• Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

  • 545 Citations
  • 13 h-Index
19982020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Biography

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Translational research in Dr McKenna's laboratory is focused on the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in disease. His main disease focus is prostate cancer and he is investigating how tumour hypoxia and epigenetic regulation leads to the abnormal expression of several miRNAs which drives cancer progression. The functionality and novel targets of selected miRNAs are being studied to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and potential therapeutic intervention of this disease, with particular emphasis on developing miRNA serum profiling as a valuable clinical tool for cancer and many other disorders. He is also involved in collaborative projects investigating the role of microRNAs in Cardiovascular Disease and Glaucoma. 

Dr McKenna's research is aligned with the Personalised Medicine and Stratified Medicine strategic initiatives at Ulster University, and team members collaborate externally with a number of colleagues in academia, industry and clinical institutions.

TEACHING INTERESTS

Dr McKenna contributes to teaching on a number of on-campus and distance-learning undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Biomedical Sciences at Ulster University. He is module co-ordinator for Haematology modules at BSc, PgCert and MSc level, and also contributes to modules on Molecular Pathology of Disease, Stem Cell Biology, Biomedical Professional Practice, Study Skills, as well as supervising final year student (Hons) projects. He has several years experience as Placement Tutor for students studying on the BSc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences DPP(Path) programme.

ADMINISTRATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

Ulster University

Associate Head of School (2020  –  )

Academic Division Head, Bio and Healthcare Sub-School (2018 – 20)

Biomedical Sciences Global Engagement & Academic Recruitment (2017 –  )

UU Faculty of Life & Health Sciences Committee on Employability (2015 –  )

Chair of Employers’ Liaison Group (ELG) Committee, Biomedical Sciences (2011-18 )   

BMSRI Cell Technologies Core Facility Unit Coordinator (2014-15)

External Representation

HSC R&D Doctoral Fellowship Scheme, Panel Member (2019)

Genomics, Editor (2018 –  )

NI Institute of Biomedical Sciences Branch Member (2018 –  )

NI Biobank Steering Committee (2018 –  )

NI Pathology Network Committee Member (2018 –  )

Irish Association of Cancer Research Senior Council (2017 –  ) 

Royal Society of Biology Northern Ireland Branch Committee Member (2015 –   )

Genetics Society Northern Ireland Local Representative (2013 –   )

Chair of Cancer Translational Research Group (CTRG), Public Health Agency (2015-16)

Invited Ad-hoc Reviewer: including MRC, OUP, Genomics, Oncogene, Molecular Cancer.

Professional Membership

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB)

Fellow of the Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice (FCHERP) at UU

Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach)

Chartered Biologist (CBiol)

Genetics Society Member

 

PUBLIC OUTREACH & CIVIC CONTRIBUTION

Dr McKenna is a registered member of the STEM Ambassador programme in Northern Ireland which aims to inspire and engage young people about the value of STEM subjects in daily life. He has a long-standing collaboration with the W5 Science Discovery Centre, Belfast to deliver STEM activities for schools and the general public. He has made well-received contributions to the annual NI Science Festival, RTE Brainstorm and a number of other initiatives promoting Public Engagement in Science. 

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Research Output

Appetite-regulating hormones-leptin, adiponectin and ghrelin-and the development of prostate cancer: a systematic review and exploratory meta-analysis.

Angel, Z., Iguacel, I., Mullee, A., Guha, N., Wasson, R., McKenna, D. J., Gunter, M., Smelov, V. & Huybrechts, I., 31 Mar 2020, In : Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 23, p. 11-23 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
  • 21 Downloads (Pure)

    Biomarkers That Differentiate Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia from Prostate Cancer: A Literature Review

    McNally, C., Ruddock, MW., Moore, T. C. B. & McKenna, D. J., 1 Jul 2020, In : Cancer Management and Research. 12, p. 5225—5241 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
    File
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)

    miR‐210 is induced by hypoxia and regulates neural cell adhesion molecule in prostate cells

    Angel, C. Z., Lynch, S. M., Nesbitt, H., McKenna, M. M., Walsh, CP. & McKenna, D. J., 9 Jun 2020, In : Journal of Cellular Physiology. 235, 9, p. 6194-6203 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • DIAGNOSTIC CLASSIFIERS FOR STRATIFYING PATIENTS AT RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER

    McNally, C., Ruddock, M., Moore, T. C. B. & McKenna, D. J., 2019, IACR 2019 Conference Programme.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    File
    15 Downloads (Pure)

    INVESTIGATING THE LINK BETWEEN HYPOXIA AND MIR-21 IN PROSTATE CANCER.

    Angel, Z., Walsh, CP. & McKenna, D. J., Jan 2019, In : Ulster Medical Journal, The. 88, 1, p. 66

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract

    File
  • 23 Downloads (Pure)

    Prizes

    Distinguished Research Fellowship

    Mc Kenna, Declan (Recipient), 12 Dec 2017

    Prize: Honorary award

    Mid-Ulster District Council Civic Award

    Mc Kenna, Declan (Recipient), 19 Sep 2016

    Prize: Honorary award

  • Activities

    • 1 Membership of committee
    • 1 Membership of council

    Irish Association of Cancer Research (External organisation)

    Declan Mc Kenna (Member)

    20172020

    Activity: MembershipMembership of council

    Royal Society of Biology NI Branch (External organisation)

    Declan Mc Kenna (Member)

    2015

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    Press / Media

    NI SCIENCE FESTIVAL 2020 : The SCIENCE OF TEENAGERS

    Declan Mc Kenna

    17/02/20

    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Northern Ireland Science Festival 2019: The Science of Horror Movies

    Declan Mc Kenna

    30/01/1915/02/19

    1 item of Media coverage, 1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Northern Ireland Science Festival 2018: Ginger Genetics

    Declan Mc Kenna

    14/02/18

    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities