Supervisor View Full Details

Supervisor View 2
October 3, 2016
Supervisor View Full Details 2nd
October 12, 2016

Prof Ronan Cahill

Department:School of Medicine

Division:Section of Surgery

Organisation:University College Dublin


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Research Fields
  • physiology and non-communicable disease
  • cancer/oncology
  • bioengineering/medical devices
Postgrad Medical Specialites
  • Surgery
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine
Medical Subspecialties
  • Clinical Trials
  • Gastroenterology
  • Other
Other Medical Specialties:

visceral surgery, colorectal surgery, minimally invasive surgery

My Work

? We develop and implement innovative operative styles, techniques, technology and paradigms that directly advance patient care and disease outcomes. The Mater is Ireland?s most modern university hospital and it provides first class patient-care, medical education and translative research impact since its foundation at its original site in 1856. We?re intrinsically associated with Ireland?s largest university, UCD, as well as the national postgraduate training bodies and also collaborate clinically and academically with major third level institutions nationally and internationally. My research group actively progresses fluorescence laparoscopy for vascular and lymphatic percussion during visceral (especially colorectal) surgery for cancer and benign conditions and collaborates in this closely with Prof Donal O?Shea?s prestigious research group at RCSI Chemistry who have synthesised novel tailored, selective fluorophores for human use to make surgery smarter and more useful. We also include a multidisciplinary and multispecialty focus on preoperative exercise programmes to optimise patient physiology while planning operative address of their specific pathology and develop the needed instrumentation (including 3d patient-specific and robotic devices) for operative planning and access, endoscopic and laparoscopic administration of new compounds. We advance minimised access techniques such as single site, robotic and cybernetic assisted operation and transanal definitive radical rectal cancer surgery.

Potential Projects

Health and disease as well as recovery from surgery and disease requires dynamic interplay between the immune system and perfusion. Surgery is a visualisation specialty that is moving to individualize its strategy around the patient in addition to the disease. Fluorescence surgery already allows improved care with non-selective fluorophores and this will certainly advance in the near future with the evolution and translation of novel selective agents targeted to both disease and tissue microenvironment. Our focussed next step-advances will relate to smart labelled colorecta? endoscopic tattoo and lymph node identification as well as vascular perfusion of gastrointestinal pathology and anastomosis both at the time of their construction and sequentially postoperatively as the patient recovers from surgery as well as any peroperative complications. One project with Prof O?Shea?s group involves with bench, biomedical and clinical development of specific near infrared fluorophore probes for dynamic tissues assessment (ischemia as well as malignancy relates effects and anatomy). Related work will include response to preoperative preparatory exercise effort especially in the colonic environment including normal as well as abnormal tissue and cellular interaction before and after main vessel division and specifically also in the perioperative phase in patients undergoing supervised aerobic and anaerobic preoperative exercise. Additional work includes clinical trial translation of concepts such as natural orifice endoscopic surgery, transanal total mesorectal excision, multiquadrant robotic working and the microbiome. This project offers both laboratory and clinical research involving the generation of bio-conjugated novel NIR-fluorophores which target specific cancer cell markers, their assessment in cellular assays and determination of their cancer selective imaging potential using state of the art clinical instrumentation. The specific clinical goals are focused on imaging of colorectal cancer and the response of host tissue and immune system to surgery.