Professor Barry McDonnell

Barry McDonnell

Job Title: Professor of Cardiovasular Physiology
Room No: D2.04a
Telephone No: + 44 (0) 29 2041 6871
Email Address:


I am an active clinical research scientist in the area of cardiovascular physiology, which helps inform my teaching, design, development, delivery and evaluation of several taught programmes. These programmes include BSc Biomedical Science, BSc Healthcare Science, HNC Biomedical Science, HND Biomedical Science, BSc Biomedical Science (Health, Exercise and Nutrition), BSc Human Nutrition and Dietetics, BSc Public Health Nutrition, BSc Complementary Healthcare and BSc Podiatry.

Modules I am involved with:

APS4002 Human Anatomy and Physiology

APS5017 Pharmacology and Toxicology

SBM5004 Sports and Exercise Physiology

SBM6001 Sports Medicine

SMB6002 Drugs in Sport and Immunohaematology

APS6001 Research Project

SBM5001 Pathophysiology of Disease


I currently lead the Vascular Physiology Research Group focused on cardiovascular physiology, ageing and disease. I am Principle Investigator for three clinical physiology research trials: (The ARCADE trial, investigating the impact of respiratory disease on arterial haemodynamics; the ACCT study, investigating the role of premature vascular ageing on blood pressure and cardiovascular risk in Collaboration with University of Cambridge; and the HIT-LVAD Trial in Columbia University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, investigating the impact of ventricular assist device implantation on vascular haemodynamics in patients with heart failure). In addition to my teaching commitments, I have undertaken supervision of a number of PhD studentships, 2 post-doctoral research officers, a research nurse and 1 Marie-Sklodowska Curie Action global research fellow over the past 6 years in order to develop the group's research theme. The research group use a number of physiological testing procedures to underpin our research (blood sampling, cardiac structure and function, peripheral and central blood pressures, 24-hour blood pressure, large artery stiffness and microvascular flow pulsatility in the renal, cerebral and retinal vascular beds).

Through the research facilities available in Cardiff Metropolitan University and the Health Assessment Suite, I am collaborating internally on a number of studies:

  • Cellular ageing and arterial stiffness (Professor Jorge Erusalimsky)
  • Investigating the relationship between ventricular function and large artery haemodynamics through ageing, hypertension and exercise (Professor Rob Shave)
  • Community based exercise and vascular function (Dr Richard Webb)

    Current research team:
  • Dr Eric Stohr (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Research Fellow)
  • Dr Maria Kearney (Post-Doctoral/Research Associate)
  • Miss Laura Watkeys (Research and Lab Coordinator)
  • Dr James Coulson (Clinical/Physician Cover)
  • Mrs Margaret Munnery (Research Fellow-Nurse)
  • Mr Stuart Ennis (PhD Student)
  • Mrs Mahfouhda Al Shezawi (PhD Student)
  • Professor John Cockcroft (Clinical Consultant)


    1. James E. Sharman, Alberto P. Avolio, Johannes Baulmann, Athanase Benetos, Jacques Blacher, C. Leigh Blizzard, Pierre Boutouyrie, Chen-Huan Chen, Phil Chowienczyk, John R. Cockcroft, J. Kennedy Cruickshank, Isabel Ferreira, Lorenzo Ghiadoni, Alun Hughes, Piotr Jankowski, Stephane Laurent, Barry J. McDonnell, Carmel McEniery, Sandrine C. Millasseau, Theodoros G. Papaioannou, Gianfranco Parati, Jeong Bae Park, Athanase D. Protogerou, Mary J. Roman, Giuseppe Schillaci, Patrick Segers, George S. Stergiou, Hirofumi Tomiyama, Raymond R. Townsend, Luc M. Van Bortel, Jiguang Wang, Siegfried Wassertheurer, Thomas Weber, Ian B. Wilkinson, Charalambos Vlachopoulos. Validation of non-invasive central blood pressure devices: task force consensus statement on protocol standardization. Dec 2016. European Heart Journal. In Press.
    2. McDonnell BJ, Yasmin, Butcher L, Cockcroft JR, Wilkinson IB, Erusalimsky J, McEniery CM. The Age Dependent Association between Aortic Pulse Wave Velocity and Telomere Length. JoPhysiology. Dec 2016. In Press.
    3. Hickson SS, Nichols WW, Yasmin, McDonnell BJ, Cockcroft JR, Wilkinson IB, McEniery CM. Influence of the central-to-peripheral arterial stiffness gradient on the timing and amplitude of wave reflections. Hypertens Res. 2016 Jun 16. doi: 10.1038/hr.2016.64. [Epub ahead of print]
    4. Anke CCM van Mil, James Pearson, Aimee L Drane, John R Cockcroft, Barry J McDonnell and Eric J. Stöhr. Interaction between left ventricular twist mechanics and arterial haemodynamics during localised, non-metabolic hyperaemia with and without blood flow restriction. Exp Physiol. 2016 Apr;101(4):509-20. doi: 10.1113/EP085623.
    5. Webb R, Thompson JES, Ruffino J-S, Davies, NA, Watkeys L, Hooper S, Jones PM, Walters G, Clayton, D. Thomas AW, Morris K, Llewellyn DH, Ward M, Wyatt-Williams J, McDonnell BJ. An Evaluation of Cardiovascular Risk-Lowering Health Benefits Accruing from Laboratory-based, Community-based and Exercise-Referral Exercise Programmes. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine. 2016;2:e000089. doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2015-000089
    6. Middlemiss JE, Miles KL, McDonnell BJ, Yasmin, Maki-Petaja K, Cockcroft JR, Wilkinson IB, McEniery CM, On behalf of The Enigma Study investigators. Mechanisms underlying elevated systolic blood pressure differ with adiposity in young adults: The Enigma Study. J Hypertens. 2016, 34:290–297.
    7. McDonnell BJ, Pearson J and Cockcroft JR. Reflections on Vascular Ageing and Microvascular Pulsatility. J Hypertens. 2014. Sep; 32(9):1907-8.
    8. Thompson JE, Webb R, Hewlett P, Llewellyn D,McDonnell BJ. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 and augmentation index are reduced with an 8-week green-exercise walking programme. J Hypertens OA. 2013. 2(4): 127-133.
    9. Barry J McDonnell, Kaisa M Maki-Petaja, Margaret Munnery, Yasmin, Ian B Wilkinson, John R Cockcroft, Carmel M McEniery. Habitual exercise and blood pressure: age dependency and underlying mechanisms. American Journal of Hypertension. 2013; 26(3):334-41.
    10. Stöhr EJ, McDonnell B, Thompson J, Stone K, Bull T, Houston R, Cockcroft J, Shave R. Left ventricular mechanics in humans with high aerobic fitness: adaptation independent of structural remodelling, arterial haemodynamics and heart rate. J Physiol. 2012. May 1;590 (Pt 9):2107-19.
    11. Miles KL, McDonnell BJ, Maki-Petaja KM, Yasmin, Cockcroft JR, Wilkinson IB, McEniery CM. The impact of birth weight on blood pressure and arterial stiffness in later life: The ENIGMA Study. J Hypertens. 2011 Dec;29(12):2324-31.
    12. Hickson SS, Miles KL, McDonnell BJ, Yasmin, Cockcroft JR, Wilkinson IB, McEniery CM; ENIGMA Study Investigators. Use of the oral contraceptive pill is associated with increased large artery stiffness in young women: the ENIGMA study. J Hypertens. 2011 Jun;29(6):1155-9.
    13. Charlotte E. Bolton, Carmel M. McEniery, Vimal Raj, Barry J. McDonnell, Adrian K. Dixon, Margaret Munnery, Ramsey Sabit, Nicholas Screaton, Michael Stone, Ian B. Wilkinson, Dennis J. Shale, John R. Cockcroft. Aortic calcification, arterial stiffness and bone mineral density in patients with COPD. Artery Research. March 2011 (Vol. 5, Issue 1, Pages 30-36)
    14. Campbell R, Fisher JP, Sharman JE, McDonnell BJ, Frenneaux MP. Contribution of nitric oxide to the blood pressure and arterial responses to exercise in humans. J Hum Hypertens. 2011 Apr;25 (4):262-70. Epub 2010 May 27.

External Links


Honorary Research Fellow

Australian School of Advanced Medicine

MacQuarie University

Sydney, Australia

Adjunct Professor

Columbia University Medical Center

New York Presbyterian Hospital

Columbia University

New York, USA


  • Artery Research, Editorial Board Member (Europe)
  • European Research Co-ordinating Group, Health. Wales Higher Education Brussels. (Wales Health Research Board Member)
  • Horizon 2020, Societal Challenges Advisory Group Member (Wales)
  • Blood Pressure Wales, Organising/Scientific Committee Member (Wales)


  • National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR), virtual grant review committee: chair and panel member
  • Abstract review panel member for the International Society of Hypertension's (ISH) "New Investigator Network"
  • Clinical Working Group (Cardiff Metropolitan University): Committee Member
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff Centre for Exercise and Health (CCEH): Steering group member

  • Journal of Applied Physiology
  • International Journal of Cardiology
  • Journal of Human Hypertension
  • Artery Research
  • American Journal of Hypertension
  • Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
  • Medicine
  • Heart and Vessels
  • Sleep Science
  • Scientific Reports

  • ARTERY Research
  • Wales CVIRG
  • Wales Physical Activity, Diabetes and Metabolic Health Research Group
  • Blood Pressure Wales
  • Wales Cardio-Respiratory Research group
  • European Association into Study of Diabetes (EASD)
  • International Society of Hypertension (ISH)
  • American Society of Hypertension

Member of the Higher Education Academy