I am a researcher in the human immunology group lead by Prof Cathy Thornton.

I hold a BSc in Genetics and a Health and Care Research Wales (formally NISCHR) funded PhD in Medical and Health Care Studies both from Swansea University. My PhD focused on the function of innate immune receptors in gestation associated tissues.

My current position is dedicated to the Life Science Research Network Wales funded All Wales Cellular Bioenergetics Analysis Platform (http://www.lsrnw.ac.uk/platform-technologies/all-wales-cellular-bioenergetics-analysis-platform/). This platform allows researchers across Wales to utilise high throughput real-time cellular flux analysis to monitor mitochondrial health in relation to drug discovery and development. 

My research interests focus on innate immunity in health and disease, particularly relating to the inflammasome and IL-1 family cytokines.  Ongoing research projects focus on the modulation of inflammation at the maternal-fetal interface by signals from the maternal environment

Further to my research role, I also contribute to teaching at different levels across the medical school, including undergraduate lecturing in genetics, biochemistry and applied medical science as well as graduate entry medicine.

Areas of Expertise

  • Innate Immunity
  • Inflammation
  • Placental Inflammation & Immunology

Publications

  1. & Functional activity but not gene expression of toll-like receptors is decreased in the preterm versus term human placenta. Placenta
  2. & Interleukin 4 and interleukin 13 downregulate the lipopolysaccharide-mediated inflammatory response by human gestation-associated tissues†. Biology of Reproduction 96(3), 576-586.
  3. & Human gestation-associated tissues express functional cytosolic nucleic acid sensing pattern recognition receptors. Clinical & Experimental Immunology
  4. & Bioenergetic analysis of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Clinical & Experimental Immunology, n/a-n/a.
  5. & Cytokines and the Innate Immune Response at the Materno-Fetal Interface. In Recent Advances in Research on the Human Placenta. InTech.

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Teaching

  • PM-132 Eukaryotic Cell Biology

    This module will provide a broad introduction to fundamental concepts in Eukaryotic cell biology investigating the origins of the cell, cell structure and specialised cells and cells in disease. There will be a general focus on human cells throughout with reference to other organisms when needed. Students will gain practical experience in identification, differentiation of cells from different human and animal species.

  • PM-132C Bioleg Celloedd Ewcaryotig

    Bydd y modiwl hwn yn darparu cyflwyniad bras i gysyniadau sylfaenol ym maes bioleg celloedd Ewcaryotig, gan ymchwilio i darddiad y gell, strwythur y gell a chelloedd arbenigol a chelloedd mewn clefyd. Bydd ffocws cyffredinol ar gelloedd dynol drwy gydol y modiwl, gan gyfeirio at organebau eraill yn ôl yr angen. Bydd myfyrwyr yn cael profiad ymarferol o nodi celloedd, gwahaniaethu rhwng gwahanol gelloedd dynol a rhywogaethau o anifeiliaid.

  • PM-138 Skills for Medical Sciences

    The aim of this module is to provide the student with basic skills required for laboratory research in the field of applied medical sciences. The module will be both theoretical and applied: the student will be instructed in methods essential for data acquisition and analyses but will also actively participate in the laboratory, using broadly applicable experimental techniques. They will also develop skills that are not experimental techniques themselves, but are nevertheless fundamental to the scientific process, such as `lab math,¿ sourcing information, referencing, ethics and health and safety.

  • PM-141 Human Physiology II

    This module aims to provide students with further understanding of human physiology through studies on systems physiology including the endocrine, renal, blood, digestive/metabolism and reproductive system. The module will equally describe how malfunction of physiological systems gives rise to disease, using specific examples to enable students to appreciate the relationship between physiology/anatomy and medicine. Fundamental principles of physiology will be illustrated with appropriate clinical examples and during practical assignments.