• Room 01.058 - CEM

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dr McDonald is open to wide-ranging PhD applications from candidates with a basic science or clinical background.
Her fields of interest include:
- vascular biology
- vision research
- pharmacology
Previous research experience is desirable although not essential.

1995 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile



Keywords: Vascular Biology; Cardiovascular Medicine; Ophthalmology; Angiogenesis; OIR; Endothelial cells (EC); Microglial cells; ROP; Hypoxia; Hyperoxia; NOS (eNOS and iNOS); BH4; NADPH oxidase; ROS; RNS; Notch/Dll



Research Interests


Vascular Biology and Cell-Cell Communication: Endothelial / Mural (Pericyte and Smooth Muscle)/ Microglial Cell cross talk 

Disease Focus:  Vascular Disease; Endothelial Dysfunction; Retinal Diseases; Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP); Diabetic Retinopathy

Signalling Pathways:  Nitric oxide Synthases (NOS); NADPH oxidase; Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species (ROS/RNS); Notch/Delta (Dll), Hypoxia; Hyperoxia and Inflammation

Model Systems:   Primary cell isolation and culture (endothelial cell, pericyte, microglial); gene delivery (adenoviral, lentiviral); retina as a model of vascular development in health and disease; oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR); aortic explants; green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged fusion construct generation and imaging




I trained in Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Leeds and the University of Oxford (in the Cardiovascular Medicine Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, a British Heart Foundation Centre of Excellence). 

I am currently Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Experimental Medicine where my research focuses on developing strategies to preserve normal vasculature and prevent vascular diseases caused by diabetes and aging, with a particular interest in oxidative stress and its impact on vascular growth/function/recovery and tissue repair.

My work has been funded externally by, among others, the Wellcome Trust, Fight for Sight, British Heart Foundation and Action Medical Research.



  • Cardiovascular Pathobiology & Treatment (BMS2017) – (Co-ordinator)

  • Masters in Medical Research Training Programme

  • Portfolio Mentor – Level 1 & 2 Medical students


Select Lecture titles

  • Vascular Development: Angiogenesis & Vasculogenesis

  • The Eye: Target and Model of Neovascular Disease

  • Retinopathy of Prematurity

  • Vasculogenesis & Angiogenesis I

  • Tumour Angiogenesis

  • Novel Therapeutic Targets for Tumour Angiogenesis: Role of Vessel Normalisation and Metabolism

  • Gene Therapy for the Eye & Cardiovascular Diseases

  • NOTCH in Retinal Angiogenesis  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


Dive into the research topics where Denise McDonald is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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