Dr Martin is Assistant Professor in Immunology, and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Respiratory Sciences at the University of Leicester and a Visiting Fellow in Clinical Immunology at Loughborough University
Dr Martin is an experienced molecular and cellular immunologist, and an expert in flow cytometry. She has worked in academia and industry, and has a professional teaching qualification.
Dr Martin gained her undergraduate degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Sheffield. She worked as a researcher at the world-renowned Great Ormond Street Hospital before returning to the University of Sheffield to complete a PhD in Neonatal Immunology. Dr Martin then went on to research the responses of the immune system to disease and infection at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and Leicester. She was awarded a Wellcome Value in People Fellowship, and then taught in Higher and Further Education, gaining a PGCE. Dr Martin worked as a scientific researcher in industry before returning to academia.
My research focuses on the function of microparticles (extracellular vesicles) in disease processes such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and their role in the susceptibility of certain ethnic groups to these diseases. I investigate how these novel markers of immune function and inflammation are altered phenotypically and their effects on disease pathophysiology and cellular dysfunction. I also investigate the effects of polluting microplastics on disease pathophysiology.
I lead projects investigating:
- The role of ethnic microparticles on pathophysiology in cancer, cardiovascular disease and COVID-19.
- Microplastics: are they involved in disease processes and progression?
- The effects of small microparticles on disease progression and thrombosis in pancreatic cancer.
- Metabolomics and metastasis in pancreatic cancer.
- Do microplastics induce angiogenesis and metastasis in cancer?
- The effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on markers of inflammation and survival in pancreatic cancer patients.
- The role of ACE-2 microparticles in COVID-19 thrombosis.
- Autocrine motility factor expression and metastasis in cancer.
I have research collaborations with the University of Leicester, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Cranfield University, Loughborough University, Kingston University and University of Kentucky, USA.
I have supervised PhD and MRes students, taught MSc project students and undergraduate final year project students and have hosted placement internship students working on projects in my lab.
Research Interest / Expertise
- Function of microparticles in disease processes
- Ethnic minority disease susceptibility
- Role of polluting microplastics in disease processes
- Flow cytometric analysis of cells and microparticles, multicolour analysis of cell surface ligands, oxidative species, intracellular ligands and chemokines
- Fluorescence microscopy
- Development and use of ELISAs
- ELISpot and Gel MicroDrop secretion assay
- Tissue culture, including culture of hybridoma cell lines and primary cells
- Molecular cloning (transfection of competent bacteria, clone selection, ligation)
- In vivo models of human disease
- SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis, Western blotting and PCR
- Immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry
- Work with class II pathogenic organisms
- Antibody production and purification, conjugation of FITC and biotin to antibodies
- High speed video imaging
- Protein and antigen purification including affinity, adsorption, IEX and gel filtration chromatography
- Bioplex multiplex antibody testing
- Nanosight technology
I am an active STEM Ambassador and Inspiring the Future Ambassador, and have taken part in speed-interviews, mock interviews, Raising Girls' Aspirations & Attainment in STEM subjects, What's my Line careers assembly, at primary and secondary schools.
I was a Soapbox Science participant in June 2019. This was the first time Soapbox Science had been held in Leicester and gives the public an opportunity to meet and interact with scientists to increase the visibility and accessibility of STEM women in science. Soapbox Science follows the format of London Hyde Park's Speaker's Corner and since it was established in 2011 it has grown to take place in 30 locations around the world, featuring more than 1000 scientists and has been commended by the Prime Minister. I presented my research on how circulating 'microbubbles' play a role in the initiation and progression of disease.
I have supervised 12 Nuffield A-level students doing projects in my lab over the summer periods.