• Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

  • 504 Citations
  • 13 h-Index
19982019
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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 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 interested in hypoxia-related mechanisms of prostate cancer progression and is currently investigating how combining novel hypoxia-activated drugs with existing therapies can improve tumour growth control by impacting upon miRNA expression and other molecular pathways in the tumour cells.

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 and Study Skills. 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

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

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. 

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

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1998 2019

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

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
Prostatic Neoplasms
Prostate
Computational Biology
Data Mining
MicroRNAs

Investigating the role of microRNAs in the hypoxic response in prostate cancer

Angel, Z., Lynch, S. M., Nesbitt, H., Walsh, CP. & McKenna, D. J., 2019, Keystone Symposia Conference D7: Small Regulatory RNAs Conference Programme. Poster 1005

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

File
MicroRNAs
Prostatic Neoplasms
Prostate
Neoplasms
Oxygen

INVESTIGATION OF MIR-205 EXPRESSION AND ITS METHYLATION STATUS IN PROSTATE CANCER

Lynch, S. M., O'Neill, K., McKenna, M., Walsh, CP., watson, W., Gallagher, W. & McKenna, D. J., 2019, IACR 2019 Conference Programme.

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

File

miR-21 is induced by hypoxia in prostate cancer and targets the tumour suppressor Rho-related GTP-binding protein (RHOB)

Angel, Z., Lynch, S. M., Walsh, CP. & McKenna, D. J., 2019, IACR 2019 Conference Programme.

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

File

Prizes

Distinguished Research Fellowship

Declan Mc Kenna (Recipient), 12 Dec 2017

Prize: Honorary award

Mid-Ulster District Council Civic Award

Declan Mc Kenna (Recipient), 19 Sep 2016

Prize: Honorary award

Activities 2015 2017

  • 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

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