By Sharon Dolan D’Arcy
NUI Galway researcher, Mr John Daly has been named PhD Researcher of the Year at the Irish Cancer Society Research Awards.
Mr Daly who is currently doing a PhD with NUI Galway, was presented with the award for his studies into combatting multiple myeloma; a type of blood cancer for which there is currently no cure.
A past winner of a biomedical research scholarship from the Irish Cancer Society, Mr Daly’s team has focused on a type of immune cell called ‘natural killer’ cells that normally destroy cancer cells, but are unable to detect those of multiple myeloma.
His team is attempting to find ways of boosting these natural killer cells so that they can successfully detect and destroy multiple myeloma cells, in a development that would revolutionise treatment for the disease.
Commenting on his award, Mr Daly said: “I’m absolutely delighted, a lot of hard work has gone into this so far, not just from me but everyone in my group, and particularly my supervisor and co-supervisor, Professor Michael O’Dwyer of NUI Galway and Dr Mattias Carlsten, Karolinska Institute. Things like this are really encouraging and motivating for the next couple of years as we try to move our research on.”
Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud of John’s recent achievements. This is a reflection on his own hard work, the supportive ecosystem in my laboratory, our collaboration with the Karolinska Institute, and of course the generous support of the Irish Cancer Society. John’s work is helping to usher in a new era of immunotherapy for cancer, employing the use of genetically modified immune cells called natural killer cells, which we believe have great potential.”
NUIG PhD student Mr John Daly with Irish Cancer Society Head of Research Dr Robert O’Connor. Photo credit: Zita Holmes, Irish Cancer Society.