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Professor Joanne Lysaght

Professor In (Surgery)

Prof. Joanne Lysaght graduated with B.Sc.(Hons) in Science from Maynooth University with maths and biology. She then went on to complete a PhD in 2005, in the Department of Biochemistry and Immunology in Trinity College Dublin, in the area of Tumour Immunology. Following completion of her PhD, she worked in the Cancer Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory based in St. James's Hospital and then took up a post-doctoral position in the Department of Haematology and Oncology, TCD, where she worked on a novel family of chemotherapeutic drugs for the treatment of childhood leukemias. Prof. Lysaght then moved to the Department of Surgery, TCD/St. James's Hospital where her research focused on the role of the adaptive immune system in the link between obesity and gastrointestinal cancer. In 2011 she Lysaght was appointed Ussher Assistant Professor in Molecular Oncology, in 2015 Assistant Professor, in 2017 Associate Professor and Professor in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy in 2023, where she continues her research in cancer immunology and immunotherapy. Prof. Lysaght's research group focus on a number of different areas around the central theme of cancer immunology and immunotherapy. Currently, a major research focus is investigating the impact and scheduling of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and targeting immunometabolism to enhance anti-tumour immunity when used in combination with immunotherapies, namely immune checkpoint inhibitors. The majority of research in the cancer immunology and immunotherapy group is focused on upper gastrointestinal cancer, particularly oesophageal cancer but also gastric and pancreatic cancer. Research into how the regulation and trafficking of lymphocytes can be targeted to reduced adipose tissue and liver-associated inflammation is also a research interest within the group. Other areas of interest include identifying novel immunotherapeutic targets in the pre-malignant setting such as Barrett's Oesophagus and pancreatic cysts, which can be used to slow or prevent progression to malignancy. Another research interest is the area of obesity and cancer, and how this impacts anti-tumour immunity. Prof. Lysaght's group also investigates the role of adaptive immunity and obesity in the debilitating cancer-associated wasting disease cachexia and sarcopenia.
  Anticancer therapies   BARRETTS ESOPHAGUS   CACHEXIA   Cancer Biology   CANCER CHEMOTHERAPY   CANCER DEVELOPMENT   CANCER PATIENTS   CANCER RISK   Cancer Therapy   Cancer/Carcinogenesis   CD4+ T CELLS   CHEMO-RADIOTHERAPY   COMBINATION IMMUNOTHERAPY   Design and evaluation of novel anti-cancer therapies   ESOPHAGEAL CANCER   GASTRIC CANCER   Gastrointestinal cancer   HUMAN ESOPHAGEAL CANCER   HUMAN T-CELLS   Immune system   Immunology, Immunotherapy   Immunotherapies for Cancer   NK CELLS   OBESITY   Radiotherapy, Biological response modifiers and chemoprevention   Regulatory T cells   Sarcopenia   Tumour immunology and immunotherapy   TUMOUR IMMUNOTHERAPY
 Investigating the immunomodulatory properties of adipose tissue in oesophageal and colorectal cancer.
 Investigating the role of T cells in adipose tissue and hepatic inflammation in obesity associated cancer.
 Evaluating the role of T cells in the progression of Barrett's Oesophagus to Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma: identification of novel immunotherpeutic targets
 Immunophenotyping of pancreatic cystic lesions
 Elucidating the role of the Fractalkine pathway in NK cell migration to the adipose tissue in obese cancer patients

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Details Date
Irish representative (As President of the Irish Society for Immunology) at the second European Federation of Immunological societies (EFIS) Strategic Planning Meeting in Italy, November 2022. EFIS governs a number of taskforces and research groups, which help generate policies for European Governments on immunological issues such as vaccinations and Covid. November
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Details Date From Date To
President of the Irish Society for Immunology 2022
Senior Council Member of the Irish Association for Cancer Research 2017 2022
European Association for Cancer Research 2011
European Federation of Immunological Societies 2014
International Union of Immunological Societies 2015
Cancer Trials Ireland 2012
Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2020
Davern, M. and Bracken-Clarke, D. and Donlon, N.E. and Sheppard, A.D. and Connell, F.O. and Heeran, A.B. and Majcher, K. and Conroy, M.J. and Mylod, E. and Butler, C. and Donohoe, C. and Donnell, D.O. and Lowery, M. and Bhardwaj, A. and Ravi, N. and Melo, A.A. and Sullivan, J.O. and Reynolds, J.V. and Lysaght, J., Visceral adipose tissue secretome from early and late-stage oesophageal cancer patients differentially affects effector and regulatory T cells, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 2023, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Davern M, Donlon NE, O'Connell F, Gaughan C, O'Donovan C, Habash M, Sheppard AD, MacLean M, Dunne MR, Moore J, Temperley H, Conroy MJ, Butler C, Bhardwaj A, Ravi N, Donohoe CL, Reynolds JV, Lysaght J., Acidosis significantly alters immune checkpoint expression profiles of T cells from oesophageal adenocarcinoma patients, Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Moran B, Davern M, Reynolds JV, Donlon NE, Lysaght J., The impact of histone deacetylase inhibitors on immune cells and implications for cancer therapy, Cancer Letters, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Moran J, Mylod E, Kane LE, Marion C, Keenan E, Mekhaeil M, Lysaght J, Dev KK, O'Sullivan J, Conroy MJ., Investigating the Effects of Olaparib on the Susceptibility of Glioblastoma Multiforme Tumour Cells to Natural Killer Cell-Mediated Responses, Pharmaceutics, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Noel Donlon, Maria Davern, Andrew Sheppard, Claire Donohoe, John Reynolds, Joanne Lysaght, Novel methods to enhance anti-tumour immunity in oesophageal adenocarcinoma; hypofractionated radiotherapy may be superior to CROSS regimen chemo-radiation, British Journal of Surgery, Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, Annual Congress, Liverpool, 3-5th May 2022, 109, (Supplement_5), 2022, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Laura E Kane, Gregory S Mellotte, Rebecca G Lyons, Eimear Mylod, Simone Marcone, Paul F Ridway, Finbar MacCarthy, Kevin C Conlon, Joanne Lysaght, Barbara M Ryan, Stephen G Maher, Establishment of a novel multi-omic biomarker panel in cyst fluid and blood for stratifying patient risk of pancreatic cancer, Cancer Research, The American Association for Cancer Research, New Orleans, April 8-13, 82, (12_Supplement), 2022, pp3381 - 3381, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  URL
Davern M, Donlon NE, Sheppard AS, Majcher KD, Connell FO, Heeran AB, Grant M, Farrell RA, Hayes C, Bracken-Clarke D, Conroy MJ, Foley E, Toole DO, Bhardwaj A, Ravi N, Reynolds JV, Maher SG, Sullivan JO, Lysaght J., FLOT and CROSS chemotherapy regimens alter the frequency of CD27+ and CD69+ T cells in oesophagogastric adenocarcinomas: implications for combination with immunotherapy, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Donlon NE, Davern M, O'Connell F, Sheppard A, Heeran A, Bhardwaj A, Butler C, Narayanasamy R, Donohoe C, Phelan JJ, Lynam-Lennon N, Dunne MR, Maher S, O'Sullivan J, Reynolds JV, Lysaght J., Impact of radiotherapy on the immune landscape in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, World Journal of Gastroenterology, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Davern M, Donlon NE, O' Connell F, Sheppard AD, Hayes C, King R, Temperley H, Butler C, Bhardwaj A, Moore J, Bracken-Clarke D, Donohoe C, Ravi N, Reynolds JV, Maher SG, Conroy MJ, Lysaght J., Cooperation between chemotherapy and immune checkpoint blockade to enhance anti-tumour T cell immunity in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, Translational Oncology, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Davern M, Fitzgerald MC, Buckley CE, Heeran AB, Donlon NE, McGrath J, O' Connell F, Deshpande MR, Hayes C, MacDonald J, Sheppard AD, Reynolds JV, Maher SG, Lynam-Lennon N, Murphy B, Lysaght J., PD-1 and TIGIT blockade differentially affect tumour cell survival under hypoxia and glucose deprived conditions in oesophageal adenocarcinoma; implications for overcoming resistance to PD-1 blockade in hypoxic tumours., Translational Oncology, 19, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL

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Cliona M Lorton, John V Reynolds, Joanne Lysaght, ASO Author Reflections: Can CRP and CRP-Based Scores Predict Survival in Operable Adenocarcinomas of the Esophagus and Esophago-Gastric Junction?, Annals of Surgical Oncology, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Cliona M Lorton, Larissa Higgins, Niamh O'Donoghue, Claire Donohoe, Jim O'Connell, David Mockler, John V Reynolds, Declan Walsh, Joanne Lysaght, ASO Visual Abstract: C-Reactive Protein and C-Reactive Protein-Based Scores to Predict Survival in Esophageal and Junctional Adenocarcinoma: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis, Annals of Surgical Oncology, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Award for Excellence in Supervision of Research Students-School of Medicine Main Award June 2022
HRB Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2009
CROSS Research Fellowship 2008
My translational research group focuses on the central theme of cancer immunology and immunotherapy, an area that continues to revolutionise treatment for cancer patients worldwide. Cancer immunotherapy has offered cures and extended the lives of countless cancer patients, where no options existed before, but this field is still in its relative infancy. The majority of research in my group is focused on dismal upper gastrointestinal cancers, particularly obesity-associated oesophageal cancer but also gastric, pancreatic and ovarian cancer. A key research direction of my research is understanding how the physical features of the tumour microenvironment, immunometabolism and the cancer treatment itself can affect immune cells, namely T cells, and their functions in cancer patients. This work has been reported in 85 peer-reviewed publications in international journals. Understanding the hurdles faced by T cells in cancer patients will lead to identification of novel and more effective treatment combinations, including immune checkpoint inhibitors with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It will help identify biomarkers of response and treatment resistance which can be used in the clinical management of these patients. Research into the regulation and chemotaxis (movement) of lymphocytes to reduce pathological inflammation and enhance anti-tumour immunity is another important research theme within my group. My group utilize a range of in vitro and ex vivo molecular and cellular analytical techniques and I have established productive multi-disciplinary collaborations with academic, clinical and industrial partners, both nationally and internationally. To conduct my research, I have received funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board, the Irish Cancer Society, Breakthrough Cancer Research and the Irish Research Council.