About Chloe Falvey
Chloe is a PhD student with the Autophagy group at the Cork Cancer Research Centre. Her research is focused on how cell death (apoptosis) and survival (autophagy) pathways affect response to chemotherapy. She is hoping to improve treatment options for patients with poor prognosis oesophageal cancer by identifying genes that are responsible for drug resistance and determining how they can be manipulated to improve drug response and patient outcomes.
Theme / Team
Chloe Falvey BSc graduated with a first class honours BSc in Biochemistry from University College Cork in 2012. She received a research award from the UCC Strategic Research Fund PhD Programme in 2013 to begin her PhD at Cork Cancer Research Centre. The aim of her project is to identify new drug targets for the treatment of oesophageal cancer and is in collaboration with consultant oncologist Dr. Seamus O’Reilly. Chloe was an invited speaker at the inaugural UCC School of Medicine “New Horizons in Medical Research” conference in 2014. Her work at the CCRC has won awards at both national and international conferences. Incidence of oesophageal cancer is rapidly on the rise and is currently the seventh leading cause of death by cancer.
The current gold standard treatment regime involves surgery in combination with chemotherapy. However, Patients are often diagnosed with the disease at an advanced, drug resistant stage and the 5 year survival rate for these patients following treatment is less than 15%. Resistance occurs when a cancer cell adapts in order to survive treatment by inactivating cell death pathways (apoptosis) and activating cell survival pathways (autophagy). Chloe is trying to improve treatment outcomes for these patients by researching the gene expression of drug resistant and drug sensitive oesophageal cancers. She is using this information to determine which genes are important for a successful response to chemotherapy.
Her work has identified a network of proteins which significantly improve drug response by negatively regulating autophagy (cell survival) and promoting apoptosis and alternative cell death mechanisms. This research has identified potential new drug targets which will hopefully undergo preclinical studies in the near future.