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Dr Prachi Stafford BSc, MRes, PhD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences


Summary

I was appointed at Sheffield Hallam University in 2015. Prior to that, I completed my BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology at the University of Sheffield, a Masters in Research (MRes) in Biomolecular Science at the University of York and a PhD in Haematology/Immunology at the Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge.

After my PhD, I worked as a research scientist at MedImmune (Cambridge), focusing on the development of antibodies as therapeutics. I then re-joined academia first as a post-doctoral research scientist and then as a Wellcome Trust Discipline Hopping Fellow at the University of Sheffield, investigating host-pathogen interactions before my appointment at Sheffield Hallam.

At Sheffield Hallam University, I teach both undergraduate and postgraduate students on a range of courses. I am also an active researcher with an interest in host-pathogen interactions and the possible implications of chronic infections in systemic diseases.

About

I am a Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences, in the Department of Bioscience and Chemistry, College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences at Sheffield Hallam University. I teach at all levels on both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. As an active researcher, I firmly believe in integrating research into my everyday teaching and research projects to give students the opportunity to engage in relevant and on-going research.

I work in collaboration with scientists and clinicians at national and international level to investigate the effects of chronic pathogens both on human epithelial cells present in the oral cavity and in blood. My general interests lie in understanding the mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions and how these can exacerbate and/or contribute to systemic conditions. My current work focusses on oral pathogens which have been linked to periodontitis (a chronic inflammatory disease resulting in bleeding gums and tooth loss) which have also been implicated in aggravating systemic diseases including cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis & atherothrombosis), rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Teaching

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teach in the general area of Biological Sciences at all levels on the BSc and MSc Biosciences Programme. I am also the Module Leader for the MSc. Biomedical Laboratory Techniques.

Research

Host-pathogen interactions and implications for systemic diseases

I am interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions and how these can exacerbate and/or contribute to systemic conditions. My research focusses on the periodontal pathogens Tannerella forsythia and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Both pathogens have been linked to periodontitis (a chronic inflammatory disease resulting in bleeding gums and tooth loss) and have also been implicated in aggravating systemic diseases including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Using a combination of -omics (proteomics, phosphoproteomics, metabolomics) technologies, molecular and cellular biology approaches, I intend to interrogate the molecular basis of pathogen interactions with human epithelial, endothelial cells and platelets to probe disease mechanisms and identify novel drug targets, for example in interactions with autophagy pathways and effects on non-coding RNA.

External Collaborators:

Dr Cedric Ghevaert, Department of Haematology, University of Sheffield
Dr Daniel Lambert, School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield
Dr. Graham Stafford, School of Clinical Dentistry, University of Sheffield
Prof. Rob Storey, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Sheffield
Prof Philip Wright, Chemical and Biological Engineering, ChELSI, University of Sheffield

Patents

Stafford P, Watkins NA, Ouwehand WH. Detection of human platelet antigen (hpa) antibodies, United Kingdom PCT/GB2006/004262 , WO 2007057665 A2

Publications

Journal articles

Knowles, A., Campbell, S., Cross, N., & Stafford, P. (2021). Bacterial manipulation of the Integrated Stress Response: a new perspective on infection. Frontiers in Microbiology, 12. http://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.645161

Stafford, P., Henri, D., Turner, I., Smith, D., & Francis, N. (2020). Reshaping education. Part 1: Practical Thinking in a Pandemic. The Biologist, 67 (5), 24-29. https://thebiologist.rsb.org.uk/biologist-features/reshaping-education-practical-thinking-in-a-pandemic

Andrews, A.M., Haywood-Small, S., Smith, T., & Stafford, P. (2017). Interactions of periodontal pathogens with megakaryocytic cells and platelets. Journal of Oral Microbiology, 9 (sup1), 1325245. http://doi.org/10.1080/20002297.2017.1325245

Naylor, K.L., Widziolek, M., Hunt, S., Connolly, M., Hicks, M., Stafford, P., ... Stafford, G.P. (2016). Role of OmpA2 surface regions of Porphyromonas gingivalis in host-pathogen interactions with oral epithelial cells. Microbiology Open, 6 (1). http://doi.org/10.1002/mbo3.401

Hakami, F., Darda, L., Stafford, P., Woll, P., Lambert, D.W., & Hunter, K.D. (2014). The roles of HOXD10 in the development and progression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). British journal of cancer, 111 (4), 807-16. http://doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2014.372

Stafford, P., Higham, J., Pinnock, A., Murdoch, C., Douglas, C.W.I., Stafford, G.P., & Lambert, D.W. (2013). Gingipain-dependent degradation of mammalian target of rapamycin pathway proteins by the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis during invasion. Molecular oral microbiology, 28 (5), 366-378. http://doi.org/10.1111/omi.12030

Roy, S., Phansopa, C., Stafford, P., Honma, K., Douglas, C.W.I., Sharma, A., & Stafford, G.P. (2012). Beta-hexosaminidase activity of the oral pathogen Tannerella forsythia influences biofilm formation on glycoprotein substrates. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology, 65 (1), 116-120. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.2012.00933.x

Stafford, P., Garner, S.F., Rankin, A., Kekomaki, R., Watkins, N.A., & Ouwehand, W.H. (2008). A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the human ITGB3 gene is associated with the platelet-specific alloantigen Va (HPA-17bw) involved in fetal maternal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. Transfusion, 48 (7), 1432-1438. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.01737.x

STAFFORD PRACHI, , WATKINS NICHOLAS, , & OUWEHAND WILLEM, (2008). DETECTION OF HUMAN PLATELET ANTIGEN (HPA) ANTIBODIES. .

Stafford, P., Ghevaert, C., Campbell, K., Proulx, C., Smith, G., Williamson, L.M., ... Ouwehand, W.H. (2008). Immunologic and structural analysis of eight novel domain-deletion beta3 integrin peptides designed for detection of HPA-1 antibodies. Journal Of Thrombosis And Haemostasis, 6 (2), 366-375. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1538-7836.2008.02858.x

Stafford, P., Garner, S.F., Huiskes, E., Kaplan, C., Kekomaki, R., Santoso, S., ... Ouwehand, W.H. (2008). Three novel β3 domain-deletion peptides for the sensitive and specific detection of HPA-4 and six low frequency β3-HPA antibodies. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 6 (2), 376-383. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1538-7836.2008.02843.x

Ghevaert, C., Campbell, K., Stafford, P., Metcalfe, P., Casbard, A., Smith, G.A., ... Ouwehand, W.H. (2007). HPA-1a antibody potency and bioactivity do not predict severity of fetomaternal alloimmune thrombocytopenia. Transfusion, 47 (7), 1296-1305.

Jennings, N.S., Harmer, I.J., Campbell, K., Stafford, P., Smith, G.A., Metcalfe, P., ... Ouwehand, W.H. (2007). Molecular characterization of the variable domains of an alphaIIbbeta3-specific immunoglobulin M kappa platelet cold agglutinin in a follicular lymphoma patient with treatment refractory autoimmune thrombocytopenia: idiotypic overlap between alphaIIbbeta3 integrin antibodies. Transfusion, 47 (3), 499-510. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1537-2995.2006.01142.x

STAFFORD PRACHI, , WATKINS NICHOLAS, , & OUWEHAND WILLEM, (2006). DETECTION OF HUMAN PLATELET ANTIGEN (HPA) ANTIBODIES. .

STAFFORD Prachi, , WATKINS Nicholas, , & OUWEHAND Willem, (2006). DETECTION OF HUMAN PLATELET ANTIGEN (HPA) ANTIBODIES. .

Jennings, N.S., Smethurst, P.A., Knight, C.G., O'Connor, M.N., Joutsi-Korhonen, L., Stafford, P., ... Ouwehand, W.H. (2006). Production of calmodulin-tagged proteins in Drosophila Schneider S2 cells: a novel system for antigen production and phage antibody isolation. Journal of immunological methods, 316 (1-2), 75-83. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2006.08.003

Hughes, D.L., Stafford, P., Hamaia, S.W., Harmer, I.J., Schoolmeester, A., Deckmyn, H., ... Watkins, N.A. (2005). Platelet integrin α2 I-domain specific antibodies produced via domain specific DNA vaccination combined with variable gene phage display. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 94 (6), 1318-1326. http://doi.org/10.1160/TH05-06-0410

Hughes, D.L., Stafford, P., Hamaia, S.W., Harmer, L.J., Schoolmeester, A., Deckmyn, H., ... Watkins, N.A. (2005). Platelet integrin alpha2 I-domain specific antibodies produced via domain specific DNA vaccination combined with variable gene phage display. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 94 (6), 1318-1326. http://doi.org/10.1160/TH05–06–0410

Conference papers

Ouwehand, W.H., Stafford, P., Gheveart, C., Campbell, K., Allen, D., Smith, G., ... Watkins, N. (2006). Platelet immunology, present and future. ISBT Science Series, 1 (1), 96-102. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-2824.2006.00020.x

Theses / Dissertations

Andrews, A. (2019). Effects of the periodontal pathogens Porphyromonas gingivalis and Tannerella forsythia on platelets. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Stafford, P. http://doi.org/10.7190/shu-thesis-00159

Posters

Knowles, A., Campbell, S., & Stafford, P. (2020). Characterising the role of the ISR in the pathomechanism of the Periodontopathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis. Presented at: Translational Control (Virtual), Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, Long Island, USA

Other activities

Member of the Early Career Lecturers' Forum (part of the Royal Society of Biology)

Member of the Northern Vascular Forum Committee

STEM Ambassador

Postgraduate supervision

Alex Knowles: Cellular cross talk during stress and periodontal infection

Previous supervision: 

Alex Andrews: Effects of periodontal pathogens on platelets



 

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