Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

** Are you looking for infection control advice? Please contact me by email to discuss your specific requirements. **

Dr MacKay was awarded his PhD in Microbiology in 1999 (Robert Gordon University). He undertook his post-doctoral training at University of Glasgow (Paediatric infectious disease). He specialises in infection control, disease epidemiology and clinical diagnostics.

Current research activities

Cleaning and disinfection within healthcare settings

My research and development focus:

My research and consultancy work focuses on the prevention of the spread of infection in healthcare settings, by investigating the role of the built environment and staff uniforms in the spread of infection. I also have expertise in studying the persistence and survival of pathogens in healthcare settings and how common environmental factors contribute to this, and disinfection susceptibility.

My work with the Scottish Ambulance Service has focused on the washing of ambulance staff uniforms and cleaning of ambulances as measures to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. My work with companies focuses on the independent evaluation of disinfection technologies, supported by our new clinical research laboratories including a purpose built infection control single occupancy hospital isolation room for the safe testing of disinfection technologies and procedures.

How I can help you:

I am interested in and ready to undertake collaborations with NHS, government and commercial colleagues that focus on key aspects of disinfection policy or practice and with companies in the independent assessment of new disinfection technologies.

Device related infections

My research and development focus:

Medical devices are a key driver of healthcare associated infections. My group has focused on the survival of bacterial pathogens in endoscopes following disinfection and also on urinary catheter blockage.

How can I help you:

My group has expertise in laboratory-based assessments of disinfection susceptibility to high level disinfectants and common disinfectants used to disinfect healthcare settings. I am interested in collaborating with colleagues on understanding the underlying factors that drive disinfection failures, so that this information can be used to more effectively disinfect medical devices.

Infectious disease diagnosis using molecular diagnostics

My research and development focus:

I have worked for many years in laboratory quality control. My main expertise is in external quality assessment. I am a Scientific expert for the international not-for-profit group QCMD and support them in external quality assessment for Clostridium difficile

How can I help you:

I have expertise in assay development, validation and the analysis of large diagnostic test results datasets. I am interested in collaborating with NHS colleagues and companies in the development and validation of new diagnostic tests and in ongoing assessment of diagnostic assay quality.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

I have a background in diagnostic medicine and quality control (see publications), and have collaborated internationally with colleagues in industry, medicine and academia. I have experience working to ISO 9001, and ISO 17043, and would be interested to speak to companies working in the areas of diagnostic medicine and infectious disease diagnosis.

Target collaborative companies

Interested in collaboration with companies that target the healthcare sector.

Particularly interested in companies involved in cleaning and disinfection, and diagnostics.

Desired research direction

Collaborative research in science and healthcare with a focus on infection control and diagnositcs. Wishes to be involved in interdisciplinary partnerships with industry, academia and health colleagues.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

External positions

Scientific Advisor, QCMD, Glasgow

1 Sept 2016 → …


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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