The innovative research undertaken by the pancreatic research group here in NICB, DCU was recently positively reviewed in a fantastic feature by a leading biomedical trade journal, “Academic Pharmacy Now”, focusing in particular on our collaborator and friend, Prof Robert Straubinger.
Prof Straubinger’s lab in University at Buffalo is part of a tremendous collaborative initiative between Drs Niall Barron and Robert O’Connor of Dublin City University (DCU), University at Buffalo (UB) and Prof Chris Scott in Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). This multinational group is funded in Ireland by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), in the USA by National Institutes of Health (NIH), and by HSC Research & Development in Northern Ireland as part of the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme.
Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease with only 7% of patients surviving five years after diagnosis. One of the reasons for the poor patient outcome is the inability of the drugs to penetrate the tumours. Within this collaboration we are trying to change this. In University at Buffalo, the team are investigating the best way to give existing drugs to these tumours and our collaborators in Queens University Belfast are researching novel drugs.
Here in DCU, in collaboration with St Vincent’s University Hospital, we have developed new models of pancreatic cancer. By taking a piece of tumour and growing it in animals, these tumours look and act as close to the patient as possible. This allows us to investigate our concepts on patient tumours in the lab. This DCU/SVUH resource is the only living pancreatic biobank in the country.
Working together as a group, we hope to use the unique models in DCU to test the new targeting drugs developed in QUB with the systems pharmacology wizardry and clinical involvement of the UB team.
Altogether the future for impactful pancreatic cancer research is bright!