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Professor John G. McCarron

The boss

John McCarron is the W.C. Bowman Chair of Pharmacology at Strathclyde University and has an interest in blood vessel function.  The overall goal of John's research group is to understand the control of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cell function. They do this using optical and electrophysiological techniques so that signalling systems can be visualised and understood. The work is leading to a better understanding of the vascular problems that occur in hypertension, diabetes and obesity.

In his spare time, John loves bagging Munros.

Contact John via:



Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Lee, MD, MacDonald, M, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2024, 'Increased TRPV4 channel expression enhances and impairs blood vessel function in hypertension'. Biorxiv.

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Buckley, C, Lee, MD, Zhang, X, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2024, 'Signalling switches maintain intercellular communication in the vascular endothelium'. British Journal of Pharmacology.


Zhang, X, Lee MD, Buckley, C, Hollenberg, MD, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2023, 'Endothelial PAR2 activation evokes resistance artery relaxation'. Journal of Cellular Physiology.

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Wilson, C, Lee MD, Buckley, C, Zhang, X, McCarron, JG 2022, 'Mitochondrial ATP production is required for endothelial cell control of vascular tone'. Function.

Wilson, C, McCarron, JG, Lee MD, 2022, 'William Bayliss and the enduring fascination of myogenic tone'. The Journal of Physiology. DOI: 10.1113/JP282890

Lee MD, Buckley C, Zhang, X, Louhivuori, L, Uhlen, P, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG, 2022, 'Small-world connectivity dictates collective endothelial cell signaling'. PNAS. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2118927119

McCarron, JG & Wilson, C, 2022, 'The selfish mitochondrion'. Cell Calcium. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceca.2021.102498.

Zhang, X, Lee MD, Buckley C, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG, 2022, 'Mitochondria regulate TRPV4 mediated release of ATP'. British Journal of Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1111/bph.15687


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Wilson, C, Lee MD, Buckley C, Zhang, X,  McCarron, JG, 2021, 'Mitochondrial ATP production is required for endothelial cell control of vascular tone'. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2021.09.14.460297

Caldwell, ST, O'Byrne, SN, Wilson, C, Cvetko, F, Murphy, MP, McCarron, JG, Hartley, RC, 2021, 'Photoactivated release of membrane impermeant sulfonates inside cells'. Chem Commun. DOI: 10.1039/d0cc07713e

Buckley, C, Zhang, X, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG, 2021, 'Carbenoxolone and 18b-glycyrrhetinic acid inhibit IP3-mediated endothelial cell calcium signalling and depolarise mitochondria'. British Journal of Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1111/bph.15329


Wilson, C, Zhang, X, Lee, MD, MacDonald, M, Heathcote, HR, Alorfi, NMN, Buckley, C, Dolan, S, McCarron, JG  2019, 'Disrupted endothelial cell heterogeneity and network organization impair vascular function in prediabetic obesity'. Metabolism. DOI: 10.1016/j.metabol.2020.154340


Buckley, C, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2019, 'FK506 regulates IP3-evoked Ca2+ release independently of FKBP in endothelial cells'. British Journal of Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1111/bph.14905

Zhang, X, Lee, MD, Wilson, C, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Hydrogen peroxide depolarizes mitochondria and inhibits IP3-evoked Ca2+ release in the endothelium of intact arteries'. Cell Calcium. DOI: 10.1016/j.ceca.2019.102108

Lawton, PF, Buckley, C, Saunter CD, Wilson, C, Corbett AD, Salter PS, McCarron, JG, Girkin JM 2019, 'Multi-plane remote refocusing epifluorescence microscopy to image dynamic Ca2+ events'. Biomedical Optics Express. DOI: 10.1364/BOE.10.005611

Wilson, C, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Heathcote, H, Lee, MD, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Increased Vascular Contractility in Hypertension Results From Impaired Endothelial Calcium Signaling' Hypertension. DOI: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.119.13791

Heathcote, H, Lee, ML, Zhang, X, Wilson, C,  McCarron, JG,(2019). Endothelial TRPV4 channels modulate vascular tone by Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release at IP3 receptors. British Journal of Pharmacology DOI: 10.1111/bph.14762

McCarron, JG, Wilson, C, Heathcote, H, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, and Lee, ML (2019). Heterogeneity and emergent behaviour in the vascular endothelium. Current Opinions in Pharmacology DOI: 10.1016/j.coph.2019.03.008

Lawton, PF, Lee, ML, Saunter, CD, Girkin, JM, McCarron, JG and Wilson, C (2019). VasoTracker, a low-cost and open source pressure myograph system for vascular physiology. Frontiers in Physiology DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00099

Wilson, C, Lee, ML, Heathcote, H, Zhang, X, Buckley, C, Girkin, JM, Saunter, CD, McCarron, JG 2019, 'Mitochondrial ATP production provides long-range control of endothelial inositol trisphosphate–evoked calcium signaling' Journal of Biological Chemistry. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.005913


Lee, MD, Wilson, C, Saunter, CD, Kennedy, C, Girkin, JM, McCarron, JG, 2018, 'Spatially structured cell populations process multiple sensory signals in parallel in intact vascular endothelium' Science Signaling, vol 11, no. 9. DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aar4411

McCarron, JG, Saunter, C, Wilson, C, Girkin, JM & Chalmers, S 2018, Mitochondria structure and position in the local control of calcium signals in smooth muscle cells. in M Trebak & S Earley (eds), Signal Transduction and Smooth Muscle.Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 173-190.

Patnaik, SR, Zhang, X, Biswas, L, Akhtar, S, Zhou, X, Kusuluri, DK, Reilly, J, May-Simera, H, Chalmers, S, McCarron, JG & Shu, X 2018, 'RPGR protein complex regulates proteasome activity and mediates store-operated calcium entry' Oncotarget, vol 9, no. 33, pp. 23183-23197. DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.25259


McCarron, JG, Lee, MD & Wilson, C 2017, 'The endothelium solves problems that endothelial cells do not know exist' Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, vol 38, no. 4, pp. 322-338. DOI: 10.1016/

Wilson, C, Saunter, CD, Girkin, JM & McCarron, JG 2017, 'Advancing age decreases pressure-sensitive modulation of calcium signaling in the endothelium of intact and pressurized arteries' Journal of Vascular Research, vol 53, no. 5-6, pp. 358–369. DOI: 10.1159/000454811


Wilson, C, Lee, MD & McCarron, JG 2016, 'Acetylcholine released by endothelial cells facilitates flow-mediated dilatation' Journal of Physiology, vol 594, no. 24, pp. 7267-7307. DOI: 10.1113/JP272927

Sandison, ME, Dempster, J & McCarron, JG 2016, 'The transition of smooth muscle cells from a contractile to a migratory, phagocytic phenotype: direct demonstration of phenotypic modulation' Journal of Physiology, vol 594, no. 21, pp. 6189-6209. DOI: 10.1113/JP272729

Chalmers, S., Saunter, C.D., Girkin, J.M. and McCarron, J.G., 2016. Age decreases mitochondrial motility and increases mitochondrial size in vascular smooth muscle. The Journal of physiology, 594(15), pp.4283-4295.  DOI: 10.1113/JP271942

McCarron, J.G., Chalmers, S., Wilson, C. and Sandison, M.E., 2016. Calcium Mobilization via Intracellular Ion Channels, Store Organization and Mitochondria in Smooth Muscle. In Vascular Ion Channels in Physiology and Disease (pp. 233-253). Springer, Cham.

Wilson, C., Saunter, C.D., Girkin, J.M. and McCarron, J.G., 2016. Clusters of specialized detector cells provide sensitive and high fidelity receptor signaling in the intact endothelium. The FASEB Journal, 30(5), pp.2000-2013. DOI: 10.1096/fj.201500090


Caldwell, S.T., Cairns, A.G., Olson, M., Chalmers, S., Sandison, M., Mullen, W., McCarron, J.G. and Hartley, R.C., 2015. Synthesis of an azido-tagged low affinity ratiometric calcium sensor. Tetrahedron, 71(51), pp.9571-9578.  DOI: 10.1016/j.tet.2015.10.052

Wilson, C., Saunter, C.D., Girkin, J.M. and McCarron, J.G., 2015. Pressure‐dependent regulation of Ca2+ signalling in the vascular endothelium. The Journal of physiology, 593(24), pp.5231-5253.  DOI: 10.1113/JP271157

Chalmers, S., Saunter, C.D., Girkin, J.M. and McCarron, J.G., 2015. Flicker-assisted localization microscopy reveals altered mitochondrial architecture in hypertension. Scientific reports, 5, p.16875. DOI: 10.1038/srep16875

Sandison, M. and McCarron, J., 2015. Heterogeneity in the Proliferative Capacity of Smooth Muscle Cells (SMCs). The FASEB Journal, 29(1_supplement), pp.418-8.


Sandison, M., Chalmers, S., Dempster, J. and McCarron, J., 2014. Direct visualisation of smooth muscle cell phenotypic plasticity and migration by long-term imaging (867.12). The FASEB Journal, 28(1_supplement), pp.867-12.

For information about publications prior to this, please see our Publications page.

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