Dr Audrey Bernut | Marie Curie Post-doctoral Fellow


Audrey is a Marie Curie Intraeuropean Postdoctoral Fellow. She is a microbiologist with a strong and long-standing interest in pulmonary infections, especially tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis (CF) pathogens. She has developed the zebrafish embryo as a new infection model of Mycobacterium abscessus and used this to assess fundamental issues like the immuno-pathogenesis of atypical mycobacterial diseases and the basis of host resistance/susceptibility or bacterial resistance/virulence.
She is interested in the role of the vicious circle of inflammation and infection which contributes to adverse outcomes in CF. Her research uses the zebrafish larvae model to explore the immune consequences of CFTR mutation and to identify potential therapeutic interventions.

Samir Morsli | PhD Student

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 16.26.49Samir is a 3rd year PhD student working on developing a dual-function zebrafish model to study senescence, which is a cellular response to stress that is linked to ageing and age related disorders. He is taking advantage of the way zebrafish embryos are transparent and genetically engineering cells so that they express green fluorescent protein when they become senescent. This will hopefully allow us to monitor and identify these cells in vivo, and understand more about the phenotype.

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

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.

Katy Henry | Post-doctoral Researcher

Katherine is interested in modelling disease using the zebrafish. She is particularly interested in the way in which we can influence neutrophil fate both pharmacologically and genetically using the zebrafish as a model. She is currently working on the role of kinases and the therapeutic potential of kinase inhibitors to drive neutrophilic inflammation resolution.

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.


Catherine Loynes | Research Assistant

20180115_114511Catherine’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 interations 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.

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. He is currently working on some collaborative projects gaining some preliminary data looking at Oestrogen effects on neutrophil recruitment and using a SMAD3 line as a Cystic Fibrosis model both using zebrafish.