Staff profile

Dr Elizabeth Marsh

Lecturer in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Elizabeth Marsh working in Forensics lab


Biology and Zoology, Biomedical Health and Human Biology


College of Life and Natural Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I obtained my BSc and PhD from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Birmingham before embarking on postdoctoral research dissecting host-pathogen interactions in epithelial cells at the University of Birmingham (Cancer Sciences) and then at the University of Sheffield (Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease).  I was appointed as Lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Derby in 2017.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on and lead modules across our Biosciences programmes including Concepts of Health and Disease, Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry of Life, Microbiology, Oncology and Immunology, Biomedical Professional Practice, Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Independent Study.  I am also the Level 4 (first year) lead for our Biomedical Health and Human Biology programmes.

Research interests

My research interests are rooted in host-pathogen interactions and innate immunity. I utilise a basic science approach to probe the host response to pathogenic infection in order to identify and explore the potential of targeting specific interactions for their therapeutic potential in infectious disease. 

My PhD studies utilised molecular and survival analyses to describe immunological gene ‘trade-offs’ during infection with the bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium and fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans in the model host Caenorhabditis elegans.  For my first postdoc, I moved up the road to the CRUK Institute for Cancer Sciences at Birmingham to dissect the interaction between human papillomavirus (HPV) and the host keratinocyte, both in terms of the virus life cycle and the onset of cancer in these cells.  Here we described how changes in the PDZ-binding function of the oncogene E6 may influence tumour promotion and progression; it was previously thought that the E6-PDZ interaction had potential for antiviral intervention, but my data suggest that targeting this interaction may accelerate the progression of high-risk HPV infections to malignancy.  I moved to the University of Sheffield in 2014 to continue my interest in virus-host interactions in both a primary epithelial cell model and an in vivo model.  I utilised this complementary approach to describe the role of a TLR3 effector, Pellino-1, in controlling the inflammatory response to respiratory viruses (rhinovirus and Influenza A). 

Membership of professional bodies

  • Higher Education Academy, Fellow
  • Microbiology Society, Full Concessionary Member
  • American Thoracic Society, Trainee Member (International)



  • University of Sheffield (2017), PGCert Learning & Teaching in Higher Education
  • University of Birmingham (2010), PhD Biological Sciences
  • University of Birmingham (2007), BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Research posts

International experience

I like to work collaboratively and have worked in the labs of Professor Fred Ausubel and Dr Javier Irazoqui at Harvard Medical School, Dr Lawrence Banks at the ICGEB, Trieste, and Professor Paul Moynagh at NUI Maynooth.

In the media

July 2018 - My response to the Government's announcement for gender-neutral vaccination was covered by both The Independent and the Huffington Post.

Recent publications

Marsh E.K., Delury, C.P., Davies, N.J., Weston, C.J., Miah, M.A.L., Banks, L., Parish, J.L., Higgs, M.R., Roberts, S. Mitotic Control of human papillomavirus genome-containing cells is regulated by the function of the PDZ-binding motif of the E6 oncoprotein. (2017) Oncotarget 8:19491-19506 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.14469

Roberts J.A., Miguel-Escalada I., Slovik K.J., Walsh K.T., Yavor Hadzhiev, Sanges R., Stupka E., Marsh E.K., Balciunene J., Balciunas D., Müller F. (2014) Targeted transgene integration overcomes variability of position effects in zebrafish.  Development 141(3): 715-24

Delury C.P.1, Marsh E.K.1, James C.D., Boon S.S., Banks L., Knight G.L., Roberts S. (2013) The role of protein kinase A regulation of the E6 PDZ-binding domain during the differentiation-dependent life cycle of human papillomavirus type 18.  Journal of Virology 87(17): 9463-72  1Joint first author

Roberts S., Delury C., Marsh E. (2012) The PDZ protein discs-large (DLG): the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ of the epithelial polarity proteins. FEBS Journal 279(19): 3549-58

Marsh E. K., May, R. C. (2012) Caenorhabditis elegans: a model organism for investigating immunity. Applied Environmental Microbiology 78(7): 2075-81

Marsh, E.K., van den Berg, M.C.W., May, R.C. (2011) A two-gene balance regulates Salmonella Typhimurium tolerance in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS One 6(3): e16839