Huong Quach-O’Reilly

By 9th March 2020 No Comments

Huong Quach-O’Reilly

Experimental Molecular Biologist
P: +353 051-302665
Personal Summary


Huong graduated as a Biotechnology engineer and started work in a joint Vietnamese and Japanese Microbiology laboratory in 2008. She worked on different pathogens, performed different biochemical assays and genetic analyses to understand the characteristics of pandemic pathogens (e.g. Influenza A H5N1, V.cholerae, etc.).

In 2011, Huong became interested in biotechnology for human health and got a Chevening scholarship to study a MSc in Molecular Medicine in University of Sheffield, UK. At that time, she studied about the change of miRNA expression in normal cells while cells were cultured in secreted medium of cancer cells. It is based on a phenomenon of cell-cell communication, and she believes that cancer cells can control normal cells through secreted molecules.

In 2012, she continued her PhD in NUI Galway, Ireland with a scholarship from Molecular Medicine of Ireland, where she had focus on biomedical research, i.e. breast cancer. Huong investigated the characteristics of CDC7, a protein involved in DNA replication of cancer cells. By inhibiting the activity of this protein using 2 different compounds, she experienced two different phenomena: cells either die with compound A but survive with compound B. Noticeably, the compound B was believed as a selective inhibitor of this protein. Our data explained that it might be a wrong belief (published). During her study, Huong also employed several screening methods to detect novel compounds which are potential CDC7 inhibitors. Further studies are required to confirm those results.

After her PhD, Huong worked in Biomedical department of VNUK, Danang University, Vietnam as a researcher/lecturer. Her lectures were about molecular pathology and biomedical research. Experience of working with students helps Huong to realise that our young generation of researcher are growing. They are passionate, active and confident of their choice. Their weakness may be lacking some learning skills, critical thinking and a motivation to pursue a scientific career, which she believes she can help them to improve.

In TSSG-WIT, Huong started work on DNA storage. This cutting-edge field is interesting, not only because of its potential in future when the need of data storage is huge, but also its wide application in multiple disciplines, including human health and telecommunication.


2012 – 2017: PhD in Molecular Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland.

2011 – 2012: MSc in Molecular Medicine, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

2003 – 2007: B.Eng in Biotechnology, Hanoi Open University, Viet Nam.



Wu, K. Z. L., Wang, G. N., Fitzgerald, J., Quachthithu, H., Rainey, M. D., Cattaneo, A., Bachi A, Santocanale, C. (2016). DDK dependent regulation of TOP2A at centromeres revealed by a chemical genetics approach. Nucleic Acids Research, 44(18), 8786–8798.

Rainey, M.D., Quachthithu, H., Gaboriau, D. and Santocanale, C. (2017) “DNA replication dynamics and cellular responses to ATP competitive CDC7 kinase inhibitors”, ACS Chemical Biology.

“DNA replication in the presence of Cdc7 inhibition in human breast cancer cells” (Quachthithu, H., Rainey, MD. and Santocanale, C), Poster in MMI Annual Scientific Meeting 2015, Dublin, Ireland.

“Investigating the effects and mechanism of action of CDC7 inhibition on human breast cells”, Oral presentation in College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Service (CMNHS) Postgraduate Research Day 2016 (Huong Quachthithu), Galway, Ireland.