Scientist with Longford roots discovers new way to tackle cancer

Shane Cronin made the discovery while working at Harvard

Longford Leader Reporter


Longford Leader Reporter


A scientist, with roots in Longford, has come up with a new way to help tackle cancer.

Dr Shane Cronin's research shows that by activating the immune system with the happiness hormone Serotonin the body can fight the disease more effectively.

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The scientist, who made the discovery while working at Harvard, has published his ground-breaking paper on the novel way of activating the immune system in the journal, Nature.

Dr Cronin, who is the son of Ballyjamesduff newsagents Fintan Cronin (originally from St Patrick's Terrace, Longford) and the late Phyllis Cronin explained that activating the immune system means the body can defend itself against cancer cells and invading pathogens. He is the youngest of six children.

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He attended Crosserlough NS and St Patrick's College, Cavan, then Trinity College, where he studied Human Genetics. And while at Trinity he was awarded research scholarships to intern at Scripps Research Institute, San Diego and at University of Pittsburgh, PA.

He said: "What we actually showed in the paper is that by increasing and turning up the amount of BH4, the t-cells were more aggressive and able to fight cancer much more aggressively.

 "So this has very important clinical implications because the way we can turn BH4 down, we actually developed a brand new novel drug to do this, and also by turning it up, there's a drug already out there being used for completely different purposes."

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