IACR Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Medicine & Research Award

2021 Recipient

Professor Mark Lawler

Professor Mark Lawler

Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor of Digital Health, and Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics, Queen's University Belfast (QUB)

Award virtually presented by Prof. Tracy Robson

Mark is an internationally renowned scientist with >200 papers including key publications in the highest impact journals. His work has been recognised by numerous national/ international awards.

He is Associate Director of Health Data Research Wales-Northern Ireland which is driving innovative precision medicine and public health approaches through the use of Big Data. He is Scientific Director of DATA-CAN, the UK’s Health Data Research Hub for Cancer.

Mark was co-chair of the Cancer Task Team of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, an international cooperative dedicated to effective and responsible sharing of genomic/clinical data. He has authored a number of key papers including a blueprint for cancer data sharing and a call to action for a Global Cancer Data Knowledge Network.

Mark is the Queen’s Lead of the £5M Medical Research Council-Cancer Research UK funded Stratified Medicine in Colorectal Cancer Consortium (S:CORT), a UK-wide consortium investigating novel precision medicine approaches in colorectal cancer. He led the Critical Gaps in Colorectal Cancer  Research Initiative, which has defined research priorities in this common cancer over the next decade. Mark is a member of the Board of the European Cancer Organisation and the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Cancer Patient Coalition and the Strategic Advisory  Board of Genomics England.

Mark has a strong commitment to patient-centred research/care and to addressing cancer inequalities. He was architect of the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights, which he launched with colleagues in the European Parliament on World Cancer Day 2014. The Bill of Rights  received The 2018 European Health Award, a prestigious award for partnerships that yield real health impact in Europe.  His work on addressing inequalities and access issues in relation to cancer care formed the centrepiece in the development by the European Cancer Organisation of the  European Code of Cancer Practice, which Mark  launched (virtually) with EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides in Brussels in September 2020.

Mark’s work on COVID-19 and its impact on cancer has received international attention and he co-chairs the European  Cancer Organisation’s Special Focussed Network on  COVID-19 and cancer,  which recently launched its 7-Point Plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on cancer services and cancer patients. Mark has recently  been appointed as Chair of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership, a global initiative to improve outcomes for cancer patients. He is leading the Lancet Oncology Groundshot Commission to provide the evidence base and road map for cancer research in Europe, with a particular focus on Central and Eastern Europe

In his spare time (if he has any!) Mark performs an acclaimed One Man Show on the Irish Writer  James Joyce, which he does to raise money for charity

2020 Recipient

Professor Joe Duffy

Professor Joe Duffy

Adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine at University College Dublin Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Dublin and UCD Clinical Research Centre, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Award presented by Prof. Amanda McCann

Professor Joe Duffy has a long, established career in clinical biochemistry practice and cancer research.

After graduating from NUI, Galway and earning a PhD at the University of Manchester, he went on to become a Post Doctorate Fellow in Trinity College Dublin. He is now adjunct Professor in the School of Medicine at University College Dublin, having previously worked as Principal biochemist at St Vincents University Hospital. Professor Duffy has an international reputation for his work on cancer biomarkers.

He has published in excess of 250 papers on this topic, including articles in high impact journals such as Lancet, BMJ, J Natl Cancer Instit, Cancer Res, Clin Cancer Res, Ann Oncol and Clin Chem.

His work has been cited > 16,000 times and his current h-index is 71.One of his main contributions has been the development of a test for identifying patients with breast cancer who may not need chemotherapy.

This test, which involves measurement of the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) marker, is now recommended for clinical use by several expert groups including the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In 2012, Professor Duffy was the recipient of the 2012 Abbott Award of the International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM).

This award is made annually to investigators who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of basic or clinical oncology. Other awards received by Professor Duffy include the St Luke’s Medal Lecture, the Conway Review Medal Lecture and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and the National Committee for Biochemistry Award Medal Lecture of the Royal Irish Academy.

2019 Recipient

Professor Rosemary O'Connor

Professor Rosemary O'Connor

Professor of Cell Biology, Head of the School of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, University College Cork

Award presented by Prof. Amanda McCann

Prof. O’Connor was being honoured with this prestigious award, to recognise her outstanding contribution to Cancer Research on the Island of Ireland. Rosemary is the 3rd Recipient of this award following Professor William (Liam) Gallagher (2017) and the late Professor Patrick (Paddy) G. Johnston (2018).

Prof. O’Connor holds a BSc in Biochemistry from NUIG and a Ph.D. from NUI Maynooth. She gained research experience in Germany and the USA, where she worked on clinical trials in lymphoma and leukemia and a drug discovery research programme on apoptosis. She joined the Department of Biochemistry in UCC in 1997, where she is currently Professor of Cell Biology.

Her research focuses on growth factor signaling in cancer, particularly the Insulin-like Growth Factor system.

3D mammosphere culture of breast epithelial cell line MCF10A.

Courtesy of Dr. Emer Bourke, NUI Galway

Phospho-Akt expression and localisation

Mediated by VEGF in A549 lung cancer cells. Visualised by high content image analysis.

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

Metaphase chromosome spread of Jurkat T-lymphoma cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

Apoptosis assessment of SKMES-1 lung cancer cells

Using a multiparameter apoptosis staining kit, showing cell nuclei (blue), actin (green) and mitochondrial activity (orange).

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

HeLa Cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

IACR & EACR Joint Conference 2020

26 — 28 February 2020 at Galway Bay Hotel, Galway

Mitotic Chronic Myelogenous Leukaemia K562 Cells

Courtesy of Rebecca Gorry, PhD Student, Mc Gee Lab, UCD School of Biomolecular & Biomedical Science, Conway Institute, UCD

Cell to Cell Tweeting

Via nanoparticles (red) in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)

Courtesy of Sinéad Lindsay, UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin (UCD) Ireland.

Confocal Microscopy Analysis

Of phospho-Akt expression in H460 lung cancer cells in response to hypoxia (0.5% O2).

Courtesy of Dr Martin Barr, Clinical Scientist & Adjunct Assistant Professor, St James’s Hospital & Trinity College Dublin

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