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Dr. Melissa Conroy
Assistant Professor, Anatomy

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

*Galvin KC, *Conroy MJ, Doyle SL, Dunne MR, Fahey R, Foley E, O'Sullivan KE, Doherty DG, Geoghegan JG, Ravi N, O'Farrelly C, Reynolds JV, Lysaght J., Extratumoral PD-1 blockade does not perpetuate obesity-associated inflammation in esophageal adenocarcinoma., Cancer Letters, 418, 2018, p230-238 Journal Article, 2018 DOI URL

Kavanagh ME, Conroy MJ, Clarke NE, Gilmartin NT, O'Sullivan KE, Feighery R, MacCarthy F, O'Toole D, Ravi N, Reynolds JV, O'Sullivan J, Lysaght J, Impact of the inflammatory microenvironment on T-cell phenotype in the progression from reflux oesophagitis to Barrett oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma., Cancer letters, 370, (1), 2016, p117-24 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Conroy M.J, Galvin K.C, Doyle S.L, Kavanagh M.E, Mongan A.-M, Cannon A, Moore G.Y, Reynolds J.V, Lysaght J, Parallel Profiles of Inflammatory and Effector Memory T Cells in Visceral Fat and Liver of Obesity-Associated Cancer Patients, Inflammation, 39, (5), 2016, p1729 - 1736 Journal Article, 2016 DOI URL

Conroy M.J, Galvin K.C, Kavanagh M.E, Mongan A.M, Doyle S.L, Gilmartin N, O'Farrelly C, Reynolds J.V, Lysaght J, CCR1 antagonism attenuates T cell trafficking to omentum and liver in obesity-associated cancer, Immunology and Cell Biology, 94, (6), 2016, p531 - 537 Journal Article, 2016 URL DOI

Conroy M.J., Fitzgerald V., Doyle S.L., Channon S., Useckaite Z., Gilmartin N., O'Farrelly C, Ravi N., Reynolds J.V. and J. Lysaght, The Microenvironment of Visceral Adipose Tissue and Liver alter Natural Killer Cell Viability and Function., Journal of Leukocyte Biology, 2016 Journal Article, 2016

Conroy M.J., Mac Nicholas R., Taylor M., O'Dea S., Mulcahy F., Norris S. and D.G. Doherty , Expansions of IFN-γ-producing Gamma delta T cells in patients with asymptomatic persistent hepatitis B virus infection. , Viral Immunology , 2015 Journal Article, 2015 TARA - Full Text

Conroy MJ, Dunne MR, Donohoe CL, Reynolds JV, Obesity-associated cancer: an immunological perspective., The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 75, (2), 2015, p125 - 138 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Conroy MJ, Mac Nicholas R, Grealy R, Taylor M, Otegbayo JA, O'Dea S, Mulcahy F, Ryan T, Norris S, Doherty DG, Circulating CD56dim natural killer cells and CD56+ T cells that produce interferon-" or interleukin-10 are expanded in asymptomatic, E antigen-negative patients with persistent hepatitis B virus infection., Journal of viral hepatitis, 22, (3), 2015, p335-45 Journal Article, 2015 DOI

Mockler MB, Conroy MJ, Lysaght J, Targeting T cell immunometabolism for cancer immunotherapy; understanding the impact of the tumor microenvironment., Frontiers in oncology, 4, 2014, p107 Journal Article, 2014 DOI TARA - Full Text

Golden-Mason, L, Madrigal-Estebas, L, McGrath, E, Conroy, MJ, Ryan, EJ, Hegarty, JE, O'Farrelly, C, Doherty, DG, Altered natural killer cell subset distributions in resolved and persistent hepatitis C virus infection following single source exposure., Gut, 57, (8), 2008, p1121-8 Journal Article, 2008 URL DOI

Research Expertise


  • Title
    • Targeting T cell trafficking as a novel means to control obesity-associated chronic inflammation.
  • Summary
    • Obesity is a global health problem affecting millions of adults and children worldwide. In Ireland, approximately 66% of adults and 25% of children are overweight or obese and are therefore at serious risk of developing obesity-associated diseases. Obesity induces organ and whole body chronic inflammation. It is the active infiltration of immune cells into expanding visceral adipose tissue (VAT) that causes this inflammation in obesity and studies have shown that T cells are predominantly responsible for this. VAT surrounds abdominal organs and its expansion is closely associated with obesity-related pathologies including many types of cancer and liver disease. Therefore, we propose that preventing T cells from infiltrating the VAT will prevent or reduce local and systemic inflammation and as a result the associated comorbidities. Proteins known as chemokines are responsible for guiding the migration of immune cells during normal immune responses and it is now well documented that chemokines mediate the natural cycling of T cells to the liver. However, previous murine studies have implicated dysregulated chemokine production in the recruitment of inflammatory cells to the VAT in obesity. Our recent work has revealed preferential movement of T cells to human VAT and liver and have identified two key chemokines guiding this movement; macrophage inflammatory protein 1α (MIP-1α) and interferon-inducible protein 10 (IP-10). Therefore, we propose that a therapeutic strategy specifically blocking MIP-1α- and IP-10-guided inflammatory T cell trafficking to the VAT and liver using novel chemokine receptor antagonists will prevent and reduce both local and systemic chronic inflammation in obesity. For the first time, this innovative study will validate a novel immunotherapeutic strategy targeting immune cell trafficking, which has significant potential to prevent and reduce the detrimental consequences of obesity-associated inflammation, as a major driver of carcinogenesis and liver disease, in the rapidly growing number of obese individuals worldwide.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 1st October 2015


Awards and Honours

European Association for Cancer Research Travel Fellowship 2016

Appointed to Irish Society for Immunology Outreach Committee 2015

Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship 2015

Best Poster Prize at Irish Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2014

Best Oral Poster prize at Irish Society of Immunology Annual Meeting 2009

Denis Phelan Scholarship, National University of Ireland 2004

Maynooth University Access Program Alumni Achievement Award. 2017

Antibody Genie Young Researcher Award 31st January 2018


Irish Society for Immunology 2006

European Federation of Immunological Societies 2006

European Association for Cancer Research 2013

Irish Association for Cancer Research 2013