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Full NameProfessor Seamas Donnelly

Department:Clinical Medicine

Organisation:Trinity College Dublin

Webpage:wordpress.com

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields

  • genetics, genomics and molecular biology

Postgrad Medical Specialties

  • Medicine

Medical Subspecialties

  • Infectious diseases
  • Immunology
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Rheumatology

My Work

Professor Seamas Donnelly's research activities represent a classical bench to bedside approach. The Donnelly group is part of the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and is based in the state of the art Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute on Pearse Street in the heart of Dublin. We are a multidisciplinary research group working in the area of translational medicine with a focus on respiratory disease.

Our research is based on identifying significant clinical problems and then starting with a hypothesis working at the bench take our findings through to the clinic with the potential of designing new therapies or cahnging the way we practioce medicine. Particular questions that we are currently working on include:

How does cancer evade our own defenses?
What is the genetic basis for patients developing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?
Can we develop novel nanoparticle aerosolised delivery systems for new therapies?
Can we overcome antibiotic resistance?
Why do patients after bone marrow transplantation get progressive lung problems with associated significant mortality?
Why do rheumatoid arthritis patients develop pulmonary fibrosis?

Selected Department Publications

- O'Reilly C, et al. Targeting MIF in Cancer: Therapeutic Strategies, Current Developments, and Future Opportunities. Med Res Rev. 2016 May;36:440-60.

- Mawhinney L, et al . Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) enzymatic activity and lung cancer. Mol Med. 2015 Apr 16;20:729-35.

- O'Dwyer DN, et al. Targeting defective Toll-like receptor-3 function and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2015;19(4): 507-514.

- Hams E, et al. IL-25 and type 2 innate lymphoid cells induce pulmonary fibrosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111(1):367-72.

- O'Dwyer DN, et al. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) associated interstitial lung disease (ILD). Eur J Intern Med. 2013 Oct;24(7):597-603.

Potential Projects

How does cancer evade our own defenses?

- We have made an important observation that secreted proteins from cancers down regulate an important part of our anti-cancer defenses, namely the IRF3 pathway. Using advanced proteomics and sequencing technologies we are currently identifying the specific cancer derived proteins that are directly responsible for this effect.

What is the genetic basis for patients developing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis?

Can we develop novel nanoparticle aerosolised delivery systems for new therapies?

- Working with Aerogen we are developing nanoparticle aerosolised delivery systems as anti-bacterial/anti-cancer therapies.

Can we overcome antibiotic resistance?

- We have identified a novel mecahnism that accelerates bacterial biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance. We are currently evaluating novel inhibitors as a means of delaying antibiotic resistance.

Why do patients after bone marrow transplantation get progressive lung problems with associated significant mortality?

- Up to 1/3 of patients will develop non-infectious respiratory complications post bone marrow transplantation. By the time they present clinically they are more resistant to therapy and significantly associated with enhanced mortality. We are currently screening the lungs pre-transplant as our hypothesis is that subclinical inflammation pre-transplant predisposes towards an adverse prognosis post transplant.

Why do rheumatoid arthritis patients develop pulmonary fibrosis?

- Patients with RA have a 10% lifetime risk of developing pulmonary fibrosis with a median survival of 30 months. Again by the time the patient presents clinically, significant progressive irreversible disease has occurred. We are working with our rheumatology colleagues to identify biomarkers to identify these patients earlier in their clinical course and potentially treat at a stage when the disease is not irreversible.

If you are interested in any of these projects Prof. Donnelly can be contacted at "amanda.lomax@tcd.ie"