research student

Mary-Ann Freckleton

Postgraduate Research Student

Mary working in a lab at the University of Derby, holding a pipette.


College of Science and Engineering





I am a first-year Ph.D. researcher working under the supervision of Dr Elizabeth Marsh. Prior to coming to Derby, I obtained both a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Biochemistry and a Master of Research (MRes) degree in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine from the University of Liverpool. Here, I gained experience working alongside research groups from both the Institute of Integrative Biology and the Institute of Translational Medicine. More recently, I worked as a laboratory scientist at a Lighthouse Covid-19 testing laboratory, where I was extremely proud to play a part in the fight against the coronavirus. Aside from my studies, I enjoy spending time outdoors. In particular, I like to go running.

I embarked on my Ph.D. journey at the University of Derby in January 2021. The focus of our research is to investigate the natural history (prevalence and pathogenesis) of an oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in healthy tonsil tissue. We anticipate this will provide an insight into how oral HPV contributes to oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) development. We aim to identify potential biomarkers that may assist in the development of OPC within pre-cancerous tissues that themselves may provide therapeutic benefit.

Thesis title

The pathogenesis of HPV within oropharyngeal cancer.