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Dr Sarah Walsh

Biography Dr Walsh is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences. She obtained a BSc(Hons) in Physiology from NUI, Galway (Ireland) in 2002 and a PhD in Cardiovascular Pharmacology from RGU in 2007. Prior to taking up her post at RGU she was a Science Foundation Ireland funded Research Fellow in the Anu Research Centre, University College Cork (Ireland) between 2007-2009.
Research Interests To date Dr Walsh's research has primarily focused on identifying novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases. In the setting of myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury, she was the first to demonstrate an anti-arrhythmic effect of the phytocannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), (Walsh et al., 2010) and latterly was part of the research group that identified a likely mediator (GPR55) for this cardioprotection (Robertson-Gray et al., 2019). GPR55 is currently under intense scrutiny as a possible druggable target in diabetes, cancer, and obesity, however little is known about its role in the cardiovascular system. Dr Walsh's research demonstrated that not only does GPR55 have an active role in controlling cardiac function (Walsh et al., 2014; Walsh et al., 2015) but it also regulates the activity of α1A-adrenoceptors (Walsh et al., 2021), which are key targets for the treatment of both hypertension and prostate cancer. Throughout her career another main area of interest for Dr Walsh has been both the elucidation of the mechanisms contributing to the vascular consequences of pre-eclampsia and the subsequent identification of therapeutic targets. Consequently, Dr Walsh directed the research that was the first to describe a causal role for dysregulated peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) activity in the development of pregnancy induced hypertension (McCarthy et al., 2011a) and a vasculo-protective effect of PPARγ activation in established pre-eclampsia (McCarthy et al., 2011b). Furthermore, subsequent work also demonstrated the utility of current cancer chemotherapy i.e. PARP inhibitors in the treatment of pre-eclampsia (Walsh et al., 2012; English et al., 2012). Currently, Dr Walsh's research is focused on 1) the exploration of Wnt/Frizzled signalling in diastolic heart failure (in collaboration with AstraZeneca) and hypertension, 2) the elucidation of novel therapeutic targets in drug induced cardiotoxicity, and 3) the investigation of the cardiovascular role of GPR75 (in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen).
Teaching and Learning Dr Walsh supervises final year research projects for both MPharm and Biomedical Science students.
Scopus Author ID 57198149124