Dr John Coulter, Gynaecological Oncologist

(The South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital, Cork)

1Dr John Coulter, Gynaecological OncologistDr. John Coulter is a practicing Gynaecological Oncologist at The South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital in Cork. A UCC graduate in 1989, he underwent general surgical training for 3 years and attained Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (FRCSI). After general training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from 1993 to 1998 both in Cork and The Coombe Womens and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, he travelled to Australia and completed a 3 year RANZCOG Fellowship training scheme in Gynaecological Oncology and is a certified Gyanecological Oncologist (CGO). He is currently a consultant in Cork and is chairman of the Cork Gynaecological Oncology Group Multidisciplinary Team. He is a member of the National Cancer Control Program guideline committee on hereditary gynaecological cancers.

Dr David Gallagher, Medical Oncologist and Medical Geneticist

(Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and St. James’s Hospital Dublin)

2david-gallagherDr. David Gallagher is a graduate of University College Dublin Medical School. He completed his Senior House Officer rotation on the Trinity College Dublin Medical Scheme, before gaining a place on the Irish medical oncology specialist registrar programme, and working as an oncology registrar in St. James’s and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospitals, Dublin. In 2006 he was awarded a scholarship by the Irish Society of Medical Oncology to complete his training in medical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York. Upon completion of this advanced fellowship in medical oncology in 2008, he was offered a position on the medical genetics fellowship programme run jointly by MSKCC and Weill-Cornell New York Presbyterian Hospital. He completed this in August 2010 and returned to Ireland to take up a position as a consultant medical oncologist and medical geneticist at The Mater Private Hospital, Dublin. He also runs a cancer genetics clinic in St. James’s hospital, Dublin.

Dr. Gallagher has both clinical and translational research interests and has published his work in a number of peer-reviewed journals including Cancer, Clinical Cancer Research and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. He was awarded an MSKCC Prevention and Population Research Award, an MSKCC Genitourinary Department Research Grant and two merit awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology prior to returning to Dublin. He is an active Member of the Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG) and a clinical trial Principal Investigator for the Mater Campus.

Dr Noreen Gleeson, Gynaecological Oncologist

(St. James’s Hospital, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin)

3noreen-gleesonDr Noreen Gleeson M.B, B.Ch., B.A.O., graduated from the National University of Ireland (UCC) 1981, is a Member of Royal College Obstetricians & Gynaecologist (1986) and has a Diploma in Statistics (1989) and Doctor of Medicine (1991) from Trinity College Dublin. She undertook her Registrar training in Limerick, Rotunda and Adelaide Hospitals. She completed a two year fellowship in Gynaecological Oncology at the University of South Florida in 1993 and has been working at Coombe and St James’s Hospitals since then. She is Director of the Gynaecological Oncology Fellowship RCOG Programme at St James’s Hospital. Her major clinical interests are gynaecological cancer, complex and reconstructive pelvic surgery. Her laboratory based research is in thrombosis and haemostasis and molecular aspects of gynaecological malignancy.


Dr Bryan Hennessy, Medical Oncologist

(Beaumont Hospital Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda and Royal College of Surgeons Ireland)

4byran-hennesyDr. Bryan T Hennessy gained his medical degree in 1997 from University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. Dr Hennessy graduated from the Medical Oncology Fellowship Program at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in 2006 and completed a post-doctoral degree in Medicine through UCD in 2008. Dr. Hennessy was a faculty member in the Division of Cancer Medicine at MDACC between 2006 and 2009. Currently, Dr Hennessy is a Consultant Medical Oncologist in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. He is also a Senior Lecturer at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and an Adjunct Professor in the Division of Cancer Medicine at MDACC. Dr. Hennessy has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers, in addition to multiple review articles, book chapters and editorials, and has extensive experience in kinome and kinase signaling research and in clinical and translational research in breast and the gynaecologic cancers. Dr. Hennessy has achieved several accolades and grants from various organizations including a merit award, a young investigator award (YIA) and a career development award (CDA) from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He has also been a co-principal investigator of two prestigious U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) award projects.

Dr Matt Hewitt, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Cork University Hospital, Cork)

5matt-hewittDr Matt Hewitt graduated from Nottingham University in 1993. After completing his internship and basic specialist training in the Trent region, Matt undertook an MD in the School of Human Development at the University of Nottingham, investigating the aetiology of recurrent pregnancy loss. Matt completed registrar training in the Trent region before deciding upon a career in gynaecological oncology. He moved to St James Hospital, Leeds, in 2001 to undertake a three year sub-specialist raining programme. Matt was appointed as a consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at St James in 2006, but shortly after moved together with his wife Louise to Cork University Maternity Hospital where he is also clinical senior lecturer with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He practises in Low risk pregnancy, General Gynaecology, Gynaecological Oncology and Colposcopy. Dr Hewitt was recently elected the Vice President of the British and Irish Association of Robotic Gynaecological Surgeons (BIARGS).


Ms Debra McKnight, Gynaecological Cancer Nurse Co-ordinator

(St. James’s Hospital, Dublin)

6debra-mcknightMs Debra McKnight, Gynaecological Cancer Nurse Co-ordinatorDebra did her nursing training with Middlesex University, London. On completion of these studies she worked as a staff nurse in general gynaecology for about 4 yrs. She then decided to specialise in Gynae oncology and completed a degree in Women’s health care with emphasis on oncology. After which she worked in the Royal Marsden Hospital, London Gynae oncology unit for 4 yrs as unit manager, before returning to Ireland in 2001 to take up the position of Gynae Cancer Nurse Co-ordinator in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin.



Prof John O’Leary, Pathologist

(Trinity College Dublin, St. James’s Hospital and Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin)

7john-olearyProfessor John O’Leary holds the positions of Professor/Chair of Pathology, Trinity College Dublin, Director of Pathology, The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin, and Consultant Histopathologist, St. James’ Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. His consultant diagnostic experience includes Gynaecological pathology, Breast pathology, Gastrointestinal pathology, Molecular diagnostic pathology and Cytopathology.

Prof. John O’Leary heads a multi-investigator group of 40 scientists at TCD focused on the molecular characterisation of several cancer systems including: Ovary, cervix, prostate, thyroid and head and neck cancer and cancer stem cell biology and the diagnosis of paediatric infections. In addition, the laboratory has a significant international reputation in the area of pregnancy proteomics and transcriptomics. His laboratory is a European reference centre for Applied Biosystems and Affymetrix and holds significant grant income from national and international sources including EU6th FP, EU7th FP, HRB, Irish Cancer Society and several foundations including the Emer Casey Foundation (dedicated to ovarian and uterine research). The individual groups are focussed on using functional genomics to understand the causes and molecular basis of the development of disease, with particular reference to cancer and cancer related systems. Projects include Cerviva (The Irish Cervical Screening Research Consortium – ICSRC) – A consortium of researchers dedicated to performing high quality research with a view to better understanding cervical cancer and how it develops and delivering the best possible information and guidance to support cervical screening services for women and DISCOVARY- A consortium of international researchers which was formed to specifically address issues in relation to ovarian and endometrial cancer diagnostics and prognostics and supports the development of translational research in Ireland. Prof O’Leary has published in excess of 140 peer reviewed papers and in excess of 350 publications and is seated editor on three books. He recently received a Life Achievement award for Cancer Research at the RNAi 2011 International conference at Oxford University.


Dr Michael O’Leary, Gynaecological Oncologist

(University College Hospital, Galway)

8michael-olearyDr Michael O’Leary is a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a subspecialty interest in Womens’ cancers. He has worked at University College Hospital, Galway since 2009. He obtained his Diploma in Gynaecological Oncology from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2007. He is lead Colposcopist in the Galway CervicalCheck Clinic and is also the National Gynaecological Oncology Advisor to the National Cancer Control Programme.




Ms Yvonne O’Meara, Senior Medical Social Worker Practitioner & Systemic Psychotherapist

(Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin)

9yvonneMs Yvonne O’Meara, Senior Medical Social Worker Practitioner & Systemic Psychotherapist Yvonne is a University College Dublin graduate and completed an honours degree in 1997. In 1998 Yvonne completed a Higher Diploma in Social Policy and was awarded a honours Masters in Social Work and Social Policy in 2001 along with the National Qualification of Social Work (NQSW). Yvonne’s special interest thesis was on Munchausen by Proxy. Yvonne initially worked as a Child Protection Social Worker in Dublin. In 2004 Yvonne joined the Medical Social Work Department in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) and holds a Senior Practitioner post within the Department. Yvonne completed an honours Masters in Systemic Psychotherapy in 2010 with the Clanwilliam Institute and is a registered therapist. Yvonne’s thesis explored spouses experience of anticipatory grief. Yvonne has specialised in the area of psychosocial oncology encompassing Haematology, Gynaecological Oncology, Colorectal disease and upper Gastrointestinal Cancers. Yvonne works with individuals, couples and families who have been affected by a cancer diagnosis. Yvonne has presented both on a national and international stage (Myeloma UK 2007-2008, Haematology Association of Ireland 2007 (HAI), Irish Psycho Oncology Conference 2009 & International Conference of Social Work 2010, Irish Gynaeoncological Oncology Society 2011). Yvonne won best oral presentation and has had poster presentations on the national and international stage (Junior Obstetrics and Gynaecology Society (JOGS) 2011 and European Society Gynaecology Oncology (ESGO) 2011). Yvonne has facilitated several workshops for the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) and for Myeloma UK. Yvonne provides in-house training in the MMUH in the areas of Anticipatory Grief, Palliative Care, Care of the Bereaved and Breaking Bad News. Yvonne was chair for the Irish Oncology and Haematology Social Workers Group (IOHSW) 2010. Yvonne is involved in several special interest groups within the ICS. Yvonne is married and they have one daughter.


Dr Seamus O’Reilly, Medical Oncologist

(Cork-Mercy & South Infirmary Victoria University Hospitals)

Screenshot_55Dr Seamus O’Reilly graduated from University College Galway in 1988 with first class honours degrees in Science (Pharmacology) and Medicine and completed medical training in the Federated Dublin Voluntary Hospitals. He completed training in Medical Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Centre Baltimore USA where he subsequently was Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology specialising in Drug Development. He was awarded a PhD in Clinical Investigation by the Johns Hopkins University and an MD degree by University College Galway in 1997. He was a Principal Investigator in the US based Gynecologic Oncology Group. In 1998 he was appointed Consultant Medical Oncologist in Waterford Regional Hospital and subsequently in 2001 at Cork-Mercy and South Infirmary Victoria Hospitals. He is an active member of the all Ireland Cooperative Oncology Research Group where he co-chairs the Gastrointestinal Oncology Disease Specific Group. He is a member of the board of the Cork Cancer Research Centre. He is the author of over 50 peer reviewed publications and is Editor of the journal Cancer Professional. Charitable activities include Chairperson Cork ARC Cancer Support House and co founder of the South Eastern Cancer Foundation.


Dr Feras Abu Saadeh, Gynaecological Oncologist

(St. James’s Hospital, Dublin and Trinity College Dublin)

999feras-abu-saadehDr Feras Abu Saadeh obtained his medical degree (MB ChB) in Sebha Medical University, Libya in 1999. He then completed 4 years of post graduate training in obstetrics and gynaecology in Maqased Hospital, Jerusalem, before arriving in Ireland in 2005. Since 2006 he has worked as Specialist Registrar in the major maternity hospitals in Ireland including Cork University Maternity Hospital, Galway University Hospital and Coombe Women’s hospital. In 2008, he was appointed at lecturer/registrar at Cork University Maternity Hospital where he played a significant role in undergraduate teaching and was involved in the establishment and first year of operation of the Robotic theatre. Working as a Specialist Registrar in the Gynaecological Oncology unit at St James’s Hospital, he became interested in the research program run in collaboration with TCD Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He began investigating the role of the TF and TFPI in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer and, using tissue from the ovarian cancer biobank, showed that TF and TFPI gene and protein expression are increased in tumours from patients with ovarian cancers compared with those with benign disease. The results of his work were presented at local and international meetings. In July 2011, Feras was appointed as Research Lecturer at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology where he hopes to extend his studies to investigate the prediction of venous thrombosis (VT) in gynaecological cancer patients and the mechanism of increased VT risk in patients undergoing chemotherapy.


Professor Orla Sheils

Professor of Molecular Pathology and Director of Medical Ethics

(Trinity College Dublin)

9999orla-sheilsProfessor Orla Sheils is Professor of Molecular Pathology and Director of Medical Ethics at Trinity College Dublin. She has a PhD in Molecular Pathology from Trinity College Dublin and a MA in Medical Law and Ethics from Kings College London.

The underlying theme of her research is to understand the causes and molecular basis of the development of disease, with particular reference to cancer, and to apply this knowledge to improving disease prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Improving the outlook for cancer patients can only come from an understanding of basic molecular and cell biology. There has been a dramatic increase in knowledge of the molecular genetics of cancers over the last few years and already we have reached the point where this can be translated into clinical application. With increased understanding of the mechanics of disease progression comes a requirement for innovative methods to detect nuances of patient specific tumours to triage those most likely to benefit from particular chemotherapeutic approaches and to discriminate between individual prognostic outcomes. She has a particular interest in novel therapeutics including small molecule kinase inhibitors and their interplay with cellular components such as miRNAs. Translational research is the common theme throughout Prof Sheils’ research, linking identification of disease processes with targets for early disease detection or classification. She has been an independent investigator since 2001 and has supervised 10 students to PhD level. Her department currently has 25 students pursuing the degree of PhD by research. She works closely with industry bringing novel technologies and applications to the translational research setting. Prof Sheils chairs TCD’s Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee. The Faculty Research Ethics Committee (F.R.E.C.) reviews projects involving humans in a variety of research contexts. She has been responsible for the procurement of grants valued in excess of €35M during this time from national funding agencies such as S.F.I., HRB, ICS and HEA in addition to industrial support from Life technologies (AppliedBiosystems / Ambion/ Invitrogen), Affymetrix and Vysis. She has published >75 peer reviewed publications.


Dr John Stratton, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Waterford Regional Hospital, Waterford)

99999john-strattonDr Stratton is a gynaecological oncologist working in Waterford. He established and runs the gynaecological cancer and colposcopy services in Waterford Regional Hospital. He trained in gynaecological cancer surgery at Sheffield University Teaching Hospital and is an accreited subspecialist. His PhD thesis was undertaken in Cambridge on the genetic basis of ovarian cancer. During his time in Cambridge he trained in familial cancer genetics and he currently runs a clinic for women and their families who have a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. He has published extensively on all aspects of gynaecological cancer and in particular on ovarian cancer genetics. Current areas of interest include laparoscopic surgery, fertility sparing surgery and neoadjuvant therapy.


Dr Tom Walsh, Gynaecological Oncologist

(Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin)

999999tom-walshDr Tom Walsh qualified from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1996. He did his initial training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Rotunda Hospital, National Maternity Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital and Mater Misericordiae University Hospital Dublin. He has a wide range of interests in general Obstetrics and Gynaecology and holds a Certificate of Specialist Training (CST) in these areas. He is Sub-Specialty trained in Gynaecological cancers having completed a fellowship program in Gynaecological Oncology in Australia. He was awarded the internationally recognised Diploma in Gynaecological Oncology by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Dr. Walsh is appointed as a consultant in the Rotunda Hospital and in the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin.


Dr. Miriam Daly, Director Women’s Health Programme

(Irish College of General Practitioners)

ICGP Masterclass in Contraception For Family Planning Trainers Dr Miriam Daly.Dr. Miriam Daly graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (1995), is a Member of the Irish College of General Practitioners (1999) and has a Masters in Women’s Health from the Royal college of Surgeons in Ireland (2004). She is director of the Women’s Health Programme in the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) where she is involved in running courses and lecturing GPs in Women’s Health. She is chair of the Reproductive and Sexual Health Committee in the ICGP. She has been working as a General Practitioner in Irishtown Primary Care Centre and in Sandymount, Dublin 4 since 2000.



Eileen Kennedy, Clinical Nurse Specialist
(South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital, Cork).
Eileen Kennedy trained as a general nurse in Cork University Hospital from 1994 to 1997. She had her first exposure to Gynaecological malignancies in the Royal Women’s Hospital in Sydney 1999 TO 2000. In 2000 she commenced working in a Gynae Cancer ward in the Royal Marsden in London where she went on to become junior ward sister from 2002 to 2004. She completed a diploma here in Pelvic cancers in 2003.

When she returned to Ireland in 2004 she worked in the Cancer research unit in cork university hospital until 2007, whilst in this unit she was very lucky to receive a scholarship to the National cancer institute in Washington for 6 weeks.

In 2007 the ICS funded the first clinical nurse specialist post for gynae cancer outside of Dublin. Eileen received this post and is still in post.


Michael Farrell, CNS Cancer Genetics

(Mater Private and Misericordiae University Hospital)

9999999999michael-farrellMichael Farrell (RGN, H. Dip. in Applied Science, B. Sc. in Computing, Grad. Dip. in Oncology Nursing & M. Sc. in Molecular Medicine) has worked full time in clinical cancer genetics for over 9 years and is a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) in the Cancer Genetic Department in the Mater Private Hospital (MPH) and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) working with Dr. David Gallagher Consultant Medical Oncologist and Clinical Geneticist. Prior to working on the Mater campus he worked as a Research Nurse in St. James’s Hospital (SJH) with Professor Peter Daly.

Michael gave oral presentations at both National and International cancer conferences and was an invited speaker on two occasions to the Joint Belfast/Dublin Clinical Genetics meetings. His research interest is in Lynch syndrome and he has delivered Grand Rounds on “Screening for Lynch syndrome” in St. Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) and presented at the Medical Case Conference at the MMUH on “Interpretation of mismatch repair (MMR) variants of uncertain significance”.

Michael is first author on 2 papers published in the journal Familial Cancer and has presented 5 poster abstracts as first author, one was selected for oral presentation at the Cancer Genomics Masterclass at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) and he has co-authored an additional 6 poster abstracts. He is a member of the International Society of Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours’ (InSiGHT’s) MMR Variant Classification committee and this group’s paper on strategies for classification of mismatch repair (MMR) variants was published with Michael as a co-author in Nature Genetics in 2014.

He has presented talks on various aspects of inherited predisposition to cancer at the Irish Association for Nurses in Oncology (IANO) annual meeting on two occasions and the Breastcheck Annual Radiographer Study Day and has presented on “Future Developments in Clinical Cancer Genetics” to Oncology Consultants and Registrars in MMUH.
Michael also supervises clinical teaching for graduate nursing students and provides lectures on cancer genetics at St. Luke’s Hospital, SJH and the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) in addition to ad hoc presentations to patient support and advocacy groups such as the Dublin Well Woman Centre, the Gary Kelly Support Centre and ARC house.

Irish Gynaecological Nurses Association
This association represents gynaecological oncology nurses from the specialist cancer centres in Ireland.