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Dr. Joanne Lysaght

Associate Professor (Surgery)

Dr. 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. Dr. 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, Dr. Lysaght was appointed Ussher Assistant Professor in Molecular Oncology, in 2015 she was appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine, TCD and promoted to Associate Professor in 2017 where she continues her research in cancer immunology and immunotherapy. Dr. 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. Dr. 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 From Date To
Secretary and executive committee member for the Irish Society for Immunology 2014
Irish Association for Cancer Research (Senior Council Member) 2017
European Association for Cancer Research 2011
European Federation of Immunological Societies 2014
Cancer Trials Ireland 2012
Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2020
Noel E. Donlon, Maria Davern, Andrew D. Sheppard, Fiona O'Connell, Margaret R. Dunne, Conall Hayes, Eimear Mylod, Sinead Ramjit, Hugo Temperley, Michael Mac Lean, Gillian Cotter, Anshul Bhardwaj, Christine Butler, Melissa J. Conroy, Jacintha O'Sullivan, Narayanasamy Ravi, Claire L. Donohoe, John V. Reynolds and Joanne Lysaght, The Impact of Esophageal Oncological Surgery on Perioperative Immune Function; Implications for Adjuvant Immune Checkpoint Inhibition, Frontiers in Immunology, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Donlon, Noel; Davern, Maria; Sheppard, Andrew; Reynolds, John; Lysaght, Joanne; , From bench to bedside; A rationale for Immunotherapy in the adjuvant setting for Oesophageal cancer, Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland , 2021, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Eimear Mylod , Fiona O'Connell, Noel E. Donlon , Christine Butler , John V. Reynolds, Joanne Lysaght and Melissa J. Conroy, The Omentum in Obesity-Associated Cancer: A Hindrance to Effective Natural Killer Cell Migration towards Tumour Which Can Be Overcome by CX3CR1 Antagonism, Cancers, 14, (64), 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Donlon, N.E. and Power, R. and Hayes, C. and Reynolds, J.V. and Lysaght, J., Radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and the tumour microenvironment: Turning an immunosuppressive milieu into a therapeutic opportunity, Cancer Letters, 502, 2021, p84-96 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Donlon, N.E. and Power, R. and Hayes, C. and Davern, M. and Reynolds, J.V. and Lysaght, J., Radiation and immunotherapy in upper gastrointestinal cancers: The current state of play, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22, (3), 2021, p1-15 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Conroy MJ, Kennedy SA, Doyle SL, Hayes B, Kavanagh M, van der Stok EP, O'Sullivan K, Cathcart MC, Reynolds JV, Lysaght J., A study of the immune infiltrate and patient outcomes in esophageal cancer., Carcinogenesis, 42, (3), 2021, p395-404 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Davern M, Donlon NE, Sheppard A, Connell FO, Hayes C, Bhardwaj A, Foley E, Toole DO, Lynam-Lennon N, Ravi N, Reynolds JV, Maher SG, Lysaght J., Chemotherapy regimens induce inhibitory immune checkpoint protein expression on stem-like and senescent-like oesophageal adenocarcinoma cells., Translational oncology, 14, (6), 2021, p101062 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
O'Brien RM, Cannon A, Reynolds JV, Lysaght J, Lynam-Lennon N., Complement in Tumourigenesis and the Response to Cancer Therapy., Cancers, 13, (6), 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Ashanty M.Melo, Eimear Mylod, Vivienne Fitzgerald, Noel E.Donlon, Dearbhla M. Murphy, Emma K.Foley, Anshul Bhardwaj, John V.Reynolds, Derek G.Doherty, Joanne Lysaght, Margaret R. Dunne, Melissa J. Conroy, Tissue distribution of γδ T cell subsets in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, Clinical Immunology, 229, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

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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
HRB Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2009
CROSS Research Fellowship 2008
My translational research group focuses on a number of different areas around 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 over 75 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 also 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 the 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. 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.