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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.

External positions

Scientific Advisor, QCMD, Glasgow

1 Sep 2016 → …

Vice Chair, Environmental Protection Scotland

2014 → …

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Research Output

Development of a high throughput and low cost model for the study of semi-dry biofilms

Amaeze, N., Akinbobola, A., Chukwuemeka, V., Abalkhail, A., Ramage, G., Kean, R., Staines, H., Williams, C. & Mackay, W., 22 May 2020, In : Biofouling - The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biiofilm. 36, 4, p. 403-415 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Reduction of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation through the application of nanoscale vibration

    Robertson, S. N., Childs, P. G., Akinbobola, A., Henriquez, F. L., Ramage, G., Reid, S., MacKay, W. G. & Williams, C., 31 Mar 2020, In : Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering. 129, 3, p. 379-386 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Patient and community nurse perspectives on recruitment to a randomized controlled trial of urinary catheter washout solutions: recruitment to a RCT on catheter washout solutions

    MacKay, W., Shepherd, A., Steel, E., Taylor, A. & Hagen, S., Jul 2019, In : Nursing Open. 6, 3, p. 907-914 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 87 Downloads (Pure)

    Psychometric properties of the Arabic version of the International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire on Long-Term Catheter Quality of Life

    Youssef, N., Best, C., Mackay, W. G., Hagen, S. & Shepherd, A., 18 Dec 2019, In : International Journal of Nursing Practice. 8 p., e12807.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    • 1 Participation in conference
    • 1 Other
    • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition
    • 1 Oral presentation

    BREATH Annual Conference

    John Lockhart (Member of programme committee), Gary Litherland (Invited speaker), Anne Crilly (Invited speaker), Carl Goodyear (Invited speaker), Iain McLellan (Invited speaker), Craig Williams (Invited speaker), William MacKay (Invited speaker), Andrew MacKenzie (Invited speaker), Joanna Brzeszczynska (Invited speaker), Lynette Dunning (Invited speaker), Mari Bailo (Invited speaker), Mark Thomas (Invited speaker), Kirsty McCallum (Invited speaker), Kimberly Black (Invited speaker), Fawziye Tarhini (Invited speaker), Carly Woods (Invited speaker) & Bryn Short (Invited speaker)

    19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

    World COPD Day 2019

    John Lockhart (Examiner), Kimberly Black (Examiner), Kirsty McCallum (Examiner), Mark Thomas (Examiner), Fawziye Tarhini (Examiner), Mari Bailo (Examiner), Gary Litherland (Examiner), Anne Crilly (Examiner), William MacKay (Examiner), Carly Woods (Examiner) & Bryn Short (Examiner)

    20 Nov 2019

    Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

    Meeting with Glasgow Respiratory Clinicians

    John Lockhart (Participant), Andrew MacKenzie (Organiser), Gary Litherland (Participant), Anne Crilly (Participant), William MacKay (Participant), Craig Williams (Participant), Joanna Brzeszczynska (Participant), Mariarca Bailo (Presenter), Kirsty McCallum (Presenter), Kimberly Black (Presenter), Fawziye Tarhini (Presenter), David Anderson (Participant), Hannah Bayes (Participant), Pallavai Bedi (Participant), Carly Woods (Presenter) & Bryn Short (Presenter)

    8 Feb 2019

    Activity: Other

    Urethral catheter management in the community setting: producing an education strategy from an exploration of 'out of hour’s community nurse call outs'.

    Cate O'Kane (Speaker), William MacKay (Invited speaker) & Angela Kydd (Invited speaker)

    9 Jun 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation