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Dr. Stephen Maher

Associate Professor (Surgery)


Stephen Maher graduated from RCSI in 2004 with a PhD in Oncology. Having spent 3 years as a visiting fellow at the National Cancer Institute in the USA, in 2007 he returned to Ireland and the Department of Surgery at Trinity College Dublin, St. James's Hospital as a research fellow. In 2010 he established his on group having secured an Irish Cancer Society Fellowship and HRB project grants in 2011 and 2012, all in the area of radiation research. In 2012 Stephen moved to the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School as a Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor, where he led the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics lab. During his time at Hull he gained substantial teaching experience and qualifications, and is a fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Subsequently he developed and directed the MSc in Translational Oncology at Hull, as well as undergraduate cancer biology teaching. Additionally, he acquired funding for and established an optical imaging and radiotherapy core at the University of Hull, and aided in establishing the local tumour biobank for translational cancer studies. He has successfully supervised 6 PhD students and has mentored several postdoctoral researchers. He has secured in excess of €1.9m in competitive research funding, and is well published in the field of microRNA, oesophageal cancer and therapeutics research. In 2016 Stephen returned to TCD as the Ussher Assistant Professor in Translational Oncology, Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy. Here he leads programmes in translational oesophageal and pancreatic cancer research, focusing on radiotherapy, radiobiology and chemotherapy. He has recently established new hypoxia and radiotherapy research cores at the Trinity Translational Medicine Institute. Stephen delivers oncology teaching at both the UG and PG at TCD, and is on the teaching advisory board for the Trinity St. James Cancer Institute.
  Apoptosis   Apoptosis, molecular control   Autoimmune and hypersensitivity diseases   Autoimmunity   Bioinformatics   Breast cancer   Cancer genetics and cell biology including metastasis   Cell cycle control   Cell Death   Cellular, molecular and developmental immunology   Chronic Disease   Chronic inflamation   Coagulation biochemistry and disorders   Cytokines, Nitric Oxide   Cytoskelton, cell division   DNA transcription and translation   Gene targeting in breast cancer   Gene therapy   Gene transcription in human cancer   General surgery, upper GI, colorectal and breast   Genetic/Molecular epidemiology   Genomics   Haemotology   Human genetics   Immune system   Immunoassays   Immunochemistry and immunogenetics   Immunological response to surgical trauma   Immunotherapies   Immunotherapies for Cancer   Inflammation and coagulation syndromes   Inflammatory bowel disease   Innate immunology   Intra and intercellular signalling   Leukemias and lymphomas   Leukocyte Biology   Mammilian and human genetics and genomics   Membrane and protein trafficking   Mucosal immunology   Oesophageal cancer   Oesophageal, gastric, intestinal and pancreatic diseases   Oncogenes, apoptosis and tumour development   Protein processing, stability and regulation   Protein sequence, function and expression   Quantitative and molecular genetics   Radiotherapy   Radiotherapy, Biological response modifiers and chemoprevention   Regulatory methods of gene expression   RNA processing, stability and degradation   Stem Cell biology and hematopoiesis   Therapeutic and Clinical oncology   Therapeutic radiography   Tumour immunology and immunotherapy   Vascular Biology, Thrombosis
 The role of microRNA and random mitochondrial DNA mutations in a novel clinically-relevant isogenic model of radioresistance in oesophageal adenocarcinoma
 Tissue and Serum microRNA signatures for predicting response to chemoradiotherapy for oesophageal adenocarcinoma
 The role of the chemokine CCL28 (MEC) in oesophageal adenocarcinoma progression: interaction between the immune system and the tumour
 The role of a cancer stem-like cells in an isogenic model of radioresistance in oesphageal adenocarcinoma
 The role of miR-330 and miR-187 in regulating sensitivity to chemoradiation in oeosphageal adenocarcinoma

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Details Date
Editorial Board, Frontiers in Oncology - Associate Editor - Molecular and Cellular Oncology 2017
Editorial Board, Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology - Associate Editor 2018
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
German Medium Basic Medium
Irish Medium Medium Medium
Details Date From Date To
Irish Association of Radiation Research (IRRS) 2016 Present
Association of Radiation Research (UK) 2015 Present
Mesothelioma Research Network (MRN) 2014 present
Biochemical Society UK 2013 Present
Clinical Trials Ireland (formerly ICORG) 2009 present
British Association of Cancer Research (BACR) 2013 Present
European Association of Cancer Research (EACR) 2009 Present
Irish Association of Cancer Research (IACR) 2008 Present
American Association of Cancer Research (AACR): Associate Member 2006 Present
British Lung Foundation 2013 2016
International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research (ISICR) 2004 2009
Donlon, N.E. and Davern, M. and Sheppard, A. and O'Connell, F. and Moran, B. and Nugent, T.S. and Heeran, A. and Phelan, J.J. and Bhardwaj, A. and Butler, C. and Ravi, N. and Donohoe, C.L. and Lynam-Lennon, N. and Maher, S. and Reynolds, J.V. and Lysaght, J., Potential of damage associated molecular patterns in synergising radiation and the immune response in oesophageal cancer, World Journal of Gastrointestinal Oncology, 15, (8), 2023, p1349-1365 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Davern, M. and Gaughan, C. and O†Connell, F. and Moran, B. and Mylod, E. and Sheppard, A.D. and Ramjit, S. and Yun-Tong Kung, J. and Phelan, J.J. and Davey, M.G. and Ryan, E.J. and Butler, C. and Quinn, L. and Howard, C. and Tone, E. and Phoenix, E. and Butt, W.T. and Lynam-Lennon, N. and Maher, S.G. and Ravi, N. and Donohoe, C.L. and Reynolds, J.V. and Lysaght, J. and Donlon, N.E., PD-1 blockade attenuates surgery-mediated immunosuppression and boosts Th1 immunity perioperatively in oesophagogastric junctional adenocarcinoma, Frontiers in Immunology, 14, (1150754), 2023, Notes: [cited By 1], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Cannon, A. and Maher, S.G. and Lynam-Lennon, N., Generation and Characterization of an Isogenic Cell Line Model of Radioresistant Esophageal Adenocarcinoma, Methods in Molecular Biology, 2645, 2023, p139-152 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Kane LE, Mellotte GS, Mylod E, O'Brien RM, O'Connell F, Buckley CE, Arlow J, Nguyen K, Mockler D, Meade AD, Ryan BM, Maher SG, Diagnostic accuracy of blood-based biomarkers for pancreatic cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Gastroenterology, 2022, Journal Article, SUBMITTED
McGrath J, Kane LE, Lowery ME, Maher SG, The influence of microRNA-31 on oxidative stress and radiosensitivity in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2022, Journal Article, SUBMITTED
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, Cancer Letters, 2022, Journal Article, SUBMITTED
Mylod E, McKenna E, Davern M, Barr MP, Donlon NE, Bibby BA, Bhardwaj A, Reynolds JV, Lysaght J, Maher SG, Conroy MJ., Investigating the susceptibility of treatment-resistant oesophageal tumours to natural killer cell-mediated responses, Clinical and Experimental Medicine, 2022, Journal Article, ACCEPTED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Davern, M. and O†Brien, R.M. and McGrath, J. and Donlon, N.E. and Melo, A.M. and Buckley, C.E. and Sheppard, A.D. and Reynolds, J.V. and Lynam-Lennon, N. and Maher, S.G. and Lysaght, J., PD-1 blockade enhances chemotherapy toxicity in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, Scientific Reports, 12, (1), 2022, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Davern, M. and Donlon, N.E. and O†Connell, F. and Sheppard, A.D. and Hayes, C. and King, R. and Temperley, H. and Butler, C. and Bhardwaj, A. and Moore, J. and Bracken-Clarke, D. and Donohoe, C. and Ravi, N. and Reynolds, J.V. and Maher, S.G. and Conroy, M.J. and Lysaght, J., Cooperation between chemotherapy and immune checkpoint blockade to enhance anti-tumour T cell immunity in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, Translational Oncology, 20, (101406), 2022, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
McGrath, J. and Kane, L.E. and Maher, S.G., The Influence of MicroRNA-31 on Oxidative Stress and Radiosensitivity in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, Cells, 11, (15), 2022, Notes: [cited By 1], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI

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Maher SG, Point-of-care testing versus lab-based testing - striking a balance, Konstanz, Germany, 2021, BioLago, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Kane LE, Mellotte GS, Mylod E, O'Brien RM, O'Connell F, Buckley CE, Arlow J, Nguyen K, Mockler D, Meade AD, Ryan BM, Maher SG, Diagnostic accuracy of blood-based biomarkers for pancreatic cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Cancer Research, 2021, 2021, pp6 - 7, Poster, PUBLISHED
Maher SG, Modelling radioresistance in vitro, The role of radiotherapy in a stratified approach to the treatment of oesophageal cancer, London - Cambridge University, 10 June 2019, 2019, Invited Talk, PRESENTED
Stephen Maher, Cancer - The Patient Journey, 60th London International Youth Science Forum, London, UK, 2018, 2018, Oral Presentation, PRESENTED
Stephen Maher, MicroRNAs as modulators of therapeutic sensitivity, MicroRNA Europe Annual Conference, Cambridge, UK, 2016, 2016, Oral Presentation, PRESENTED
Cawthorne C, Maher SG, Ahmed N, Beavis AW, Improving the application of PET to radiotherapy via preclinical research: status and potential, RAD Magazine, 42, (492), 2016, p29 - 30, Review Article, PUBLISHED
Maher SG, Reynolds JV, Oesophageal cancer: The potential of modern molecular tools in treatment, Cancer Professional, 6, 2012, p21 - 25, Review Article, PUBLISHED


Award Date
1st prize - best basic science paper - iCHAMS international conference (supervisor) 2022
1st prize - best scientific paper - Irish Society of Gastroenterology (supervisor) 2021
Patrick G. Johnston Award - Irish Association of Cancer Research (supervisor) 2021
Irish Lab Awards - Research Lab of the Year 2019
1st prize - best poster - TSJCI 11th International Cancer Conference (supervisor) 2019
Association of Radiation Research (ARR) SIT bursary (supervisor) 2017
iMig Young Investigator Award (Supervisor) 2016
Researcher of the Year, Hull York Medical School (Supervisor) 2016
NCRI Hamilton-Fairley Young Investigator Awards (double-shortlisting) (Supervisor) 2015
1st Prize, Best Research Paper, 12th Annual International Medical Postgraduate Conference, Charles University in Prague (Supervisor) 2015
1st Prize, Best Poster, UK Radiation Oncology (UKRO) Annual Meeting (Supervisor) 2015
1st Prize, Best Research Paper, 11th Annual International Medical Postgraduate Conference, Charles University in Prague (Supervisor) 2014
Biochemical Society Summer Studentship (Supervisor) 2013
Researcher of the Year, Irish Cancer Society 2013
Patey Prize, SARS Annual Meeting 2011
Fellowship, Irish Cancer Society 2010
Roche Researcher of the Year, TCD (Supervisor) 2010
Poster Prize, 7th International Cancer Conference (Dublin) 2009
1st Prize, TCD Molecular Medicine Entrepreneurship Course 2009
Travel Award, St. James's Hospital Dublin 2009
Donald Weir Medal for Research, Trinity College Dublin 2008
Oncology Scholars Travel Award, Irish Cancer Society 2008
Irish Representative at 39th LIYSF 1997
Fellowship, National Cancer Institute (USA) 2004
Stephen has always been interested in cancer and its treatment. Having completed a PhD that examined T cell biology and interleukin-2 therapy for melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, he moved the the National Cancer Institute in the USA to pursue postdoctoral studies in the anti-tumour potential of a newly discovered cytokine, interferon-lambda (IL-29). Over the past 15 years his research interests have largely focused on understanding and predicting tumour response and resistance to more conventional, broadly applicable, cancer treatments, specifically chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Stephen's group examines the influence of the microRNA compartment, DNA damage response and, more recently hypoxia, on regulating cellular sensitivity to chemotherapy and radiotherapy in oesophageal and mesothelial tumours. His team is internationally recognised as leaders in translational radiotherapy research. More recently he initiated and leads an award-winning pancreatic cancer research programme. Being a member of the department of surgery at TTMI, based at St. James's Hospital in Dublin, his work is highly patient centric.