National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology
Academic biographyDr. Naomi Walsh is an Assistant Professor in the School of Biotechnology/National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB). Dr Walsh holds a BSc. in Analytical Science and PhD in Biotechnology/Cancer Research from Dublin City University, and a Master's of Public Health (MPH) from University College Dublin. Her PhD research focused on the mechanisms of invasion, metastasis and drug-resistance in pancreatic cancer. Dr. Walsh was awarded the prestigious Cancer Prevention Fellowship Programme (CPFP) where she undertook post-doctoral research in the Laboratory of Human Carcinogenesis under the mentorship of Dr. Curt Harris at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), USA. Dr. Walsh studied prognostic biomarkers that can aid in clinical management for cancer patients. Dr. Walsh also continues to collaborate with Dr. Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon (DCEG, NCI) on pathway analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of pancreatic cancer. On her return to Ireland, Dr. Walsh was awarded the Irish Cancer Society Re-integration Grant, and subsequently an SFI Starting Investigator Research Grant (2016-2020). In 2017, Dr. Walsh was awarded the Irish Cancer Society Researcher of the Year. Dr. Walsh's current research is focused on developing organotypic 3D cancer models to define and validate the biological consequences of genomic variants of pancreatic cancer. Her research aims to understand the development of pancreatic cancer, to uncover markers for early detection and to identify those at high risk of pancreatic cancer.
Other interests include understanding the tumour diversity caused by genomic alterations which contributes to cancer resistance to chemotherapy (funded by Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund PCRF, http://www.pcrf.org.uk). Her lab uses genomic and functional NGS approaches to identify the mechanisms of genomic and immunological diversity to develop prognostic/predictive signatures and therapeutic strategies to overcome treatment resistance.
Research interestsCancer is a disease of the genome. Genomic variants, somatic mutations and alterations can change the function of genes, either promoting the expression of cancer causing genes or the loss of cancer suppressor genes. These genomic variants, mutations/alterations drive cancer predisposition, development, progression and ultimately drug resistance.
Recently, the landscape of pancreatic cancer has been redefined through gene expression and genetic diversity signatures using next generation sequencing (NGS) profiling, while GWAS have identified susceptibility loci associated with pancreatic cancer risk. However, the clinical utility of these biomarkers is lacking. My research involves developing organotypic 3D models to define their relevance as diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers and delinate their role in pancreatic cancer development and progression.
Other research interests are to elucidate the tumour diversity caused by genomic alterations which contributes to cancer resistance to chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapies in breast cancer and melanoma. We use genomic and functional genomic NGS approaches to identify the mechanisms of genomic diversity to develop prognostic/predictive signatures and therapeutic strategies to overcome treatment resistance.