Blog

Dr. Tríona Ní Chonghaile

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Dr. Tríona Ní­ Chonghaile joined the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, as a StAR Research Lecturer in 2015 (Link to RCSI principal investigator page). She was tenured in 2018 as a Lecturer in the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics. She completed 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.

Dr. Alessandra Di Grande

Ale labI 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.

I joined Dr. Ní Chonghaile’s lab in 2016 and graduated with my PhD in May 2020. Currently, I am working on an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship project focused on determining the effects of  tumor  microenvironments on the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 dependence of T- cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Dr. Daniel Alencar Rodrigues

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Daniel Alencar Rodrigues obtained a B.Sc. degree in Pharmacy in 2013 from the Federal University of Goiás (Goiás – Brazil). He obtained a M.Sc. degree in Sciences (Chemistry) in 2015 and Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2019 from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ – Brazil).  His M.Sc. and Ph.D. were focused on the design, synthesis, molecular modeling studies and pharmacological evaluation of novel HDAC inhibitors and multi-target ligands based on HDAC inhibitors.

Daniel joined Dr. Ní Chonghaile’s research group in 2020 and he is now employed as a post-doctoral researcher with funding from the Science Foundation Ireland at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin where he is involved in the project HDAC6i: Understanding the function and targeting HDAC6 in triple-negative breast cancer.

Dr. Graeme Sullivan

Dr. Graeme Sullivan received an Entrance Exhibition Scholarship Award from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 2001 and successfully completed B.A. B.Dent.Sc. degrees in Dental Science in 2006. After a number of years in clinical practice he returned to work in the molecular cell biology laboratory of Prof. Seamus Martin (TCD). He was awarded a prestigious GOIPG IRC Scholarship Award to pursue these studies and obtained his Ph.D. in 2018. During his doctoral studies, Graeme published nine original research articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals, three as first-author and is a co-inventor on an approved patent. Underpinning his research career thus far is an intellectual curiosity examining the interplay between (a) cell death, (b) cell stress and (c) inflammation in health and disease.

Graeme joined Dr. Ní Chonghaile’s research group in 2021 and he is now employed as a post-doctoral researcher with funding from Leukemia Research Foundation.

Lyndsey Flanagan

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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.

I started a Breakthrough Cancer Research Funded PhD in Dr. Ní Chonghaile’s research group in 2020. I am investigating the apoptotic BCL-2 family in multiple myeloma, with the aim of identifying novel therapeutic combinations using innovative BH3 profiling technology.

Andrew Roe

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My name is Andrew Roe and I joined the group in October 2020 to pursue a PhD project. I completed my BSc in Pharmacology at the University of Manchester, UK, with a placement project investigating the role of HDACs in sodium transport. To gain more cancer-specific training I then undertook a Master’s in Cancer research at Newcastle University where I evaluated CDK2 dependencies in ovarian cancer.

Within the Ní Chonghaile group I’m currently investigating the role of HDAC6 in triple-negative breast cancer utilising a novel small molecule inhibitor. Using transmission electron microscopy, CRISPR/Cas9, 3D organoid models, and flow cytometric analyses I will be dissecting the basis of HDAC6 inhibitor-induced cell death. Through this work I hope to guide safer, better, and more selective therapies to patients in the clinic.

Alumni

Louise PhD

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. Congratulations to Louise who is currently working as a Science and Business Liaison for Legend Biotech.

 

catrionaDr. Catríona Dowling  joined the Ní Chonghaile research group in 2016 following completion of her PhD. During her postdoc she received funding from the Irish Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Cure International Fellowship to visit the lab of Kwok-Kin Wong in NYU-Langone Medical Health. Dr. Dowling is now a Lecturer at the University of Limerick. 

 

Kate hoodDr. Kathryn Haley joined the Ní Chonghaile research group in 2017 following completion of her PhD in the University of St. Andrew’s. Her skills in gene knockout were brought to great use on a series of projects. Dr. Haley had decided that she wants to be Dr. Dr. Haley and is currently enrolled in the graduate entry medical program in RCSI.

 

Christian Vu a visiting student from the University of Oregon. He was studying Human Physiology to hopefully one day become a Physical Therapist One of the reasons he chose to come study in Ireland was its deep cultural history.