Colin Murdoch

+44 (0)1382 383526
Senior Lecturer



Colin graduated from University of Edinburgh, with Honours in Pharmacology with Industrial Experience (Pharmagene).  Afterwards he gained five-years experience working in industry as a functional 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, Colin moved to the USA, conducted post-doctoral training with Richard Cohen and Reiko Matsui at the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Boston University 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 Horizon2020 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 and bringing the coordination of iPLACENTA-ITN to University of Dundee.   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 Hoizon2020 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 proteinurea, associated with increased endothelial dysfunction and prevalence to cardiovascular disease.  

Current Research Projects


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/Ph,D).  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 OpenScience, entrepreneurship, project management and business skills.   See

Mr Lukas Markwalder PhD candidate:  Generation of endoscopic laser speckle imaging probe for in vivo assessment of placental vascularisation.  Involving a multidisciplinary collaboration with industry, Dr Rodney Gush Moor Instruments, and cross school Dr Nikola Krstajic (School of Engineering).  Also including collaboration with Prof Fasiel Khan (Systems Medicine)

Ms Agathe Lermant, PhD candidate: Generation and validation of in vitro models of preclampsia using iPSC-derived trophoblast and endothelial cells.  This project will support the validation of placental on a chip made by our industry collaborator Mimetas.

Ms Mirren Augustin iPLACENTA project manager:  Mirren is the project manager for the iPLACENTA consortium and is based at University of Dundee ensuring smooth running of the Horizon 2020 project.

Current Undergraduate and Post-Graduate Project Students

Mr Peter Geary MSci (Sept 2019- May) 

Mr Matthew Scott (DCat summer student)

Ms Meghan Dawson (BioMed Hons 4th year project)


Previous Post-Graduate and Undergraduate Rotation students

Jack Hanna (MRC-DTP PhD  1st year rotation) - Investigating thiol regualtion of  the spliceosome 

Jack Morris (BioMed honours 4th year project) -  The role of Gluatredoxin on VEGF signalling

Ioannis Efstathiou (BMSc) - Soluble VEGFR1 shedding in endothelial cells



Dr Murdoch has received previous funding from Diabetes UK, and EU Marie Curie framework 7.

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.


See Murdoch Lab webpage

Research interests

Research in the Murdoch lab utlisies a combination of in vivo, ex vivo and molecular technquies 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 provides teaches at level 4 and is also

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

Course deputy Level 4 BSc (Honours). Cardiovascular Pharmacology (BS42021)

Course Lead BMSc (Hon) in 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. 


Cysteine Glutathionylation Acts as a Redox Switch in Endothelial Cells
8/2019, Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland)
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Review article

IL-33 induction and signaling are controlled by glutaredoxin-1 in mouse macrophages
1/2019, PLoS ONE
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Cardiac fibrosis can be attenuated by blocking the activity of transglutaminase 2 using a selective small-molecule inhibitor
4/2018, Cell Death and Disease
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Therapeutic Angiogenesis of Chinese Herbal Medicines in Ischemic Heart Disease : A Review
4/2018, Frontiers in Pharmacology
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Review article

Vascular endothelial growth factor signaling requires glycine to promote angiogenesis
11/2017, Scientific Reports
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

Differential regulation of ischemic limb vascularization and tumor growth by endothelial glutaredoxin-1
11/2017, Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Meeting abstract

Redox regulation of ischemic limb neovascularization - What we have learned from animal studies
8/2017, Redox Biology
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Review article

Protein thiol modifications in the development of the 'preeclampsia phenotype'
7/2017, Free Radical Biology and Medicine
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Meeting abstract

The impact of environmental factors in influencing epigenetics related to oxidative states in the cardiovascular system
5/2017, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Review article

Distinct regulatory effects of myeloid cell and endothelial cell Nox2 on blood pressure
3/2017, Circulation
Research Output: Contribution To Journal > Article

View full profile on research portal


The Science Of Safer Pregnancy: How Mini 'Placentas On A Chip' May Help Us Understand Pre-eclampsia

Colin Murdoch


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Research

View full profile on research portal


External Examiner at University College Cork

Colin Murdoch (Examiner)
26 Jul 2019

Activity: Examination typesExamination

Activity Type: Examination

Forfar Academy

Colin Henderson (Member), Colin Murdoch (Member), Agathe Lermant (Member)
18 Jun 2019

Activity: Other activity typesSchools engagement

Activity Type: Other Activity

Determinants of plasma beta amyloid proteins and its association with markers of cardiovascular disease risk

Colin Murdoch (Examiner)
Apr 2019

Activity: Examination typesExamination

Activity Type: Examination

Investigating endothelial redox signaling using in vivo cardiovascular models

Colin Murdoch (Speaker)
27 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture

Activity Type: Talk

Characterisation of the Cell Surface Localised Palmitoyl Acyl transferase, DHHC5

Colin Murdoch (Examiner)
12 Oct 2018

Activity: Examination typesExamination

Activity Type: Examination

iPLACENTA, a horizon 2020 Innovative training network

Colin Murdoch (Speaker)
20 Jun 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

Phenotyping cardiovascular disease

Colin Murdoch (Speaker)
15 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Activity Type: Talk

View full profile on research portal