The Caroline Foundation PI in Cancer Biotherapeutics


Research Groups

Cancer Research Group

Cancer Biotherapeutics


Phone:+353 (01) 700 5647

Research Interests

Translational cancer research

The immune response to therapeutic monoclonal antibody therapies.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The impact of somatic and germline mutations on targeted therapy response.

The mechanisms of resistance to small molecule and monoclonal antibody targeted therapies.

Potential biomarkers of response to targeted therapies.

Biographical Details

Dr. Denis Collins is currently PI in Cancer Biotherapeutics with the Molecular therapeutics for Cancer group at the NICB, DCU and Chair of the Irish Association for Cancer Research Junior Council (

Dr. Collins studied Biological Sciences at University College Cork receiving his degree in Biochemistry in 2001.  His PhD in Cancer Biology (2008) was carried out at the NICB and focussed on the circumvention of chemotherapy drug resistance in lung cancer.

In 2008, he commenced a postdoctoral position with the Targeted Therapies for Cancer group led by Prof. John Crown examining the immune response to therapeutic antibody therapies in breast cancer.

He has since been awarded an Irish Research Council Enterprise Partnership Scheme postdoctoral fellowship (2011) which included a 6-month industry placement in Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Germany, and a Roche Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014).

In his current role as Cancer Clinical Research Trust PI in Cancer Biotherapeutics, Dr. Collins specialises in translational cancer research focussing on the anti-cancer immune response, developing the rationale for novel combinations of targeted therapies and searching for biomarkers of response to chemotherapy.

Recent Publications

  1. Charmsaz S, Prencipe M, Kiely M, Pidgeon GP and Collins DM. Innovative Technologies Changing Cancer Treatment. Cancers 2018, 10(6), 208;
  2. Canonici A, Qadir Z, Conlon NT, Collins DM, O'Brien NA, Walsh N, Eustace AJ, O'Donovan N, Crown J. The HSP90 inhibitor NVP-AUY922 inhibits growth of HER2 positive and trastuzumab-resistant breast cancer cells. Invest New Drugs. 2018 Feb 2. doi: 10.1007/s10637-017-0556-7. [Epub ahead of print]
  3. Collins DM, Gately K, Hughes C,  Edwards C, Davies A, Madden  SF, O’Byrne KJ, O’Donovan N, Crown J. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors as modulators  of trastuzumab-mediated antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity in breast cancer cell lines. Cellular Immunology (2017) 319: 35-
  4. Collins DM, Jacob W, Cejalvo JM, Ceppi M, James I, Hasmann M, Crown J, Cervantes A, Weisser M , Bossenmaier B. Direct estrogen receptor (ER) / HER family crosstalk mediating sensitivity to lumretuzumab and pertuzumab in ER+ breast cancer. PLOSone (2017) May 11;12(5):e0177331. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177331.
  5. Mahgoub T, Eustace AJ, Collins DM, O'Donovan N and Crown J. Kinase inhibitor screening identifies CDK4 as a potential therapeutic target for melanoma. International Journal of Oncology (2015 ) 47: 900-908.
  6. Elster N, Collins DM, Toomey S, Crown J, Eustace AJ, Hennessy BT. HER2-family signalling mechanisms, clinical implications and targeting in breast cancer. (Review) Breast Cancer Res Treat (2015) 149:5–15
  7. Collins DM, O’Donovan N, McGowan PM, O’Sullivan F, Duffy MJ and Crown J. Trastuzumab induces antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) in HER-2 non-amplified breast cancer cell lines. Annals of Oncology (2012), 23 (7) 1788-1795.
  8. Dunne G, Breen L, Collins DM, Roche S, Clynes M and O’Connor R. Lapatinib exposure increases P-gp expression. Investigational New Drugs (2011) 29:1284–1293
  9. Tryfonopoulos D, Walsh S, Collins DM, Flanagan L, Quinn C, Corkery B; McDermott EW, Evoy D, Pierce A, O'Donovan N, Crown J, Duffy MJ. Src: a potential target for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. Annals of Oncology (2011) 22 (10): 2234-2240
  10. Brougham DF, Ivanova G, Gottschalk M, Collins DM, Eustace AJ, O'Connor R, Havel J. Artificial neural networks for classification in metabolomic studies of whole cells using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance. Journal of Biomedicine Biotechnology (2011) Volume: 2011, Issue: 2000, Pages: 158094.
  11. Walsh N, Kennedy S, Larkin AM, Tryfonopoulos D, Eustace AJ, Mahgoub T, Conway C, Oglesby I, Collins D, Ballot J, Ooi WS, Gullo G, Clynes M, Crown J, O'Driscoll L. Membrane transport proteins in human melanoma: associations with tumour aggressiveness and metastasis. British Journal of Cancer (2010) Mar 30;102(7):1157-62.
  12. Collins DM, Crown J, O’Donovan N, O’Sullivan F, O’Driscoll L, Clynes M and O’Connor R. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors potentiate the cytotoxicity of MDR-substrate anticancer agents independent of growth factor receptor status in lung cancer cell lines. Investigational New Drugs (2010), 28 (4) 433-444.

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