Our team

Meet the people who form the Integrated Bioscience research group.


Principal Investigators in the Integrated Bioscience

Below is a list of current academic staff in the Integrated Bioscience Research Group in Sheffield.

Group Lead: Dr Graham Stafford
PGR selector: Dr Helen Colley


Area of expertise



Dr D Andrew

Anatomy and Physiology of pain


+44 114 271 7830

Dr S Atkins

Peripheral Nerve Injuries


+44 114 226 5462

Dr L Bingle

Innate immune proteins and immune responses, 3D models of normal and cancerous salivary glands


+44 114 2717953

Prof FM Boissonade

Inflammatory and neuropathic pain, nerve regeneration


+44 114 271 7850

Dr Helen Colley

3D mucosal models and cancer drug delivery


+44 114 2717963

Prof I Douglas

Oral Microbiology, Host-pathogen interactions


+44 114 2717958

Dr C Elcock



+44 114 2717885

Prof PM Farthing

Diagnostic Oral Pathology, Mucosal Immunology


+44 114 2717951

Prof CD Franklin

Oral Pathology


+44 114 2717955

Prof G Griffiths

Periodontitis: diagnosis and treatments


+44 114 2717933

Dr S Hunt

miRNA, cell biology, oral cancer


+44 114 2717963

Prof K Hunter

Pathology of oral cancer development


+44 114 2717956

Dr. Syed Ali Khurram

Pathobiology, Cancer invasion and metastasis


+44 114 22 65477

Dr D Lambert

Molecular mechanisms of cancer, miRNA


+44 114 2717959

Prof A Loescher

Trigeminal nerve injury and Facial Pain


+44 114 2717849

Dr C Murdoch

Infection and cancer tissue models, immunity


+44 114 2765458

Prof A Rawlinson

Periodontology: Diagnosis and treatment


+44 114 2717840

Prof H Rodd

Mechanisms of inflammatory pain


+44 114 2717885

Prof P Speight

Patholobiology, biomarkers & screening for oral cancer


+44 114 2717951

Dr Joey Shepherd

Microbiology, models of infection


Dr G Stafford

Molecular microbiology of biofilms and pathogen-host interactions


+44 114 2717959

Prof M Thornhill

Treatment, modelling, mechanisms & genetics of oral disease


+44 114 2717857

Dr S Whawell

Integrins & proteases in oral cancer & host-bacteria interactions


+44 114 2717953

Postdoctoral researchers

We have a highly talented group of postdoctoral researchers from a variety of backgrounds, links to their personal pages are listed below:



Emma Bird


Tom Patterson

Milene De Felice


Liz Court

Toby Holmes


Postgraduate research students in Integrated Biosciences

We have a rich and vibrant PhD student community with students originating from a range of backgrounds and nationalities.  All students take part in a number of Group activities such as the weekly journal club and more important Friday bake club gatherings.

PhD Students in Head and Neck Cancer






Zulfahmi Said

Dr. Craig Murdoch and Dr. Helen Colley

Investigating drug delivery in vitro 3D tissue-engineered models of the oral mucosa.

Zul obtained his first degree in Biomedical Sciences and Masters degree in Pharmacology from University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia in 2005 and 2011, respectively. Zul commenced his PhD in October 2014.  He is investigating the delivery of corticosteroids, which are used in the treatment of mucosal diseases, such as oral lichen planus, using tissue engineered oral mucosa models.

Sarmad Al-Sahaf

Dr. Craig Murdoch and Dr. Keith Hunter

Differences in the immune response between HPV+ and HPV- oropharyngeal tumours

Sarmad graduated in 2004 from College of Dentistry of Baghdad with a BDS and in 2009 was awarded a Master’s in Oral Surgery from Sulaymaniyah College of Dentistry in Kurdistan Province. Sarmad then worked in the USA where he passed the NBDE part 1.  He is funded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Iraq.

Xinming (Anita) Liu

Dr Stuart Hunt and Dr Dan Lambert

Hitching a ride: Are vault RNAs selectively loaded into cancer-derived extracellular vesicles?

Anita completed her BSc in Biotechnology at Shandong Normal University, China. She then continued her studies at Sheffield University studying for an MSc in Translational Oncology. Anita was awarded a prestigious China Scholarship Council award to fund her PhD degree, joining the School in 2017.

Priyanka Prajapati

Dr. Daniel Lambert and Dr. Craig Murdoch

Role of cancer-associated fibroblasts in macrophage recruitment in Head and Neck Cancer.

Priyanka graduated with Merit in Masters of Medical Sciences from Newcastle University before joining a PhD at the School of Clinical Dentistry in 2013.


Alice Pilborough

Dr Ali Khurram, Dr Dan Lambert and Prof. Paula Farthing

The role of epithelial-fibroblast crosstalk in promoting lymph node metastasis in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Alice graduated with a First in Molecular Cell Biology with a Year in Industry in 2014 before joining the department to study for her PhD.

Amir Zaki Abdullah Zubir

Dr. Syed Ali Khurram (Dentistry), Dr. Tuck Seng Wong (Chemical & Biological Engineering) and Dr. Simon Whawell (Dentistry)

The functional role of chemokine receptor XCR1 and its bio-engineered ligand in oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Zaki has a background degree of BSc Chemical Engineering Technology (Hons.) in Bioprocess and graduated from University of Sheffield with MSc Biological and Bioprocess Engineering before starting his PhD work at the School of Clinical Dentistry. The research involves protein engineering of chemokine lymphotactin's metamorphic structure and investigation of its role in oral cancer.

Hannah Armes

Lynne Bingle and Dr Colin Bingle

The role of WFDC2 isoforms in the development and progression of oral cancers.

Hannah graduated with a First in Microbiology from the University of Sheffield and is now in the first year of her PhD at the School of Clinical Dentistry. She is attempting to further elucidate the biological function of WFDC2 splice variants and explore their role in oral cancer development and progression.

Bethany Ollington

Dr. Craig Murdoch and Dr. Helen Colley

Evaluating epithelial xenobiotic metabolism using a tissue-engineering proteomics approach for drug induced toxicity.

Bethany obtained a 1st Class BSc (hons) and a MSc in Drug Discovery from University of Dundee in 2017. Her MRC DiMeN funded studentship aims to create immunocompetent tissue-engineered epithelial models and use these to assess drug-induced toxicity.

Amy Harding

Dr. H. Colley and Dr. D. Lambert

Investigating the role of the extracellular matrix in oral cancer progression.

Amy graduated with an MSc (Res) in Translational Oncology and BSc Hons in Biomedical Science, both from the University of Sheffield. Previous research at the School of Clinical Dentistry included investigating the role of LncRNA in myofibroblast differentiation.

Zulaiha A Rahman

Dr Lynne Bingle, Dr Aileen Crawford and Dr Colin Bingle

The development of in vitro models of human salivary glands

Zulaiha graduated in Masters of Medical Sciences (Physiology) from National University of Malaysia before starting his PhD research at the Academic Unit of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, School of Clinical Dentistry in 2014. Her current research aims are to establish in vitro models of human salivary glands, to investigate the pathogenesis of salivary gland disease and to further understand the development of salivary glands for regenerative studies. She is funded by Malaysian government.

Mark Ofield

Dr Stuart Hunt and Dr Dan Lambert

Does exosomal transfer of microRNA play a role in stromal-epithelial interactions?

After completing a BSc at Swansea in 2012, Mark first encountered extracellular vesicles (EVs) whilst doing an MRes degree at Imperial College London. During this project he worked on EV's ability to transfer cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer. Mark secured a highly competitive Cancer Research UK/Yorkshire Cancer Research funded PhD studentship to study at Sheffield, and joined the lab in March 2014.

Ben Peacock

Dr Stuart Hunt, Dr Daniel Lambert and Prof Keith Hunter

The role of HPV-encoded exo-miRs in oropharyngeal cancer progression

Ben studied for a BSc in Biological Sciences at The University of Warwick in 2013. A scholarship with the Sheffield Medical School allowed him to undertake an MSc in Molecular Medicine. Ben continued his molecular biology studies, focusing on the characterisation of extracellular vesicles in oropharyngeal carcinoma.

Areeg Elmusrati

Dr Dan Lambert and Dr S Ali Khurram

Examining the role of cancer-associated fibroblasts in bone invasion in OSCC

Areeg was awarded a high distinction in her Masters in Diagnostic Oral Pathology at the University of Sheffield, having completed her project with us. She then rejoined Dr Lambert and Dr Khurram to complete a PhD in 2016.

Sven Niklander

Prof. Keith Hunter and Dr. Daniel Lambert

IL1RN in keratinocyte senescence and immortalisation: characterisation of a novel biomarker

Sven graduated in 2008 with a DDS and in 2011 he was awarded with a Master’s in Oral Pathology, both from Universidad Andres Bello, Chile. After that, he completed a MSc in Oral Medicine at University College London. In 2015 he was awarded with a scholarship from the Chilean government and started his PhD in 2016 at the School of Clinical Dentistry.


PhD Students in Infection and Immunity






Hannah Clemmens

Dr Dan Lambert, Dr Simon Whawell & Dr Will English

The ADAMs Family: bad neighbours in the tumour microenvironment?

Hannah gained a 1st in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MSci) from the University of Sheffield, having completed her research project component in our lab. She then worked as a research technician with Dr Heather Mortiboys in SITraN before rejoining our lab to study for a PhD in 2016.

Mohammed Al-Zubidi

Dr. Graham Stafford, Professor Andrew Rawlinson and Professor Ian Douglas

Mohammeds project focuses on the isolation of Bacteriophage from the human and wider environment targeted against oral pathogens such as the red-complex periodontal pathogens and on the investigation of potentially antimicrobial amidase genes contained within Prophage of oral pathogens. 

He is from Iraq and sponsored by a government scholarship.

Cher Farrugia

Dr Craig Murdoch & Dr Graham Stafford

How do oral bacteria initiate cardiovascular disease?

Cher is a Faculty funded student and is also part-funded by an Oral and Dental Research Trust Award. Her project aims to identify important molecules expressed by oral bacteria that mediate vascular damage leading to cardiovascular disease using a zebrafish embryo model.

Ashley Gains

Dr Graham Stafford

Determination of role of Outer membrane proteins of periodontal pathogens in modulation of human cell interaction during infection.

Ashley gained a first class MSci degree from Sheffield Hallam University and will work to continue our work on Omps and other surface proteins on P. gingivalis and its interaction with human cells.

Katherine Wong

Dr Graham Stafford and Dr Joey Shepherd+ Dr J Pratten (GSK)

Mechanisms of bacterial community dynamics in oral biofilms.

Katherine joins us after a stint as an RA in the team of William Wade at QMUL, after previously gaining an MSc (Manchester).  She will be working on using in vitro models of microbial communities and how glycans influence how these communities form in order to understand how we can manipulate them via targetting glyco-metabolism.

Marianne Satur

Dr Graham Stafford and Dr John Rafferty

Engineering improved specificity and activity into oral bacterial glycosidases for glycan biotechnology applications.

Marianne graduated with an MBiolSci in Biochemistry from the University of Sheffield in 2015 and is now a first year BBSRC CASE PhD student. Her research involves structural and biochemical studies on oral sialidases, in attempt to engineer these enzymes to improve their activity and specificity for glycan biotechnology applications.


Website: http://stafford.group.shef.ac.uk/index.php/group-members/phd-students/marianne-satur

Nitin Kamble

Dr Graham Stafford (School of clinical Dentistry) and Dr Phillip Wright (chemical and Biological Engineering)

Engineering E.coli for maximal efficiency of protein production via the Flagellar Type III secretion system.

Working on the bioengineering of flagellar type 3 secretion and chimeric flagella production in E.coli for the maximal efficiency secretion of novel therapeutics and medically important novel bioglue synthesis that will help in (bone)grafting technology.


Website: http://stafford.group.shef.ac.uk/index.php/group-members/phd-students/nitin-kamble

Visiting PhD student





Magda Widziolek

Dr Craig Murdoch and Dr Graham Stafford

Defining Porphyromonas gingivalis interactions with endothelial cells using a zebrafish embryo model

Magda is a visiting international PhD student from Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. Her study aims to examine the key role of gingipains, enzymes expressed by the oral periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, in mediating endothelial damage in vitro and in vivo.

PhD Students in Neuroscience

Name Supervisors Project Biography Email

Diana Tavares Ferreira

Professor Fiona Boissonade and Dr Dan Lambert Resolvins and microRNA in inflammatory and neuropathic pain Diana graduated with a Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Coimbra (Portugal) in 2013. She is currently studying the role of resolvins and microRNA in chronic pain. The main aim of the project is to characterise the expression of resolvin receptors and microRNA under different conditions of injury, using both pre-clinical models and human tissues. Her project is sponsored by the Faculty and Pfizer Neusentis. dtavaresferreira1@sheffield.ac.uk

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