NUI Galwaycancer researcher Dr Eva Szegezdi has been applauded for reaching the finals of the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘Researcher of the Year’ Award.
Dr Szegezdi works in the Apoptosis Research Centre at the University’s School of Natural Sciences. Professor Afshin Samali, Director of Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Reaching the final three of this prestigious award is a major achievement. This is a testament to high quality, relevance and impact of Dr Szegezdi’s research at the Centre. Dr Szegezdi is the leading scientist in her field of research in Ireland and is an opinion leader whose work is at the cutting edge of cancer research.”
The Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway is composed of an interactive network of researchers investigating cell death and its relationship to human disease.
Dr Eva Szegezdi was shortlisted for her research entitled, ‘Blazing a new TRAIL in cancer therapy’. “TRAIL is a protein produced by immune cells to kill newly developed cancer cells”, explains Dr Szegezdi. “TRAIL has the ability to selectively find and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, which give it advantage over standard chemotherapeutic drugs. The aim of our research is to use the cancer-selective characteristics of TRAIL, synthesize and process it outside the body and to convert it into a cancer drug that possesses high anticancer potential, in fact higher than natural TRAIL produced by immune cells.”
Research carried out by Dr Szegezdi is also supported by Science Foundation Ireland and funding from NUI Galway.
Last year, NUI Galway’s Dr Róisín Dwyer a postdoctoral research fellow in the Discipline of Surgery at NUI Galway was announced as the first Irish Cancer Society ‘Researcher of the Year’. Dr Dwyer scooped the top prize in 2012 for her research that investigated the potential of adult stem cells as vehicles for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to breast tumours, which aims to significantly reduce tumour growth.