Researchers at UCD


Alex Cheong

Research Fellow

Systems Biology Ireland
Conway Institute
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 716


I was born and raised in the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. After my A-levels, I won a full scholarship to study Pharmacology at University College London. I enjoyed my final year project so much that I took on a British Heart Foundation PhD studentship at the University of Leeds to study vascular ion channels with Prof David Beech. I moved from electrophysiology and pharmacology to molecular biology during my postdoc (with Dr Ian Wood) and won a British Heart Foundation Intermediate Fellowship to study transcriptional repressors.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2006.
Title: British Heart Foundation Intermediate Research Fellowship
Year: 2006.
Title: Leeds University Development Fellowship in Integrative Membrane Biology
Year: 1993.
Title: Laureate Scholarship


Employer: University of Leeds
Position: Post-doctoral research assistant
Employer: University of Leeds
Position: Independent Research Fellow


Year 1997 Institution: University College London
Qualification: BSc Subject: Pharmacology
Year 2001 Institution: University of Leeds
Qualification: PhD Subject: Pharmacology





Book Chapters

Beech DJ, Cheong A, Flemming R, Guibert C and Xu SZ; (2001) 'Modulation of vascular K+ channels by extracellular messengers' In: SL Archer and NJ Rusch (eds). Potassium channels in cardiovascular biology. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Cavadas MAS, Nguyen LK, Cheong A (2013) 'Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) network: insights from mathematical models'. Cell Communication and Signaling, . [Details]
Nguyen LK, Cavadas MA, Scholz CC, Fitzpatrick SF, Bruning U, Cummins EP, Tambuwala MM, Manresa MC, Kholodenko BN, Taylor CT, Cheong A. (2013) 'A dynamic model of the hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) network'. Journal of Cell Science, . Available Online [Details]
Cavadas MAS and Cheong A. (2013) 'Monitoring transcriptional dynamics of HIF and NFκB activities'. Methods in Molecular Biology, . [Details]
Oliver KM, Lenihan CR, Bruning U, Cheong A, Laffey JG, McLoughlin P, Taylor CT, Cummins EP; (2012) 'Hypercapnia induces cleavage and nuclear localization of REL B giving insight into co2 sensing and signalling'. Journal of Biological Chemistry, . [DOI] [Details]
Bruning U, Fitzpatrick SF, Frank T, Birtwistle M, Taylor CT, Cheong A (2012) 'NFkB and HIF display synergistic behaviour during hypoxic inflammation'. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, 69 (8):1319-1329. [DOI] [Details]
Frank TD, Cheong A, Okada-Hatakeyama M, Kholodenko BN (2012) 'Catching transcriptional regulation by thermostatistical modeling'. Physical Biology, 9 (4). [DOI] [Details]
Agbor TA, Cheong A, Comerford KM, Scholz CC, Bruning U, Clarke A, Cummins EP, Cagney G, Taylor CT; (2011) 'Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier (SUMO)-1 Promotes Glycolysis in Hypoxia'. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286 :4718-4726. [DOI] [Details]
Bruning U, Cerone L, Neufeld Z, Fitzpatrick SF, Cheong A, Scholz CC, Simpson DA, Leonard MO, Tambuwala MM, Cummins EP, Taylor CT; (2011) 'MicroRNA-155 Promotes Resolution of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1 alpha Activity during Prolonged Hypoxia'. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 31 :4087-4096. [DOI] [Details]
Cheong A, Li J, Sukumar P, Kumar B, Zeng F, Riches K, Munsch C, Wood IC, Porter KE, Beech DJ; (2010) 'Potent suppression of vascular smooth muscle cell migration and human neointimal hyperplasia by KV1.3 channel blockers'. Cardiovascular Research, . [DOI] [Details]
Milligan CJ, Li J, Sukumar P, Majeed Y, Dallas ML, English A, Emery P, Porter KE, Smith AM, McFadzean I, Beccano-Kelly D, Bahnasi Y, Cheong A, Naylor J, Zeng F, Liu X, Gamper N, Jiang LH, Pearson HA, Peers C, Robertson B, Beech DJ; (2009) 'Robotic multiwell planar patch-clamp for native and primary mammalian cells'. Nature protocols, 4 (2):244-255. [DOI] [Details]
Cheong A, Fountain SJ, Beech DJ. (2009) 'Quantitative RT-PCR methods for investigation of low copy potassium channel gene expression in native murine arteries'. Methods in Molecular Biology, 491 :19-33. [Details]
Tharp DL, Wamhoff BR, Wulff H, Raman G, Cheong A, Bowles DK; (2008) 'Local delivery of the KCa3.1 blocker, TRAM-34, prevents acute angioplasty-induced coronary smooth muscle phenotypic modulation and limits stenosis'. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 28 (6):1084-1089. [DOI] [Details]
Fountain SJ, Cheong A, Li J, Dondas NY, Zeng F, Wood IC, Beech DJ; (2007) 'K(v)1.5 potassium channel gene regulation by Sp1 transcription factor and oxidative stress'. The Journal of physiology, 293 (5):1-25. [DOI] [Details]
Xu SZ, Muraki K, Zeng F, Li J, Sukumar P, Shah S, Dedman AM, Flemming PK, McHugh D, Naylor J, Cheong A, Bateson AN, Munsch CM, Porter KE, Beech DJ; (2006) 'A sphingosine-1-phosphate-activated calcium channel controlling vascular smooth muscle cell motility'. Circulation Research, 98 (11):1381-1389. [DOI] [Details]
Cheong A, Wood IC, Beech DJ; (2006) 'Less REST, more vascular disease? Regulation of cell cycle and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells'. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 5 (2):129-131. [Details]
Kumar B, Dreja K, Shah SS, Cheong A, Xu SZ, Sukumar P, Naylor J, Forte A, Cipollaro M, McHugh D, Kingston PA, Heagerty AM, Munsch CM, Bergdahl A, Hultgårdh-Nilsson A, Gomez MF, Porter KE, Hellstrand P, Beech DJ; (2006) 'Upregulated TRPC1 channel in vascular injury in vivo and its role in human neointimal hyperplasia'. Circulation Research, 98 (4):557-563. [Details]
Beech DJ, Cheong A; (2006) 'Potassium channels at the beginnings of cell proliferation'. The Journal of physiology, 570 (Pt 1). [DOI] [Details]
Cheong A, Bingham AJ, Li J, Kumar B, Sukumar P, Munsch C, Buckley NJ, Neylon CB, Porter KE, Beech DJ, Wood IC; (2005) 'Downregulated REST transcription factor is a switch enabling critical potassium channel expression and cell proliferation'. Molecular cell, 20 (1):45-52. [DOI] [Details]
Beech DJ, Cheong A, Rusch NJ; (2005) 'Regulation of arterial tone by KV1 potassium channels'. Circulation Research, 96 (6). [Details]
Fountain SJ, Cheong A, Flemming R, Mair L, Sivaprasadarao A, Beech DJ; (2004) 'Functional up-regulation of KCNA gene family expression in murine mesenteric resistance artery smooth muscle'. The Journal of physiology, 556 (Pt 1):29-42. [DOI] [Details]
Cheong A, Quinn K, Dedman AM, Beech DJ; (2002) 'Activation thresholds of K(V), BK andCl(Ca) channels in smooth muscle cells in pial precapillary arterioles'. Journal of Vascular Research, 39 (2):122-130. [Details]
Flemming R, Cheong A, Dedman AM, Beech DJ; (2002) 'Discrete store-operated calcium influx into an intracellular compartment in rabbit arteriolar smooth muscle'. The Journal of physiology, 543 (Pt 2):455-464. [Details]
Cheong A, Dedman AM, Beech DJ; (2001) 'Expression and function of native potassium channel [K(V)alpha1] subunits in terminal arterioles of rabbit'. The Journal of physiology, 534 (Pt 3):691-700. [Details]
Cheong A, Dedman AM, Xu SZ, Beech DJ; (2001) 'K(V)alpha1 channels in murine arterioles: differential cellular expression and regulation of diameter'. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 281 (3):1-65. [Details]
Surah-Narwal S, Xu SZ, McHugh D, McDonald RL, Hough E, Cheong A, Partridge C, Sivaprasadarao A, Beech DJ; (1999) 'Block of human aorta Kir6.1 by the vascular KATP channel inhibitor U37883A'. British Journal of Pharmacology, 128 (3):667-672. [DOI] [Details]


Research Interests

I am a molecular biologist working on how transcription factors regulate gene expression. This is achieved through a new technique that I developed here at UCD, based on the secreted Gaussia luciferase. This new method, coupled with thermostatiscal analysis and mathematical modelling, enables me to unravel the complex transcriptional crosstalks at the promoter level. I have recently applied this technique to describe crosstalks between the transcription factors HIF and NfKB during hypoxic inflammation.


Internal Collaborators

Prof Cormac T Taylor
Prof Boris N Kholodenko

External Collaborators

Dr Till D Frank, University of Connecticut, USA
Dr Ian C Wood, University of Leeds, UK