general information


Welcome (PDF 235 kB)


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. On October 14th there will be a public symposium open to interested parties, patients, carers and family members. Register on this Eventbrite link


This meeting has been approved by RCPI for 12 CPD credits; 6 per day.

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.

Public Theatre, Exam Hall, Front Square Trinity College Dublin

Contact details

Patricia Doherty
Tel: 00353 1 896 3376

Conference Venue

Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute

“Harnessing Fundamental, Translational and Clinical Research for the Benefit of Cancer Patients”

Trinity Biomedical Sciences Building

Printable Programme (PDF 2MB)


08.30-09.00 REGISTRATION plus Tea/Coffee


SESSION 1:   Cancer Screening and Prevention
Chairs: John Reynolds / Cara Martin
09.20               Role of microbiome in cancer diagnostics
  George Hanna - Imperial College London
09.45 Inherited Cancer Susceptibility: Novel Opportunities for Precision, Interception and Prevention Oncology
  Zsofia Stadler – MSKCC
10.10 The role of inherited genetics in routine cancer care
  Karen Cadoo – Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute
10.35 Proffered paper 1
  Noel Donlon – TSJCI, ‘Strategies to boost immune function in Oesophageal adenocarcinoma – hypofractionated radiotherapy may be superior to current cross regimen chemo-radiation’
10.45 Proffered paper 2
  Paula Tierney – National Cancer Registry Ireland, ‘Evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnoses: comparison of observed to projected cancer registrations in Ireland, 2020’
10.55-11.25 Coffee Break and Poster Viewing


SESSION 2:   Molecular and Precision Oncology 1
Chairs: Joanne Lysaght / Fran Duane
11.25                 Precision in localised prostate cancer radiotherapy – Biomarkers and Stereotactic radiotherapy
  Suneil Jain - QUB  
11.50 Breast cancer radiation therapy as paradigm of precision oncology: past, present and near future
  Icro Meattini – U Florence
12.15 Overcoming therapy resistance in cancer through sequential single cell RNA-seq
  Selina Chen-Kiang - Weill Medical College of Cornell University
12.40 Towards precision radiation oncology- does radiomics have a role?
Michelle Leech, Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute
13.00-14.00 Lunch and Poster Viewing


SESSION 3: Molecular and Precision Oncology 2
Chairs: Elisabeth Vandenberghe / Adrian Bracken
14.00 Targeting the Common Progenitor Cell to Cure Lymphoma?
  Jude Fitzgibbon - AstraZeneca
14.25 Cancer evolution through chromatin plasticity
  Giovanni Ciriello – U. Lausanne
14.50 An asthma target in cancer: rethinking roles for IL4R
  Barbara Fingleton – Vanderbilt University
15.15 How data is advancing precision oncology
  Joanne Hackett – IQVIA
15.40 Proffered paper 3
  Eimear Mylod –TSJCI, ‘Examining the applicability of CX3CR1 antagonism to promote NK cell migration towards tumour in obesity associated cancer’
15.50 Proffered paper 4
  Mark Ward – TSJCI, ‘Liquid biopsy to isolate circulating tumour cells in metastatic breast cancer and high-grade serous ovarian cancer’
16.00-16.20 Coffee Break and Poster Viewing
16.30 Introduction to Burkitt awardee (Maeve Lowery)

Burkitt Lecture
Eileen O’Reilly – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre ‘Pancreas Cancer: Biomarker Directed Therapy an Emerging Reality’

19.00 Conference dinner/presentation of 2021 Burkitt Medal: Exam Hall, Trinity College Dublin Front Square [additional to registration fee]


SESSION 4: Public Symposium: Patient Care Post COVID-19
Chairs: Jackie Bird / Rachel Morrogh
08.55 Welcome: John Kennedy
09.00 Don't let Cancer become the Forgotten "C" in the Fight against COVID
  Mark Lawler - QUB
09.15 Cancer care after the end of the beginning
  Seamus O’Reilly - CUH
09.30 Necessity is the mother of invention. What COVID can teach us for innovation in cancer?
  Bettina Ryll - Melanoma Patient Network Europe


SESSION 5: Living with and beyond cancer
Chairs: Juliette Hussey / Sharon Slattery
09.50 Exercise for people living with cancer: A nice to have? Or standard of care?
  Kristin Campbell – U. British Columbia
10.15 Oesophageal cancer survivorship – the use of patient-reported outcomes in research
  Pernilla Lagergren - Imperial College London
10.50 Living your best life after cancer
  Catherine O’Brien – ANP Cancer Survivorship, TSJCI
11.15 Proffered paper 5

Michelle Hayes – TSJCI, ‘Prevalence, nature and trajectory of dysphagia post oesophageal cancer surgery: a prospective longitudinal study’

11.25 Proffered paper 6
  Naomi Algeo – Children’s Health Ireland ‘Contrasting the experience of children and adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with cancer in Ireland

Coffee break and Poster viewing


SESSION 6: Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy     SESSION 6A: Cancer Survivorship
Chairs: Grainne O’Kane / Clair Gardiner     Chairs: TBC
11.55 Immune landscape of rhabdoid tumors: non genetic mechanisms of tumor immunogenicity
Eliane Piaggio – Institut Curie.
Louise Mullen, Cancer Survivorship Lead at the NCCP
12.25 Where T cells and surgery meet  – immunologic, genomic, and pathologic correlates of immune checkpoint blockade for early stage cancers
Patrick Forde – Johns Hopkins
      12:15-12:35 Developing AHP Roles in Cancer Care
Nicola Peat, Consultant Physiotherapist in Cancer Care, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust, London
12.55 Cytotoxic immune cells kill by programmed cell death, not magic
Anthony Letai – Dana Farber
      12:35:12:50 Fear of Cancer Recurrence
SJH Nursing & Psychology
13.25 Proffered Paper 7
Maria Davern – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ‘Targeting immunotherapy and drug-tolerant persister tumour cells’
      12:50-13:05 Development of the SJH AYA Transition Clinic
SJH OT, Nursing and Medicine
13.35 Proffered Paper 8
Andrew Roe – Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland ‘Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) alters the activity of the metabolic enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) in triple negative breast cancer cells
      13:05-13:25 Surviving and thriving with Head and Neck Cancer
SJH Speech & Language Therapy, Social Work, Physiotherapy and Clinical Nutrition


13.45-14.30 Lunch and poster viewing/judging        


SESSION 7: Comprehensive Cancer Centres of the Future
Chairs: Maeve Lowery / John Kennedy
14.30 The Future of Cancer Care
Richard Barakat – Northwell Health NY
15.00 A Data Narrative in Oncology
  Xose Fernandez – Institut Curie

What will the Comprehensive Cancer Centres and Infrastructures of the next decade look like?

  Simon Oberst, OECI.
16.00 Panel Discussion
16.30 Concluding session followed by Awards Ceremony (Lorraine O’Driscoll and Jacintha O’Sullivan) 
17.00-18.00 Cheese and wine reception



Speaker 1
Barakat, Richard
Speaker 2
Cadoo, Karen
Speaker 3
Campbell, Kristin
Chen-Kiang, Selina
Chen-Kiang, Selina
Speaker 5
Ciriello, Giovanni
Speaker 6
Fernandez, Xose
Fernandez, Xose
Fitzgibbon, Jude
Speaker 8
Fingleton, Barbara
Speaker 9
Forde, Patrick
Hackett, Joanne
Hanna, George
Jain, Suneil
Jain, Suneil
Speaker 6
Lagergren, Pernilla


Speaker 14
Lawler, Mark
Leech, Michelle
Leech, Michelle
Speaker 6
Letai, Anthony
Speaker 6
Meattini, Icro
Speaker 17
Piaggio, Elaine
Oberst, Simon
Oberst, Simon
Speaker 6
OBrien, Catherine

Speaker 20
OReilly, Seamus
O'Reilly, Eileen
OReilly, Eileen
Ryll, Bettina
Ryll, Bettina
Stadler, Zsofia
Stadler, Zsofia




Panelist 1
Brennan, Sinead
Panelist 3
Campbell, Kristin
Pamela Kearns
kearns, Pamela
Panelist 5
O'Laoide, Risteard
Panelist 6
Power, Averil

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.

The 2022 Burkitt Awardee will be announced shortly.


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.


We are delighted to announce that the 2022 Burkitt Medal Awardee is Prof. Eileen O’Reilly.


Burkitt Medal Awardee 2019 – Mina Bissell, PhD

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: aft er conception, “phenotype is dominant over genotype.” Bissell earned her doctorate from Harvard Medical, won an American Cancer Society fellowship, and soon aft er 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-aft er 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 board

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. 


Registration is now open

The International Cancer Conference is a biennial event hosted by Trinity College Dublin to bring together national and international clinical and scientific leaders from the cancer field. The theme of this conference is “Harnessing Fundamental, Translational and Clinical Research for the Benefit of Cancer Patients”. Sessions include cancer screening and prevention, molecular and precision oncology, cancer immunology and living with and beyond cancer. The Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute is Ireland’s first OECI (Organisation of European Cancer Institutes)-accredited cancer centre. As part of the conference an international leader in cancer research who is selected through a separate nominating process gives the Burkitt Lecture and is awarded with a Burkitt Medal.




Conference Dinner (Burkitt Award)

Conference dinner is not included in the conference registration fee and needs to be booked separately (see Registration link). The dress code for the dinner is business attire.


To submit abstracts visit

The deadline for abstract submission is Friday July 29th 2022

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 Dr Patricia Doherty on















If you are interested in sponsoring the 2022 International Cancer Conference, please contact:
Patricia Doherty
Tel: 00353 1 896 3376

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