Cancer and Infection Research Cluster

The Cancer and Infection Cluster is formed of an interdisciplinary team of researchers from across the Schools of Human Sciences, Psychology, and Social Care. We are interested in enhancing diagnostic and treatment interventions for human cancers and infectious diseases. We integrate histological and analytical techniques to build a complete picture of disease pathology and apply this knowledge to improve outcomes for patients both in the UK and internationally.

Our aims

Our cluster includes researchers with expertise in the disciplines of pathology, molecular biology, pharmacology, immunology, infectious disease, sport performance, toxicology, nanomedicines and physiology. We come together to investigate novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to disease with a particular focus on breast and ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer caused by Human Papillomavirus and infections with agents such as Epstein-Barr Virus, and Hepatitis C viruses, which can sometimes also cause cancers. 
There is an extensive and broad-ranging level of expertise within the cluster, and we work collaboratively with the NHS, charities, the pharmaceutical industry, public health, public services (police, scenes of crime) and local government to bring basic scientists, clinicians, specialists, and industry together. We have a proven track record of collaboration with organisations including University Hospitals of Derby and Burton, The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Charity, East Midlands Serious and Organised Crime Unit (EMSOU), and have a keen interest in entrepreneurship through collaboration with private sector organisations, such as HistologiX Ltd. 

Research Cluster Team

Join us

If you are interested in joining this research cluster, want to find out more about our research and collaboration opportunities, or are considering applying for a PhD in this area, please get in contact with Dr Elizabeth Marsh. 


  • Rock, M., Zouganelis, G.D., de Andrade, A.F.B., Drake, S.J., Alexiou, A., Albrakati, A., Batiha, G.E.S. and Illingworth, T.A., 2022. Development and validation of anti-human Alpha synuclein DNA aptamer using computer modelling techniques—an in silico study. Journal of Integrative Neuroscience, 21(1), p.5.   
  • Marsh E.K., Delury, C.P., Davies, N.J., Weston, C.J., Miah, M.A.L., et al., (2017) Mitotic control of human papillomavirus genome-containing cells is regulated by the function of the PDZ-binding motif of the E6 oncoprotein. Oncotarget 8: 19491-19506 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.14469   
  • Cussell, P.J., Howe, M.S., Illingworth, T.A., Gomez Escalada, M., Milton, N.G. and Paterson, A.W., 2019. The formyl peptide receptor agonist FPRa14 induces differentiation of Neuro2a mouse neuroblastoma cells into multiple distinct morphologies which can be specifically inhibited with FPR antagonists and FPR knockdown using siRNA. PloS one, 14(6), p.e0217815.   
  • Driskel M, Horsley A, Fretwell L, Clayton N, Al-Aloul M. (2019) Lung clearance index in detection of post-transplant bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome. ERJ Open Res. 5: 00164-2019   
    GREEN AR, ALESKANDARANY MA*, ALI R, HODGSON EG, ATABANI S, DE SOUZA K, RAKHA EA, ELLIS IO, MADHUSUDAN S. Clinical Impact of Tumor DNA Repair Expression and T-cell Infiltration in Breast Cancers. Cancer Immunol Res. 2017 Apr.   
  • Marcolino, E., Siddiqui, Y.H., van den Bosch, M. et al. Blood platelets stimulate cancer extravasation through TGFβ-mediated downregulation of PRH/HHEX. Oncogenesis 9, 10 (2020).   
  • Oyebode OT, Owumi SE, Oyelere AK, Olorunsogo OO. Calliandra portoricensis Benth exhibits anticancer effects via alteration of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and growth arrest in prostate LNCaP cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2019 Apr 6;233:64-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2018.12.020.