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. 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.

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


Our newest PhD student is Yizhou. 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. From 2021, Yizhou is now doing graduate studies with us and is introducing some new pathogens to the Thurston group. 

Yizhou in the lab

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.


Sayaka is from Japan and is visiting us for 3 months to learn more about Salmonella (having mainly worked with Streptococcus). She obtained her PhD in 2022 and is 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 is carrying out a summer Erasmus placement in our lab for 3 months.

Yutong – MRes BPI student undertaking her 6 month rotation project.

Alison – 1 + 3 PhD CDT BioDesign Eng programme student who is doing her MRes project in our lab on engineering Salmonella for exploitation. Alison is a joint graduated student with the laboratory of Tom Ellis.

Past members

PhD students

Hazel Mak – Hazel had her PhD viva in May 2022 and is finishing off a few minor corrections. Congratulations Hazel!

Elliott Jennings – Graduated 2018 and now at LifeArc

Regina Gunster – Graduated 2017 and now at Instruct-ERIC

Recent PG/UG students

2022 – Agnel was a BSc Infection and Immunity project student who joined us for 3 months.

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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