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Dr Cliona Ni Cheallaigh awarded the Irish Healthcare Award: Best research paper.

At an award ceremony in Dublin on 10th November 2016, Dr Cliona Ni Cheallaigh received the Irish Healthcare Award : Best Research Paper. The paper published in the Journal of Immunity, Volume 44, Issue 2, 16 February 2016, Pages 368-379, 'A Common Variant in the Adaptor Mal Regulates Interferon Gamma Signaling', addresses the question of why different people all seemed to respond differently to the tuberculosis bacteria.

The team from TCD and St James's Hospital made a breakthrough in terms of how our immune system responds to TB, this opens up the possibility to design more effective vaccines and personalised therapies.

The finding is significant because it means that patients with TB, especially difficult to treat cases, can benefit from more targeted treatments personalised to their specific immune system.

This discovery also has implications in the treatment of other illnesses where Interferon Gamma is involved. These include a number of infectious diseases and cancer and the form of Mal we have may also influence how we respond to vaccines.

Globally TB currently ranks ahead of HIV as the leading cause of death worldwide, killing 1.5 million in 2014.

This research was funded by the Health Research Board, the Royal City of Dublin Trust and Science Foundation Ireland.