Clodagh O’Shea

Associate Professor

Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar

William Scandling Developmental Chair

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Videos

Videos


Salk scientists solve longstanding biological mystery of DNA organization

LA JOLLA—Stretched out, the DNA from all the cells in our body would reach Pluto. So how does each tiny cell pack a two-meter length of DNA into its nucleus, which is just one-thousandth of a millimeter across?

The answer to this daunting biological riddle is central to understanding how the three-dimensional organization of DNA in the nucleus influences our biology, from how our genome orchestrates our cellular activity to how genes are passed from parents to children. Read more »


The DNA damage response goes viral: a way in for new cancer treatments

Every organism–from a seedling to a president–must protect its DNA at all costs, but precisely how a cell distinguishes between damage to its own DNA and the foreign DNA of an invading virus has remained a mystery.

Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered critical details of how a cell’s response system tells the difference between these two perpetual threats. The discovery could help in the development of new cancer-selective viral therapies and may help explain why aging and certain diseases seem to open the door to viral infections. Read more »


TWiV 291: Ft. Collins abuzz with virologists

33rd annual meeting of the American Society for Virology at Colorado State
University in Ft. Collins, Colorado
Featuring Clodagh O’Shea
Hosted by Vincent Racaniello


Cold viruses point the way to new cancer therapies

Cold viruses generally get a bad rap—which they’ve certainly earned—but new findings by a team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggest that these viruses might also be a valuable ally in the fight against cancer.

Adenovirus, a type of cold virus, has developed molecular tools—proteins—that allow it to hijack a cell’s molecular machinery, including large cellular machines involved in growth, replication and cancer suppression. The Salk scientists identified the construction of these molecular weapons and found that they bind together into long chains (polymers) to form a three-dimensional web inside cells that traps and overpowers cellular sentries involved in growth and cancer suppression. The findings, published October 11 in Cell, suggest a new avenue for developing cancer therapies by mimicking the strategies employed by the viruses. Read more »


Use the common cold virus to target and disrupt cancer cells?

A novel mechanism used by adenovirus to sidestep the cell’s suicide program, could go a long way to explain how tumor suppressor genes are silenced in tumor cells and pave the way for a new type of targeted cancer therapy, report researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the Aug. 26, 2010 issue of Nature.

When a cell is under stress, the tumor suppressor p53 springs into action activating an army of foot soldiers that initiate a built-in “auto-destruct” mechanism that eliminates virus-infected or otherwise abnormal cells from the body. Just like tumor cells, adenoviruses, which cause upper-respiratory infections, need to get p53 out of the way to multiply successfully. Read more »


Education

BS, Biochemistry and Microbiology, University College Cork, Ireland
PhD, Imperial College London/Imperial Cancer Research Fund, U.K.
Postdoctoral Fellow, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, U.S.A


Awards & Honors

  • 2016 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar
  • 2014 W. M. Keck Medical Research Program Award
  • 2014 Rose Hills Fellow
  • 2011Science/NSF International Science & Visualization Challenge, People's Choice
  • 2011 Anna Fuller Award for Cancer Research
  • 2010, 2011, 2012 Kavli Frontiers Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
  • 2009 Sontag Distinguished Scientist Award
  • 2009 American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award
  • 2008 ACGT Young Investigator Award for Cancer Gene Therapy
  • 2008 Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award
  • 2008 William Scandling Assistant Professor, Developmental Chair
  • 2007 Emerald Foundation Scholar