Dr Tríona Ní Chonghaile wins For Women in Science fellowship

25 Jun 2015

Irish cancer biology researcher Dr Tríona Ní Chonghaile has been awarded the prestigious For Women in Science scholarship offered by L’Oreal, along with four other top-of-their-field scientists from Ireland and the UK.

Running since 2007, the fellowship awards are offered as part of a partnership between L’Oréal UK & Ireland and the Irish and UK National Commissions for UNESCO, with the support of the Royal Society.

Five fellowships are awarded annually to female postdoctoral researchers who are considered outstanding in their particular fields, and Dr Ní Chongaille’s research into cancer biology was considered worthy of making the final five from the original eight shortlisted applicants.

Based in University College Dublin’s (UCD) Conway Institute, Dr Ní Chongaille’s research has been particularly focused on trying to better understand why particular cancers are sensitive to chemotherapy while others are more resistant.

While trying to best determine how to treat these resistant cancers, the Mayo native successfully utilised a technology known as BH3 profiling, which allows researchers to measure the cell death sensitivity of the mitochondria, which paves the way for similar analysis of the cell.

This new fellowship will offer her €15,000 to support a 12-month period of postdoctoral research in UCD.

A number of her colleagues have taken to Twitter to congratulate Dr Ní Chongaille for her achievement.

Women Invent is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.

Woman receiving chemotherapy image via Shutterstock


Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic