Dr Declan Patrick Mc Kernan

B.Sc, Ph.D

Contact Details

Lecturer Below The Bar
Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Room 114
Experimental Medicine Building
NUI Galway

T: Ext. 3826
E: declan.mckernan@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

Previous Training & Positions:

  • 1999-2003: B.Sc. (Hons) in Industrial Biochemistry, University of Limerick.
  • 2003-2004: Research assistant at the Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin.
  • 2004-2007: Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University College Cork. 
  • 2007-2011: Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork.
  • 2011-Present: Lecturer in Pharmacology, NUI Galway. 
  • 2011-2014: Course Director MSc Toxicology.
  • 2012-2013: Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Teaching and Learning.
  • 2014-Present: Course Director MSc Neuropharmacology.

Summary of Research Interests

  • Innate immunity: the genetic, epigenetic and biochemical regulation of pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and NOD-like receptors (NLRs).
  • Epigenetics: the role of DNA methylation and histone modification in innate immunity and chronic inflammatory disease.
  • Neuroinflammation: the role of the innate immune system (TLRs) in neurodegerative diseases.
  • Brain-gut interaction: the role of the innate immune system in brain-gut communication.
  • Psychiatric & affective disorders: the role of the innate immune system in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

Research Interests


  • Innate immunity: the genetic, epigenetic and biochemical regulation of pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and NOD-like receptors (NLRs).
  • Epigenetics: the role of DNA methylation and histone modification in innate immunity and chronic inflammatory disease.
  • Neuroinflammation: the role of the innate immune system (TLRs) in neurodegerative diseases.
  • Brain-gut interaction: the role of the innate immune system in brain-gut communication.
  • Psychiatric & affective disorders: the role of the innate immune system in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.




Research Projects

  Project Start Date End Date
Immunoregulation of the Brian-Gut Axis, Declan McKernan, Milllennium Fund 01-JUL-11 01-JUL-13

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2015) 'The intestinal epithelial cell cycle: uncovering its 'cryptic' nature'
McKernan DP, Egan LJ. (2015) 'The intestinal epithelial cell cycle: uncovering its 'cryptic' nature'. Current Opinion In Gastroenterology, 31 (2):124-129 [DOI] [Details]
(2014) 'Cytokine imbalance in irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis'
Bashashati, M,Rezaei, N,Shafieyoun, A,McKernan, DP,Chang, L,Ohman, L,Quigley, EM,Schmulson, M,Sharkey, KA,Simren, M (2014) 'Cytokine imbalance in irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 26 :1036-1048 [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'Differential visceral nociceptive, behavioural and neurochemical responses to an immune challenge in the stress-sensitive Wistar Kyoto rat strain'
O' Mahony SM, Clarke G, McKernan DP, Bravo JA, Dinan TG, Cryan JF. (2013) 'Differential visceral nociceptive, behavioural and neurochemical responses to an immune challenge in the stress-sensitive Wistar Kyoto rat strain'. Behavioural Brain Research, [DOI] [Details]
(2013) 'An apPEAling new therapeutic for ulcerative colitis?'
McKernan, D.P. & Finn D.P. (2013) 'An apPEAling new therapeutic for ulcerative colitis?'. Gut, [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'Schizophrenia patients with a history of childhood trauma have a pro-inflammatory phenotype'
Dennison, U,McKernan, D,Cryan, J,Dinan, T (2012) 'Schizophrenia patients with a history of childhood trauma have a pro-inflammatory phenotype'. Psychological Medicine, 42 :1865-1871 [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'A Distinct Profile of Tryptophan Metabolism along the Kynurenine Pathway Downstream of Toll-Like Receptor Activation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome'
Clarke G, McKernan DP, Gaszner G, Quigley EM, Cryan JF, Dinan TG. (2012) 'A Distinct Profile of Tryptophan Metabolism along the Kynurenine Pathway Downstream of Toll-Like Receptor Activation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome'. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 3 [DOI] [Details]
(2012) 'Menstrual Cycle Influences Toll-Like Receptor Responses'
Dennison U, McKernan DP, Scully P, Clarke G, Cryan JF, Dinan TG (2012) 'Menstrual Cycle Influences Toll-Like Receptor Responses'. Neuroimmunomodulation, 19 :171-179 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Altered peripheral toll-like receptor responses in the irritable bowel syndrome'
McKernan, DP,Gaszner, G,Quigley, EM,Cryan, JF,Dinan, TG (2011) 'Altered peripheral toll-like receptor responses in the irritable bowel syndrome'. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 33 :1045-1052 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Age-dependent rat retinal ganglion cell susceptibility to apoptotic stimuli: implications for glaucoma'
Guerin, MB,Donovan, M,McKernan, DP,O'Brien, CJ,Cotter, TG (2011) 'Age-dependent rat retinal ganglion cell susceptibility to apoptotic stimuli: implications for glaucoma'. Clinical And Experimental Ophthalmology, 39 :243-251 [DOI] [Details]
(2011) 'Enhanced peripheral toll-like receptor responses in psychosis: further evidence of a pro-inflammatory phenotype'
McKernan DP, Dennison U, Gaszner G, Cryan JF, Dinan, TG (2011) 'Enhanced peripheral toll-like receptor responses in psychosis: further evidence of a pro-inflammatory phenotype'. Translational Psychiatry, 1 [DOI] [Details]
(2010) 'The probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 displays visceral antinociceptive effects in the rat'
McKernan DP, Fitzgerald P, Dinan TG & Cryan JF (2010) 'The probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 displays visceral antinociceptive effects in the rat'. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, [Details]
(2010) 'Plasma cytokine profiles in females with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and extra-intestinal co-morbidity'
Scully P, McKernan DP, Keohane J, Groeger D, Shanahan F, Dinan TG & Quigley EMM (2010) 'Plasma cytokine profiles in females with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and extra-intestinal co-morbidity'. American Journal Of Gastroenterology, [Details]
(2009) '“Killing the Blues”: A role for cellular suicide in depression and the antidepressant response'
McKernan DP, Dinan TG & Cryan JF (2009) '“Killing the Blues”: A role for cellular suicide in depression and the antidepressant response'. Progress In Neurobiology, [Details]
(2009) 'Toll-like receptor mRNA expression is selectively increased in the colonic mucosa of two animal models relevant to irritable bowel syndrome'
McKernan DP, Nolan A, Brint EK, O'Mahony SM, Hyland NP, Cryan JF, Dinan TG. (2009) 'Toll-like receptor mRNA expression is selectively increased in the colonic mucosa of two animal models relevant to irritable bowel syndrome'. Plos One, 4 (12) [Details]
(2007) 'A key role for calpains in retinal ganglion cell death'
McKernan DP, Guerin MB, O’Brien CJ, Cotter TG (2007) 'A key role for calpains in retinal ganglion cell death'. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, [Details]
(2007) 'A Critical role for Bim in retinal ganglion cell death'
McKernan, DP,Cotter, TG (2007) 'A Critical role for Bim in retinal ganglion cell death'. Journal Of Neurochemistry, 102 :922-930 [DOI] [Details]
(2006) 'Age-dependent susceptibility of the retinal ganglion cell layer to cell death'
McKernan DP, Caplis C, Donovan M, O'Brien CJ, Cotter TG. (2006) 'Age-dependent susceptibility of the retinal ganglion cell layer to cell death'. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, [Details]
(2006) 'Retinal Ganglion Cells: Dying to survive'
Guerin MB, McKernan DP, O’Brien CJ, Cotter TG (2006) 'Retinal Ganglion Cells: Dying to survive'. International Journal Of Developmental Biology, [Details]

Conference Publications

  Year Publication
(2014) Pharmacology 2014
Clarke, M., Hennessy, C., McKernan, D.P. (2014) Investigation of the Role of DNA Methylation in Regulating Toll-Like Receptor Activity Pharmacology 2014 [Details]
(2014) Pharmacology 2014
Hennessy, C., McKernan, D.P. (2014) Histone Deacetylase Complex Inhibitors and DNA Methylation Alters Toll Like Receptor 3 Expression In an Intestinal Epithelial Cell Line Pharmacology 2014 [Details]
(2013) British Pharmacological Society
Lynskey, T., O'Connell, S. & McKernan, D.P. (2013) Pharmacological Inhibition of DNA Methyltransferases alters Toll-Like Receptor Expression British Pharmacological Society [Details]
(2013) British Pharmacological Society
O'Connell, S. & McKernan, D.P. (2013) The Role of DNA Methylation in Toll-Like Receptor 3 Expression British Pharmacological Society [Details]
(2013) British Pharmacological Society
Feerick, C.L. O'Connell, S. & McKernan D.P. (2013) The Role of DNA Methyltransferase Inhibitors in the Regulation of NOD-like Receptor Expression and Activity in Monocytes British Pharmacological Society [Details]
(2012) British Pharmacological Society
O'Leime C, McKernan DP (2012) Alteration of Toll-like receptor expression in a monocytic cell line following glucocorticoid treatment in two different cell culture conditions British Pharmacological Society [Details]
(2011) Digestive Disease Week
Clarke G, McKernan DP, Gaszner G,. Quigley EMM, Cryan JF, Dinan TG (2011) Increased Kynurenine Production Following Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) Activation: A Novel Role for TIr8 in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Digestive Disease Week [Details]
(2010) Neuroscience Ireland
McKernan DP, Dennison, U, Cryan JF, Dinan TG (2010) Altered Toll-like receptor signalling in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder patients Neuroscience Ireland [Details]
(2010) Digestive Disease Week
McKernan, D. (2010) Enhanced release of specific TLR-agonist mediated pro-inflammatory cytokines in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Digestive Disease Week [Details]
(2010) Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society
McKernan DP, Gaszner G, Quigley EMM, Cryan JF, Dinan TG (2010) Enhanced immune activation in adulthood following childhood trauma: A role for Toll-like receptors Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society [Details]
(2009) Digestive Disease Week
McKernan DP, Nolan A, Brink EK, O’Mahony SM, Hyland NP, Cryan JF & Dinan TG (2009) Toll-like receptor mRNA expression is selectively increased in the colonic mucosa of two animal models of chronic stress - Relevance to Irritable Bowel Syndrome Digestive Disease Week [Details]
(2009) Neuroscience Ireland
McKernan DP, Fitzgerald P, Dinan TG & Cryan JF (2009) The Probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 Reduces Visceral Hypersensitivity in the rat Neuroscience Ireland [Details]
(2008) International Symposium on Neuroimmunology
McKernan DP, O’Connor RM, Browne CA, Dinan TG, Cryan JF (2008) Genetic Influences on Hippocampal Susceptibility to Cell Death Following Immune Activation International Symposium on Neuroimmunology [Details]
(2008) Society for Neuroscience
McKernan DP, O’Connor RM, Browne CA, Dinan TG, Cryan JF (2008) Genetic Influences on hippocampal susceptibility to cell death Society for Neuroscience [Details]
(2008) Neuroscience Ireland
McKernan DP, O’Connor RM, Browne CA, Dinan TG, Cryan JF (2008) Genetic Influences on Hippocampal Susceptibility to Cell Death Following Immune Activation Neuroscience Ireland [Details]
(2007) Keystone Symposia on Cell Death
McKernan, D. (2007) A critical role for Bim in retinal ganglion cell death Keystone Symposia on Cell Death [Details]
(2006) Neuroscience Ireland
McKernan DP & Cotter TG (2006) A critical role for Bim in retinal ganglion cell death Neuroscience Ireland [Details]
(2006) Association for Researcg in Vision and Ophtalmology
McKernan DP, Caplis C, Donovan M, O'Brien CJ, Cotter TG. (2006) Age-dependent susceptibility of retinal ganglion cells to cell death Association for Researcg in Vision and Ophtalmology [Details]
(2005) Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology
McKernan, D. (2005) Differential susceptibility of retinal ganglion cells to apoptosis in development and degeneration using in vitro explant cultures Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology [Details]

Abstract

  Year Publication
(2015) The Role of Calpains in Apoptosis of a Rat Retinal Ganglion Cells: Implications for Glaucoma.
Guerin, M,McKernan, D,Donovan, M,O'Brien, C,Cotter, TG (2015) The Role of Calpains in Apoptosis of a Rat Retinal Ganglion Cells: Implications for Glaucoma. Abstract [Details]
(2011) ALTERED TOLL-LIKE RECEPTOR RESPONSES IN SCHIZOPHRENIA AND BIPOLAR DISORDER PATIENTS.
McKernan, DP,Dennison, U,Cryan, JF,Dinan, TG (2011) ALTERED TOLL-LIKE RECEPTOR RESPONSES IN SCHIZOPHRENIA AND BIPOLAR DISORDER PATIENTS. Abstract [Details]

Editorial

  Year Publication
(2014) An apPEAling new therapeutic for ulcerative colitis?.
McKernan, DP,Finn, DP (2014) An apPEAling new therapeutic for ulcerative colitis?. Editorial [DOI] [Details]

Meeting

  Year Publication
(2010) BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS 35624 REDUCES VISCERAL HYPERACTIVITY IN A RAT MODEL OF CHRONIC STRESS.
McKernan, DP,Bongiovanni, C,Fitzgerald, P,Dinan, TG,Cryan, JF (2010) BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS 35624 REDUCES VISCERAL HYPERACTIVITY IN A RAT MODEL OF CHRONIC STRESS. Meeting [Details]
(2010) Animal models of co-morbid depression and irritable bowel syndrome.
Cryan, J,Bravo, JA,Clarke, G,Hyland, NP,O'Malley, D,O'Mahony, D,Julio-Pieper, M,McKernan, DP,Tramullas, M,Dinan, TG (2010) Animal models of co-morbid depression and irritable bowel syndrome. Meeting [Details]

Reviews

  Year Publication
(2015) The intestinal epithelial cell cycle: uncovering its 'cryptic' nature.
McKernan, DP,Egan, LJ (2015) The intestinal epithelial cell cycle: uncovering its 'cryptic' nature. Reviews [DOI] [Details]
(2009) Killing the Blues: A role for cellular suicide (apoptosis) in depression and the antidepressant response?.
McKernan, DP,Dinan, TG,Cryan, JF (2009) Killing the Blues: A role for cellular suicide (apoptosis) in depression and the antidepressant response?. Reviews [DOI] [Details]
(2006) Retinal ganglion cells: dying to survive.
Guerin, MB,McKernan, DP,O'Brien, CJ,Cotter, TG (2006) Retinal ganglion cells: dying to survive. Reviews [DOI] [Details]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Member /
European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation Member /
British Pharmacological Society Member /
Neuroscience Ireland Member /
American Gastroenterological Association Member /
Irish Society of Toxicology Member /

Committees

  Committee Function From / To
College of Science Internationalization Committe member 02-SEP-13 /

Teaching Interests

Course Director of MSc in Neuropharmacology
 
I also lecture a variety of topics in pharmacology and toxicology in all undergraduate years in science, in 2nd year medicine and on our taught MSc programmes. Some modules I teach on include:

  • PM209 Applied Concepts in Pharmacology
  • PM210 Molecular Pharmacology & Signalling
  • PM310 Drugs & Disease
  • PM311 Introduction to Toxicology
  • PM312 Applied Pharmacology
  • PM435 Advanced Technologies for Therapeutics
  • PM436 Advaned Toxicology
  • MD214 Introduction to Pharmacology
  • PM5102 Experimental Methods in Pharmacology
  • PM5104 Current Topics in Neuropharmacology
  • PM5105 Neuropharmacology & Therapeutics
  • PM5109 Experimental Toxicology
  • PM5110 Current Topics in Toxicology