Catherine Loynes | Research Assistant

20180115_114511Cat’s main interest in the lab is the interaction between key leukocytes, namely macrophages and neutrophils, during an inflammatory response. She enjoys making transgenic zebrafish to enable easy visualisation of cell interactions and gene expression. Green and red labelled cells allow her to investigate processes such as apoptosis (programmed cell death), neutrophil and macrophage interaction and their function.

Stone Elworthy | Post-doctoral Researcher

Stone is a Postdoctoral Research Assistant. He has a long-standing interest in using zebrafish as a model system for biological research. Previous projects have included studying neural crest development in Robert Kelsh’s lab in Bath and studying muscle specification, hedgehog signalling and the role of cilia with Phil Ingham, Freek van Eeden and Jarema Malicki in Sheffield. He has been an early adopter of several zebrafish technologies such as BAC recombineering transgenesis and several targeted mutagenesis method. He has used CRISPR-Cpf1 and CRISPR-Cas9 with homologous recombination to precisely model the PI3Kdelta dominant gain of function mutations that cause APDS in human patients. He is currently investigating the defective innate immune system of those mutants.

Ibrahim Jubber | Clinical PhD Research Fellow

Ibrahim is a Urology Specialty Registrar and Clinical PhD Research Fellow with a research interest in improving outcomes for patients with bladder cancer. He has previously worked on characterising the zebrafish urinary tract anatomy and investigating its homology with the mammalian urinary tract. He is currently working on developing a novel high throughput transgenic zebrafish model of bladder cancer by over-expressing oncogenes and knocking out tumour suppressor genes associated with bladder cancer. He hopes to use the zebrafish model to improve our understanding of the genetic drivers of bladder cancer and to identify potential new treatment targets. 

Clare Muir | PhD Student

Clare is a veterinary pathologist who is interested in understanding how bacteria survive within immune cells. Bacteria are ‘eaten’ by a type of immune cell called a neutrophil and then become entrapped within a cytoplasmic lipid vesicle called the phagosome. This phagosome undergoes progressive changes to mediate bacterial killing. Some bacteria interfere with this normal maturation process and are therefore able to persist within the very cells which are meant to be destroying them. To do this, some bacteria manipulate the production or destruction of phosphatidylinositol lipids. These lipids are dynamically regulated at the phagosome membrane by lots of different enzymes and manipulation of these enzymes may offer a potential method of enhancing pathogen destruction whilst minimising host cell damage

Faith Tolliday | PhD Student

Faiths work uses human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) and neutrophils to investigate the heterogeneity in phagocytosis, and therefore intracellular killing, that both these cell types display. She is using RNA sequencing and developing a genome-wide siRNA screen to identify targetable molecular regulators of phagocytosis and intracellular killing that can be therapeutically modulated as an alternative treatment to antibiotics.

Stuart Gaines | PhD Student

Stuarts research looks at how the epigenetics of neutrophils drive musculoskeletal ageing. In the ageing body, a chronic low-grade inflammation known as inflammageing and musculoskeletal specific sarcopenic inflammation increase risk of morbidity and mortality increasing burden on the
health service. Immunosenescence, the age-related dysregulation of leucocytes, is a major driver of inflammageing and is influenced by both environment and genetics. As neutrophils are so important in inflammation and musculoskeletal ageing is so heterogeneous, we hypothesise that epigenetic changes in neutrophils drive immunosenescence and inflammageing to promote the ageing phenotype. The overall aims of his project are to use in-vitro human neutrophil data to design and optimise in-vivo zebrafish models to analyse epigenetic modifications linked to musculoskeletal ageing.

Nils Olijhoek | PhD Student

Nils is a PhD student in the INFLANET network, an EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Network, where partners focus on understanding different aspects of the immune system. He is originally from The Netherlands where he obtained both his BSc and MSc in Biology at Leiden University. In his current project he is studying a process called neutrophil swarming, which is a relatively recently found, neutrophil specific behaviour. He is interested in the final stages of neutrophil swarming, which he is able to visualise and analyse using microscopy. Understanding neutrophil swarming might offer new treatment strategies for diseases such as COVID-19 and COPD, in which neutrophils have been shown to play a key role.

David Drew | Technician

David worked in the Forensics industry for over 13 years from there he moved to the department of Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield and worked as a research technician after which he moved to his current position in Prof. Renshaw’s lab. Now he manages and maintains the Renshaw lab in the Bateson Centre which contains multiply research groups and deals with H&S, ordering, budgets and new staff/students in the lab.