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Dr David Hughes


David Hughes

Lecturer/Assistant Professor (Ad Astra Fellow)
School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science
01 716 6988
University College Dublin, School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Conway Institute Belfield Dublin 4


Dr David Hughes joined the Conway Institute and faculty of the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences in University College Dublin (UCD) in 2018. Hs research focuses on nutritional, genetic, molecular and microbial epidemiology of various cancer sites. Previously he has worked at the RCSI, TCD (Dublin, Ireland), the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (Lyon, France), the Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK), and Imperial College (London, UK). He currently leads large prospective cohort studies in the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) of the influence of bacterial antigens, gut barrier integrity, and nutritional status of micronutrient minerals on risk of cancer at various organ sites. Recent findings of his studies within EPIC include that antigens to Streptococcus gallolyticus in advance of cancer diagnosis are associated with colorectal cancer risk, pre-diagnostic selenium status is associated with colorectal and liver cancer risk, and that pre-diagnostic zinc and copper concentrations are also associated with risk of these cancers (e.g. PUBMED PMIDs 28415859, 28575311, 28152549, 27357089, 25042282; see also He received his BSc Biochemistry degree from the University of Leeds in 1990, his PhD in Medical Genetics from Queen’s University Belfast in 1996, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Professions Education at the RCSI in 2015. He is a member of the EPIC steering committee, the International Cancer Microbiome Consortium (inaugurated 2017, which published an expert consensus statement of the Role of the Human Microbiome in Carcinogenesis; Scott et al, 2019 Gut; PMID: 31092590), and the new Irish Cancer Epidemiology Network (inaugurated 2018). Principal funders are the Health Research Board, the World Cancer Research Fund, and various funders for the EPIC project.


  • Lecturer / Assistant Professor
    UCD Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Group (CBT), Dublin, Ireland1 Aug 2018


  • Lecturer / Assistant Professor
    University College Dublin, School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science (SBBS), Dublin, Ireland1 Aug 2018


  • BSc
    University of Leeds
  • Graduate Diploma
    Royal Coll Surgeons in Ireland
  • PhD
    Queen's University of Belfast


  • Graduate Diploma Post Grad Dip in Health Professions Education
    Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Ireland1 Jan 2014 - 1 Jan 2015
  • PhD
    Queen's University Belfast, Medical Genetics, Belfast, Northern Ireland


  • English
    Can read, write, speak, understand and peer review
  • French
    Can read, write, speak and understand
  • Spanish; Castilian
    Can speak and understand