Murdoch, Colin


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Personal profile


Colin graduated from University of Edinburgh, with Honours in Pharmacology with Industrial Experience (Pharmagene).  Afterwards he worked as a pharmacologist for Asterand Biosceince, conducting tissue bath and myography pharmacology studies in human samples. He obtained his doctorate under the supervision of Prof Ajay Shah at BHF Cardiovascular Centre of Excellence, King’s College London, as part of the augural cohort on British Heart Foundation 4-year PhD program. His work investigated the “Influence of endothelial NADPH oxidase on cardiac fibrosis and remodelling in the hypertensive heart.”  Utilising murine cardiovascular techniques such as pressure-volume loops, echocardiography and telemetry.  Subsequently, conducted post-doctoral training with Richard Cohen and Reiko Matsui at the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University, USA investigating redox signalling in neovascularisation in type-2 diabetes.
In 2014 he was awarded a highly competitive Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Incoming Fellowship to move back to the UK and transfer in vivo cardiovascular phenotyping techniques to Aston Medical School with Prof Asif Ahmed. Where he developed a successful multidisciplinary PhD training program for Horizon 2020 Innovative training network, iPLACENTA.  Involving a collaborative network between 11 academic, clinical and industry institutes across Europe training 15 PhD students.  In 2017, he received the Aston University prize for research.
Colin joined the faculty as a lecturer in Systems Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Dundee in March 2018, bringing the coordination of iPLACENTA-ITN.   Colin’s research focuses on the pathophysiological role of redox signalling in cardiovascular disease including preeclampsia and peripheral artery disease.   


Dr Murdoch’s research aims to understand how redox signalling affects cardiovascular pathology, focusing on signalling in the endothelium and currently funded by Hoizon 2020 Marie Curie and Tenovus.
It is now widely accepted that oxidative stress does not only induce cellular damage but is involved in intricate signalling pathways in physiology and pathophysiology.  A major way in which redox signalling occurs is through oxidative post-translational modifications.  Work in the Murdoch lab combines cell specific transgenics and in vivo phenotyping techniques with molecular biology to decipher how redox signalling regulate cardiovascular disease, such as cardiac diastolic dysfunction, ischemic neovascularisation and preeclampsia.
The current focus of research in the Murdoch lab involves investigating how oxidative post-translational modification of thiols contribute to the preeclampsia phenotype. In pregnancy, oxidative stress is explicitly linked preeclampsia, with high levels measurable both in the placenta and maternal circulation.  Yet, it is poorly understood which proteins/pathways are modified by oxidative stress and how oxidative post-translational modifications can modify the preeclampsia phenotype.  Dysregulation of angiogenic factors, such as high soluble Flt-1 (sFlt-1) levels are established as major culprits in the development of the ‘preeclampsia phenotype’ of high maternal blood pressure and proteinuria, associated with increased endothelial dysfunction and prevalence to cardiovascular disease.

Research Projects

Current Post-Graduate Students

Mr Shawn Cotrill- MRC DTP PhD Student

Investigation of redox regulation of angiogenesis

Ms Sarah Alkhurainej – PhD student

Retinal imaging in pregnancy disorders.


Previous Staff

  • Dr Agathe Lermant - PhD
  • Dr Lukas Markwalder. PhD
  • Dr Claire Sneddon Tenovus funded Post-Doc. Now Lab Manager School of Medicine St Andrews
  • Ms Mirren Augustine, iPlacenta Project Manager. Now UoD Global Office.


  • Hollie  Whyte (MSc Research) 2022-23
  • Carolina Di Fabrizio (MSc Research) 2020-2021


  • Yashika Relan (Biomed Hons 4th year and summer studentship)
  • Francis Allison (Physiology Hons 4th year)
  • Jennifer Kerr (BBSE Hons 4th Year, MSci)
  • Peter Geary MSci  (2019/20) 
  • Matthew Scott (DCat summer student)
  • Meghan Dawson (BioMed Hons 4th year project)
  • Alica McBride (BMSc Student)
  • Jack Hanna (MRC-DTP PhD  1st year rotation)
  • Jack Morris (BioMed honours 4th year project)
  • Ioannis Efstathiou (BMSc)

Applications are accepted all year round for self-funded or government funded PhDs and post-doctoral opportunities.  Please send letter of interest with CV to Dr Murdoch.

Dr Murdoch is the coordinator of iPlacenta


Dr Murdoch is the coordinator and founder of iPLACENTA, a €3.9 million Horizon 2020 innovative training network (ITN).   A multi-disciplinary network of 11 European partners delivering post-graduate training for 15 Early stage researchers (ESRs/PhD).  The principal research aim of iPLACENTA is to improve the ability to study, model and visualise the placenta to enhance investigation and prognosis of complicated pregnancies such as preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction.   Integrating organ-chip technology and mathematical modelling, with innovation in visualising and assessing placenta health in the clinic and pre-clinical models.   The research will interconnect to unlock the complexity of placental disease, providing mechanistic clues for complex diseases, new ways to model placenta function, validate novel clinical diagnostic tools and characterise in vivo pre-clinical models.   The PhD training programme aims to equip the ESRs with the necessary skills to meet the challenges of cutting-edge translational research alongside topics such as Open Science, entrepreneurship, project management and business skills. 


See Murdoch Lab webpage 

Research interests

Research in the Murdoch lab utilises a combination of in vivo, ex vivo and molecular techniques to model and characterise cardiovascular function including:

In vivo cardiovascular techniques

Ambulatory aortic blood pressure assessment by telemetry implantation (DSI)

Cardiac function – pressure-volume loops through left ventricular microcatheter insertion (Transonic)

Blood flow measurements – Laser Doppler (Moor Instruments)

Cardiovascular models

Left ventricular hypertrophy through minimal invasive transverse aortic constriction or Angiotensin II osmotic pumps implantation.

Preeclampsia Phenotype -reduced uterine placental perfusion (RuPP).

Neovascularisation- hind limb ischemia and corneal micropocket assay.

Ex vivo techniques

Blood vessel (and tissue) wire myography for measurement of vascular tone (DMT)

Primary murine cardiac microvascular endothelial cells isolation via magnetic bead technology (Miltenyi Biotec)

Neonatal retinal vascularisation

Inflammatory cell adhesion to endothelial cells in flow chamber

Cellular and Molecular Biology

Biotin switch for identification of revisable thiols.

RNA Immunoprecipitation (rIP Assay).

Endothelial cell migration and network formation.

Immunohistochemistry measuring:-, cardiac fibrosis, muscle capillary density and inflammatory cell infiltration



Dr Colin Murdoch  teaches at level 4 and is also

Course lead Level 4 BSc (Honours) Heart & Circulation Physiology (BS42019)

Co-lead  Level 4 BSc (Honours). Cardiovascular Pharmacology (BS42021)

Programme Lead 40021/22/23 BMSc Cardiovascular & Diabetes Medicine 

Dr Murdoch also supervises various rotation project involving basic cardiovascular research for the following programmes:  BSc Honours final year project students, MSCi , DCat, BMSc and MRC-DTP. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Medicine, BHF 4 Year PHD- nfluence of endothelial NADPH oxidase on cardiac fibrosis and remodelling in the hypertensive heart, King's College London

1 Nov 20041 Apr 2008

Award Date: 1 Apr 2009

Bachelor of Science, BSc Hons in Pharmacology with Industrial Experience (Pharmagene), University of Edinburgh

1 Sept 19961 Sept 2000

Award Date: 1 Sept 2000

External positions

The Physiological Society Scientific Conferences Committee

1 Dec 2023 → …

External Examiner MSc CV in Health and Disease, University of Leeds

1 Sept 2023 → …

External Advisory board

1 Oct 2019 → …

Scottish Cardiovascular Forum Committee Member, Scottish Cardiovascular Forum

1 Sept 2018 → …

EU ITN coordinator

1 Jan 20181 Feb 2022


  • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
  • QP Physiology
  • RZ Other systems of medicine
  • Cardiovascular


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