NUI Galway student awarded cutting edge technology for breast cancer research
03 May 2016
Úna McVeigh, a PhD student from NUI Galway
Úna McVeigh, a PhD student from NUI Galway, has been selected as a prize winner from 1,100 submissions worldwide to win the ‘Go Mini Scientific Challenge Programme’.
McVeigh was awarded €4,000 worth of cutting edge technology to further support her research in the genetics of breast cancer. The announcement was made at a reception at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in New Orleans in Louisiana.
The Scientific Challenge Programme was launched to highlight the range of applications that can be performed using Illumina’s MiniSeq System. The MiniSeq, unveiled earlier this year is Illumina’s smallest and simplest next-generation sequencing (NGS) system ideally suited for research and industrial applications in many segments including cancer, infectious disease, inherited disease, and reproductive health.
McVeigh, originally from Tourlestrane in Sligo, will receive three sequencing runs on a MiniSeq System facilitated by Illumina. She will study the genetics of breast cancer in the population of the West of Ireland, specifically in women with a strong family history of the disease, to understand the role of genes other than BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 in cancer susceptibility.
Ms McVeigh’s translational research study, which leverages samples from a large biobank at NUI Galway’s department of surgery, aims to identify the frequency of genetic variants, their effects on breast cancer risk, and the clinical utility of testing for them. She hopes to be able to validate new clinically-relevant variants that are potentially applicable in broader populations.
“Next-generation sequencing is an invaluable tool for identifying new cancer susceptibility genes. Despite the discovery of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, the majority of inherited predisposition to breast cancer remains unexplained. We hope our research can begin to identify new genetic drivers of breast cancer, so that one day better patient screening can improve health outcomes for populations with a genetic predisposition to the disease,” said McVeigh.
For further information about the winners announced at the first Illumina MiniSeq Scientific Challenge visit: http://www.illumina.com/company/news-center/feature-articles/illumina-announces-winners-of-miniseq-scientific-challenge.htmlhttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/2016/05/03/nui-galway-student-awarded-cutting-edge-technology-for-breast-cancer-research/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/NUIG-Una-McVeigh-1024x768.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/NUIG-Una-McVeigh-300x300.jpgNewsawards,Galway,innovation,medical devices,NUI Galway,pharma,research