Department: Clinical Science and Services

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Cardiovascular and Inflammation Biology and Metabolism

Clinical Groups: Small Animal Cardiology

Research Centres: Imaging Suite

David is a member of the Cardiology Service at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals. He is a European and RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Cardiology. His research focuses on myocardial disease in cats and dogs and their translational potential for analogous human conditions. He has published widely on this subject in both clinical and basic science journals and presented a numerous International conferences.

After qualifying from the Royal Veterinary College, David pursued a career in research with the Medical Research Council. Having obtained a PhD in molecular genetics, he continued research for three further years, investigating the molecular mechanism underlying early embryonic development at the National Institute for Medical Researech.

Following a period working for the PDSA in the Midlands, he returned to the RVC and completed a Residency in the Medicine Service. During this time, David obtained the RCVS Certificates in Small Animal Medicine and Cardiology, and subsequently the ECVIM Diploma in Cardiology in 2003.

David divides his time between his clinical commitments in the Cardiology service, a substantial research portfolio and administrative and teaching duties.

David's main research interest is mechanisms underlying myocardial disease in cats and dogs and novel therapeutic approaches to their management. He has a particular interest in stem cell technology including the development of disease specific induced pluripotent stem cells to facilitate development of novel therapies.

Oyama MA, Boswood A, Connolly DJ, Ettinger SJ, Fox PR, Gordon SG, Rush JE, Sisson DD, Stepien RL, Wess G, Zannad F Clinical usefulness of an assay for measurement of circulating N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide concentration in dogs and cats with heart disease. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2013 Jul 1;243(1):71-82.

Mõtsküla PF, Linney C, Palermo V, Connolly DJ, French A, Dukes McEwan J, Luis Fuentes V. Prognostic Value of 24-Hour Ambulatory ECG (Holter) Monitoring in Boxer Dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2013 Jul;27(4):904-10

Payne J, Borgeat K, Connolly DJ,  Boswood A, Dennis S, Wagner T, Menaut P, Maerz I, Evans D, Simons V, Brodbelt D, Luis Fuentes V. Prognostic indicators in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy J Vet Intern Med 2013 Nov-Dec;27(6):1427-36

Humm K, Hezzell M, Sargent J, Connolly DJ, Boswood A. Differentiating between feline pleural effusions of cardiac and non-cardiac origin using pleural fluid NT-proBNP concentrations. J Small Anim Pract. 2013 Dec;54(12):656-61 (won the BSAVA prize for best clinical paper 2014)

Borgeat K, Casamian-Sorrosal D, Helps C, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Association of the myosin binding protein C3 mutation (MYBPC3 R820W) with cardiac death in a survey of 236 Ragdoll cats. J Vet Cardiol. 2014 Jun;16(2):73-80

Borgeat K, Sherwood K (RP2 student), Payne JR, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Cardiac troponin I predicts cardiac death in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Vet Intern Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;28(6):1731-7

Swann JW, Sudunagunta S, Covey HL, English K, Hendricks A, Connolly DJ. Evaluation of red cell distribution width in dogs with pulmonary hypertension. J Vet Cardiol. 2014 Dec;16(4):227-35

Borgeat K, Dudhia J, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Circulating concentrations of a marker of type I collagen metabolism are associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy mutation status in ragdoll cats. J Small Anim Pract. 2015 Jun;56(6):360-5.

Borgeat K, Sudunagunta S, Kaye B, Stern J, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Retrospective evaluation of moderate-to-severe pulmonary hypertension in dogs naturally infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum. J Small Anim Pract. 2015 Mar;56(3):196-202

Kaye BM, Borgeat K, Mõtsküla PF, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Association of tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion with survival time in Boxer dogs with ventricular arrhythmias. J Vet Intern Med. 2015 Mar-Apr;29(2):582-8

Julia Sargent, David J. Connolly, Victoria Watts, Paul Mõtsküla, Holger A. Volk, Chris Lamb, Virginia Luis Fuentes. Assessment of mitral regurgitation in dogs: comparison of results of echocardiography with magnetic resonance imaging.  J Small Anim Pract. 2015 Nov;56(11):641-50.

Payne JR, Borgeat K, Brodbelt DC, Connolly DJ, Luis Fuentes V. Risk factors associated with sudden death vs. congestive heart failure or arterial thromboembolism in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Vet Cardiol. 2015 Dec;17 Suppl 1:S318-28.

Borgeat K, Connolly DJ, Luis Fuentes V. Cardiac biomarkers in cats. J Vet Cardiol. 2015 Dec;17 Suppl 1:S74-86

Stanzani G, Cowlam R, English K, Connolly DJ. Evaluation of red blood cell distribution width in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Vet Cardiol. 2015 Dec;17 Suppl 1:S233-43

Borgeat K, Stern J, Meurs KM, Fuentes VL, Connolly DJ. The influence of clinical and genetic factors on left ventricular wall thickness in Ragdoll cats. J Vet Cardiol. 2015 Dec;17 Suppl 1:S258-67

Hezzell MJ, Rush JE, Humm K, Rozanski EA, Sargent J, Connolly DJ, Boswood A, Oyama MA. Differentiation of Cardiac from Noncardiac Pleural Effusions in Cats using Second-Generation Quantitative and Point-of-Care NT-proBNP Measurements. J Vet Intern Med. 2016 Mar-Apr;30(2):536-42.

Spalla I, Payne JR, Borgeat K, Pope A Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Mitral Annular Plane Systolic Excursion (MAPSE) and Tricuspid Annular Plane Systolic Excursion (TAPSE) In Cats with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. J Vet Intern Med 2017 May;31(3):691-699

Messer AE, Chan J, Daley A, Copeland O, Marston SB, Connolly DJ. Investigations into the Sarcomeric Protein and Ca2+-Regulation Abnormalities Underlying Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in Cats (Felix catus). Front Physiol. 2017 Jun 8;8:348. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00348. eCollection 2017

Annina S. Vischer1; David J. Connolly2; Caroline J. Coats1; Virginia Luis Fuentes2; William J. McKenna1; Silvia Castelletti1; Antonis A. Pantazis1 The phenotype of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy in Boxer dogs: get the diagnosis right. (1UCL, 2RVC). Acta Myol. 2017 Sep 1;36(3):135-150.

Dutton L, Church S, Hodgkiss-Geere H, Catchpole B, Huggins A, Dudhia J, Connolly DJ. Cryopreservation of canine cardiosphere-derived cells: implications for clinical application. Cytometry A. 2018 Jan;93(1):115-124.

J. Novo Matos, N. Pereira, T. Glaus, L. Wilkie, K. Borgeat, J. Loureiro, J. Silva, V. Law, A. Kranjc, D.J. Connolly, V. Luis Fuentes. Transient myocardial thickening in cats associated with heart failure J Vet Intern Med. 2018 Jan;32(1):48-56

Covey H, D J Connolly. Pericardial effusion associated within canine systemic inflammatory disease: 7 cases (January 2006 – January 2012). J Vet Cardiol. 2018 Apr;20(2):123-128.

Borgeat K, Niessen SJM, Wilkie L, Harrington N, Church DB, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Time spent with cats is never wasted: Lessons learned from feline acromegalic cardiomyopathy, a naturally occurring animal model of the human disease. PLoS One. 2018 Mar 29;13(3):e0194342

Spalla I, Payne JR, Borgeat K, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Prognostic value of mitral annular systolic plane excursion and tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Vet Cardiol. 2018 May 10. pii: S1760-2734(17)30086-3

Dutton LC, Dudhia J, Catchpole B, Hodgkiss-Geere H, Werling D, Connolly DJ. Cardiosphere-derived cells suppress allogeneic lymphocytes by production of PGE2 acting via the EP4 receptor. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 6;8(1):13351

Spalla I, Boswood A, Connolly DJ, Luis Fuentes V. Speckle tracking echocardiography in cats with preclinical hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. J Vet Intern Med. 2019 May;33(3):1232-1241

Conference papers:

Borgeat K, Niessen SJ, Church DB, Wilkie L, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Feline acromegalic cardiomyopathy: a naturally occurring animal model of the human disease (Poster). Translational Biomedical Research Conference 2015, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.

Primary effects of HCM mutations in humans and cats Andrew E. Messer, Maria Papadaki, Petr G. Vikhorev, Yousef Sebzali, Alex Daley, David J Connolly and Steven B. Marston:  Poster 44th European Muscle Conference September 21 - 25, 2015, Warsaw, Poland

A significant relationship between head length growth rate and interventricular septum in adult cats Freeman, LM; Rush, JE; Connolly DJ; Feugier A; van Hoek I. WINSS Symposium 2016

Borgeat K, Vischer AS, Hannabuss J, Casamian-Sorrosal D, Olivera P, Lopez-Alvarez J, Kavanagh J, Wray J, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. T wave inversion in precordial ECG leads as a marker of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy in Boxer dogs. ECVIM Congress September 2016

David John Connolly, Jessie Rose Payne, Alexandre Feugier, Ingrid van Hoek. Inter-observer variability for cardiac ultrasound measurements in cats between 12 and 24 months of age. ECVIM Congress September 2016

Spalla I, Borgeat K, Pope A, Luis Fuentes V, Connolly DJ. Mitral Annular Plane Systolic Excursion (Mapse) and Tricuspid Annular Plane Systolic Excursion (Tapse) in Cats with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. ECVIM Congress September 2016

Andrew E. Messer, Alex Daley, Jasmin Cheng, Steven B, Marston David J Connolly:  Investigations into the sarcomeric protein and Ca2+-regulation abnormalities underlying hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats. Extended Research Abstract ACVIM congress Washington June 2017

Tsumugi Kurosawa, Wan Ching Cheng, Lois Wilkie, Julia Sargent, David J Connolly

Virginia Luis Fuentes - Is the left atrium prothrombotic in cats with aortic thromboembolism? Abstract ACVIM Congress 2017

Ilaria Spalla, Jessie Rosie Payne, Kieran Borgeat, Virginia Luis Fuentes, David J. Connolly Prognostic value of MAPSE and TAPSE in feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Abstract ACVIM Congress 2017

L. C. Dutton, H. Hodgkiss-Geere, B. Catchpole, J. Dudhia, D. J. Connolly. Assessing the feasibility of allogeneic stem cell therapy for canine dilated cardiomyopathy. ECVIM Congress Sept 2017

L. C. Dutton, S. A. V. Church, H. Hodgkiss-Geere, B. Catchpole, A. Huggins, J. Dudhia, D. J. Connolly. Towards cardiac stem cell therapy: characterisation and cryopreservation of canine cardiosphere-derived cells. ECVIM Congress Sept 2017


David teaches both undergraduates and postgraduates including MRes and PhD students and also Senior Clinical Training Scholars. He has respnsibility for overseeing the undergrduate final year research projects. 

Invited by the British Ragdoll Club to give a lecture in 2013 and 2014

Invited by the Ragdoll Society of the Netherlands to give a lecture 2014

Night at the Vet College Feline Health – poster and meet the public March 2018

RVC POD-CAST: Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – clinical implications

Invited by the British Shorthair club to speak at their annual conference Nov 2018

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