Smooth Muscle Research Centre >> People >> Professor Mark Hollywood

Professor Mark Hollywood

Position

Professor of Molecular Physiology

Email Address

mark.hollywood@dkit.ie

Address

Room 104
Smooth Muscle Research Centre
Dundalk Institute of Technology
Dublin Road
Dundalk
Ireland

Lab Telephone

0429 370 475

Office Telephone

0429 370 509

Research Interests   I 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 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. To find out more about this system, have a look at our most recent publications by clicking on the relevant button to the left.   Publications  See my latest publications here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Hollywood+MA+%5BAu%5D     Grant Income  

 

2017-2022           Special EU Programmes Body: InterReg VA: BREATH (Borders and Regions Airways Training Hub).

                            Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PI)

Value of Award €7,734,797

This funding permits us to develop a cross border & interregional training hub focused on COPD for 16 PhD students, 5 Post Doctoral Fellows and a Clinical Fellow. It is led by the SMRC in DkIT and involves collaborations with Queens University of Belfast and the University of the West of Scotland.

 

2017-2021           Irish Research Council: Postgraduate Scholarship:

                            Role: Principal Investigator (Co-PI)

Value of Award €96,524

This grant funds a 4 year PhD studentship and focuses on examining the role of TRPC channels in bladder function.

 

2014-2019           DkIT Research Office Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme. Mathematical Modeling of the action of BK channel openers using the Horrigan-Aldrich Allosteric Model.

                            Role: Principal Investigator

Value of Award €44,000

This study will utilise the skills of a mathematics graduate to focus on mathematical modelling of BK channels by novel GoSlo-SR compounds in order to ascertain the mechanisms through which these compounds mediate their effects.

2013-2015           Enterprise Ireland: CFTD: Pharmacological Lead Compounds In-Vivo Optimization Trials.

                            Role: Principal Investigator

Value of Award €322,387

This funding permits us to perform in vivo experimentation to assess the efficacy and safety of a our newly discovered BK channel modulators, the GoSlo-SR family.

 

2011-2015           Science Foundation Ireland: Research Frontiers Programme. Molecular Mechanisms underlying action of novel BK channel agonists. (SMR024)

Value of Award €152,807

This study focuses on examining the molecular mechanisms controlling BK channel opening and how it is modified by novel drugs that are currently undergoing patent protection. It uses a combination of electrophysiology, ion channel cloning & mutagenesis and mathematical modelling.

 

2009-2013           Enterprise Ireland: Applied Research Enhancement Scheme: Ion Channel Biotechnology Centre.(SMR020 & SMR021)

Value of Award €1,997,450

This funding will permit us to develop our applied research base to liaise with academia and industry both nationally and internationally. It will fund the development of an ion channel molecular biology and synthetic chemistry laboratory as well as fund 3 new post-doctoral fellows and a Commercialisation Manager.

 

2008-2012           National Biophotonics Platform PhD studentship (administered through RCSI)

Value of Award €134,200

Following the adoption of the SMRC onto the PRTLI4 National Biophotonics Platform in 2008, we have secured funding for a 4 year PhD studentship to investigate the fundamental mechanisms underlying spontaneous Ca2+ release events in isolated urethral cells.

 

2009-2011           Council of Directors: Peristalsis in the Upper Urinary Tract: A Novel Role for Interstitial Cells of Cajal. (PRES021)

                            Value of Award €46,000

This study focuses on examining ureteric activity modulation by ICC in the urethra. It focuses on using human and rabbit ureters to assess the contribution of ICC to the spontaneous activity in this tissue.

 

2009-2011           Council of Directors: Investigating the structure activity relationships (SARs) of novel modulators of large conductance Ca2+ activated K+ channels. (PRDC082)

                            Value of Award €46,000

This study focuses on examining how chemical substitutions alter the biological activity of novel ion channel modulators.

 

2008-2009           Enterprise Ireland: Proof of Concept Award: Novel Modulators of Large Conductance Ca2+ activated K+ channels – determining specificity in bladder smooth muscle. (SMR018)

Value of Award €120,000

This funding will permit us to examine the effects of our novel BK channel openers on other ion channel subtypes including voltage gated K+ channels. Ca2+ channels, Cl- channels and KATP channels.

 

2008-2009           Enterprise Ireland: Equipment Award-Revolution xD confocal cell and tissue imaging system. (SMR019)

Value of Award €489,000

This funding will permit the purchase of a multiline laser/dual output confocal microscope for high speed multidimensional imaging.

 

2008-2009           DKIT, Seed Fund:Examining structure function activity of novel, commercially exploitable, BK channel openers.(PRES020)

Value of Award €20,000

This funding was used to provide preliminary data for a proof of concept grant and an ARE proposal. Both grants were subsequently awarded.

 

2008-2011           Children’s Research Centre: Development of Interstitial Cells of Cajal in the ganglionic and aganglionic bowel. (Administered through Crumlin Children’s Hospital)

Value of Award €224,000

This study is being be carried out in collaboration with Prof P. Puri at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. It is focused on the characterisation of ion channels and Ca2+ oscillations in myocytes and ICC isolated from the colon of neonates suffering from Hirschsprungs disease.

 

2007-2010           Science Foundation Ireland: Role of interstitial cells of Cajal in corpus cavernosum (SMR013)

Value of Award €162,297

This study focuses on examining the contribution of specialised pacemaker cells to erection and detumescence in the rabbit penis.

 

2008-2010           Council of Directors: Contribution of ICC to tone in the murine urethra. (SMR014)

Value of Award €46,000

This study focuses on examining urethral tone modulation by ICC in the urethra. It focuses on using mutant mice that lack the Kit receptor to assess the contribution of ICC to the urethra.

 

2007-2010           Health Research Board: Role of reverse Na+/Ca2+ exchange in modulation of Ca2+ oscillations in ICC of the rabbit urethra. (SMR010)

Value of Award €253,704

This study focuses on using a combination of Ca2+ imaging, electrophysiology and molecular biology to examine the contribution of NCX to calcium influx in spontaneously active urethral ICC.

 

2007-2009           Council of Directors: Role of Kv channels in urethral tone. (SMR009)

Value of Award €46,000

This study focuses on the molecular, pharmacological and biophysical properties of voltage gated K+ channels in the urethra. 

 

2005-2008                 Wellcome Trust Programme Grant. Regulation of synovial hyaluronan secretion. (SMR003)

Value of Award £388,087

This study is being be carried out in collaboration with Prof R. Levick at St Georges Hospital Medical School, London. It is focused on the characterisation of ion channels and Ca2+ oscillations in synoviocytes and their modulation by stretch.

 

2005-2008                 Health Research Board  (Ireland)  Pacemaker Activity in Urethral Interstitial Cells(SMR001)       

Value of Award €173,000

This study will examine the spontaneous mechanical and electrical activity in normal murine urethral ICC and compare it with the activity in the cKit mutant W/Wv mouse.

                       

2005-2010           Nation Institutes of Health (NIDDK, USA)-Myogenic Tone in the urethra and its modulation by neurotransmitters.(SMR002)

        Value of Award $1,180,068

This study will use a combination of electrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging and molecular biology to examine the mechanisms underlying the generation and modulation of urethral tone.

 

 

2001-2004           Diabetes UK – Ca2+ signalling in isolated myocytes from the rabbit corpus cavernosum.(SMR005)

                            Value of Award £107,465

The purpose of this study is to ascertain at a cellular level, the mechanisms underlying penile erection with a view to designing drugs that can treat impotence

           

2002-2005           Wellcome Trust - Pacemaker mechanisms in isolated interstitial cells of the rabbit urethra (SMR004)

Value of Award £245,000

The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanisms underlying the generation of    spontaneous inward currents in isolated IC

 

2002-2005             Medical Research Council – Novel cell-permeant Chemical Probes  for assessing the role of cADPR

                              Value of Award £495,000           

The purpose of this study is to design, synthesise and  evaluate novel agonists and antagonists to the cADPR receptor and assess their effects on smooth muscle.

 

2001-2004             Action Research – Physiology and Pharmacology of human urethral smooth muscle.

Value of Award £107,000

The purpose of this study is to investigate the ionic mechanisms underlying the control and modulation of tone in the human urethra.     

 

2002-2003                   Research into Aging Incontinence Research Grant- Ionic mechanisms underlying pacemaking in the whole isolated rat urethra.

                               Value of Award £25,000

The role of this study was to develop an in vitro whole urethra preparation to investigate the contribution of ion channels and intracellular stores to urethral tone generation.