Dr. Tríona Ní Chonghaile joined the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, as a StAR Research Lecturer in 2015. She started her scientific career with a first class honours degree in Biomedical Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). She then went on to complete her PhD in Biochemistry (NUIG) in 2008, studying the role of BCL-2 family members in endoplasmic reticulum stress. Her interest in the BCL-2 family members led her to pursue a clinically relevant post-doctoral fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School with Prof. Anthony Letai. There she received a Multiple Myeloma Research Fellowship to develop novel tools for personalised medicine. During her postdoc she was involved in numerous collaborative multi-disciplinary projects and published first-author papers in high-impact journals, including Science and Cancer Discovery.
In 2014, she returned to Ireland and joined the laboratory of Prof. William Gallagher at University College Dublin, as a Research Fellow. While there she received the European Association of Cancer Research Senior Young Scientist Award (2014) and the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award (2015).
Catríona graduated from the University of Limerick with a degree in Science Education after which she completed a Masters in animal physiology. However, the confusion surrounding cancer is something that has always puzzled her and the desire to understand led her to undertake a PhD funded by the Irish Cancer Society in cancer research, specifically colon cancer.
Catríona is now employed as a post-doctoral researcher with funding from the Irish Research Council at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin where she is investigating the effect of HDAC6 inhibition in breast cancer. She recently received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Global Fellowship to attend a lab in New York University. When she isn’t adding stuff to tubes in the lab, Catríona can be found in the gym or running through the streets of Dublin.
I completed my MSc in Translational Oncology at Trinity College Dublin in 2013, and most recently, completed my PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of St Andrews in the UK in 2018. Currently, in Dr. Ní Chonghaile’s research group, I am investigating the role of epigenetic modulators in resistant Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) breast cancer. Specifically, I am interested in the role of bromodomain (BRD) proteins in ILC. I am investigating the therapeutic efficacy of targeting BRD proteins in ILC with the small molecule inhibitor JQ1 in vitro. I utilise CRISPR-Cas9 technology, microscopy, RNA-seq and BH3 profiling to identify molecular mechanism regulating resistance in ILC.
I completed my BSc (Biological Sciences) at University of Catania, graduating in 2013. The undergraduate studies drove me to a passionate interest in the cellular and molecular biology of cancer, which led me to obtain an internship in the cytogenetics oncohematology laboratory. Subsequently, I joined a double degree project that has given me the opportunity to undertake two masters, one in MSc in Functional Genomics at the University of Trieste and an MSc in Genetics at University of Paris Diderot, completed in 2015. The research project was focused on the evaluation of the anti-metastatic properties of the AAC-11 (anti-apoptosis clone 11) peptides, using various in vitroapproaches. Currently, I am in the second year of my PhD and my project is focused on determining the effects of tumor microenvironments on the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 dependence of T- cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
I completed a BSc in Biochemistry in 2017 and an MSc in Neuropharmacology in 2018 at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). The research project focused on the investigating the effects of Peroxiredoxin 6 siRNA knockdown on mitochondrial dynamics in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. From then I worked as an assistant scientist in PPD gaining GMP laboratory experience, allowing me an opportunity to gain technical experience and fuel my passion for research.
Currently, in Dr. Ni Chonghaile’s research group, I am investigating the apoptotic BCL-2 family in multiple myeloma, with the aim of identifying novel therapeutic combinations using innovative BH3 profiling technology. I am hoping to gain funding to begin my PhD next year.
Dr. Louise Walsh graduated with a first class honors degree in Science from Maynooth University. Louise’s PhD assessed the role of bromodomain proteins in invasive lobular carcinoma. Louise is as gifted in the lab as she was on the football pitch where she could swing a hurl or a boot as a dual gaelic football and hurling player. Congratulations to Louise who is currently working as a Science and Business Liaison for Legend Biotech.
My name is Christian Vu, I am visiting from the University of Oregon. Currently, I am studying Human Physiology to hopefully one day become a Physical Therapist or maybe even a researcher. One of the reasons I chose to come study in Ireland was its deep cultural history.