Dr Samantha Donnellan

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

I have a BSc (Hons) in Medical Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh. My PhD at Heriot Watt University/Moredun Research Institute was to develop a rapid, low cost assay suitable for screening the anti-mycobacterial properties of nanoparticles (NPs) against mycobacteria. Solid drug NPs (SDNs) of the first line TB antibiotics were developed and screened in the assay and compared to conventional antibiotics. Additionally, the efficacy of the SDNs was monitored intracellularly (within a mycobacterium infected macrophage) and imaged to determine whether these particles co-localised with the mycobacteria.

Current Work

I am a Key Worker in the fight against coronavirus through scientific research. Currently, I am part of a team investigating drug action against COVID-19.

Fellowship

I am a Fellow of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and I won LSTMs prestigious 2018 Director Catalyst Fund, allowing me to gain specialist training in South Africa (Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit at The University of Cape Town) and the USA (Harvard University) to focus on my own research - working with multi-drug resistant TB and developing a microfluidics device in our HG3 confocal imaging suite for sophisticated drug screening.

Research

I work in Tuberculosis (TB) research and more recently we have been investigating TB and HIV co-infections, collaborating with the Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool. Macrophages uptake TB but are unable to destroy the disease-causing pathogen through phagocytosis, reasons for which are not well elucidated. At LSTM I work in the CDD, investigating drug action on Mtb within the intracellular environment using High Content Imaging methods. I collaborate closely with LSTMs PK/PD modelling team, to help predict clinical outcome of anti-TB drugs. I am the senior post-doc of LSTMs CL3 TB laboratories.

Teaching

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and partake in teaching on LSTMs online MSc in ‘Global Health’, and the ‘Tropical Disease Biology’ MSc, as well as lecturing at other institutes.

Recent Science Communication Events

  • TEDx: invited speaker - Museum of Liverpool, 2019
  • BBC Radio: Guest speaker for World TB day as part of SciFri, 2019
  • House of Lords: As a WCMT Fellow I was invited by Viscount Brookeborough KG, 2019.
  • Fame Lab: I was a UK finalist, at the Cheltenham Science Festival, 2019
  • Science Communications 2-day masterclass: with Wendy Sadler MBE, 2019
  • Walton Prison Talk on UK TB, as a WCMT Fellow, 2019


Selected recent presentations/meetings

Podium: ‘MXF for TB treatment?’ Setting our Sights on Infectious Diseases, Dundee, 2019.

Podium: ‘Clinical Validation of Intracellular Pharmacodynamic based modelling for the prediction of Fluoroquinolone activity against TB’ European Society of Mycobacteria, Dresden, 2018.

Poster: ‘Macrophage Intracellular Kill Rate is Predictive of Tuberculosis Treatment Duration’ The 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health, Liverpool, 2016.

Poster: ‘Validation of Intracellular Pharmacodynamic based modelling for the prediction of clinical fluoroquinolone activity against TB’, PreDiCT-TB, Paris, 2017 (winner of poster competition).

Poster: ‘A rapid screening assay for TB’ TB SUMIT, London, March 2015 (winner of poster competition).

Selected publications

  • Donnellan S, Aljayyoussi G, Martinez-Rodriguez C, Biagini G. Measurement of the Intracellular Mtb drug effect and prediction of the clinical dose-response relationship using intracellular PD Modelling (PDi) Springer Chapter on ‘ANTIMICROBIAL THERAPIES’ 2020.

    • Aljayyoussi G, Jenkins V, Sharma R, Ardrey A, Donnellan S, Ward S, Biagini G. Macrophage Intracellular Kill Rate is Predictive of Tuberculosis Treatment Duration (2017) Scientific Reports, 7, 502.
    • Donnellan S, Tran L, Johnston H, McLuckie, J, Stevenson K, Stone V. A rapid screening assay for identifying mycobacteria targeted nanoparticle antibiotics. Nanotoxicology (2016) 5, 1-9.
    • Donnellan S, Chatzinikolaou F, Kranioti EF Morphological Analysis of Sharp Force Trauma Patterns Using High Resolution Casts (2012) Int J Legal Med, 126, S175-6.

    Selected recent presentations/meetings
    • Poster Presentation, ‘Macrophage Intracellular Kill Rate is Predictive of TB Treatment Duration’ PreDiCT-TB Annual Assembly, Paris, 2017 (winner of poster competition).
    • Poster Presentation, ‘A rapid screening assay for TB’ TB SUMIT, London, March 2015 (winner of poster competition).
    • Podium Presentation (invited speaker), ‘Nanomedicines for the Treatment of TB’, T-NANO, India, Dec 2014.
    • Podium Presentation, ‘A Rapid Screening Assay to Compare the Effectiveness of 3 Metal Oxide Nanoparticles at Killing Mycobacteria’ Smart and green interfaces: C.O.S.T ACTION, Marseille, April 2014.
    • Podium Presentation, ‘Nanomedicines for the Treatment of TB’ Science for Life Competition, Dundee, May 2014.
    • Poster Presentation, ‘Metal Oxide NPs against Map in a rapid screening assay’ CLINAM, Basel, July 2014.
    • Poster Presentation, ‘Metal Oxide NPs used in a rapid screening assay’ European Society of Mycobacteria (ESM), Vienna, July 2014
    • Poster Presentation, ‘A Rapid Screening Assay to Compare the Effectiveness of 3 Metal Oxide Nanoparticles at Killing Mycobacteria’ Science for Life Competition- Royal Society of Edinburgh, Edinburgh May 2014.