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Prof. William Gallagher

Professor William M. Gallagher BSc PhD CBiol MSB

Director, BREAST-PREDICT (Irish Cancer Society Collaborative Cancer Research Centre)

Professor of Cancer Biology, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science

Conway Fellow, UCD Conway Institute

Co-Founder/Chief Scientific Officer, OncoMark Limited


Biographical sketch: Prof. Gallagher originally graduated from the Department of Biochemistry, UCD in 1993 with a 1st Class Joint Honours degree in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry. Subsequently, he obtained a PhD in Molecular Oncology from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Laboratories in Glasgow. In 1997, he moved to Paris to undertake a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (currently Sanofi-Aventis). Afterwards, he returned to Ireland upon receipt of an Enterprise Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellowship (1999-2000) and, subsequently, a Marie Curie Return Fellowship (2000–2001). In 2001, he was employed in a permanent capacity as College Lecturer at UCD within the former Department of Pharmacology. In 2005, he was appointed Senior Lecturer within the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science and promoted to Associate and Full Professor of Cancer Biology in 2006 and 2014, respectively. From September 2009-August 2011, Prof. Gallagher was the Vice-Principal of Research and Innovation at the UCD College of Life Sciences. He is also a Conway Fellow at the UCD Conway Institute. In 2007, he co-founded OncoMark Ltd., which is a private company centred on the development and application of biomarker panels and associated technologies, on both tissues and biological fluids ( Prof. Gallagher is currently the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at OncoMark. A major focus of Prof. Gallagher’s research work is the identification and validation of candidate biomarkers of breast cancer and melanoma, with particular emphasis on translation of transcriptomic and proteomic datasets into clinically relevant assays. In addition, his team (the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Lab; investigates the functional relevance of candidate tumour progression-associated genes at both in vitro and in vivo levels, as well as engages in preclinical evaluation of novel anti-cancer agents.

Prof. Gallagher is currently Director of BREAST-PREDICT, which is the first Irish Cancer Society Collaborative Cancer Research Centre (CCRC) to be funded. This country-wide CCRC, which is supported to the level of 7.5 million euro, runs from 2013 to 2018 and involves 6 academic institutions (UCD, TCD, RCSI, DCU, NUIG and UCC), as well as the not-for-profit clinical trials organisation, the All-Ireland Co-Operative Oncology Research Group (ICORG). Prof. Gallagher is also co-PI and Deputy Co-ordinator of a major Science Foundation Ireland-funded Strategic Research Cluster, Molecular Therapeutics of Cancer (2009-2014) (; this is the most extensive organ-independent research programme in the translational cancer research arena within the Republic of Ireland and involves comprehensive interactions with a range of major pharmaceutical, biotechnology and imaging companies. Prof. Gallagher previously co-ordinated an FP6 Marie Curie Transfer of Knowledge Industry-Academia Partnership Programme, Target-Breast, which was focused on converting omic datasets into clinically relevant diagnostic assays; this programme involved 3 academic and 2 industrial partners across 3 EU countries and ran from 2006-2010. He also co-ordinated an analogous FP7 Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnership and Pathways  (IAPP) Programme, Target-Melanoma (, which was focused on identification and validation of novel molecular determinants of melanoma progression; this programme involved 7 partners (5 academic/2 industrial) across 5 EU countries and ran from 2009-2013. Currently, he co-ordinates two IAPPs under FP7, namely (1) FAST-PATH ( which is focused on applying high-performance computing and automated image analysis to fast-track pathological assessment in prostate cancer [this programme involves 6 partners (4 academic/2 industrial) across 3 EU countries and runs from 2011-2015], and (2) SYS-MEL (, which is focused on applying systems medicine approaches to development of new diagnostic solutions in melanoma [this programme involves 6 partners (4 academic/2 industrial) across 3 EU countries and runs from 2013-2017]. Prof. Gallagher is also co-ordinator of a large-scale FP7 collaborative project, entitled RATHER (, which is focused on providing new rationalised therapy options for difficult-to-treat breast cancer subtypes (2011-2015). This multi-million euro project involves 6 academic groups and 2 industrial parties across 5 EU countries. His research group is also involved in several other FP7 research programmes as partners, including AngioTox ( and AngioPredict. ( Prof. Gallagher has received a number of awards based on his research work to date, including the BACR/AstraZeneca Young Scientist Frank Rose Award in 2004, the St. Luke’s Silver Medal Award in 2008 and the NovaUCD 2011 Innovation Award. Prof. Gallagher has had productive collaborative interactions with a variety of other industrial partners throughout his research, and has filed/been awarded multiple patents.