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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

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

Urinary Catheter care in the community: This project aims to understand the lived experience of patients (and their carers) living in the community with an indwelling urinary catheter. The initial work was funded by the Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland. A collaborative between University of the West of Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, University of Stirling, Glasgow Caledonian University and Napier University.

Blockage of urinary catheters, causes and remedies: This project aims to characterise the roles to which both fungi and bacteria play within the blockage of urinary catheters, predominantly arising by the formation of microbial biofilm. These biofilms tend to be polymicrobial, meaning they contain more than one organism. This work is a collaboration between University of the West of Scotland and University of Glasgow.

Role of infection in the recurrence and chronicity of diabetic foot ulcers: The aim is to understand the role of bacteria and fungi in the development and progression of diabetic foot ulcers - a common issue in patients living with diabetes in the community. Initial work focused on the analysis of the microbiome of diabetic foot ulcers using swabs taken from patients at the diabetic day clinic in Ayr hospital. The data were published in BMC Microbiology. The second part of the project is focused on developing laboratory-based models to better understand the nature of polymicrobial biofilms and how they impact on disease outcome. This project is a collaboration between University of the West of Scotland, University of Glasgow and NHS Ayshire & Arran.

Study of Bacterial Survival of High Level Disinfection: This study involves the evaluation of the impact of biofilm on bacterial survival of high level disinfection employing paracetic acid and implication for equipment mediated healthcare associated cross-infections. 

Survival of bacteria in the healthcare environment: The aim of this study is to understand how bacteria can survive in the healthcare setting, including how they may survive adverse conditions and the effects of cleaning and disinfection.

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

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
  • 66 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

    Catheter washout solutions for long-term urinary catheterisation in adults: a Cochrane Review summary

    Shepherd, A. J., Mackay, W. G. & Hagen, S., 1 Jun 2018, In : International Journal of Nursing Studies. 82, p. 167-170 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    115 Downloads (Pure)


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

    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

    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

    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