Staff profile

Dr Elizabeth Marsh

Associate Professor in Cellular and Molecular Biology

Image of Elizabeth Marsh


Biomedical Science and Human Biology


College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




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 a Lecturer in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Derby in 2017 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in September 2019. I became Associate Professor and the lead of the Metabolic Disorders and Cancer Research Centre in 2023.

Teaching responsibilities

I teach on and lead modules across our Biosciences Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes, including Concepts of Health and Disease, Microbiology, Oncology and Immunology, Biomedical Biotechnology, and the Research Project. I supervise Undergraduate and Masters students in their project work.

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 diseases. 

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. During my first post-doctoral research in the CRUK (Cancer Research UK) Institute for Cancer Sciences at Birmingham, I utilised an organotypic raft model to dissect the interaction between the human papillomavirus (HPV) oncoprotein E6 and host PDZ proteins in cervical cancer.

I moved to the University of Sheffield in 2014 to continue my interest in virus-host interactions. I developed a complementary approach of epithelial cell and murine models to describe the role of a TLR3 effector, Pellino-1, in controlling the inflammatory response to respiratory viruses (rhinovirus and influenza A). 

I now lead projects investigating the natural history and epidemiology of HPV in head and neck cancer.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Experience in industry

Industrial Collaborators

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.

Additional interests and activities

I lead the Metabolic Disorders and Cancer Research Centre.

In the media

July 2023 - We produced a video raising awareness of, and highlighting a self-check for the early signs of Head and Neck Cancer

June 2023 - BBC East Midlands Today covered our Head and Neck Cancer Awareness and Oral Screening Day

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

A group of people in front of advertising banners for The Swallows and Oracle Cancer Trust

Dr Elizabeth Marsh, Associate Professor in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Derby, explains how a simple self-screening check could help catch head and neck cancer early. 

a stack of syringes

Dr Elizabeth Marsh, Lecturer in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Derby, explains why allowing boys to have the HPV jab is long overdue.