About Us

Ken O'Byrne

Ken O'Byrne


  • Professor, Medical Oncology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland University of Technology, Translational Research Institute
  • Queensland Senior Clinical Research Fellow

Contact Details

3176 6505

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Dotorate in Medicine, University College, Dublin, 1998

Specialist training in Medical Oncology, UK, 1997

Medical Board Equivalent Exams, Member Royal College Physicians Ireland, 1990

Diploma in Child Health, National University of Ireland (NUI), 1989

Bachelor of Medicine, MB, BCh, BAO, University College Dublin/NUI  1984


Prof O’Byrne is a Consultant and Professor in Medical Oncology recently moved to the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) section of the Translational Research Institute (TRI) from St James's Hospital and Trinity College, Dublin. He has conducted translational 'bench-to-bedside-and back-again' research over the past 25 years with a focus on solid epithelial tumours, in particular in thoracic malignancies.

Prof O’Byrne has been involved in the design of and running phase I, II and III clinical trials encouraging the incorporation of biomarker studies, both prognostic and predictive, where possible. He has published over 250 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals and books and has edited 2 books in thoracic oncology.

In 2013, Prof O’Byrne moved to Brisbane to take up a role as a member of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Group establishing close links Professors Colleen Nelson and Judith Clements, and forging links with the prostate group in Vancouver, Canada.

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Prof O’Byrne’s major contribution has been the development of multi-disciplinary research teams and organisations. He supervises one team in Brisbane working with Assoc Prof Derek Richard on DNA stability and another in Dublin, on cell signalling mechanisms involved in resistance to cisplatin chemotherapy and targeted agents, and has set up the British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG) and am the lifelong President, and a co-founder of the European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP). He also works on the fellowship and CME committees of the IASLC.

His current research interests include exploring the potential role of DNA stability in regulation of the androgen receptor and as a target for therapy for prostate cancer patients. He also plays a lead role in the clinical trials unit on the PAH campus, investigating treatments such as OGX-011, a clusterin antisense therapy, in patient volunteers with prostate cancer.

Prof O’Byrne is an expert in translational and clinical research, specialising in cancer incorporating basic science, biomarkers, therapeutic target evaluation and phase I, II and III clinical trials collaborating with both academic and industrial partners. He has been a PI, co-PI, CI or collaborator on grants worth in excess of $50M over the past 5 years including the award of a 5 year Senior Clinical Research Fellowship by the Queensland Government, through the Office of Health and Medical Research in 2012 totalling $4.25M to support the establishment of a Translational Cancer Research Group at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Translational Research Institute. In 2013 alone he has been co-author on a number of high impact papers in the New England Journal of Medicine (PMID: 23724913), Journal of Clinical Oncology (PMID: 23816967; PMID: 23816960) and Journal of the National Cancer Institute (PMID: 23468463).

Awards and grants



Fellowship: Senior   Clinical Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology


Fellowship: Member of the   International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)


Special Achievement Award,   British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG)


David Mitchell Award, Royal   College of Physicians


Fellowship: MMH and SJH   Irish Cancer Society Research Fellow and Research Registrar

General: Over 20 awards for best presentations either oral or poster received by groups in Leicester and Dublin over the past 10 years.

Likewise Prof O'Byrne's groups in UK and Ireland have been awarded over 20 travel grants to present at International Conferences.



Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust

Funding to support the establishment of translational cancer research.



St James’s Hospital

St James’s Hospital Core Research Funding



International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)

DHMEQ, a NF-kB inhibitor to assess its effect in cisplatin sensitive   and resistant cell lines


2012 -2013

Synta pharmaceuticals, International

CRUK CTAAC feasibility study committee endorsement, Educational grant   from Synta pharmaceuticals, International



Health Research Board Ireland

Health Research Board Ireland Clinical scientist award for ‘What is   the circulating tumour cell and the role of immune editing in the metastatic   cascade’



Irish pharmaceutical companies

Grants in Aid to support the translational research laboratory at St.   James’s Hospital



Program for Research in Third Level Institutions

Translational Research Scholars Program



Queensland Government, through Office of Health and   Medical Research (OHMR).


Senior Clinical Research Fellow Award



Cancer Research Ireland (CRI), Irish Cancer Soc

PhD Scholarship Award




7th   Framework Programme Grant (FP7) in Activities of International Cooperation.   KHCCBIO-Consoritum for Bio-Banking Jordan and Ireland.




Science Foundation Ireland

Science Foundation Ireland cluster grant for development of Molecular   Therapeutics for Cancer



Science Foundation Ireland

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centres for Science, Engineering and   Technology (CSET) grant for development of Biomedical Diagnostics Institute   (BD12-ONC1)



Enterprise Ireland

EI grant LUNGMARK Proof-of-concept



Cancer Research Ireland

An investigation of the thromboxane and prostacyclin synthase   pathways in non-small cell lung cancer



Fondazione Buzzi Unicem Onlus

"Studio traslazionale della tirosina chinasi del recettore RON   come bersaglio terapeutico nel mesotelioma"



Health Research Board

Evaluation of RON as a prognostic factor and therapeutic target in   Mesothelioma



Various Industry organisations

ETOP LUNGSCAPE study validating predictive biomarkers in NSCLC.



Cancer Research UK

Collaborator in Dr Dean Fennell’s Clinician Scientist Renewal Award



Department of Education and Learning, Ireland

Department of Education and Learning, Programme Grant



Clinical Trials Awards and Advisory Committee   (CTAAC)

Extension to BTOG2 trial comparing carboplatin based chemotherapy   with 2 doses of cisplatin based chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer



Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE)   Grants, National Cancer Institute

US Lung Cancer SPORE – project grant



Clinical Trials Awards and Advisory Committee   (CTAAC)

MARS - Mesothelioma and radical surgery extension trial.



Cancer Research Ireland (CRI)

Neuropilin-1 expression and regulation by 12-Lipoxygenase in lung   cancer.



Pfizer PhD Studentship Grant

Hypoxia and the inflammatory environment in the process of lung   carcinogenesis.


Research interests

Basic cancer science, biomarkers, therapeutic target evaluation, phase I, II and III clinical trials, DNA stability, regulation of the androgen receptor,  cancer treatments, OGX-011, clusterin antisense therapy

Top publications

  • Nicolson M, Fennell DA, Ferry D, O’Byrne K, Shah R, Potter V, Skailes G, Upadhyay S, Taylor P, Andre V, Nguyen T, Myrand S, Visseren-Grul C, Das M, Kerr KM. Thymidylate Synthase Expression and Outcome of Patients Receiving Pemetrexed for Advanced Nonsquamous Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer in a Prospective Blinded Assessment Phase II Clinical Trial. J Thorac Oncol. 2013 Jul;8(7):930-939. PMID: 23722170.
  • Baird AM, Dockry E, Daly A, Stack E, Doherty DG, O'Byrne KJ, Gray SG. IL-23R is Epigenetically Regulated and Modulated by Chemotherapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Front Oncol. 2013 Jun 19;3:162. Doi: 10.3389/fonc.2013.00162. Print 2013. PMID:  23802098
  • Shaw AT, Kim D-W, Nakagawa K, Seto T, Crinó L, Ahn M-J, de Pas T, Besse B, Solomon BJ, Blackhall F, Wu Y-L, Thomas M, O’Byrne KJ, Moro-Sibilot D, Camidge DR, Mok T, Hirsh V, Riely GJ, Iyer S, Tassell V, Polli A, Wilner KD, Jänne PA. A Randomized Trial of Crizotinib or Chemotherapy in Advanced, Previously Treated Lung Cancer with ALK Rearrangement. N Engl J Med. 2013 Jun 20;368(25):2385-94. Doi: 10.1056/nejmoa1214886. PMID: 23724913.
  • Yuen H-F, Gunasekharan1 V-K, Zhang1 S-D, Chan1 K-K, Platt-Higgins A, Gately K, O’Byrne K, Fennell DA, Johnston PG, Rudland PS, El-Tanani M. Rangtpase: a candidate for Myc-mediated cancer progression. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Apr 3;105(7):475-88. Doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt028. PMID: 23468463.
  • Boyer M, Jänne PA, Mok T, O’Byrne K, Paz-Ares L, Ramalingam SS, Liang J, Taylor I, Campbell A, O’Connell J, Letrent S, Antic V. Rationale and study design of ARCHER: A randomized double blind phase 3 study of dacomitinib (PF-00299804) versus erlotinib for advanced NSCLC. Clinical Investigation, 2013 Jan;3(1):29-35. Doi:10.4155/cli.12.137
More publications are available on PubMed

Professional memberships and associations


 Member of CME   Committee


 Co-Founder and board member   of The European Thoracic Oncology  Platform


 Member of the Internation   Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC)


 Chairman, BTOG; currently   lifetime President