Dr. Mark Hollywood

Position: Principal Investigator
Email: info@icbc.ie

Research Interests

Mark HolywoodI gained my BSc (Hons) in Physiology in 1989 and began my research with Noel McHale on the innervation of the lymphatic system. I then worked for two years in the Veterinary Research Division of the Department of Agriculture. I returned to Queens in 1991 to begin my PhD on the innervation of sheep mesenteric lymphatics. Following the award of my PhD in 1994, I became a post doctoral worker in the Smooth Muscle Group. During this time we sucessfully isolated lymphatic and urethral smooth muscle cells and studied them using the patch clamp technique. Following my postdoc, I became a Lecturer in the Department of Physiology in 1995 and a Senior Lecturer in October 2001. In 2005, I along with my colleagues, Noel McHale, Keith Thornbury and Gerard Sergeant were recruited by Dundalk Institute of Technology to set up the Smooth Muscle Research Centre in Ireland.

My research is currently focused on i) examining the mechanisms underlying spontaneous activity in urethral pacemaker cells and how they modulate the bulk smooth muscle. We are currently developing a combined patch clamp/confocal microscopy system to allow us to simultaneously image whole cell Ca2+ at frame rates in excess of 200 fps using a novel back illuminated EMCCD camera and correlate this to the resultant electrical activity observed in isolated urethral pacemaker cells and ii) investigating the effects of novel ion channel modulators on smooth muscle function.

Recent Honours

  • 2009 Invited speaker at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Smooth Muscle Meeting (Lucca, Italy)
  • 2009 Invited speaker at the International Union of Physiological Sciences Symposium on Smooth Muscle (Nagoya, Japan)
  • 2007 Invited Speaker V International Symposium on Interstitial Cells of Cajal (Ireland).
  • 2005-2010 Honorary Senior Lecturer in Physiology, Queens University, Belfast,
  • 2000-2005 Honorary Lecturer in Cellular Physiology, University of Manchester, UK
  • 2005-Present Elected President of The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences Section).
  • 2005 Invited Symposium Speaker, Physiological Society, Oxford University 2004 Departmental Seminar Speaker, Department of Physiology, University of Oxford
  • 2004 Departmental Seminar Speaker, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology, St. Georges Hospital Medical School.
  • 2001-2004 Member of Council of Royal Academy of Science in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences Section).
  • 2002 Organiser of Royal Academy of Ireland Symposium: ‘Contribution of Spontaneous Activity to Lower Urinary Tract Function’, Belfast, June 2002.
  • 2003 Invited Speaker at the Inaugural Conference on EMCCD Technology (Aug 2003)
  • 2003 Invited Symposium Speaker, Physiological Society, University of Manchester, (September 2003)

Referee for: The Journal of Physiology, The British Journal of Pharmacology, The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, The Journal of Autonomic Pharmacology, Journal of Experimental Physiology, American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Grant Reviewer for: Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland.

Assessment Panel Member for: Science Foundation Ireland (RFP Program) and Enterprise Ireland (Commercialisation Fund for Technological Development)

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