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epiCaPture wins the 2020 UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme Award

Congratulation to the team of Dr Antoinette Perry, Asia Jordan, Adele Connor and Ross Nelson for their success in the midst of very steep competition in winning the UCD VentureLaunch Accelerator Programme Award for epiCaPture.  Antoinette and her team have developed a novel urine DNA test for aggressive prostate cancer.  Its tumor specificity out-performs that of prostate-specific antigen (greater than 3 ng/mL). Used as an adjunct to prostate-specific antigen, epiCaPture could aid patient stratification to determine need for biopsy.


Movember – raising awareness of men’s Health: Design a Mo’ mask competition

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. The annual fund-raising activities spearheaded by the Prof. Bill Watson and Amanda O’Neill to raise awareness of men’s Health issues went virtual this year with Prof. William Gallagher winning the Mo’ mask competition with his lab inspired Mo and Dr. Omri Teltsh’s yummy sprout recipe being selected for the Mo’ cook book.


Dr. Arman Rahman wins a UCD Values in Action Awards 2020

Now in their third year, the Values in Action (VIA) awards celebrate individuals or teams/committees who act as ambassadors for the UCD Values through their daily work, or establish initiatives that bring the UCD Values to life or volunteer. The awards were established by the Employee Engagement Network.

Dr Arman Rahman, Translational Research and Engagement Manager with Precision Oncology Ireland and a member of the CBT laboratory, is being recognised for his exceptional effort during the pandemic, becoming a trusted and expert voice for scientific advances in the COVID-19 space for the Bangladeshi community, within Ireland and globally. Since April 2020, Arman has written more than 25 articles on different aspects of COVID-19 which were published in national newspapers in Bangladesh. He was also invited to numerous Bangladeshi TV talk-shows, online platforms and social media live events, becoming a trusted voice on COVID-19 scientific developments. Due to his outstanding contribution to scientific dissemination, Arman is part of a prestigious advisory committee for a study which will analyse the seroprevalence of COVID-19 in Bangladesh. The voluntary public engagement and science communication work undertaken by Arman have a far-reaching impact both locally, nationally, and globally and bring to life UCD’s values of engagement, excellence, diversity and integrity

Lunaphore Immuno-Oncology Grant Program – 1st Prize goes to Dr. Arman Rahman

The Lunaphore Immuno-Oncology Grant Program has been designed with the intention of helping in the research of immuno-oncology by providing innovative instruments based on a microfluidic technology to perform mIF staining.  Dr. Rahman and Chowdhury Arif Jahangir won 1st prize for a project titled “Exploration of the Interplay between Master Transcriptional Regulators and Immune Cells within the Tumour Microenvironment of Breast Cancer AND Comparison of subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) inflammatory profiles in individuals with and without COVID-19 infection” is a LabSat® Research system.  This system which offers ultra-rapid turnover time for multiplex staining, and will be embedded in the Precision Oncology Ireland tissue imaging platform.

Funding success and recognition for and Dr. David Hughes

International Hundred K+ Cohorts Consortium (IHCC) – one of their inaugural funding awards to D. Hughes as PI: ‘Exploring the role of genetically determined BMI in infancy, childhood and early adulthood on colorectal cancer development in later life’ (2021-mid2022; 18 months), $145,300

Visiting short term scientific mission awarded to Mr Petr Holý (PhD student in the Biomedical Center, Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen, Charles University, Czech Republic under the supervision of Dr Pavel Soucek) to spend 6 weeks in David’s lab by the COST Action CA17118 ‘Identifying Biomarkers Through Translational Research for Prevention and Stratification of Colorectal Cancer (TRANSCOLONCAN.Eu)’, €2,500

David has also been elected Governing Council Member, Irish Cancer Epidemiology Network (2020)

Irish Cancer Society awards funding to translational research scholarship in ovarian cancer to CBT lab member Adele Connor

The CBT laboratory is delighted to congratulate Adele on her success in obtaining a PhD scholarship from the Irish Cancer Society to undertake translational research in ovarian cancer with Dr. Antoinette Perry.

Ovarian cancer has poor prognosis and shockingly low levels of publications relative to other cancers (despite it being the 4th most common female cancer in Ireland) so it is hoped that this research will contribute to an under-developed field and ultimately have a positive impact on the patients who suffer from this disease.

Adele has been a critical member of the epiCaPture team (that recently won the UCD Venture Launch Accelerator Programme Award) and is excited to start this new research from January 2021.

National Preclinical Imaging Centre

Ireland’s first national preclinical imaging centre (NPIC) will provide enhanced research data to inform new clinical trials and improve patient outcomes. It is being established through a €3.4 million award from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under their research infrastructure programme.   The Centre will be led by Professor Annette Byrne (RSCI) in partnership with Professor William Gallagher (UCD) and Professor Abhay Pandit (CÚRAM, NUI Galway).  Emer Conroy and Dr. Jeffrey Glennon will lead the UCD aspect of this distributed infrastructure.  UCD will receive €2.01 million of the award funding and have committed to complementing this with an additional €645,558 in co-funding. This will support equipment purchase, refurbishment and technical support

MRI diffusion tensor imaging reveals white matter changes in the brain across genotypes





H. pylori linked to colorectal cancer development in a large, European study lead by Dr. David Hughes

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common diagnosed cancer worldwide and the fourth most common cause of cancer death. It is a major cancer type expected to be particularly related to disturbances in the gut microbiome constituents, but there is a need to establish information on how gut microbes may influence disease course and prognosis. While Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the major cause of gastric cancer, it has also been suggested to be involved in CRC development. However, it remains unclear if this microbe is involved in the initiation of CRC. In the present study, we assessed whether antibody responses to H. pylori are associated with CRC risk in pre-diagnostic serum samples taken from 485 CRC cases and 485 matched controls in the detailed European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer (EPIC) study lead by Dr. David Hughes. We applied a multiplex serology assay to simultaneously measure antibody responses to 13 H. pylori antigens. In this large, prospective multi-center European study, we observed that antibody responses to H. pylori proteins, specifically HcpC and VacA, were associated with increased risk of developing CRC. Biological mechanisms for a potential causal role of H. pylori in colorectal carcinogenesis need to be elucidated, and subsequently whether H. pylori eradication may decrease CRC incidence.

Butt J, Jenab M, Pawlita M, TjønnelandA, Kyrø C, Boutron-Ruault MC, Carbonnel F, Dong C, Kaaks R, Kühn T, Boeing H, SchulzeM, Trichopoulou A, Karakatsani A, la Vecchia C, Palli D, Agnoli C, Tumino R, Sacerdote C, Panico S, Bueno-de-Mesquita B, Vermeulen RCH, Gram IT, Weiderpass E BenjaminsenBorch K, Ramón Quirós J, Agudo A, Rodríguez-Barranco M, Santiuste C, Ardanaz E,van Guelpen B, Harlid S, Imaz L, Perez-Cornago A Gunter MJ, Zouiouich S, Park JY,Riboli E, Cross AJ, Heath AK, Waterboer T,  Hughes DJ. Antibody responses to Helicobacter pylori and risk of developing colorectal cancer in a European cohort. CancerEpidemiol Biomark Prev 2020, Apr 24. pii: cebp.1545.2019. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-1545. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32332031.

Irish Association for Cancer Research Conference Feb. 2019: Short listed poster


Niamh Russell presented the OPTi-PREDICT teams poster titled ‘Refining Treatment Recommendations for Lymph Node-Negative Breast Cancer Patients using a Novel Protein-Based Prognostic Signature: The OnocMasTR Assay’ at IACR. This was a very well attended session with over 150 posters presented. The poster describes the ongoing antibody validation work, where two markers show useful prognostic ability, validated in an independent cohort. It also describes new work using fluorescent staining, which will allow quantification of protein expression of several markers in the same tissue sample. The team was delighted to be listed in the short-list of posters.

Irish Association for Cancer Research Conference Feb. 2019: Two awards for PhD Student Romina Silva

Romina Silva was awarded the inaugural Prof. Patrick Johnston IACR Award for excellence in cancer research outreach in the annual IACR conference (2019). This award was given based on her lay talk entitled “Understanding therapeutic resistance – following cancer’s breadcrumb trail”.

She was also awarded an IACR AOIFA Seed Funding award (6,000€). She will use it to develop a technical approach to detect ovarian cancer mutations in cell-free DNA using ddPCR.