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RCSI appoints Jarushka Naidoo as Professor of Medical Oncology to drive pioneering improvements in cancer care

RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences has announced the appointment of Professor Jarushka Naidoo as Academic Professor of Medical Oncology in the RCSI Department of Medicine.

Professor Naidoo will lead RCSI’s innovative medical cancer research team to further its growth and development, and continue its work to secure funding for vital international cancer research.

In her career to date, Professor Naidoo has developed and led a portfolio of clinical trials and translational studies in lung cancer, immunotherapy and immune-related toxicity. She is an established leader in these fields with over one hundred articles published in publications such as New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology and JAMA Oncology.

Key to Professor Naidoo’s role will be to grow the clinical and translational research focus of lung cancer and immunotherapy at RCSI. She will do this by building clinical and research teams to advance cancer clinical trials, clinical research, and governance. She will work closely with patient organisations, cancer charities, industry, researchers and clinicians in both RCSI and Beaumont Hospital, including the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre and RCSI Clinical Research Centre. Overall, she will enhance the number of high-quality cancer clinical trials at these centres, and translate research findings into new treatments and trials that will improve patient care and outcomes.

Professor Naidoo is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at Beaumont Hospital and was previously an honorary clinical professor at RCSI. She is Chair of the Lung Disease-Specific Subgroup of Cancer Trials Ireland, a role she took up in 2020 after returning to Ireland from John Hopkins University in the United States where she worked as Assistant Professor of Oncology. She also founded the national research group, the ‘Irish Lung Cancer Alliance’.Professor Naidoo commented on her appointment: “Advancing clinical trials for new targeted cancer therapies is critical to improving quality of life and outcomes for people with cancer. Collaboration amongst experts in cancer research is vital to ensure that every resource possible is used to make discoveries and introduce new treatments that will have lifelong impacts on population health.

“In my new role as Academic Professor of Medical Oncology at RCSI, I look forward to building collaborations between clinicians and scientists that will impact on research and ultimately increase access to clinical trials for patients worldwide.”

Professor Fergal O’Brien, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation at RCSI said: “As a dedicated medicine and health sciences university, RCSI is uniquely positioned to focus on clinical and patient-centred research. The appointment of Professor Jarushka Naidoo to the role of Professor of Medical Oncology at RCSI is central to our ambitions to drive pioneering improvements in cancer treatment.

“Professor Naidoo brings with her world-class experience in clinical trials and translational studies in cancer and immunotherapy. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of her work that will inspire our future clinicians and researchers in oncology and make a difference to people living with cancer around the world.”

In her role as Academic Professor of Medical Oncology at RCSI, Professor Naidoo will also support the teaching, training and development of early career medical students, researchers and clinicians with the aim of increasing the number of master’s and postgraduate students studying in the area of oncology

Professor Naidoo graduated from Medicine at Trinity College Dublin in 2006. She completed higher specialist training in Medical Oncology from the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, followed by an advanced fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre (New York) in lung cancer and immunotherapy. In 2019, Professor Naidoo received a Masters of Health Science (Clinical Investigation) from Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 2019.

In 2021, she was a recipient of the Irish Cancer Society’s Clinician Research Leadership Award and has secured funding from several global pharmaceutical companies including Roche, AstraZenca, MSD, Novartis and Amgen over the last 24 months to advance our understanding of immunotherapy, immune-related toxicities and thoracic malignancies.

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Professor Jarushka Naidoo, Professor of Medical Oncology, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. (photo credit: Ray Lohan/RCSI)

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