Linda Connelly PhD

Linda Connelly

Contact Information

Faculty Appointment

Professor of Medical Education, Physiology, Pharmacology

Administrative Appointments

Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs


BSc(Hons) Biochemistry with work placement, University of Glasgow, UK
PhD Molecular Pharmacology, University College London, UK


Dr Connelly received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry at the University of Glasgow. Her undergraduate program included work placement experience at Merck, Sharp and Dohme's Neuroscience Research Center in Harlow, UK. She went on to complete her PhD in Molecular Pharmacology at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College London, UK. Following completion of her PhD, Dr. Connelly was awarded an International Travelling Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust which she completed at the University of California Los Angeles and University College London, UK. Dr. Connelly completed further Post-Doctoral training in the Department of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. In June 2009 Dr. Connelly joined the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Daniel K. Inouye College Pharmacy at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2015. During her time at UH Hilo, Dr Connelly taught Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathophysiology and Cancer Biology and was elected by the PharmD students to receive Teaching Excellence Awards on seven separate occasions. Dr. Connelly was elected to serve as the Department Chair for Pharmaceutical Sciences from October 2016 until her departure in December 2018.

Research Description

Dr Connelly’s research focuses on characterizing the effects of molecular mediators of inflammation on breast cancer progression and metastasis. She has been investigating the role of Osteoprotegerin (OPG) in breast cancer metastasis. Breast cancer cells secrete OPG however there is limited information available about the role of OPG in breast cancer. Her initial publication in this area demonstrated that knock down of OPG expression reduces breast cancer metastasis by reducing the ability of the breast cancer cells to invade surrounding tissue. She has recently published a follow up study showing that OPG expression is regulated by the inflammatory cytokine Interleukin 1Beta (IL1Beta) and that OPG is involved in IL1Beta-mediated invasion of breast cancer cells.