Dr Elizabeth Marsh

Elizabeth Marsh

Position: Lecturer in Cellular and Molecular Biology

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Biosciences

Research Centre: Health and Social Care Research Centre

Show All


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 modules across our Biosciences programmes including Human Biology, Chemistry of Life, Microbiology, Research Methods, Oncology and Immunology, Biomedical Professional Practice, Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Independent Study.

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 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 

Recent conferences

July 2016 (Oral) BALR Conference, Sheffield: “The role of Pellino-1 in the host response to viral stimuli in airway epithelial cells”

May 2016 (Poster Discussion) ABSTRACT SCHOLARSHIP AWARD, ATS Conference, San Francisco: “The role of Pellino-1 in modulating signalling pathways controlling the inflammatory response to viruses in airway epithelial cells”

July 2013 (Poster) FIRST PRIZE, DNA Tumour Virus Meeting, Birmingham, UK: “An essential role for the E6-PDZ binding function in the HPV18 life cycle”

November 2012 (Oral) HPV UK Meeting, Rydal Hall, UK: “E6-PDZ interactions in the HPV18 life cycle”

November 2009 (Oral) Department of Molecular Biology Graduate Seminars, Harvard Medical School, USA: “Balanced immunity in C. elegans”

June 2009 (Oral) 17th International C. elegans Meeting, University of California, Los Angeles, USA: “Single-gene immunological trade-offs in the nematode C. elegans”

April 2009 (Poster) FIRST PRIZE, Society of General Microbiology, Cork, Ireland: “Single-gene immunological trade-offs in the nematode C. elegans”

October 2007 (Oral) Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference, McGill University, Montréal, Canada: “The elegance of C. elegans in investigating immunity”

Experience in industry

Research posts

June 2014 – June 2017  The University of Sheffield   PI: Prof. Ian Sabroe

Postdoctoral Research Associate  The roles of Pellino-1 in the control of airway viral infection

January 2011 – May 2014 The University of Birmingham   PI: Dr. Sally Roberts

Postdoctoral Research Fellow  The role of oncogenic HPV E6-PDZ interactions in the viral life cycle and in HPV-induced malignancy

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.

Find out how to update your staff profile

Edit your staff profile