Research excellence

Winner

Dr Blánaid Hicks, Centre for Public Health

I am pleased to provide my support for Blánaid for the prize in research excellence. Over this year Blánaid has demonstrated a high level of enthusiasm and leadership in her research. Specifically, she has spearheaded a number of independent collaborations with world-leaders in the field of pharmacoepidemiology. She has developed a new collaboration between QUB and the University of North Carolina, for which she received funding as a co-investigator from a UNC Lineberger grant as well as a personal travel award from CRUK. Additionally, she has developed collaborations with the University of Southern Denmark, with whom she has published one first-author publication as well as maintaining strong links with her colleagues at McGill University, Canada. These collaborations attest to her growing reputation within the field. Indeed, she was invited to deliver two seminars in Denmark this year, as well as oral and poster presentations at the International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology, Prague. Concurrently, Blánaid continues her work on a prestigious CRUK Population Research Fellowship, has been awarded a Vice Chancellor’s fellowship and contributes to the wider university environment including teaching and the postdoctoral society. Blánaid is a dedicated and prolific researcher, who is an ideal candidate for this prize.

Shortlisted

Dr Kyle Matchett, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

Outstanding Postdoctoral Scientist, who, through his own aspirations and love for research, has driven his career forward by stepping beyond the boundaries of what is required of a Postdoc. Through Kyle’s positive work ethic and motivation in identifying new therapeutic approaches for childhood cancer and leukaemia, he has recently secured funding from the Little Princess Trust, the Irish Cancer Society, and the Novartis Foundation. Through work during his Fellowship, Kyle has received several awards and acknowledgments for his research achievements to date, including the Novartis Medal, the IACR Professor John Fitzpatrick Prize, invited conference speaker, and invited representative on the Irish Association for Cancer Research Council. In addition, Kyle has published 7 peer reviewed papers in 2017-2018. Kyle also contributes to administrative and teaching activities within QUB, including being appointed as the sole Postdoctoral Representative on the University Animal Welfare Ethical Review Body Committee. The energy, enthusiasm, and academic drive that Kyle brings to research has already achieved quantifiable impact, and through his pro-active approach to networking amongst his peers, senior members of QUB staff, industry partners, patients and funders, Kyle’s research trajectory is leading to positively impact the lives of children with cancer and patients with hematological disease.

Dr Blánaid Hicks, Centre for Public Health

I am pleased to provide my support for Blánaid for the prize in research excellence. Over this year Blánaid has demonstrated a high level of enthusiasm and leadership in her research. Specifically, she has spearheaded a number of independent collaborations with world-leaders in the field of pharmacoepidemiology. She has developed a new collaboration between QUB and the University of North Carolina, for which she received funding as a co-investigator from a UNC Lineberger grant as well as a personal travel award from CRUK. Additionally, she has developed collaborations with the University of Southern Denmark, with whom she has published one first-author publication as well as maintaining strong links with her colleagues at McGill University, Canada. These collaborations attest to her growing reputation within the field. Indeed, she was invited to deliver two seminars in Denmark this year, as well as oral and poster presentations at the International Conference on Pharmacoepidemiology, Prague. Concurrently, Blánaid continues her work on a prestigious CRUK Population Research Fellowship, has been awarded a Vice Chancellor’s fellowship and contributes to the wider university environment including teaching and the postdoctoral society. Blánaid is a dedicated and prolific researcher, who is an ideal candidate for this prize.

Dr Philip Dunne, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

In 2017/18 Philip published 16 papers, including four as first author and three as senior author. The internationally acknowledged significance of his research has grown exponentially, as evidenced by appointments to panels, invitations to speak at international symposia / institutes and incorporation of his work into translational clinical programmes.

His 2018 senior author publication in The Journal of Pathology (impact factor 7.4) was selected as the cover story and is currently ranked in the top 1% of highest-scoring outputs in terms of impact by Altmetric. Furthermore, Altmetric ranked his 2017 publication in Nature Communications in the 98th percentile for research impact from all publications tracked by this system, and this work was covered by 22 news agencies, including BBC and ITV News.

Philip was a Co-PI (and Belfast lead) on a recently awarded £5M international programme grant. His first-author publication on immune-infiltration (Cancer Immunology Research) appeared “In the spotlight” on the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) overall journal homepage and was used as the basis of a successful Cancer Research UK programme grant (as a Co-Investigator).

Dr Michelle Greene, School of Pharmacy

I wish to nominate Michelle for the ‘research excellence’ prize in recognition of her outstanding scientific performance as part of an ongoing collaboration between QUB and the Chudasama laboratory at University College London. Michelle’s contribution has been pivotal in ensuring the success and productivity of this interdisciplinary collaboration, which aims to refine the attachment of targeting ligands to nanoparticles through use of superior chemical conjugation strategies that will expedite translation to the clinic. Her commitment and dedication to the project have been duly rewarded through a first-author, high impact factor publication in Chemical Science that has attracted invitations to speak at major conferences, with Michelle due to present at the upcoming ‘Human antibodies and hybridomas’ meeting. Moreover, Michelle has also showcased her research via numerous poster presentations throughout the past year, with prizes awarded at both the QUB postdoc showcase and, most recently, the British Society of Nanomedicine Early Career Researcher’s meeting (1st placed). These accolades demonstrate the exceptional quality of Michelle’s research and her ability to perform beyond typical expectations. She continues to lead a proactive role in sustaining and developing this collaborative link, branching into new research areas that will undoubtedly generate further esteemed outputs and publications.

All nominees

Dr Aaron Courtenay

Dr Andrew Kunzmann

Dr Aoife Rodgers

Dr Blánaid Hicks

Dr Fiona Lavelle

Dr Francesca Amoroso

Dr Kyle Matchett

Dr Linda Oyama

Dr Matthew Humphries

Dr Michelle Greene

Dr Philip Dunne

Dr Rebecca Steele

School of Pharmacy

Centre for Public Health

School of Pharmacy

Centre for Public Health

School of Biological Sciences

Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

School of Biological Sciences

Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

School of Pharmacy

Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology