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Professor Martin Sheldon PhD FRCVS
Professor of Reproductive Immunobiology 

Reproductive Immunobiology Laboratory
Swansea University Medical School

 

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Professor Sheldon is interested in the fundamental mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions. Professor Sheldon was in clinical practice for 14 years before moving to the Royal Veterinary College in London. He was awarded his PhD in 2002 from the University of Liverpool, and in 2006 he won a BBSRC Research Development Fellowship to move to full-time research. In 2008 he was appointed to a personal Chair at Swansea University Medical School.

Professor Sheldon is interested in the general mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions; the impact of infection in the female genital tract; and, tissue defences against pathogens. Professor Sheldon and his team explore the cellular mechanisms of innate immunity, tissue resilience, and microbial infection that apply across species. Professor Sheldon discovered novel bacteria that cause disease of the uterus in cattle. In addition, he has uncovered mechanisms that explain how these microbes cause inflammation and tissue damage in the endometrium of the uterus, and how these process perturb the health of the ovary and the oocyte. One of the key discoveries by Professor Sheldon was that the epithelial and stromal cells of the endometrium, and granulosa cells of the ovary have roles in innate immunity. In particular they express receptors, such as Toll-like Receptors (TLRs), which detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns to induce inflammatory responses, including the production of cytokines, chemokines and prostaglandins. Furthermore, pathogen-associated molecules perturb oocyte health and development, linking bacterial infections to long-term impacts on fertility. Another area of discovery is how pore-forming toxins and other virulence factors from bacteria damage tissues, and mechanisms of tolerance to pore-forming toxins in tissues.

A clinical background coupled with exploring the basic science of host-pathogen interactions, has provided Professor Sheldon with a unique perspective. In 2013, Professor Sheldon's research was recognised by the award of FRCVS, and in 2015 he was awarded the Schofield Prize.


Selected publications                                

Cronin JG, Kanamarlapudi V, Thornton CA, Sheldon IM. 2016 Signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) licenses Toll-like receptor 4-dependent Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 production via IL-6 receptor positive feedback in endometrial cells. Mucosal Immunology, 9:1125-1136

  • Healey GD,
  •  Collier C,
  •  Griffin S
  •  Schuberth HJ,
  • Sandra O
  • Smith DG,
  •  Mahan S,
  •  Dieuzy-Labaye I 
  • Sheldon IM 2016 
  • Mevalonate biosynthesis intermediates are key regulators of innate immunity in bovine endometritis
        Journal of Immunology 196: 823-831

    Preta G, Lotti V, Cronin JG, Sheldon IM 2015 Protective role of the dynamin inhibitor Dynasore against the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin of Trueperella pyogenes FASEB Journal 29: 1516-1528

    Turner ML, Cronin J.G, Healey GD, Sheldon IM, 2014 Epithelial and stromal cells of bovine endometrium have roles in innate immunity and initiate inflammatory responses to bacterial lipopeptides in vitro via Toll-like receptors TLR2, TLR1 and TLR6 Endocrinology, 155:1453-1465

    Healy LL, Cronin JG, Sheldon IM 2014 Endometrial cells sense and react to tissue damage during infection of the bovine endometrium via interleukin 1. Scientific Reports, 4: 7060, 1-9

    Amos MR, Healey GD, Goldstone RJ, Mahan SM, Düvel A, Schuberth HJ, Sandra O, Zieger P, Dieuzy-Labaye I, Smith DGE, Sheldon IM 2014 Differential Endometrial Cell Sensitivity to a Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysin Links Trueperella pyogenes to Uterine Disease in Cattle. Biology of Reproduction 90: 54, 1-1

    Price JC, Bromfield JJ and Sheldon IM 2013 Pathogen-associated molecular patterns initiate inflammation and perturb the endocrine function of bovine granulosa cells from ovarian dominant follicles via TLR2 and TLR4 pathways. Endocrinology 154: 3377-3386


    Science
    Video

    The Schofield Lecture 2015 video, at the University of Guelph (Ontario Veterinary College), provides a general perspective of my science and the main findings of my work on infection and immunity.





    Funding
    http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/home/home.aspx
    Our work is kindly funded by BBSRC (UK), NIH (USA), and NRN (Wales). We have had previous funding from the Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, OECD, industry, and the RCVS.



    The Complete University Guide 2018 ranks Swansea University Medical School 3rd best medical school in UK, and 2nd for research quality. For research allied to health, REF2014 ranks Swansea University Medical School 2nd in the UK.