general information


Health professionals, cancer clinicians and clinical scientists, scientists working in cancer, representatives of pharmaceutical companies involved in oncology, policy makers, post-doctoral researchers within medicine and science will benefit from participation in the conference.


The conference has been approved by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland for 10 CPD credits. 1 CPD credit is equivalent to 1 hour of educational activity.

Event FAQs

By Plane
There is one major international airport in Dublin, situated approximately 10km north of the city centre.  Dublin is easily accessible from the UK, Continental Europe and the east and west coast of the USA.  

Access from Dublin Airport to Dublin City
There are a number of private and public bus services that operate from outside the airport arrivals terminal: Aircoach, a privately run bus service, operates between the airport and a number of city hotels and locations.

Airlink (bus 747), operated by Dublin Bus, will bring you directly from the airport to Busaras, the central bus station, located in the city.

There are also a number of other public bus services operating between the airport and various destinations

By Ferry
It is also possible to get to Dublin by ferry via Hollyhead, Liverpool and Isle of Man ports in Britain. Dublin has two ferry terminals – Dublin Port, located in the city centre, is serviced by bus and Dun Laoghaire ferry terminal, south of the city, is easily reached by a 20 minute car or DART train journey.

Trinity College Dublin has preferential agreements (applicable to weekdays only, if available) with the following hotels close to the conference venue:

Trinity City Hotel  
Contact: Jacinta Collins
Phone: 353 (0) 1 6481000
Fax: 353 (0) 1 6481010
More Information
Address: Pearse Sreet,
Dublin 4
Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane
Contact: Jane Forsyth
Phone: 353 (0) 1 6439500
Fax: 353 (0) 1 6439510
More Information
Address: Sir John Rogerson's Quay,
Dublin 2
O'Callaghan Hotels Dublin
Contact: Maria Lawlor/Jeremy O’Keeffe
Phone: 353 (0) 1 6073900
Fax: 353 (0) 1 6615663
More Information
O'Callaghan Hotels has three
Mont Clare Hotel
Alexander Hotel
Davenport Hotel

Conference dinner is not included in the conference registration fee and needs to be booked separately.

The dress code for the dinner is business attire.

Contact details

Patricia Doherty
Tel: 00353 1 896 3376

“Advances and Future Directions in Personalised Medicine”

Trinity Translational Medicine Institute
Trinity College Dublin

Printable Programme (PDF 7MB)


8.30-9.00      REGISTRATION plus Tea/Coffee


SESSION 1:   Molecular classification of tumours: its importance in the cancer care pathway of patients
Chairs: Maeve Lowery, Stephen Finn
09.20               Personalized Oncogenomics: Integrating State of the Art Genomic Technology into Cancer Care
  Dr Janessa Laskin, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia
09.45 Precision Medicine in Pancreatic Cancer: The New Standard of Care?
  Dr Daniel Renouf, MD, MPH, FRCPC, Assistant Professor, Medical Oncologist, University of British Columbia, BC Cancer, Vancouver Centre
10.10 Clinical Cancer Genetics and Colorectal Cancer
  Prof David Gallagher Medical Oncologist, TSJCI
10.35 Dr. Gerard Brien, Research Fellow Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin. ‘Developing
personalised approaches to cancer treatment in the genomics era’
  Proffered paper
10.50 Dr. Simon Furney, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.. ‘Personalised tracking of response to
neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer patients’
  Proffered paper
11.05-11.35 Coffee Break and Poster Viewing


SESSION 2:   Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention
Chairs: John O'Leary, Barry O'Connell
11.35                 Dopamine Signaling in Lung Cancer: Implications for Cancer Prevention and Therapy
  Dr. Brid Ryan, Stadtman Investigator, Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis, Centre for Cancer Research, NCI, USA
12.05 title
  Prof. Richard Sullivan, Kings Health Partners Institute of Cancer Policy and Global Health
12.35 Colorectal cancer: prevention requires shared responsibility
  Prof Amanda Cross, Reader in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London.
13.05 Dr. Maeve Mullooly, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. ‘Opportunities and challenges for
understanding the molecular pathology of breast cancer risk factors in patients with benign breast disease’
  Profferd paper
13.20 Dr. Marie McIlroy, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. ‘Association of serum androgens with
recurrence in an endocrine treated breast cancer patient cohort’
  Proffered paper
13.35-14.20 Lunch and Poster Viewing


SESSION 3: Tumour Microenvironment
Chairs: Jacintha O’Sullivan, Paul Browne
14.20 Breast cancer and new aspects of glutamine metabolism: metformin, exosomes, hormone resistance
  Prof. Adrian Harris, CRUK Prof of Medical Oncology, University Department of Oncology, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital.
14.50 Exploring and Exploiting the Tumor Microenvironment
  Prof. Johanna Joyce. Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne
15.20 Targeting tumour-stroma cells to improve therapies in B cell malignancies
  Dr. Ingo Ringhausen, Consultant Haematologist and Principal Investigator, Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.
15.50 Dr. Rachel Bleach, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. ‘Androstenedione mediated metabolic
alterations in aromatase inhibitor resistant breast cancer’
  Proffered paper
16.05 Dr. Mark Ward, Trinity College Dublin. ‘Influence of platelets and neutrophils on Circulating Tumour
Cells (CTCs)’
  Proffered paper
16.20-16.40 Coffee Break and Poster Viewing
16.40 Introduction to Burkitt awardee

Burkitt Lecture:'Why Don't We Get More Cancer: The critical role of extracellular matrix and microenvironment in malignancy and dormancy'
Prof. Mina J. Bissell, Distinguished Scientist, Biological Systems and Engineering Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California

17.30 Reception
19.00 Conference dinner/presentation of 2019 Burkitt Medal [additional to registration fee]


SESSION 4: Advances in Immunotherapy
Chairs: Michael McCarthy, Cliona O’Farrelly
09.00 Uncovering targets on gd T cells to mitigate metastasis
  Dr. Seth Coffelt, Snr Research Fellows, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Glasgow.
09.30 Autophagy modulation as an example of precision cancer (immuno)therapy
  Prof. Lorenzo Galluzzi, Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in Radiation Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY. 
10.00 New Immunotherapy strategies in mCRC
  Prof. Guillem Argilés, Clinical Investigator, Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. 
10.30 Dr. Roisin Loftus, Trinity College Dublin. ‘Dietary choices influence natural killer cell responses in
  Proffered paper
10.40 Maria Davern, Trinity College Dublin. ‘A potential role for immune checkpoint inhibitors in
combination with chemotherapy for treating oesophageal adenocarcinoma patients’
  Proffered paper
10.50-11.20 Coffee Break and Poster Viewing


SESSION 5: Molecular agents in Radiation Oncology; Future Directions
Chairs: Lorraine O’Driscoll, Frances Duane
11.20 Development and pre-clinical validation of dual-function radiation modulating nanoparticles – successes and challenges
  Dr. Jonathan Coulter, Senior Lecturer in Nanotherapeutics, School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast.
11.50 Towards radiotherapy and DNA repair inhibitor combinations: challenges and opportunities
  Dr. Conchita Vens, Netherlands Cancer Institute
12.20 Novel and Drug and Radiotherapy Combinations – Back to the Future?
  Prof Gerry Hanna, Associate Professor and Director of Radiation Oncology,  Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre/University of Melbourne.
12.40 Dr. Dania Movia, Senior Research Fellow, Trinity College Dublin. ‘Development for physically
triggered nanotechnology-based medicines as radiosensitisers: the golden era!’
  Proffered paper
12.55 Aisling Heeran, Trinity College Dublin. ‘Radiation induced bystander effect (RIBE) induction using
human ex vivo explants induces significant changes in the tissue secretome, immune cell function and bystander
cellular metabolism”
Lunch and Poster viewing/
  Proferred paper
13.10-14.30 Lunch and poster viewing/judging


SESSION 6: Academic Cancer Centres
Panel: John Kennedy, Lorcan Birthistle, Linda Doyle, Susan O’Reilly
14.30 Challenges for a Comprehensive Cancer Center; bridging basic and clinical research
  Professor Rene Medema, Director of Research, Chairman Board of Directors, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam
15.00 Academic Cancer Centres: The NCCP Perspective
  Dr. Jerome Coffey, Director of National Cancer Control Programme
15.30 Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute: Update and Future Plans
  Professor Paul Browne, Director of Trinity St. James's Cancer Institute
16.00 Panel Discussion
16.30 Concluding session followed by awards ceremony
17.00-18.00 Reception



Mina Bissell (Burkitt awardee)
Mina Bissell (Burkitt awardee)
Paul Browne
Paul Browne
Speaker 5
Seth Coffelt
Jerome Coffey
Jerome Coffey
Jonathan Coulter
Jonathan Coulter
Amanda Cross
Amanda Cross


David Gallagher
David Gallagher
Lorenzo Galluzzi
Lorenzo Galluzzi
Speaker 3
Gerry Hanna
Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris
Speaker 10
Johanna Joyce
Speaker 10
Janessa Laskin
Speaker 6
Rene Medema
Daniel Renouf
Daniel Renouf
Ingo Ringshausen
Ingo Ringshausen
Speaker 6
Brid Ryan
Richard Sullivan
Richard Sullivan
Conchita Vens
Conchita Vens

burkitt medal

Established in 2013, the Burkitt Medal is designed to recognise people with the integrity, compassion and dedication matching that of Denis Burkitt, a Trinity graduate, who is known for his discovery of Burkitt lymphoma. Nominees should demonstrate extraordinary achievement and advancement in the field of cancer internationally.


D Burkitt

Denis Parsons Burkitt (28 February 1911 – 23 March 1993), surgeon, was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland. He was the son of James Parsons Burkitt, a civil engineer. Aged eleven Denis lost his right eye in an accident. He attended Portora Royal School in Enniskillen and Dean Close School, England. In 1929 he applied to Trinity College Dublin to study his father’s profession, engineering, despite a tutor writing to his father expressing doubts if Burkitt would be capable of earning a degree. During his first year at Trinity he joined Room 40, a small group of undergraduates, who met regularly for prayer and Bible study, and committed his life to Jesus Christ. His religious convictions would be a driving force for the rest of his life. Soon after his commitment to Christianity, he felt that God was calling him to devote his life to medicine. He changed his study to medicine and graduated with his MB on 5 July, 1935. After graduating from Trinity College Dublin he continued his surgical training and obtained Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1938. He went on to write his MD entitled ‘Spontaneous rupture of abdominal viscera’ in 1947.

While serving as a ship’s surgeon in 1938, Burkitt decided he would be a surgeon first and a missionary second and hoped to work with the Colonial Service in West Africa. During his five-year sojourn as an army surgeon during World War Two, he married Olive Mary Rogers, a trainee nurse he had met while working as the Resident Surgical Officer at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Plymouth. Denis and Olive had three daughters Judy Howard, Cas and Rachel.

Despite having his application to the Colonial Office being turned down on account of his loss of sight, Burkitt passed a medical and enlisted into the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was posted to a military hospital in Mombasa. Burkitt 'made two major contributions to medical science related to his experience in Africa.

The first was the description, distribution, and ultimately, the etiology of a pediatric cancer that bears his name Burkitt's lymphoma'. Burkitt in 1957 observed a child with swellings in the angles of the jaw.  Having an intensely enquiring mind, Burkitt took the details of these cases to the records department, which showed that jaw tumours were common, were often associated with other tumours at unusual sites in children in Uganda. He kept copious notes and 'concluded that these apparently different childhood cancers were all manifestations of a single, hitherto unrecognized tumour complex'. Burkitt published A sarcoma involving the jaws of African children. The newly identified cancer became known as 'Burkitt's lymphoma. He went on to map the geographical distribution of the tumour. Burkitt, together with Dr Dennis Wright, published a book titled 'Burkitt's Lymphoma' in April 1970.

His second major contribution came when, on his return to Britain, Burkitt compared the pattern of diseases in African hospitals with Western diseases. He concluded that many Western diseases which were rare in Africa were the result of diet and lifestyle. He wrote a book Don't Forget Fibre in your Diet, which was an international bestseller.

Although one study showed that people who eat very low levels of fiber—less than 10 grams per day—had an 18 percent higher risk of colorectal cancer, the more general idea that colon cancer is a fiber deficiency disease is now generally considered incorrect by cancer researchers. Nevertheless, research suggests that a diet high in dietary fiber is advised as a precaution against other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. He had an alternative theory, published in numerous articles and books, that the use of the natural squatting position for defecation protects the natives of Africa and Asia from gastrointestinal diseases. 

Burkitt was president of the Christian Medical Fellowship and wrote frequently on religious/medical themes. He received the Bower Award and Prize in 1992. He died on 23 March 1993 in Gloucester and was buried in Bisley, Gloucestershire, England.


Deadline for submissions – 1 March 2019

Completed forms to be returned to Professor John Reynolds, Chair of the Selection Committee, by e-mail:   

General Information (PDF 429 kB)


Burkitt Medal Awardee 2019 Mina Bissell

MINA J. BISSELL is Distinguished Scientist, the highest rank bestowed at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and serves as Senior Advisor to the Laboratory Director on Biology. She is also Faculty of four Graduate Groups in UC Berkeley: Comparative Biochemistry, Endocrinology, Molecular Toxicology, and Bioengineering (UCSF/UCB joint). Having challenged several established paradigms, Bissell is a pioneer in breast cancer research and her body of work has provided much impetus for the current recognition of the significant role that extracellular matrix (ECM) signalling and microenvironment play in gene expression regulation in both normal and malignant cells. Her laboratory developed novel 3D assays and techniques that demonstrate her signature phrase: after conception, “phenotype is dominant over genotype.” Bissell earned her doctorate from Harvard Medical, won an American Cancer Society fellowship, and soon after joined LBNL. She was founding Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology Division and later Associate Laboratory Director for all Life Sciences. Bissell has published more than 400 publications, received numerous honours and awards and is one of the most sought-after speakers in the field. She is not only an elected Fellow of most U.S. honorary scientific academies, but she also sits on many national and international scientific boards.


Burkitt Medal Awardee 2017 – Mariano Barbacid, PhD

Mariano Barbacid is AXA-CNIO Professor of Molecular Oncology at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid. Born in Madrid, Mariano Barbacid was awarded his PhD from the Universidad Complutense in 1974. Having trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Maryland, USA, in 1978 he started his own group to work on the molecular biology of human tumours. Dr Barbacid’s work led to the isolation of the first human cancer gene, H-RAS, in the spring of 1982 and to the identification of the first mutation associated with the development of human cancer. These findings, also made independently by two other groups, have been seminal to establish the molecular basis of human cancer. Dr Barbacid’s achievements have been recognised widely. In 2012, he was inducted to the National Academy of Sciences of the US as a Foreign Member and in 2014, elected Fellow of the AACR Academy. He holds three Honorary degrees, and apart from being acknowledged for his achievements in Spain, Dr Barbacid received several international awards including the Steiner Prize (Bern, 1988), Ipsen Prize (Paris, 1994), Brupbaher Cancer Research Prize (Zurich, 2005), the Medal of Honour of the International Agency for Cancer Research (Lyon, 2007) and an Endowed Chair from the AXA Research Fund (Paris, 2011). He has received two Advanced Grants from the European Research Council since their inception in 2008. To date, Dr Barbacid has authored a total of 300 publications, including 221 original research articles in journals with impact factor, 32 invited reviews in refereed journals and 47 book chapters.

Burkitt Medal Awardee 2016 – Paul Brennan, PhD

Paul Brennan is the Head of the Genetics Section of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France. IARC is the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) with the objective to promote international collaboration in cancer research. Dr Brennan's primary area of work is conducting very large multi-partner studies that aim to use genetics to understand the causes of cancer. This is done by exploring the genome of individuals who develop cancer, in order to identify clues as to why they are more susceptible. It also involves investigating the genomes of the tumours, in order to identify what triggered the tumour in the first place. His group works with colleagues in many different parts of the world, with active studies underway in central and eastern Europe, central and south-east Asia, and Latin America. Among others, Dr Brennan has collaborators in Trinity College Dublin. Dr Brennan and his colleagues at IARC have made an outstanding contribution to promoting international collaboration in the study of cancer for the ultimate benefit of those affected by the disease.

Burkitt Medal Awardee 2015 Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, MSc

Riccardo Dalla-Favera is Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology and Director, Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University, New York, USA. Professor Dalla-Favera’s career started with his pioneering work on the cloning and chromosomal mapping of human proto-oncogenes, including c-MYC. This work established the basis for the seminal work on the involvement of c-MYC in chromosomal translocations in Burkitt’s lymphoma. His research has continued to yield new insights into the pathogenesis of human B cell lymphomas, and, in particular, on the identification of the genetic lesions and biological mechanisms responsible for the development of these diseases.

Burkitt Medal Awardee 2014John L. Ziegler, MD, MSc

John Ziegler, Founding Director, Global Health Sciences Graduate Program University of California San Francisco (UCSF), USA, received his undergraduate degree (BA, English Literature) from Amherst College, Amherst Massachusetts, and his MD from Cornell University Medical School in New York City. Following medical house staff training at Bellevue Hospital in New York, he joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1966, beginning a life-long career in cancer research and care. In 1967 he was assigned to begin a long collaboration with Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, studying Burkitt’s lymphoma and other indigenous cancers. Together with Ugandan counterparts, he developed curative therapies for lymphoma and established a cancer institute that today has expanded to a major center of excellence in sub Saharan Africa. After five years Ziegler returned to NCI to head clinical oncology, and in 1981 moved to UCSF. The AIDS pandemic made its first appearance in San Francisco, heralded by opportunistic infections and two malignancies – Kaposi’s sarcoma and non Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Ziegler and colleagues made important contributions to this field both in California and back in Uganda. In his later career, earning an MSc in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Ziegler headed a cancer genetics clinic at UCSF, and most recently was founding director of a global health Master’s degree.

Burkitt Medal Awardee 2013Murray F. Brennan, MD

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Dr. Murray Brennan received a degree in mathematics from the University of New Zealand and a medical degree from the University of Otago in 1964. In 1970 he worked at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and at the Joslin Research Laboratories. After residency at the Brigham, Dr. Brennan joined the National Cancer Institute. In 1981, he joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) as Chief of Gastric and Mixed Tumor Service. Dr. Brennan was Chairman of the Department of Surgery at MSKCC from 1985 until June of 2006. He currently holds the Benno C. Schmidt Chair in Clinical Oncology and is Director of the International Center and Vice President for International Programs at MSKCC. He has lectured throughout the world and authored and co-authored more than 1,000 scientific papers and book chapters focusing on surgical oncology, endocrinology, metabolism, and nutrition, and is the author of a book on soft tissue sarcoma. Dr Brennan received numerous honours for his contribution to oncology. Dr. Brennan’s interest, in addition to patient care and research, has been the development of young surgeons. 



Consultant/PI/Industry €200
Post-doctoral/registrar €150
Student/nurses €75

Online Registration

The registration fee includes morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, reception on both days of the conference.
Burkitt award dinner in Trinity College Dining Hall is €50 (additional to the registration fee).



To submit abstracts visit

The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to August 4th 2019

Abstract submission guidelines - 300 words max (excluding title and affiliations) structured under the following headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion. No tables or figures should be inserted to the abstract title or text.

Should you have any queries throughout the abstract submission process, please contact Professor Jacintha O'Sullivan


If you are interested in sponsoring the 2019 International Cancer Conference, please contact:
Patricia Doherty
Tel: 00353 1 896 3376