• Room 02.021 - CEM

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dr Weldon is open to PhD applications from motivated and enthusiastic students in the areas of; - Airway inflammation and host defence - Repair and regeneration in the lung - MiRNAs as mediators of inflammation/disease and their potential therapeutic value - Pathogenesis of lung diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Statement

After graduating with a BSc (Hons) degree in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics from University College Dublin, I completed a PhD in the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin (2001 – 2004). During this time, I developed an interest in innate host defence mechanisms in atherosclerosis and their modulation by dietary fatty acids. Following my PhD, I joined the Respiratory Research Division in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland as a postdoctoral scientist. In 2007, I moved to Queen’s University Belfast and I was appointed as a Lecturer in 2013.

Since 2004, I have been actively involved in research programmes centred on host defence mechanisms and their regulation in acute and chronic lung inflammation to better understand the pathogenesis of lung diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). These studies investigated the status, integrity and mechanisms of action of host defence proteins (e.g. antimicrobial peptides, antiproteases, proteases), how this activity may be compromised during disease and exploited for biomarker and therapeutic potential.

Full publication list available on Google Scholar.


Research Interests

Building on this experience, current research in our group focusses on:

  • Identifying and developing biomarkers of pulmonary infection, inflammation and damage
  • Characterising immunomodulatory properties of pulmonary proteases, antiproteases and microRNAs
  • Investigating therapeutic strategies to prevent and repair the damage in chronic lung disease
  • Developing novel peptides as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial therapies.



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Research Output

Cathepsin S: investigating an old player in lung disease pathogenesis, comorbidities, and potential therapeutics

Brown, R., Nath, S., Lora, A., Samaha, G., Elgamal, Z., Kaiser, R., Taggart, C., Weldon, S. & Geraghty, P., 12 May 2020, In : Respiratory Research.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 4 Downloads (Pure)

    Lack of IL-1 Receptor Signaling Reduces Spontaneous Airway Eosinophilia in Juvenile Mice with Muco-Obstructive Lung Disease

    Brown, R., Paulsen, M., Schmidt, S., Schaterrny, J., Frank, A., Hirtz, S., Delaney, R., Doherty, D., Hagner, M., Taggart, C., Weldon, S. & Mall, M. A., 09 Sep 2019, In : American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Protein Phosphatase 2A Reduces Cigarette Smoke-Induced Cathepsin S and Loss of Lung Function

    Doherty, D. F., Nath, S., Poon, J., Foronjy, R. F., Ohlmeyer, M., Dabo, A. J., Salathe, M., Birrell, M., Belvisi, M., Baumlin, N., Kim, M. D., Weldon, S., Taggart, C. & Geraghty, P., 14 Jan 2019, In : American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    292 Downloads (Pure)

    Sea snake cathelicidin (Hc-cath) exerts a protective effect in mouse models of lung inflammation and infection

    Carlile, S. R., Shiels, J., Kerrigan, L., Delaney, R., Megaw, J., Gilmore, B. F., Weldon, S., Dalton, J. P. & Taggart, C. C., 15 Apr 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 9 p., 6071.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    87 Downloads (Pure)

    Targeting of Cathepsin S Reduces Cystic Fibrosis-like Lung Disease

    Small, D. M., Brown, R. R., Doherty, D. F., Abladey, A., Zhou- Suckow, Z., Delaney, R. J., Kerrigan, L., Dougan, C. M., Borensztajn, K. S., Holsinger, L., Booth, R., Scott, C. J., Lopez Campos, G., Elborn, J. S., Mall, M. A., Weldon, S. & Taggart, C. C., 28 Mar 2019, In : European Respiratory Journal. 53, 3, 1801523.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 9 Citations (Scopus)