Dr Francesca Mackenzie


I obtained my PhD on the genetics and pathophysiology of deafness from University of Oxford and MRC Harwell Mammalian Genetics Unit in 2006. During postdoctoral work I then researched neuromuscular biology at MRC Harwell, and neuronal development, regeneration and degeneration at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.

I joined Kingston University in 2017 as Lecturer in Physiology and Pharmacology with a specialism in neuroscience, and became Senior Lecturer in 2018.

My research interests are in the genetics and cell biology of neuronal development and regeneration, particularly in the peripheral nervous system and in the eye.

My pedagogical interests are in research-led teaching, embedding authentic problem-solving, and in equality, diversity and inclusivity.

Academic responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Pharmacology (Neuroscience)


  • 2018 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • 2017 Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA)
  • 2006 DPhil (Oxon) Genetics, University of Oxford
  • 2001 BSc (Hons) Applied Biology, University of Bath

Teaching and learning

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate physiology and pharmacology with a focus on neurobiology.

  • Module Leader for undergraduate Level 6 module LS6027 (LS6004) Drugs, Brain and Behaviour
  • Deputy Course Leader, BSc Pharmacology

I also supervise postgraduate MScR and PhD research students in neurobiology topics. 

Undergraduate module teaching:

  • LS6027 Drugs, Brain and Behaviour
  • LS4004 Human Physiology
  • LS4001 Genes, Cells and Tissues
  • LS5005 Medical Physiology
  • LS5010 System Pharmacology
  • LS6014 Project

Qualifications and expertise

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • D.Phil. (Oxon) Genetics, University of Oxford
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Biology, University of Bath

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My research interests are in the genetics and cell biology of neuronal development and neuronal regeneration, particularly in the peripheral nervous system and in the eye. I supervise postgraduate PhD and MScR students.

Current lab members:

  • Lucrezia Bruno (PhD) 
  • Najwa Abdulkadir (PhD)
  • Amtul Bhunnoo (PhD, 2nd supervisor)
  • Tien Ngo Thuy (MScR)

Completed postgraduate students:

  • Almas Mahmood (MScR)
  • Agne Mikailionyte (PhD year 4)
  • Elizabeth Spiritosanto (MScR, 2nd supervisor)

Other research activities

  • Academic lead, Biotechnology laboratory, KU
  • KU Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC)
  • KU IhSHA Vision, Cognition and Neuroscience; and Diabetes & Cardiovascular research themes
  • Reviewer for Frontiers in Neuroscience, Cells, IJMS, the Biochemical Society

Qualifications and expertise

  • D.Phil. (Oxon) Genetics, University of Oxford
  • BSc (Hons) Applied Biology, University of Bath

Areas of specialism

  • Neurobiology
  • Genetics
  • Cell biology
  • Disease models
  • Regeneration

Scholarly affiliations

  • Local Ambassador, The Genetics Society
  • Member, British Neuroscience Association
  • Member, British Society for Developmental Biology

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision


Number of items: 10.


Orme Merve, Ayse, Sobiecka, Pola, Remeškevičius, Vytautas, Taylor, Luke, Saskoy, Lili, Lawton, Scott, Jones, Ben P., Elwakeel, Ahmed, Mackenzie, Francesca E., Polycarpou, Elena, Bennett, Jason and Rooney, Brian (2022) Metabolites of cannabis induce cardiac toxicity and morphological alterations in cardiac myocytes. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(3), p. 1401. ISSN (print) 1661-6596

Bruno, Lucrezia, Karagil, Simge, Mahmood, Almas, Elbediwy, Ahmed, Stolinski, Michael and Mackenzie, Francesca (2021) Mechanosensing and the Hippo pathway in microglia : a potential link to Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis. Cells, 10(11), p. 3144. ISSN (online) 2073-4409

Cobbaut, Mathias, Karagil, Simge, Bruno, Lucrezia, de Loza, Maria Del Carmen Diaz, Mackenzie, Francesca E, Stolinski, Michael and Elbediwy, Ahmed (2020) Dysfunctional mechanotransduction through the YAP/TAZ/Hippo pathway as a feature of chronic disease. Cells, 9(1), p. 151. ISSN (online) 2073-4409

Athanasiou, Dimitra, Aguila, Monica, Opefi, Chikwado A., South, Kieron, Bellingham, James, Bevilacqua, Dalila, Munro, Peter M., Kanuga, Naheed, Mackenzie, Francesca E., Dubis, Adam M., Georgiadis, Anastasios, Graca, Anna B., Pearson, Rachael A., Ali, Robin R., Sakami, Sanae, Palczewski, Krysztof, Sherman, Michael Y., Reeves, Philip J. and Cheetham, Michael E. (2017) Rescue of mutant rhodopsin traffic by metformin-induced AMPK activation accelerates photoreceptor degeneration. Human Molecular Genetics, 26(2), pp. 305-319. ISSN (print) 0964-6906

Cattin, Anne-Laure, Burden, Jemima J., Van Emmenis, Lucie, Mackenzie, Francesca E., Hoving, Julian J.A., Garcia Calavia, Noelia, Guo, Yanping, McLaughlin, Maeve, Rosenberg, Laura H., Quereda, Victor, Jamecna, Denisa, Napoli, Ilaria, Parrinello, Simona, Enver, Tariq, Ruhrberg, Christiana and Lloyd, Alison C. (2015) Macrophage-induced blood vessels guide Schwann cell-mediated regeneration of peripheral nerves. Cell, 162(5), pp. 1127-1139. ISSN (print) 0092-8674

Wiszniak, S, Mackenzie, FF, Anderson, P, Kabbara, S, Ruhrberg, C and Schwarz, Q (2015) Neural crest cell-derived VEGF promotes embryonic jaw extension. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 112(19), pp. 6086-6091. ISSN (online) 0027-8424

Mackenzie, Francesca and Ruhrberg, Christiana (2012) Diverse roles for VEGF-A in the nervous system. Development, 139(8), pp. 1371-1380. ISSN (print) 0950-1991

Tillo, Miguel, Ruhrberg, Christiana and Mackenzie, Francesca (2012) Emerging roles for semaphorins and VEGFs in synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Cell Adhesion & Migration, 6(6), pp. 541-546. ISSN (print) 1933-6918

Conference or Workshop Item

Mackenzie, Francesca, Morgan, Anna, Stolinski, Michael, Baker, Amanda, Reid, Dwain, Mador, Martha and Page, Nigel (2021) Supporting activities to embed creativity and innovation as an implicit part of the bioscience student experience. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy; 29-30 Jun 2021, The Open University, U.K. (Held online). (Unpublished)

Mikailionyte, Agne, Pierscionek, Barbara, Mackenzie, Francesca E and Augousti, Andy (2021) The effect of video-game visual training on visual function in adults with self–reported reading difficulties. In: Applied Vision Association Virtual Spring Meeting (2021); 29 Mar 2021, Held Online. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Sat Jun 3 07:07:30 2023 BST.

Leadership and management

University responsibilities

  • Deputy Course Leader, BSc Pharmacology
  • Academic lead, Biotechnology research lab
  • Module Lead LS6027 Drugs, Brain and Behaviour

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