Meet the Team

Professor Tracy Robson

Principal Investigator & Head of School

Tracy Robson obtained her PhD in Cancer Biology from Imperial College, London. Her first academic post was as Lecturer in Radiation Science at Ulster University in 1997; she was promoted to Reader in 2001. She then moved to the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University of Belfast in 2004 to take up the post of Reader in Molecular Pharmacology; she was promoted to Professor in 2010. In 2016, she took up position as Professor and Head of Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics at RCSI. In 2019 following the merging of MCT and School of Pharmacy, she became Head of the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences. Her major focus was the development of novel approaches for sensitizing tumours to therapy using personalised medicine approaches.  She led a major programme of research aimed at the identification and functional characterisation of genes that alter tumour response to anti-cancer agents.  In particular, she cloned and characterized a novel human gene, FKBPL. Her group has demonstrated an extracellular role for FKBPL as a naturally secreted, anti-angiogenic protein. Together with Almac, she led the development of therapeutic peptide derivatives (AD-01 and ALM201) based on FKBPL’s active anti-angiogenic domain. Based on the robust efficacy and excellent safety profile, ALM201, a ‘first-in-class’ FKBPL-based anti-angiogenic therapeutic peptide has completed formulation and toxicology testing and has entered phase I/II cancer clinical trials (EudraCT number: 2014-001175-31).  More recently, ALM201 was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the treatment of ovarian cancer. More recently, through the development of genetically modified mouse models, she has also demonstrated a role for FKBPL in protection against obesity, with FKBPL deficient mice becoming severely obese. Like cancer, obesity is associated with vascular regulation and inflammation.Her research is now focussing on unravelling the associated mechanisms driving FKBPL’s protective activity in obesity and obesity –induced cancer so that the clear translational potential of FKBPL-based therapeutics can be fully harnessed and FKBPL’s diagnostic potential in these disease settings can be scrutinized.

 

Current Researchers

Dr. Stephanie Annett, POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER & HONORARY LECTURER

Dr. Gillian Moore, postdoctoral researcher & Honorary Lecturer

Gillian Moore (PhD) obtained a first class honours B.A. (mod) in Molecular Medicine from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin in 2012. It was during this time that she developed a keen interest in cancer research.  She went on to be awarded an Irish Research Council PhD scholarship to carry out a her PhD thesis research entitled ” Exploring the role of lipoxygenases in oesophageal cancer and the anti-angiogenic potential of novel lipoxygenase inhibitors”, in the Department of Surgery, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI), St. James’ Hospital Dublin. After graduating in 2016, Gillian carried out a post-doctoral research project in the Thoracic Oncology Research Group, based in the Department of Clinical Medicine, TTMI, where she investigated novel mechanisms of resistance to PI3K/mTOR inhibitor therapies in lung cancer. Gillian then joined the Robson Lab in 2017, where she is carrying out research to further unravel the cancer biomarker potential of FKBPL and the mechanism of action of the FKBPL-based drug therapeutic, ALM201, developed by the Robson Lab, in collaboration with Almac Discovery. 

Gillian’s research interests include biomarker discovery, personalized medicine, novel small molecule and biological therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer, tumour-associated angiogenesis and stemness. 

Email: gillianmoore@rcsi.com

Twitter: @GillMooreBirch

Previous rESEARCHERS

Aisling O’Hagan 

Charlotte Mallindine 

Jamie Arkley 

Sharon Potts 

Meabh Cassidy 

John Conor Doyle 

Rachel Lennox

Rami Abu Mousa 

Ahmed Salah Elmasoudi

Amy Slater

Margaret Murray, PhD 

Jenny Worthington, PhD 

Stephen Moore, PhD

Marie McIlroy, PhD 

Hayley McKeen, PhD

Karl Butterworth, PhD

Sheila Young, PhD

Catharine Adams, PhD

Jonathan Coulter, PhD

Kerry McAlpine, PhD

Keeva McClelland, PhD

Christopher Byrne, PhD 

Hayder Dyer, PhD

Kim Cherry, PhD

Alek Zholobenko, PhD

Christopher Donley, PhD

Nuala Mulgrew, PhD

Wendy Hyland, PhD

Ahlam Ali, PhD

Ashley Davison, PhD

Lana McClements, PhD

Chris Armstrong, PhD

Rachel Bennett, PhD

Laura Nelson, PhD

John McBride, PhD

Tara Byrne, PhD

Amy Short, PhD

Nermeen Moustafa, PhD 

Shannon O’Neill, PhD

Hannah Thompson, PhD

Phil Chambers, PhD

Cian McCrudden, PhD

Anita Yakkundi, PhD

Lynn McCallum, PhD 

Andrea Valentine, PhD

Martin O’Rourke, PhD

Claire Murphy, PhD

George Burke, PhD

Helen McCarthy, PhD, Prof