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      Particulars

      Key Responsibilities

      Principal Investigator:

      The major research interest of the group is focused on understanding the role of inflammatory chemokine signaling in the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. Our prior focus has been to characterize the relationship of chemokine expression to stage of disease, and to undertake projects aimed at defining their functional relevance in the context of the hallmarks of cancer. Focusing on the pro-inflammatory chemokine, interleukin-8, we have shown that expression of this chemokine becomes de-regulated during the early stages of disease, with optimal expression in castrate-resistant disease. IL-8 signaling potentiates numerous signalling pathways, culminating in the activation of several key transcription factors in prostate cancer cells, including the androgen receptor, NF-kappaB and HIF-1. Consequently, our work confirms a key role for IL-8 signaling in maintaining the survival of genetically or environmentally stressed cells, and in reducing the senstivity of prostate cancer cells to numerous clinically-relevant treatments. Our more recent work has begun to focus on understanding the specific genetic backgrounds in which the effects of this chemokine have greater relevance. Work conducted to date demonstrates a major role for this chemokine in PTEN-deficient prostate carcinomas.

      Other work conducted in our lab is focused on understanding the critical resistance pathways associated with insensitivity to hormonal therapy and identifying how we can target the inflammatory microenvironment to optimize therapy for this currently incurable disease.

       

      Administrative Duties:

      Acting Director CCRCB;

      CCRCB Committees - Senior Management Team (Chair), Centre Operations Committee (Chair), Centre Postgraduate Committee, Scientific Strategy Group (Chair), ECMC Steering Group

      Belfast CRUK Centre Governance Committee

      Belfast CRUK Centre Development Committee

      School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences (SMDBS) Committees; School Management Board, Tenure Review Board, Performance Review Group, Estates Strategy Group, REF Working Group, School Postgraduate Board

      Academic Lead, Prostate Cancer Research Programme, CCRCB

       

      External Roles and Responsibilities

      Honorary Secretary, Irish Association for Cancer Research (2008-2012)

      Council Member, Irish Association for Cancer Research (2007-present)

      Chair, All-Ireland NCI Scholarship Exchange Programme (2010-present)

      Conference Organiser, EACR/IACR Conference on Tumour Microenvironment, September 2012

      Member, Prostate Cancer National Steering Group (Ireland)

      Member, EACR Presidents Council (representative for Ireland)

       

       

      Past-Administrative Roles and Duties (Internal)

      Vice Chair, Postgraduate Education and Training Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences

      University Academic Council (2005-2006),

      School of Biomedical Sciences Learning and Teaching Committee

      Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology Directorate (2004-present)

       

      Professional Experience and Training

      1995 - 1997 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Pharmacology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska

      1997 -1999 Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Molecular Cardiology, Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

      1999 - 2000 American Heart Association Staff Research Associate, Dept. of Molecular Cardiology, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio

      2000 - 2004 Lecturer of Molecular Oncology, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, QUB

      2004- Reader of Molecular Oncology, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, School of Biomedical Science, QUB

      Research Statement

      Our research programme is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underpinning the pathogenesis and therapy resistance of prostate cancer.

      Our major programme research concerns the role of interleukin-8 in the pathogenesis of PTEN-deficient prostate cancers. The biological importance of this signalling pathway to the survival, outgrowth and spread of PTEN-deficient prostate cancer cells is supported by MRC funding. A second project examining the significance of chemokine signalling in modulating the response of PTEN-deficient tumours to radiotherapy is funded by Cancer Research UK.

      Other work conducted in our lab is examining the basis of therapy resistance in advanced prostate cancers. Our research is aimed at identifying novel means to attenuate the effects of the inflammatory microenvironment to optimize therapy for this currently incurable disease.

       

       

       

      Teaching

      Ex-Module Co-Ordinator, Molecular Cell Biology Module, Level 2, School of Biomedical Sciences

      Ex-Module Co-Ordinator, Cancer Biology, Level 3, School of Biomedical Sciences

      Module Co-Ordinator, Mechanisms of Metastasis, Year 1 Special Study Modules, School of Medicine and Dentistry

      Additional Lecturing in Human Genome and Cell Signaling Modules, School of Biological Sciences

      Frequent Journals

      • Clinical Cancer Research

        ISSNs: 1078-0432

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1557-3265, 1078-0432

        AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH

        Scopus rating (2016): SJR 4.689 SNIP 1.983

        Journal

      • Oncotarget

        ISSNs: 1949-2553

        Impact Journals

        Scopus rating (2016): SJR 1.927 SNIP 1.056

        Journal

      • Cancer Research

        ISSNs: 0008-5472

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1538-7445

        American Association for Cancer Research Inc.

        Scopus rating (2016): SJR 4.753 SNIP 1.986

        Journal

      • Molecular Cancer Therapeutics

        ISSNs: 1535-7163

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1538-8514

        American Association for Cancer Research Inc.

        Scopus rating (2016): SJR 2.632 SNIP 1.306

        Journal

      • British Journal of Cancer

        ISSNs: 0007-0920, 1532-1827

        Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1532-1827

        Nature Publishing Group

        Scopus rating (2016): SJR 2.924 SNIP 1.775

        Journal

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      Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

      ID: 24925