Current Brain Cancer projects

Glioblastoma Multiforme

Research in to the induction of apoptotic cell death in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer is another focus of the CSM. Glioblastoma cells are highly resistant to this particular form of cell death, resulting in cancer progression. In particular, the centre is interested in the role played by the Bcl-2 & IAP families in the cell death-resistant phenotype of GBM. The overall aim of the research is to increase the susceptibility of glioblastomas to apoptosis, thereby enabling current therapies to be more effective and hence improve patient survival.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most frequent, aggressive and lethal of all brain tumours. It has a universally fatal prognosis with 85% of patients dying within two years. New treatment options and effective precision medicine therapies are urgently required. The GLIOTRAIN European Training Network (ETN), which comprises 9 funded beneficiaries and 14 associated partner organisations from 8 countries, will train 15 innovative, creative and entrepreneurial PhD students.

 GLIOTRAIN European Training Network (ETN)

Image result for GLIOTRAIN LOGO

The research objective of GLIOTRAIN is to identify novel therapeutic strategies for application in GBM, while implementing state of the art next generation sequencing, systems medicine and integrative multi-omics to unravel disease resistance mechanisms. Research activities incorporate applied systems medicine, integrative multi-omics leveraging state of the art platform technologies, and translational cancer biology implementing the latest clinically relevant models.

The consortium brings together leading European and international academics, clinicians, private sector and not-for-profit partners across GBM fields of tumour biology, multi-omics, drug development, clinical research, bioinformatics, computational modelling and systems biology. Thus, GLIOTRAIN will address currently unmet translational research and clinical needs in the GBM field by interrogating innovative therapeutic strategies and improving the mechanistic understanding of disease resistance. The GLIOTRAIN ETN addresses current needs in academia and the private sector for researchers that have been trained in an environment that spans translational research, medicine and computational biology, and that can navigate confidently between clinical, academic and private sector environments to progress applied research findings towards improved patient outcomes.

The project is led by Prof Annette Byrne, RCSI Department of Physiology and Medical Physics & RCSI Centre for Systems Medicine. Other RCSI investigators working on the project are Prof Jochen Prehn, Dr Brona Murphy and Dr Marc Sturrock, RCSI Department of Physiology and Medical Physics. The programme is funded through the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Programme. Selected candidates will be offered a highly competitive stipend (as per generous Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions funding rules).

Have a look at Dr Brona Murphy , Dr Mark Sturrock  for more information on their GLIOTRAIN Projects


Brain Tumor Ireland ( Bio-Bank)


With the support from Brain Tumour Ireland, the RCSI Centre for Systems Medicine (CSM) along with the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuropathology in Beaumont Hospital are delighted to establish a brain tumor biobank in RCSI and Beaumont Hospital. In the future, every patient undergoing brain tumour surgery will be given the opportunity to consent to have their tissue included in the biobank. This collaboration will enable the CSM RCSI Principal Investigators, Dr. Brona Murphy,  and Prof. Jochen Prehn and their teams to analyse and develop novel therapies for the treatment of brain tumors.

By collecting brain tumour cells from patients, the biobank will enable new and targeted therapies for brain tumours to be examined in the lab using these cells. Only patients who consent can have their tissue used in the biobank, and only tissue surplus to diagnostic requirements can be biobanked. Speaking on behalf of Brain Tumour Ireland, Chairperson Natasha Roche said: “Brain Tumour Ireland is extremely pleased to be supporting this important biobank with such a prestigious educational and research institution as RCSI.“This achievement is only made possible by the many kind donors who have raised money for us over the first three years of our existence, and we thank them most gratefully.“It is our hope that the research supported by this biobank will lead the way for new and targeted therapies for brain tumours, and individualised treatments for patients. This is crucial in achieving increased survival rates for those diagnosed with a brain tumour.” Prof Jochen Prehn, Director of the RCSI Centre for Systems Medicine and Science Foundation Ireland Investigator, said: “We are very excited about this instrumental support provided by Brain Tumour Ireland. The biobank will enable us to analyse the molecular composition (or ‘building stones’) of brain tumours, and to use this knowledge to develop much needed, novel therapies for the treatment of brain tumours.”

PI: Prof Jochen PrehnDr. Brona Murphy