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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey

Postdoctoral Researcher at Trinity College Dublin


She is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Surgery at Trinity College Dublin. My key interests are: targeted therapies, signalling pathways in cancer, biomarker identification & validation, resistance to cancer therapies, personalized medicine and translational research.


Trinity College, Dublin

Postgraduate Diploma, Statistics

In depth modules covering statistical analysis, regression and design & analysis of experiments

Trinity College, Dublin

BA (Mod), Molecular Medicine

Thesis entitled: Investigating Mechanisms of Resistance to Cancer Therapies
Major modules included molecular oncology, immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology, medicinal chemistry and statistics.
(Open)2 honors and awards

Loreto Abbey Dalkey


Postdoctoral Researcher

Trinity College Dublin
– Present (5 months)Department of Surgery
Project title: Understanding the role of cancer stem-like cells in resistance to radiation using a clinically-relevant model of radioresistance in oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

Postdoctoral Researcher

Trinity College Dublin
(1 month)Department of Clinical Medicine
Project title: Targeting a novel kinase in lung cancer.

Funding: Enterprise Ireland & Inflection Bioscience (one month feasibility study).

Techniques: FACS, apoptosis & proliferation assays, phosphoprotein profiling.

PhD candidate

Trinity College Dublin
(3 years)Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity Centre, St. James Hospital
Project Title: Identification of biomarkers of response & resistance to PI3K targeted inhibition in NSCLC.

Funding: Irish Cancer Society Scholarship (Grant code CRS11HEA).

Research Areas: PI3K & related pathway mutation status in NSCLC patient samples, targeted and co-targeted inhibition of the PI3K pathway in NSCLC, strategies for inhibiting the PI3K-NFκB axis in cisplatin resistant NSCLC, development and characterisation of a panel of PI3K-mTOR dual inhibitor resistant NSCLC cell lines.

Techniques: Cell culture, SDS-PAGE, Western blot, RTPCR, QPCR, gene expression arrays, phosphoprotein expression arrays, BrdU proliferation assays, ELISA, High Content Analysis (HCA), Multiparameter apoptosis assays, DNA sequencing, miRNA expression profiling, clonogenic assays, irradiation, immunofluorescence, drug combination studies, FACS, hypoxia studies, densitometry, statistical analysis.

Intern - Thoracic Oncology

Trinity College Dublin
(4 months)Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity Centre, St. James Hospital
Internship in the Thoracic Oncology Research Group, conducting further investigation into data generated during my final year research project.

Research area: Cisplatin Resistance in Non Small Cell Lung Cancer

Techniques: Cell Culture, RTPCR, Western Blot, High Content Analysis,

Intern - Immunology

Case Western Reserve University
(3 months)Centre for Global Health and Disease, CWRU
Internship in the Hise laboratory at the Centre for Global Health & Disease.

Research area: The immune response to Rift Valley Fever Virus.

Techniques: Cell culture, Transfections, Molecular Cloning, DNA Isolation, ELISA, Dissections and Lymphocyte Isolation.


Strategic targeting of the PI3K-NFκB axis in cisplatin-resistant NSCLC.(Link)

Cancer Biology & Therapy
July 15, 2014
Chemoresistance is a major therapeutic challenge to overcome in NSCLC, in order to improve the current survival rates of<15% at 5 years. We and others have shown increased PI3K signaling in NSCLC to be associated with a more aggressive disease, and a poorer prognosis. In this study, targeted inhibition of three strategic points of the PI3K-NFκB axis was performed with the aim of exploiting...more-

Strategies for co-targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in NSCLC.(Link)

Cancer Treatment Review
August 26, 2013
The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway regulates cell growth and proliferation and is often dysregulated in cancer due to mutation, amplification, deletion, methylation and post-translational modifications. We and others have shown that activation of this pathway in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) leads to a more aggressive disease which correlates to poor prognosis for patients. A multitude of selective...more
3 authors
  • Susan Heavey

Chapter 7: Targeted Therapies in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer(Link)

Lung Cancer: A Comprehensive Overview (Kathy Gately, Nova Publishers)

Targeting nuclear factor-kappa B to overcome resistance to chemotherapy.(Link)

Front Oncol.
Godwin P, Baird AM, Heavey S, Barr MP, O’Byrne KJ, Gately K. Targeting Nuclear Factor-Kappa B to Overcome Resistance to Chemotherapy. Front. Oncol. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00120.

Honors & Awards

Poster Prize (Translational Medicine category)

9th International Cancer Conference

Title of Poster: In depth molecular characterisation of a novel panel of PI3K-mTOR inhibitor resistant NSCLC cell lines.

Scholar-in-training Award

American Association for Cancer Research

Scholar-in-Training Award supported by Aflac, Inc. to support my attendance at the AACR Special Conference on Targeting the PI3K-mTOR Network in Cancer, being held from September 14–17, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Travel Award

European Society for Medical Oncology

ESMO Travel Award to attend the ESMO Symposium on Signalling Pathways in Cancer 2014:Targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway.

Finalist: Cell Imaging Competition

GE Healthcare

Finalist in the 2013 cell imaging competition, with my image being shown in Times Square, NYC. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LlpabzT7Wk

Poster Prize (Basic Science Category)

British Thoracic Oncology Group Annual Conference

Title of Poster: NFκB-IκBα Interaction: a Mechanism of Resistance to Cisplatin in NSCLC.

Cancer Research Ireland Scholarship

Irish Cancer Society Research

Title of grant: The Identification of Biomarkers that Predict Sensitivity/Resistance to PI3K Inhibitors.

Highly Commended (Medical Science Category)

Undergraduate Awards of Ireland and Northern Ireland

Title of Paper: IκBα - a Mechanism of Resistance to Cisplatin in NSCLC

Margaret Ciotti Medal

TCD School of Biochemistry and Immunology

Award for highest marked undergraduate thesis in the School of Biochemistry. Title of Thesis: Investigating Mechanisms of Resistance to Cancer Therapies

Volunteer Experience & Causes

Volunteer Retail Assistant

Irish Cancer Society
(9 months)Health


Irish Cancer Society
Electric Run 2014
Colour Dash 2013 & 2014
Mini Marathon 2012
Daffodil Day 2012
Cake Sales & Easter egg raffles (Loreto Abbey Dalkey), 2001-2007

Causes Susan cares about:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Science and Technology

Organizations Susan supports:

Recieved PHD May 2015



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