Dean of Medical School
Ulster University

Professor McKenna moved from being Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at Ulster University to lead the development of their new medical school recently. He has over 250 publications including 11 books and over £7 million in grants. His published work has been cited 8,336 times. He is a Fellow of several international Academies and Royal Colleges. In 2008 he was made Commander of the British Empire (CBE). In 2014, he was presented with two Lifetime Achievement Awards.

He has been a board member of several national research funding organisations (UK's Parkinson's Disease Society, National Institute of Health Research, Cancer Focus etc.). He currently chairs NIAMH, the largest Mental Health, Learning Disability and Addiction Charity in Ireland. He is a Director of the Patient and Client Council and chairs their research committee and has chaired many university accreditation panels at sub degree, degree and postgraduate levels.

In 2009-2014, he chaired the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework panel for nursing, allied health professions, pharmacy and dentistry. He regularly chairs panels for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation and previously chaired the Swedish Research Council's Health Sciences panel. He is also a committee member of the Swedish Research Council's international research assessment advisory panel. He was previously an executive member of the UK Council of Deans of Health. He co-founded and served on the committee of an International Doctoral Education Network, representing 34 countries. Currently, he is a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board for King's College London and an Adjunct/Visiting Professor in the University of Maribor, Slovenia, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and is Head of the Visiting Committee at the Nethersole School in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. For 5 years, he was adjunct professor at the University of Texas. In October 2016, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.