Dr Ryan is a Research Lecturer in the Discipline of Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Dr Ryan’s research integrates knowledge of immunological characteristics of cells within the colorectal tumour microenvironment for the identification of novel immunotherapeutic targets for advanced cancer.
Dr Ryan has developed a strong expertise in understanding cellular mechanisms of immunosuppression in the tumour microenvironment. Dr Ryan characterized the role of Fas Ligand, in evading immune surveillance in colon cancer, and more recently has discovered a novel mechanism by which stromal cells in tumours can regulate anti-tumour immunity. Dr Ryan’s research has also characterized the effect of stromal cell differentiation on immune-regulatory ligand expression and host anti-donor immunogenicity and immune responses in preclinical models.
Dr Ryan’s research has specific relevance and potential implications for the treatment of a range of diseases including cancer, auto-immunity and transplantation. Specifically, Dr Ryan’s research has implications in understanding barriers to the effective use of immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory disease.
Dr Ryan has received multiple international and national awards for research excellence and early career achievements. Most recently, Dr Ryan received the NUI Galway Early Career Presidents award for Research Excellence in 2018. She has also been recognised as an emerging leader in the field of Immunotherapy by the US based Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer (SITC) 2018. She is PI on an Irish Cancer Society Research Fellowship Award, an SFI Starting Investigator Award. She is PI and co-PI on three industry funded research projects.
Dr Ryan has published more than 35 papers, many in high impact peer reviewed journals, including, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Cancer Immunology Research and Cancer Research. Dr Ryan is a named inventor on a patent relating to discoveries on novel mechanisms of activating anti-tumour immunity to potentiate the effects of monoclonal antibody therapy.
Dr Ryan is an Editorial Board member of Frontiers in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, and has co-edited special issues in International Journal of Molecular Sciences. She has served as an expert grant reviewer for Cancer Research UK (CRUK), Czech Science Foundation, Czech Republic. ‘Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek’ (FWO) Flanders, Belgium. She has reviewed research papers for over 15 journals, including Gut, Molecular Therapy and Oncogene.
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