Research Profile

Fiona McDonald

Biography

Fiona McDonald received a B.Sc. degree (Jnt. Hons) in Physiology and Pharmacology from University College Dublin, in 2008. She carried out postgraduate research to assess the sex-specific impact of chronic intermittent hypoxia exposure on respiratory muscle function during development, and was awarded her PhD in 2014 from UCD. Fiona then carried out a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship funded by SIDS Calgary Society, at University of Calgary in Canada. Her project investigated the interaction of multiple stressors, including prenatal cigarette smoke exposure on neonatal cardiorespiratory function. In 2016, Fiona joined Professor Julian Paton’s lab at University of Bristol, UK to explore the underlying mechanisms of hypertension and novel therapeutic strategies. In 2018, Fiona joined the Department of Physiology as a Lecturer and Principle Investigator. The theme of Fiona’s research is understanding mechanism of early life stress, such as unstable patterns of oxygenation, on cardiorespiratory and motor function in preterm infants. Fiona has a keen interest in exploring sex-specific vulnerabilities during development. Her work seeks to identify novel preventative strategies for preterm infants to improve their long-term functional outcomes and their quality of life.

Research Interests

Respiratory control, muscle function, cardiovascular physiology, early life stress, hypoxia, sexual dimorphism, development

Research Grants

 ProjectFunding
Body
Start DateEnd DateAward
Early life stress in preterm infants- Award DeclinedIrish Research Council
Trilogy of stressors in the neonatal periodUCC TRAP (Translational Research Access Programme)€9,950.00
A trilogy of stressors in the NICU: Towards therapy for preterm adversity.Science Foundation Ireland01-MAR-1928-FEB-23€511,000.00

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals

 YearPublication
(2018)'The shape of things to come: Early life stress stunts brainstem microglia, with lasting implications for cardiorespiratory control and plasticity'
O'Halloran, KD;McDonald, FB (2018) 'The shape of things to come: Early life stress stunts brainstem microglia, with lasting implications for cardiorespiratory control and plasticity'. Experimental Physiology, 103 :1183-1184 [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Caffeine therapy for apnoea of prematurity: Wake up to the fact that sex matters'
McDonald FB;Dempsey EM;O'Halloran KD; (2018) 'Caffeine therapy for apnoea of prematurity: Wake up to the fact that sex matters'. Experimental Physiology, 103 (10) [DOI] [Details]
(2018)'Pharmacotherapies for apnoea of prematurity: time to pause and consider targeted sex-specific strategies?'
O'Halloran KD;McDonald FB; (2018) 'Pharmacotherapies for apnoea of prematurity: time to pause and consider targeted sex-specific strategies?'. Experimental Physiology, 103 (2) [DOI] [Details]
(2017)'Thermal and cytokine responses to endotoxin challenge during early life'
McDonald FB;Khawaja AM;Imran AA;Ellis ME;Chandrasekharan K;Hasan SU; (2017) 'Thermal and cytokine responses to endotoxin challenge during early life'. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 95 (12) [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'Early life exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia primes increased susceptibility to hypoxia-induced weakness in rat sternohyoid muscle during adulthood'
McDonald Fiona B.; Dempsey Eugene M.; O'Halloran Ken D. (2016) 'Early life exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia primes increased susceptibility to hypoxia-induced weakness in rat sternohyoid muscle during adulthood'. Frontiers in Physiology, 7 [DOI] [CORA Link] [Details]
(2016)'Effects of Gestational and Postnatal Exposure to Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia on Diaphragm Muscle Contractile Function in the Rat'
McDonald, FB;Dempsey, EM;O'Halloran, KD (2016) 'Effects of Gestational and Postnatal Exposure to Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia on Diaphragm Muscle Contractile Function in the Rat'. Frontiers in Physiology, 7 [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'Sex, stress and sleep apnoea: decreased susceptibility to upper airway muscle dysfunction following intermittent hypoxia in females'
O’Halloran, Ken D.; Lewis, Philip; McDonald, Fiona (2016) 'Sex, stress and sleep apnoea: decreased susceptibility to upper airway muscle dysfunction following intermittent hypoxia in females'. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, :1-7   [DOI] [CORA Link] [Details]
(2016)'Cardiorespiratory control and cytokine profile in response to heat stress, hypoxia, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure during early neonatal period'
McDonald FB;Chandrasekharan K;Wilson RJ;Hasan SU; (2016) 'Cardiorespiratory control and cytokine profile in response to heat stress, hypoxia, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure during early neonatal period'. Physiological reports, 4 (2) [DOI] [Details]
(2016)'Interactive effects of maternal cigarette smoke, heat stress, hypoxia, and lipopolysaccharide on neonatal cardiorespiratory and cytokine responses'
McDonald, FB;Chandrasekharan, K;Wilson, RJA;Hasan, SU (2016) 'Interactive effects of maternal cigarette smoke, heat stress, hypoxia, and lipopolysaccharide on neonatal cardiorespiratory and cytokine responses'. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 311 :1113-1124 [DOI] [Details]
(2015)'The beta(2)-adrenoceptor agonist terbutaline recovers rat pharyngeal dilator muscle force decline during severe hypoxia'
McDonald, FB,Skelly, JR,O'Halloran, KD (2015) 'The beta(2)-adrenoceptor agonist terbutaline recovers rat pharyngeal dilator muscle force decline during severe hypoxia'. Oral Diseases, 21 :121-127 [DOI] [Details]
(2015)'Early life exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia causes upper airway dilator muscle weakness, which persists into young adulthood'
McDonald, FB;Williams, R;Sheehan, D;O'Halloran, KD (2015) 'Early life exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia causes upper airway dilator muscle weakness, which persists into young adulthood'. Experimental Physiology, 100 :947-966 [DOI] [Details]
(2015)'Chronic intermittent hypoxia increases rat sternohyoid muscle NADPH oxidase expression with attendant modest oxidative stress'
Williams, Robert; Lemaire, Paul; Lewis, Philip; McDonald, Fiona B.; Lucking, Eric; Hogan, Sean; Sheehan, David; Healy, Vincent; O'Halloran Ken D. (2015) 'Chronic intermittent hypoxia increases rat sternohyoid muscle NADPH oxidase expression with attendant modest oxidative stress'. Frontiers in Physiology, 6 [DOI] [CORA Link] [Details]
(2014)'Effect of chronic intermittent hypoxia on the reflex recruitment of the genioglossus during airway obstruction in the anesthetized rat'
Edge D;McDonald FB;Jones JF;Bradford A;O'Halloran KD; (2014) 'Effect of chronic intermittent hypoxia on the reflex recruitment of the genioglossus during airway obstruction in the anesthetized rat'. Progress In Brain Research, 209 [DOI] [Details]
(2014)'Chronic nitric oxide synthase inhibition does not impair upper airway muscle adaptation to chronic intermittent hypoxia in the rat'
McDonald FB;Edge D;O'Halloran KD; (2014) 'Chronic nitric oxide synthase inhibition does not impair upper airway muscle adaptation to chronic intermittent hypoxia in the rat'. Progress In Brain Research, 212 [DOI] [Details]
(2014)'Novel method for conscious airway resistance and ventilation estimation in neonatal rodents using plethysmography and a mechanical lung'
Zhang B;McDonald FB;Cummings KJ;Frappell PB;Wilson RJ; (2014) 'Novel method for conscious airway resistance and ventilation estimation in neonatal rodents using plethysmography and a mechanical lung'. Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 201 [DOI] [Details]

Encyclopedia Entries

 YearPublication
Sensorimotor control of breathing in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Sensorimotor control of breathing in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. . Encyclopedia Entries. [DOI] [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2017HEA Associate Fellow Higher Education Academy UK
2019Experimental Physiology Review Prize Physiological Society
2019Aurora Leadership Programme UCC

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Physiological Society Member01-OCT-08 /

Employment

 EmployerPositionFrom / To
University of Calgary Post doctoral Fellowship01-JAN-14 / 31-DEC-15
University of Bristol Research Associate01-JAN-16 / 21-AUG-17
University College Cork Post doctoral Researcher01-SEP-17 / 31-AUG-18

Education

 YearInstitutionQualificationSubject
2008University College Dublin Bachelor of SciencePhysiology and Pharmacology
2014University College Dublin PhDPhysiology

Teaching Activities

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2020Cardiovascular Biology MH1020Cardiovascular Biology

Research Information

Internal Collaborators

 NameInstituteCountry
Professor Ken O'Halloran Department of Physiology, UCCIRELAND
Professor Eugene Dempsey Paediatrics and Child Health, UCCIRELAND

External Collaborators

 NameOrganisation / InstituteCountry
Professor Shabih Hasan Department of Pediatrics, University of CalgaryCANADA
Professor Richard Wilson Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of CalgaryCANADA
Dr. Valentina Mosienko Department of Neuroscience, ExeterUNITED KINGDOM

Contact details

  • Fiona McDonald
    Lecturer in Physiology
  • fiona.mcdonald@ucc.ie
  • Western Gateway Building,
    Western Road,
    UCC.

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Physiology Department

Fiseolaíocht

Western Gateway Building Western Road University College Cork

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