UCD scientist awarded €300,000 for cancer research

17 Jun 2014

Dr John Williams, Wellcome Trust; Dr Colm J Ryan, UCD, and recipient of the Sir Henry Wellcome Research Fellowship; Prof Mark Ferguson, director-general of Science Foundation Ireland; and Dr Roger Blake, Wellcome Trust

Irish researcher Dr Colm J Ryan is receiving the Sir Henry Wellcome Research Fellowship fund worth €300,000 to develop research in the treatment and prevention of cancer.

The fellowship has for a number of years now been offering funding opportunities to young researchers who are in the final year of their PhD studies or have no more than one year of post-doctoral research experience, and have been assisted by Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board.

Ryan’s research at University College Dublin (UCD) will focus on the progression of cancer treatments through the identification of genetic vulnerabilities in cancer cells and how genetic differences between tumour cells and healthy cells can be exploited.

The fund will be spread across four years worth of research and Ryan has spoken of how important the fund is to continuing his work.

“I am delighted to be awarded this fellowship as it offers me the freedom and financial support to research why a particular type of personalised cancer treatment, known as synthetic lethality, might work in some individuals but not in others,” Ryan said.

“During the fellowship, I will collaborate with some of the leading experts in the field, in labs in multiple countries, to address this important question.”

Dr Graham Love, chief executive at the Health Research Board, congratulated Ryan on his success.

“Personalised medicine is a hot, promising field. Hats off to Colm for coming through a gruelling selection process. His success highlights the level of research talent here in Ireland.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic