucial role in the maintenance of pregnancy. Low PSG levels in the maternal circulation are associated with threatened abortions, intrauterine retardation and fetal hypoxia. In humans, the PSG family consists of 11 similar genes clustered on chromosome 19q13.2. I am interested in understanding and examining further the biology of the human PSG9. PSG9 is thought to play a role in preeclampsia, a pregnancy condition in which high blood pressure and protein in the urine develop after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Eileen Russell

Molecular Cell Biology

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Western Gateway Building, University College Cork, Cork.