Associate Director, NICB.

Endothelial Biology


Department: Biotechnology

Role: Associate Director (NICB), Associate Professor - Academic Staff

Phone Number: 01 700 5584

Email Address:


Biographical Details

Dr. Phil Cummins is currently an Associate Professor with the School of Biotechnology at Dublin City University.

He received his BSc in Biotechnology (1991, 1st class hons) and PhD in Biochemistry (1995) from DCU, after which he undertook a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York (1996-1999).

Upon returning to Ireland, his further career has included a Lectureship with IT-Tallaght (1999-2000), a Senior Scientist role with the Vascular Health Research Centre at DCU (2000-2007), and a permanent academic appointment with the School of Biotechnology at DCU (2007-date).

He is PI of the Endothelial Biology Group at DCU, specializing in fundamental and translational vascular research, and has mentored over 20 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. He has authored over 50 peer-reviewed papers and has secured several million Euros in funding from various agencies (e.g. Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Health Research Board of Ireland, Wellcome Trust, Irish Research Council).

His research interests include:

  • Vascular cell physiology, signaling, and endothelial dysfunction
  • Blood-brain & blood-retinal barrier function
  • Vascular cell mechanotransduction
  • Diabetic vascular complications (e.g. AAV-mediated gene delivery to treat diabetic retinopathy, roles for OPG/RANKL/TRAIL signaling during vascular calcification)
  • Models of cardiovascular infection

Selected Recent Publications:

  1. McLoughlin A, Rochford KD, McDonnell C, Kerrigan SW, Cummins PM. Staphylococcus aureus-mediated blood-brain barrier injury: an in vitro human brain microvascular endothelial cell model. Cellular Microbiology 2017;19:
  2. Davenport C, Harper E, Forde H, Rochfort KD, Murphy RP, Smith D, Cummins PM. RANKL promotes osteoblastic activity in vascular smooth muscle cells by upregulating endothelial BMP-2 release. International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 2016;77:171-180.
  3. Harper E, Forde H, Davenport C, Rochfort KD, Wallace RG, Smith D, Cummins PM. Vascular calcification in cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes: integrative roles for OPG, RANKL and TRAIL. Vascular Pharmacology 2016;82:30-30. [Invited Review]
  4. Forde H, Harper E, Davenport C, Rochfort KD, Murphy RP, Smith D, Cummins PM. The beneficial pleiotropic effects of tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) within the vasculature: A review of the evidence. Atherosclerosis 2016;247:87-96. [Invited Review]
  5. Rochfort KD, Collins LE, Cummins PM. TNF-α-mediated disruption of cerebrovascular endothelial barrier integrity in vitro involves the production of proinflammatory IL-6. Journal of Neurochemistry 2016;136:564-572.
  6. Davenport C, Wan WM, Forde H, Ashley DT, Agha A, McDermott J, Sreenan S, Thompson CJ, McAdam B, Cummins PM, Smith D. The effects of exogenous insulin and liraglutide on vascular calcification in vitro and in patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus. European Journal of Endocrinology 2015;173:53-61.
  7. Rochfort KD, Collins LE, McLoughlin A, Cummins PM. Shear-dependent attenuation of cellular ROS suppresses proinflammatory cytokine injury to human brain microvascular endothelial barrier properties. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 2015;35:1648-1656.
  8. Rochfort KD, Cummins PM. Cytokine-mediated disruption of human brain microvascular endothelial barrier function involves transcriptional and posttranslational modifications of ZO-1. Microvascular Research 2015;100:48-53.
  9. Rochfort KD, Cummins PM. Thrombomodulin regulation in human brain microvascular endothelial cells in vitro: role of cytokines and shear stress. Microvascular Research 2015;97:1-5.
  10. Rochfort KD, Collins LE, Murphy RP, Cummins PM. Downregulation of blood-brain barrier phenotype by proinflammatory cytokines involves NADPH oxidase-dependent ROS generation: consequences for interendothelial adherens and tight junctions. PLoS One 2014;9:

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