Dr Samantha Donnellan

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

I obtained my 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 (rifampicin, isoniazid and pyrazinamide) were screened in the developed 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 Research
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 RCDD team, investigating drug action on Mtb within the intracellular environment using High Content Imaging methods. I manage our HG3 Confocal Microscope and am the senior post-doc in the CL3 laboratory.

I was recently awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Travel Fellowship and LSTMs Director Catalyst Fund, allowing me to gain specialist training in South Africa (Molecular Mycobacteriology Research Unit at Cape Town Uni) and the USA (Harvard Uni) to focus on my own research - working with multi-drug resistant TB and developing a micro-fluidics device in our HG3 imaging suite for sophisticated drug screening here at LSTM.

• University of the Philippines – Genetic Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases Workshop, 2017
• University of Liverpool- Imaging workshop, Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging, 2016
• University of Edinburgh- Edinburgh Infectious Diseases ‘Imaging Infection’, 2015
• Heriot-Watt University- Learning Enhancement and Development Skills for Teaching, 2014
• University of Edinburgh- CMVM light microscopy: Beyond Pretty Pictures, 2013
• University of Edinburgh-Statistical/Experimental Design course, 2013

Higher Education Academy Accredited: Associate Fellow.


Selected publications

  • Selected publications

    • 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.