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Dr. Margaret Lucitt
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology & Therapeutics

Biography

Margaret graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from University College Cork, followed by a PhD in Cardiovascular Pharmacology under the mentorship of Prof. Garret FitzGerald at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA. This was followed by a postdoctoral position at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland where she received a fellowships from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology. Research interests to date include the use of animal models (mouse and zebrafish) to investigate inflammatory drivers of atherosclerosis, obesity and hypertension. The development of clinical diagnostic assays in the cardiovascular area is also an area of research, in particular to better assess antiplatelet therapy in thrombotic diseases. Currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the School of Medicine she is involved in teaching pharmacology to dental and medical students through lectures and small group problem based learning. Ongoing research is to establish a strong cardiovascular research group to investigate novel molecular targets in this area.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Interleukin- 1 a Molecular Target in, Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology 3rd Edition, 2020, [Margaret Lucitt, Patrick Walsh] Book Chapter, 2020

Hernandez-Santana YE, Giannoudaki E, Leon G, Lucitt MB, Walsh PT., Current perspectives on the interleukin-1 family as targets for inflammatory disease., European journal of immunology, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 TARA - Full Text DOI

Emmanouil Lioudakis, Eirini Giannoudaki, Patrick T Walsh, Margaret Lucitt, The effects of Aquamin a marine mineral supplement from red algae on metabolic function., Irish Association of Pharmacologists 20th Annual Meeting, NUI Galway, Nov 2019, 2019 Poster, 2019

N Gangadharan, P Kavanagh, PT Wash, L Hemeryck, J Kieran, M Barry1, M Lucitt, Cholesterol crystal secretion of IL-1β from PBMCS is reduced with simvastatin treatment., Scottish Cardiovascular Conference 2018, Dublin , Feb 2018, 2018 Poster, 2018 DOI

Dr Margaret Lucitt, Dr Paul Spiers and Professor Martina Hennessy, The Scottish Cardiovascular Forum , Feb 2018, 2018, Dublin Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2018

Heart BMJ(ed.), Cholesterol crystal secretion of IL-1β from PBMCS is reduced with simvastatin treatment., 2018, A5 p Proceedings of a Conference, 2018 DOI

Boland AJ, Gangadharan N, Kavanagh P, Hemeryck L, Kieran J, Barry M, Walsh PT, Lucitt M., Simvastatin Suppresses Interleukin Iβ Release in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Stimulated With Cholesterol Crystals., J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther., 2018 Journal Article, 2018 DOI

PV Kavanagh, PT Walsh, M Lucitt., Red Yeast Rice Extract Reduces Il-1b Secretion from PBMCS when Treated with Cholesterol Crystals, Scottish Cardiovascular Forum, Dublin , Feb 2018, 2018 Poster, 2018 DOI

Heart BMJ(ed.), Red yeast rice extract reduces IL-1β secretion from PBMCS when treated with cholesterol crystals., 2018, A5 p Proceedings of a Conference, 2018 URL

Kavanagh P, Wash PT, Lucitt M. , Red yeast rice extract reduces interleukin-1 beta secretion from peripheral blood mononuclear cells when treated with cholesterol crystals., British Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting London Dec 2017, London UK, 2017 Poster, 2017 DOI

British Pharmacological Society E Journal(ed.), Red yeast rice extract reduces interleukin-1 beta secretion from peripheral blood mononuclear cells when treated with cholesterol crystals., 2017 Proceedings of a Conference, 2017 DOI

Bruen R, Curley S, Kajani S, Crean D, O'Reilly ME, Lucitt MB, Godson CG, McGillicuddy FC, Belton O., Liraglutide dictates macrophage phenotype in apolipoprotein E null mice during early atherosclerosis., Cardiovascular Diabetology, 16, 2017 Journal Article, 2017 DOI

Gangadharan N, Kavanagh P , Walsh PT1, Hemeryck L, Kieran J, Barry M, Lucitt M. , Simvastatin reduces IL-1β secretion from PBMCs when treated with cholesterol crystals., British Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting London Dec 2016, London UK, 2016 Poster, 2016 DOI

British Pharmacological Society E Journal(ed.), Simvastatin reduces IL-1β secretion from PBMCs when treated with cholesterol crystals., , 2016 Proceedings of a Conference, 2016

Lucitt MB, O'Brien S, Cowman J, Meade G, Basabe-Desmonts L, Somers M, Kent N, Ricco AJ, Kenny D, Assaying the efficacy of dual-antiplatelet therapy: use of a controlled-shear-rate microfluidic device with a well-defined collagen surface to track dynamic platelet adhesion., Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 405, (14), 2013, p4823-34 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

O'Brien S, Kent NJ, Lucitt M, Ricco AJ, McAtamney C, Kenny D, Meade G, Effective hydrodynamic shaping of sample streams in a microfluidic parallel-plate flow-assay device: matching whole blood dynamic viscosity., IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering, 59, (2), 2012, p374-82 Journal Article, 2012 DOI

lUCITT, XXX, DDD, 2011 Oral Presentation, 2011

Garret A. FitzGerald, Ying Yu, Margaret Lucitt, 'Antagonsim of PGF2alpha Receptor to Treat Hyertension Characterized by Activation of the Renin-Angiotensin Aldosterone System in association with the trustees of the University Of Pennsylvania', USPTO, US2011/0172308A1, 2011, University of Pennsylvania Patent, 2011 URL

M. Lucitt, S. O'Brien, G. Meade, L. Basabe-Desmonts, M. Somers, T. Ricco, D. Kenny. , Real Time Kinetic Analysis of Platelet Thrombus Formation, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 179, (7), 2010 Journal Article, 2010 DOI

Yu Y, Lucitt MB, Stubbe J, Cheng Y, Friis UG, Hansen PB, Jensen BL, Smyth EM, FitzGerald GA, Prostaglandin F2alpha elevates blood pressure and promotes atherosclerosis., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106, (19), 2009, p7985-90 Journal Article, 2009 DOI

Yu, Y; Lucitt, M ; Price, T; FitzGerald, G., Regulation of blood pressure by prostaglandin F-2a receptor gene (FP), Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 2008;28:e32-e149, 2008 Published Abstract, 2008 DOI

Lucitt MB, Price TS, Pizarro A, Wu W, Yocum AK, Seiler C, Pack MA, Blair IA, Fitzgerald GA, Grosser T, Analysis of the zebrafish proteome during embryonic development., Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP, 7, (5), 2008, p981-94 Journal Article, 2008 DOI

Zhou W, Blackwell TS, Goleniewska K, O'Neal JF, Fitzgerald GA, Lucitt M, Breyer RM, Peebles RS, Prostaglandin I2 analogs inhibit Th1 and Th2 effector cytokine production by CD4 T cells., Journal of leukocyte biology, 81, (3), 2007, p809-17 Journal Article, 2007 DOI

Lucitt, MB; Price, TS; Pizarro, A ; Wu, W ; Yocum, AY; Seiler, C; Pack, M; Blair, IA; FitzGerald, GA ; Grosser, T, A mass spectrometric analysis of embryonic zebrafish proteins, Circulation, 116 (16), 2007 Published Abstract, 2007 URL

Price TS, Lucitt MB, Wu W, Austin DJ, Pizarro A, Yocum AK, Blair IA, FitzGerald GA, Grosser T, EBP, a program for protein identification using multiple tandem mass spectrometry datasets., Molecular & cellular proteomics : MCP, 6, (3), 2007, p527-36 Journal Article, 2007 DOI

Egan KM, Wang M, Fries S, Lucitt MB, Zukas AM, Puré E, Lawson JA, FitzGerald GA, Cyclooxygenases, thromboxane, and atherosclerosis: plaque destabilization by cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition combined with thromboxane receptor antagonism., Circulation, 111, (3), 2005, p334-42 Journal Article, 2005 DOI

Grosser, T; Lucitt, M; Fries, S; MacLea, K; Blair, IA; FitzGerald, GA , Genomic and proteomic analyses of the vascular response to nicotine, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 24 (5) E49, 2004 Published Abstract, 2004 DOI

Cheng, Y; Lucitt, M; FitzGerald, GA , Acceleration of the thrombotic response to vascular injury by selective inhibition of COX-2 or prostacyclin receptor deletion in vivo, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 24 (5), E1, 2004 Poster, 2004 DOI

Egan, KM; Wang, M; Lucitt, M; Lawson, J; FitzGerald, GA, Thromboxane A(2) receptor antagonism and selective inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 in atherosclerosis, Circulation, 110 (17) p177, 2004 Published Abstract, 2004

Research Expertise

Description

As an active researcher I am focused on understanding inflammatory mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease, with continuous yearly publications, funding supports, collaborations and international peer recognition. I have initiated, designed, received ethical approval and established research studies in collaboration with clinical colleagues at St. James hospital with a publication in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 2018. As senior and lead corresponding author in this publication it highlights my discipline appropriate and independent research programme. I am continuously exploring avenues to support my research, been successful in competitive research funding granted through an industry partner, Marigot Ltd in 2018, the Haematology Association of Ireland Novartis Fellowship in 2015 and the Irish Research Council Fellowship in 2010 as principal investigator. I was awarded one of the first Provost PhD Project Awards in TCD in 2018 which has allowed recruitment of a doctoral student where I am the primary supervisor. I have expanded and develop an academic collaborative network with research groups led by Professor Orina Belton and Dr Fiona McGilicuddy in the Conway Institute at UCD. This collaboration has led to publication of the work in the journal of Cardiovascular Diabetology in 2017. I also collaborate with Dr Patrick Walsh in the Dept of Clinical Medicine at TCD where my experience in cardiovascular disease analysis has lead to a review publication in the European Journal of Immunology in 2019. Future output from this collaboration will be published in an accepted book chapter in the Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology 3rd Edition in 2020. I have attracted recongnition form peers as an expert in the cardiovacsular filed of inflammmatory pharmacology as appointed examiner of PhD vivas, as invited grant reviewer for the UK Medical Research Council and invited reviewer for a number of scientific journals including the British Journal of Pharmacology and the European Journal of Clinincal Pharmacology.

Projects

  • Title
    • To characterise the functional role of CD226 (DNAM-1) in platelets
  • Summary
    • Platelets play a major role in both haemostasis and thrombosis (1). Although under healthy homeostatic conditions these anucleate cell derivatives of bone marrow megakaryocytes are relatively inert and short lived, they become rapidly activated upon exposure at sites of vascular injury and inflammation, whereupon they are transformed into highly adherent bodies and play a central role in primary haemostasis through the development of a 'platelet plug'. As such, platelets, and in particular the pathways, which regulate their activation, are critically important in the context of atherosclerotic diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Thrombotic clot formation is a dynamic three-stage process with initiation, extension and stabilization phases. Recent data has defined the role for molecules in thrombus stability such as the Eph receptor tyrosine kinases(2), Semaphorin 4D(3) and Gas 6(4). Other molecules which support thrombus stability include the CTX family such as the junctional adhesional molecules (JAM-A and JAM-C)(5). Despite significant advances in our understanding of platelet biology, many platelet cell surface proteins have been identified whose function remains undetermined, but may exert an important role in platelet behaviour (6). This proposal aims to define the function of one such protein, CD226 (DNAM-1), a member of the CTX family, is a cell surface protein with 2 Ig extracellular domains, a single transmembrane domain and a cytoplasmic tail (7). Our preliminary data strongly suggests that DNAM-1 has a novel functional role in platelet aggregation and hence thrombus formation. The study has two specific aims; 1) To characterise the functional role of DNAM-1 on platelets and 2) To investigate DNAM-1 related signalling events in platelets.
  • Funding Agency
    • Haematology association of Ireland
  • Date From
    • Feb 2015
  • Date To
    • Feb 2016
  • Title
    • To investigate the effects of AquaminTM supplementation on the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease.
  • Summary
    • Calcium supplementation agents are the 8th most prescribed product under the general medical card scheme in Ireland. While these agents are overwhelmingly prescribed to promote bone health, there is accumulating evidence to indicate that they may also have more wide ranging health benefits. AquaminTM is a natural multi-mineral complex, which contains calcium as its major component. AquaminTM supplements, known to improve bone health, may also exhibit cardioprotective effects through its lipid lowering and anti-inflammatory properties. Here we aim to investigate the role of AquaminTM supplementation on the pathogenesis of metabolic and cardiovascular disease in vivo using established preclinical models of disease (Aim1), while also investigating the precise mechanisms through which AquaminTM modulates inflammation in the context of metabolic dysfunction and consequent atherosclerosis (Aim2)
  • Funding Agency
    • Marigot Ltd Industry Research Collaboration 2018
  • Date From
    • Sept 2018
  • Date To
    • Sept 2022
  • Title
    • Preclinical evaluation of a novel therapeutic strategy for obesity driven psoriasis
  • Summary
    • The studies outlined in this proposal are aimed at investigating a biological pathway which may play an important role in driving the development of psoriasis among obese patients. Based upon new discoveries we have identified a protein known as IL-36 which is elevated among obese individuals and is emerging as an important orchestrator of skin inflammation in psoriasis. We will evaluate whether IL-36 plays a critical linking role in driving psoriasis among obese individuals and dermine whether blocking its activity represents a new therapeutic strategy for treating these patients.
  • Funding Agency
    • Health Research Board

Recognition

Representations

I am an invited reviewer for a number of internationally recognised journals including the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology , Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis and , British Journal of Pharmacology, Scientific Reports and IUBMB. I have reviewed grants for the Medical Research Council UK 2019. I have present at departmental research progress meetings which offer CPD credits to medical staff within the department and St James's Hospital The School of Medicine hosts an annual Transition Year Programme which runs for one week during the academic year. I have participated in this programme in showcasing through hands on demonstration of medical laboratory research to these students.

Awards and Honours

Provost PhD Project Award 2018

Haematology Association of Ireland Novartis Fellowship 2015

Medical Students Second Year Research Project 1st place 2011

Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship 2010

Memberships

Scottish Cardiovascular Forum 2017

Irish Association of Pharmacologists 2016

Haematology Association of Ireland 2015

British Pharmacological Society 2012

International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2009

American Heart Association 2006