Dr Margaret Rose Cunningham

Senior Lecturer

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Personal statement

Chancellor’s Fellow and Lecturer in Cardiovascular Pharmacology

My field of expertise is G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-dependent regulation of cardiovascular function with particular interest in proteinase-activated receptors (PARs) and purinergic receptor families.  My research involves investigating the molecular mechanisms of GPCR involvement in the processes that underpin platelet and vascular cell function and anti-cancer therapy-induced cardiotoxicity. In SIPBS, I co-lead the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases research group with Dr Susan Currie.    

I am the Editor-in-Chief of Pharmacology Matters magazine and serve as a Reviewing Editor for Pharmacology Research & Perspectives (PR&P) journal.  I am an elected member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland (YAS), a member of the Ingenious & Enterprising Women Network and a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow.  I am an Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) springboard awardee and recently featured in their #MedSciLife Campaign. 

Improving attainment, participation and engagement in science is very important to me therefore I mentor postdoctoral researchers across the University, undergraduate students through the Strathclyde Cares Widening Access scheme and Secondary School students through the MCR pathways in West Dunbartonshire.  

I serve as Director of Outreach (in Biomolecular Sciences) with Dr Zahra Rattray (in Pharmacy) and I lead on the Career Progression working group on the SIPBS Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and additionally support the Organisation, Culture and Communication working group.          


Different responses of the blockade of the P2Y1 receptor with BPTU in human and porcine intestinal tissues and in cell cultures
Traserra Sara, Barber Claudia, MacInnes Jane, Relea Lucia, MacPherson Lewis C, Cunningham Margaret R, Vergara Patri, Accarino Anna, Kennedy Charles, Jimenez Marcel
Neurogastroenterology and Motility Vol 33 (2021)
A new model for regulation of sphingosine kinase 1 translocation to the plasma membrane in breast cancer cells
Brown Ryan DR, Veerman Ben EP, Oh Jeongah, Tate Rothwelle J, Torta Federico, Cunningham Margaret R, Adams David R, Pyne Susan, Pyne Nigel J
Journal of Biological Chemistry (2021)
On synthetic instrument response functions of time-correlated single-photon counting based fluorescence lifetime imaging analysis
Xiao Dong, Sapermsap Natakorn, Safar Mohammed, Cunningham Margaret Rose, Chen Yu, Li David Day-Uei
Frontiers in Physics Vol 9 (2021)
Sunitinib and imatinib display differential cardiotoxicity in adult rat cardiac fibroblasts that involves a role for calcium/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II
McMullen Calum J, Chalmers Susan, Wood Rachel, Cunningham Margaret R, Currie Susan
Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine Vol 7 (2021)
The development of proteinase-activated receptor-2 modulators and the challenges involved
McIntosh Kathryn A, Cunningham Margaret R, Bushell Trevor, Plevin Robin
Biochemical Society Transactions Vol 48, pp. 2525-2537 (2020)
Investigations on average fluorescence lifetimes for visualizing multi-exponential decays
Li Yahui, Natakorn Sapermsap, Chen Yu, Safar Mohammed, Cunningham Margaret, Tian Jinshou, Li David Day-Uei
Frontiers in Physics Vol 8 (2020)

More publications


I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) with a Postgraduate Diploma in Academic Practice.

I am class coordinator for BM434 Clinical Pharmacology and I lecture on the following undergraduate and postgraduate courses:

  • BM324 Fundamental Pharmacology
  • BM327 BABS 3 Pharmacology Labs
  • BM432 Research in Biomedical Sciences
  • BM933 Advanced studies in Haematology
  • BM906 Biomedical Sciences Project


I coordinate and deliver the Organisational and Staff Development Unit (OSDU) Research Bidding and Design - Getting Started course with Dr Katherine Duncan to help support early career researchers with grantmanship.   

Research interests

My research is highly collaborative and multidisciplinary with ongoing projects invested in understanding protein interacting pathways that regulate GPCR activity in cardiovascular system with the aim of identifying novel ways to target receptors for development of new therapies.  Investigations include the use of artificial intelligence in the design of small molecules that target GPCRs and the development of novel PAR modulators. Approaches used in our research include SILAC quantitative proteomics, cellular imaging of therapeutic agents using Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) techniques, FRET, FRET-FLIM and meso-imaging.    

Current University of Strathclyde collaborators include:

  • Dr Susan Currie, SIPBS
  • Dr Blair Johnston, CMAC
  • Professor Gail McConnell, Physics
  • Professor Robin Plevin, SIPBS
  • Dr David Li, SIPBS
  • Dr Charles Kennedy, SIPBS


External collaborations include:

  • Professor Robert Liskamp, University of Glasgow, UK
  • Dr Matthew Harper, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Professor Stuart Mundell, University of Bristol, UK
  • Dr Patricia Martin, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
  • Dr Christopher Nile, Glasgow Dental School, University of Glasgow, UK
  • Professor Atsufumi Kawabata, Kindai University, Japan
  • Atomwise Ltd, US


I have an open-door policy and offer a supportive environment for highly motivated students to progress in their studies and develop their research skills. 



Professional activities

The Pharmacology of Harry Potter Potions
Novel off-target effects of doxorubicin on cardiovascular gap-junctional proteins
Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland (External organisation)
Biomolecules (Journal)
Editorial board member
STEMM Bank Scotland
International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Journal)
Guest editor

More professional activities


SPRINT: A SuPer-Resolution time-resolved ImagiNg and specTroscopy facility for rapid biomolecular analysis
Li, David (Principal Investigator) Chamberlain, Luke (Co-investigator) Chen, Yu (Co-investigator) Cunningham, Margaret Rose (Co-investigator) Gould, Gwyn (Co-investigator) Hoskisson, Paul (Co-investigator) McConnell, Gail (Co-investigator) Rattray, Zahra (Co-investigator) Van de Linde, Sebastian (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2022
Molecular mechanisms of HMGB1 release from platelets and its implication in vessel wall damage preceding thrombosis (Research Re-Boot - COVID-19 Impact)
Cunningham, Margaret Rose (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
Sustainable impact by design: a pilot study of effective STEM dissemination for hard-to-reach audiences
Essex, Jane (Principal Investigator) Gonzalez-Longo, Cristina (Co-investigator) Li, Rui (Co-investigator) Somorin, Tosin (Co-investigator) Hendry, Martyn (Co-investigator) Yue, Hong (Co-investigator) Maddock, Christie (Co-investigator) Ivaturi, Aruna (Co-investigator) Egea Alvarez, Agusti (Co-investigator) Cunningham, Margaret Rose (Co-investigator)
STEM Equals and RKES funding £10,000
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2021
Cross-examining interplay between High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) and coagulation: Defining a role for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in this complex Coag-Inflammatory nexus
BOSAKHAR, Zainab Y H A H A (Post Grad Student) Currie, Susan (Co-investigator) Plevin, Robin (Academic) Cunningham, Margaret Rose (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2023
Obesity and Neuroinflammation: The Impact of Adipocyte-derived Extracellular Vesicles on Inflammatory Signalling Pathways of Microglia
Colvin, Chiara (Post Grad Student) Gould, Gwyn (Co-investigator) Rattray, Zahra (Co-investigator) Cunningham, Margaret Rose (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2021
Probing the biology of Zinc alpha-2 glycoprotein
Gould, Gwyn (Principal Investigator) Cunningham, Margaret Rose (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2024

More projects


Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
Hamnett Wing

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