Project Description

Name: Afshin Samali

Current Position and Address:

Apoptosis Research Centre,
Discipline of Biochemistry,
Biomedical Sciences Building,
National University of Ireland,

Galway Ireland

Contact Email:

Background Career Information:

Afshin is currently professor of Biochemistry and Director of the Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway. He obtained his BSc from NUI Maynooth in 1993 and his PhD from UCC in 1997.

He then spent 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm before returning to Ireland in 2000, as a college lecturer at NUI Galway. Afshin served as Head of Biochemistry at NUI Galway from 2008-2011 and is a Visiting professor in the Department of Cell & Molecular Biology, Ghent University, Belgium where he spent a year on sabbatical (2011-2012).

Research Interests:

Afshin has been working in the field of cell stress and cell death for over 20 years. His main research objectives are to uncover the molecular signalling pathways activated during endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response (UPR) and to understand the cross-talk between stress response pathways and cell death machinery and how these processes contribute to human diseases.

His research is broadly applicable and has potential implications for treating conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurodegeneration and inflammation. His translational interests lie in identifying and validating new ER stress and cell death related targets for drug discovery efforts. He aims to develop approaches and compounds that have therapeutic potential for use in number of different cancers (e.g. breast cancer, paediatric cancers) and inflammatory diseases.

In 2010 he established the Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC) which currently consists of 6 Principal Investigators and over 30 researchers focused on cell death research and its application to diseases. In 2012 he co-founded and is currently director of Aquila Bioscience Ltd., a start-up company with core expertise in glycoscience and cellular stress biology that is focused on developing biomarker, diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to improve human and animal health. Afshin is the coordinator of TRAIN-ERS, he collaborates with many scientists working in the ER stress field and he has close links with local and multinational pharmaceutical companies working with them to develop novel drugs based on cellular stress responses.

Afshin is the editor of 3 journals and member of editorial board of another 7 journals. He co-edited a book on “ER stress in Health and Disease”.Afshin has published over 150 articles ( is a member of the scientific board for the Cancer Center Eugene Marquis – University of Rennes-1 (INSERM unit at Rennes) and is a panel member for INCa – French National Cancer Institute (Biological and basic sciences for Cancer research).