Teresa completed her PhD in 2010 with Dr. Felix Randow, at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge. She then joined the CMBI as a postdoc in the laboratory of Prof. David Holden, focusing on Salmonella as a model intracellular pathogen. She was awarded an Early Career Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust in 2012 and an Imperial College Research Fellowship in 2014. In 2018 she established the Thurston Lab with funding from a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship. In 2022 Teresa was awarded an ERC starting grant, which will fund new people in the lab very soon.  

Outside of science, Teresa has 3 young kids and is passionate about helping others find the right balance between work and family.

The Thurston group is always changing as we welcome project students from various programmes as well as summer students. Here you can find out a little bit about the current lab.

Research Assistant


Francesca is our new research technician who started in July 2022. She obtained her PhD in Cardiovascular biology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. She is excited to jump into a new field and learn as much as possible. Her motto is “Keep calm and put your lab coat on”!

Post docs


Ines joined the group in Nov 2021 as a postdoc and is funded by an MRC research grant. During her PhD Ines worked on the NLRP3 inflammasome in macrophages under the supervision of Prof. Daniel Davis at the University of Manchester. Now she is really excited to understand more about the interaction of Salmonella with macrophages. Ines is part of the groups “Crick Satellite”, where she works closely with Janina, who is funded by our MRC grant and works with our co-investigator Dr. Rittinger.


Magda is an honorary Thurston Lab member. She is really a postdoctoral research associate with Prof. Holden, however her interests in innate immune signaling and bacteria mean that we have convinced her to have twice the number of lab meetings and twice the amount of fun!

PhD students


Ioanna started off as a Biomedical Research Mres student in the lab in 2018. We were delighted when she obtained a competitive MRC-DTP Studentship to carry out her PhD on the modulation of host immunity by Salmonella effector proteins. Ioanna rapidly became an expert on all things SteE related and enjoys running lots of western blots. She is now writing her thesis but is still seen carrying out the odd cheeky experiment.


Cullum started his PhD in 2020 after he obtained an MRC-DTP studentship to work on host immunity during bacterial infection. Prior to this, Cullum worked in the lab as a technician and before that he worked in industry. He says the best thing about doing a PhD is the freedom to investigate diverse avenues of research.

Cullum excited to try the cell counter


Yizhou joined the group in 2021 as a PhD student. Yizhou graduated from Zhejiang University, China with a BSc and then worked as a research assistant from one year on the virulence genes of pathogenic fungi. During his graduate studies with us Yizhou is bravely branching out the groups research interests by introducing a new bacterial pathogen to the group. 

Yizhou in the lab


Alison will start her PhD in Oct 2022 after carrying out her MRes project in the lab on engineering Salmonella for exploitation. Alison is a joint graduate student with the laboratory of Tom Ellis in the department of bioengineering. During her PhD she will investigate how Salmonella can be engineered to deliver “payloads” of interest. 

PG/UG students

We routinely host post-graduate and under-graduate students in the laboratory for rotation projects that last between 3 to 6 months. We also take summer students, subject to available space in the laboratory.


Ada is a PhD student in Poland, where she works on Salmonella. She obtained an EMBO exchange grant to carry out some of her research in our laboratory for 4 months. She brings lots of expertise and we are excited to learn about her research interests.

During summer of 2022 we welcomed two visiting researchers; Sayaka came from Japan to learn more about Salmonella (having mainly worked with Streptococcus). She obtained her PhD in 2022 and joined us on a visiting postdoctoral fellowship. She comes from the laboratory of Dr. Ogawa at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan. Fulya is from Turkey and carried out a summer Erasmus placement in our lab for 3 months. You can read more about their experience on our blog page.

Sayaka and Fulya working in the lab

Francis Crick Satellite and collaboration

Since the start of 2022 the Thurston lab have a Satellite group at the Francis Crick Institute. This is in association with the group of Katrin Rittinger, with whom we collaborate. Members of the Thurston group can conduct research at the Crick and in addition there are two members of Katrin’s group who are closely associated to our research interests.


Timesh is a clinical PhD student who in Oct 2021 put down his stethoscope and decided to pick up a pipette for the next 3 years. It is really exciting to work with a clinician, who views our research in new light.


Janina is an MRC-funded postdoc in the group of Dr Katrin Rittinger since September 2021. During her PhD with Dr Rivka Isaacson at King’s College London she studied transcription factors involved in regulating sporulation in the Gram-negative pathogen Clostridioides difficile. Now she has turned to Salmonella, using structural biology to decipher how Salmonella appropriates the host cells to its advantage. Janina collaborates with Ines, so that they can gain the most from each others complimentary skills.

Samples at the ready

Past members

PhD students

Hazel Mak – Hazel had her PhD viva in May 2022 and is finishing off a few minor corrections. Congratulations Hazel! Going forward, Hazel has accepted a job to work in industry up in Cambridge.

Elliott Jennings – Graduated 2018 and now at LifeArc

Regina Gunster – Graduated 2017 and now at Instruct-ERIC

Recent PG/UG students

2022 – Agnel (BSc Infection and Immunity project student) & Yutong (BPI MRes student)

  • Agnel got the highest project mark for her course and was nominated for the Evelyn de Rothschild prize.

2021 – Maddy (BPI MRes student), Beatrice (BPI MRes student) & Jonty (undergraduate summer student)

2020 – Dan (BPI MRes student) & Kelly (Immunology MSci student)

2019 – Nur & Michele (PG) and Jingru, Beth, Han and Enkai (UG)

  • Beth was awarded the “British Society for Immunology Prize” for the highest project mark and also won the Thomas Skurry Prize for the best overall performance in the BSc. Well done Beth! 

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