Denise McDonald


  • 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.


Research output per year

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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  


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