Professor Sheldon is interested in the fundamental mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions. Professor Sheldon was in clinical practice for 14 years before moving to the Royal Veterinary College in London, where he developed his research interests and was awarded his PhD in 2002. In 2006 he won a BBSRC Research Development Fellowship to move to full-time research and study fundamental questions about the biology of infection and immunity. In 2008 he was appointed to a personal Chair at Swansea University Medical School to focus full-time on research.

Professor Sheldon is interested in the general mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions, and the impact of infection and  innate immunity in the female genital tract. Professor Sheldon and his team explore the cellular mechanisms of innate immunity, inflammation and microbial infection that apply across species. Professor Sheldon discovered novel bacteria that cause disease of the uterus in cattle. In addition, he has uncovered mechanisms that explain how these microbes cause inflammation and tissue damage in the endometrium of the uterus, and how these process perturb the health of the ovary and the oocyte. One of the key discoveries by Professor Sheldon was that the epithelial and stromal cells of the endometrium, and granulosa cells of the ovary have roles in innate immunity. In particular they express receptors, such as Toll-like Receptors (TLRs), which detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns to induce inflammatory responses, including the production of cytokines, chemokines and prostaglandins. Furthermore, pathogen-associated molecules perturb oocyte health and development, linking bacterial infections to long-term impacts on fertility. Another area of discovery is how pore-forming toxins and other virulence factors from bacteria damage tissues, and mechanisms of tolerance to pore-forming toxins in tissues.

A clinical background coupled with exploring the basic science of host-pathogen interactions, has provided Professor Sheldon with a unique perspective. In 2013, Professor Sheldon's research was recognised by the award of FRCVS, and in 2015 he was awarded the Schofield Prize.

Areas of Expertise

  • Innate immunity
  • Reproductive Biology


  1. & Signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 licenses Toll-like receptor 4-dependent interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 production via IL-6 receptor-positive feedback in endometrial cells. Mucosal Immunology 9(4), 1125-1136.
  2. & Mevalonate biosynthesis intermediates are key regulators of innate immunity in bovine endometritis. Journal of Immunology 196
  3. & Protective role of the dynamin inhibitor Dynasore against the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin of Trueperella pyogenes. The FASEB Journal 29(4), 1516-1528.
  4. & Epithelial and Stromal Cells of Bovine Endometrium Have Roles in Innate Immunity and Initiate Inflammatory Responses to Bacterial Lipopeptides In Vitro via Toll-Like Receptors TLR2, TLR1, and TLR6. Endocrinology 155(4), 1453-1465.
  5. & Short communication: Glutamine modulates inflammatory responses to lipopolysaccharide in ex vivo bovine endometrium. Journal of Dairy Science 100
  6. & Innate immunity and the sensing of infection, damage and danger in the female genital tract. Journal of Reproductive Immunology 119, 67-73.
  7. & Toll-like receptor and related cytokine mRNA expression in bovine corpora lutea during the oestrous cycle and pregnancy. Reproduction in Domestic Animals
  8. & Mechanisms linking bacterial infections of the bovine endometrium to disease and infertility. Reproductive Biology 16(1), 1-7.
  9. & Glucose Availability and AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Link Energy Metabolism and Innate Immunity in the Bovine Endometrium. PLOS ONE 11(e0151416), 1-20.
  10. Detection of Pathogens in Blood for Diagnosis of Sepsis and Beyond. EBioMedicine 9, 13-14.

See more...


  • PM-304 Biomolecular Research Project


  • PMLM06 LC/MS Applications V: Metabolomics, Lipidomics and Bioactive lipids

    This module covers the basic concepts of metabolomics, lipidomics and analysis of bioactive lipids. The module will focus on the application of LC-MS analysis of biomolecules isolated from complex mixtures.



    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr James Cronin
    Other supervisor: Prof Martin Sheldon
    Other supervisor: Dr Deyarina Gonzalez
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Martin Sheldon
    Other supervisor: Dr James Cronin
  • 'The host-pathogen interactions between Trueperella pyogenes and the endometrium' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Prof Martin Sheldon