Dr Catriona Kelly

Senior Lecturer

School of Medicine

School of Biomedical Sciences,
Ulster University,
C-TRIC Building, Altnagelvin Area Hospital,
Glenshane Road, Derry~Londonderry,
BT47 6SB,

Biomedical Sciences Research

Senior Lecturer

Dr Catriona Kelly


Catriona’s PhD examined the role of cellular communication in insulin secretion and developed a pseudoislet model to study the importance of gap junction mediated cell-to-cell contact in normal beta-cell function.

In 2007, she began a post-doctoral career at Queen’s University of Belfast where she first worked on the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of retinal perfusion and blood pressure and the pathophysiological changes responsible for the disruption of retinal blood flow during early diabetes. She subsequently took up a post-doctoral position, where she studied NF-kB driven inflammation in the airways epithelium of patients with Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis.

Catriona took up a Lectureship at Keele in February 2011 before moving to Ulster University in 2013.

Research Interests

Catriona’s research focuses on understanding how inflammatory and apoptotic signalling pathways are altered in disease. The aim of this research is to identify target genes or pathways that will predict disease development, disease severity or response to treatment.

Work to date has focused on two primary disease states: Diabetes and inflammatory lung disease (CF, asthma). Common to both diseases is the state of persistent inflammation leading to tissue destruction and apoptosis.

Current research interests include:

  • The use of 3D cell models for the study of diseases, which alleviates much of the reliance on animal or human tissue for initial experimental investigations
  • The use of adjunctive stem cell therapies to prevent apoptosis/promote cell regeneration
  • The identification of disturbances in inflammatory and apoptotic pathways that lead to development of disease and associated complications
  • The stratification of patients to identify and optimise treatment regimes.

Catriona’s work has been supported by the CF Trust, Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, Wellcome Trust, Society for Endocrinology, The Physiological Society, Iraqi MOHESR and the 3ME Initiative (EPSRC).

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate Teaching:
BIO122 Anatomy and Physiology (Module Coordinator)
BIO126 Disease and Treatment
BIO335 Epidemiology of Disease
BIO336 Pharmacology (Module Coordinator)
Postgraduate Teaching:
BIO833 Research Project (Module Coordinator)

Administrative Roles

Course Director, BSc Hons Stratified Medicine
Life and Health Sciences Faculty Board