Staff Profile:Dr Alister McNeish

Dr Alister McNeish
Job Title:
Lecturer in Pharmacology

Pharmacy department outreach coordinator

Deputy exams coordinator

Module convenor for Therapeutics 2 (PM3TH2)

Areas of Interest:

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in the UK and in our aging population the incidence of cardiovascular disease is increasing. Therefore there is a pressing need for new and better treatments for these diseases. My main focus is on vascular pharmacology. In particular how the endothelial cells, which line inside of blood vessels, communicate and modulate the degree of constriction of the smooth muscle cells that form the wall of blood vessels. Understanding these processes help us develop new strategies for regulating blood flow and blood pressure; perhaps leading to new treatments for cardiovascular diseases. My work falls roughly in to four inter-related themes:

a) Regulation of calcium-activated potassium channels (KCa) found in the endothelium. These channels play a critical role in endothelium derived hyperpolarization (EDH) mediated responses and regulation of blood pressure/flow. This theme also encompasses how such regulation affects EDH responses.

b) Characterisation and elucidation of the mechanisms that underlie the EDH response, particularly in the cerebral vasculature with a particular focus on the role of fatty acid derived metabolites (including fish oils) and reactive oxygen species on these responses.

c) Study of crosstalk/interaction between two of the major endothelium dependant vasodilator pathways, nitric oxide and EDH, and how endothelial dysfunction may lead to changes in these interactions.

d) The role of the endothelium in regulating spontaneous vasoconstrictor tone (myogenic tone) in smooth muscle cells. This has implications on vasomotion (a coordinated oscillatory relaxation and constriction of blood vessels) and vasospasm (uncontrolled vasoconstriction associated with strokes and heart attacks).

My research forms part of the University of Readings Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR; and has recently been funded by The Royal Society and the British Heart Foundation. The latter award is a 3 year project grant to investigate the regulation of EDH/KCa by thromboxane receptors and Rho kinase and is being conducted by my postdoctoral researcher Dr Claudia Bauer.

As well as research I have an active role in university and academic life. I am currently module convenor for PM3TH2 on the MPharm degree programme and am deputy exams officer and the outreach coordinator for the Reading School of Pharmacy. I am a member of the British Pharmacological Society, The Physiological Society and Microcirculation Society. I serve on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Pharmacology and Frontiers in Vascular Physiology

Research groups / Centres:
Jump to: 2014 | 2012 | 2010 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
Number of items: 9.








This list was generated on Wed May 4 17:34:11 2016 BST.

Selected publications:

  1. McNeish AJ, Altayo FJ, Garland CJ. Evidence both L-type and non-L-type
    voltage-dependent calcium channels contribute to cerebral artery vasospasm
    following loss of NO in the rat. Vascul Pharmacol. 2010 Sep-Oct;53(3-4):151-9.
    Epub 2010 Jun 22. PubMed PMID: 20601125.
  2. Yuill KH, McNeish AJ, Kansui Y, Garland CJ, Dora KA. Nitric oxide suppresses
    cerebral vasomotion by sGC-independent effects on ryanodine receptors and
    voltage-gated calcium channels. J Vasc Res. 2010;47(2):93-107. Epub 2009 Sep 4.
    PubMed PMID: 19729956.
  3. Dora KA, Gallagher NT, McNeish A, Garland CJ. (2008) Modulation of Endothelial Cell KCa3.1 Channels during Endothelium-Derived Hyperpolarizing Factor Signalling in Mesenteric Resistance Arteries. Circ. Res., 102, 1247-1255. Pubmed PMID: PMC2629615
  4. McNeish AJ, Garland CJ. Thromboxane A2 inhibition of SKCa after NO synthase
    block in rat middle cerebral artery. Br J Pharmacol. 2007 Jun;151(4):441-9. Epub
    2007 Apr 10. PubMed PMID: 17420777; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2013971.
  5. McNeish AJ, Sandow SL, Neylon CB, Chen MX, Dora KA, Garland CJ. Evidence for
    involvement of both IKCa and SKCa channels in hyperpolarizing responses of the
    rat middle cerebral artery. Stroke. 2006 May;37(5):1277-82. Epub 2006 Mar 23.
    PubMed PMID: 16556879.
  6. McNeish AJ, Dora KA, Garland CJ. Possible role for K+ in endothelium-derived
    hyperpolarizing factor-linked dilatation in rat middle cerebral artery. Stroke.
    2005 Jul;36(7):1526-32. Epub 2005 Jun 2. PubMed PMID: 15933259.

Member of the ICMR

Member of the molecular neuroscience research group

Member of the British Pharmacological Society, the Physiological Society, and the British Microcirculation Society

Member of editorial board of of the British Journal of Pharmacology and Frontiers in Vascular Physiology


Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 8256

Page navigation


Search Form

A-Z lists