Sarah Haywood-Small

  1. About us
  2. Our people
  3. Staff profiles
  4. Sarah Haywood-Small

Dr Sarah Haywood-Small BSc, PhD

Senior Lecturer


Sarah received a BSc (Hons) in Biological Chemistry from Leicester University and a PhD in Cancer Studies from Sheffield University. After completing postdoctoral research at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, she was appointed at Sheffield Hallam University in 2009. Her primary research interests involve the role of cell biology and immunotherapy in human disease with significant expertise in immunogenic phenotyping and biomarkers.


Sarah teaches across the College and is the Bioscience Lead for the Essentials of Bioscience for Nursing practice module. At postgraduate level, she leads two modules; Cellular and Molecular Basis of Cancer and Cellular Pathology. After receiving a College inspirational teaching award in 2016, she was nominated for an outstanding student support award and an inspirational teaching award in 2017. Sarah was involved with the accreditation of the Biomedical Science degree.

Dr Haywood-Small is a member of the BMRC Lab Management group; actively contributing to the development and implementation of research strategies in the BMRC. After receiving external funding in 2017, she began to establish a mesothelioma research group in collaboration with local charities and clinical partners in the NHS.


Sarah teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses relating to Biomedical Science across the College, receiving recognition for her interactive anatomy lectures at the forefront of practice.


Cellular interactions and Immunoregulation in Cancer

My principal research interests involve cellular interactions and immunoregulation; especially the importance of these mechanisms in cancer.

Research over the past decade has greatly increased our understanding of non-apoptotic programmed cell death events, such as necrosis and cell death with autophagy. It is becoming clear that an intricate effector network connects many of these classical and non-classical death pathways. My primary research interest is to examine these pathways, as well as to exploit this newly gained knowledge to provide therapeutics for cancer.

Understanding the Pathogenesis of Mesothelioma

Current laboratory investigations are focussing on the physical profile of selected mineral fibres and emerging biomarkers in mesothelioma using a combination of mass spectrometry, flow cytometry and histopathology techniques. Other aims include biomarker discovery using multiplex analytical techniques and to contribute to the knowledge base surrounding mesothelioma pathogenesis. Such techniques would ultimately involve future integration into the clinical workflow; diagnosis, prognosis and treatment monitoring of mesothelioma, as well as contributing to knowledge about the pathogenesis of the disease.

Improving the Management of Fibromyalgia

Other collaborative research interests explore the life and treatment experience of people in the United Kingdom with fibromyalgia to inform the development of treatments which are both effective and acceptable to users.


Journal articles

Chandler, K., Millar, J., Ward, G., Boyall, C., White, T., Ready, J.D., ... Peake, N. (2023). Imaging of Light-Enhanced Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated Delivery of Oxaliplatin to Colorectal Cancer Cells via Laser Ablation, Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. Cells, 13 (1).

Furness, P., Shelton, T., Beresford, R., Lawson, K., Taylor, S., & Haywood-Small, S. (2023). Remote care for chronic pain: A qualitative evaluation with managers, practitioners and patients. Journal of Pain Management, 15 (4).

Furness, P., Shelton, T., Beresford, R., Lawson, K., Taylor, S., & Haywood-Small, S. (2023). Physiotherapy for fibromyalgia: a phenomenological study of patients’ experiences. Journal of Pain Management, 15 (4).

Bonsall, S., Hubbard, S., Jithin, U., Anslow, J., Todd, D., Rowding, C., ... Haywood-Small, S. (2022). Water-soluble truncated fatty acid–porphyrin conjugates provide photo-sensitizer activity for photodynamic therapy in malignant mesothelioma. Cancers, 14 (21).

Voloaca, O.M., Clench, M., Koellensperger, G., Cole, L., Haywood-Small, S., & Theiner, S. (2022). Elemental Mapping of Human Malignant Mesothelioma Tissue Samples Using High-Speed LA-ICP-TOFMS Imaging. Analytical Chemistry, 94, 2597-2606.

Elrayess, R.A., Mohallal, M.E., Mobarak, Y.M., Ebaid, H.M., Haywood-Small, S., Miller, K., ... Abdel-Rahman, M.A. (2022). Scorpion Venom Antimicrobial Peptides Induce Caspase-1 Dependant Pyroptotic Cell Death. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 12.

Arhoma, A., Southan, J., Chantry, A.D., Haywood-Small, S.L., & Cross, N.A. (2021). EZH2 inhibition enhances TRAIL responses in multiple myeloma but not in quiescent cells. BioRxiv.

Taylor, S., Furness, P., Ashe, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2021). Comorbid Conditions, Mental Health and Cognitive Functions in Adults with Fibromyalgia. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 43 (2), 115-122.

Russo, C., Heaton, C., Flint, L., Voloaca, O., Haywood-Small, S., Clench, M., ... Cole, L. (2020). Emerging applications in mass spectrometry imaging; enablers and roadblocks. Journal of Spectral Imaging, 9, 1-21.

Little, L.D., Carolan, V.A., Allen, K.E., Cole, L.M., & Haywood-Small, S.L. (2020). Headspace analysis of mesothelioma cell lines differentiates biphasic and epithelioid sub-types. Journal of Breath Research, 14 (4), 046011.

Voloaca, O.M., Greenhalgh, C.J., Cole, L., Clench, M.R., Managh, A.J., & Haywood-Small, S. (2020). Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry as a novel clinical imaging tool to detect asbestos fibres in malignant mesothelioma. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 34 (21), e8906.

Greenhalgh, C.J., Voloaca, O.M., Shaw, P., Donard, A., Cole, L.M., Clench, M.R., ... Haywood-Small, S.L. (2020). Needles in haystacks: using fast-response LA chambers and ICP-TOF-MS to identify asbestos fibres in malignant mesothelioma models. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry.

Furness, P. (2019). A qualitative exploration of experiences of physiotherapy among people with fibromyalgia in the United Kingdom. Pain and Rehabilitation - the Journal of Physiotherapy Pain Association, 2020 (48), 37-47.

Mahbub, A.A., Le Maitre, C., Haywood-Small, S., Cross, N., & Jordan-Mahy, N. (2019). Polyphenols enhance the activity of alkylating agents in leukaemia cell lines. Oncotarget, 10 (44).

Taylor, S., Steer, M., Ashe, S., Furness, P., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2018). Patients' perspective of the effectiveness and acceptability of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of fibromyalgia. Scandinavian Journal of Pain.

Furness, P., Vogt, K., Ashe, S., Taylor, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2018). What causes Fibromyalgia? An online survey of patient perspectives. Health Psychology Open, 5 (2).

Arhoma, A., Chantry, A.D., Haywood-Small, S., & Cross, N. (2017). SAHA-induced TRAIL-sensitisation of Multiple Myeloma cells is enhanced in 3D cell culture. Experimental cell research.

Mahbub, A., Le Maitre, C., Haywood-Small, S., Cross, N., & Jordan-Mahy, N. (2017). Dietary polyphenols influence antimetabolite agents: methotrexate, 6-mercaptopurine and 5-fluorouracil in leukemia cell lines. Oncotarget, 8 (62), 104877-104893.

Ashe, S., Furness, P., Taylor, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2017). A qualitative exploration of the experiences of living with and being treated for fibromyalgia. Health Psychology Open, 4 (2), 1-12.

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.

Ashe, S., Furness, P., Taylor, S., Haywood-Small, S., & Lawson, K. (2016). "Not all in my head": a qualitative exploration of living with fibromyalgia and its treatments (Oral presentation). The European Health Psychologist, 18 (Supp), 695.

Mahbub, A.A., Le Maitre, C.L., Haywood-Small, S.L., Cross, N.A., & Jordan-Mahy, N. (2015). Glutathione is key to the synergistic enhancement of doxorubicin and etoposide by polyphenols in leukaemia cell lines. Cell Death and Disease, 6, e2028.

Mahbub, A.A., Le Maitre, C.L., Haywood-Small, S.L., Cross, N.A., & Jordan-Mahy, N. (2015). Polyphenols act synergistically with doxorubicin and etoposide in leukaemia cell lines. Cell Death Discovery, 1 (15043), 1-12.

Zaini, R., Haywood-Small, S., Cross, N., & Le Maitre, C. (2015). Differential interactions of Falcarinol combined with anti-tumour agents on cellular proliferation and apoptosis in human lymphoid leukaemia cell lines. Journal of Blood Disorders and Transfusion, 6 (2).

Mahbub, A.A., Le Maitre, C., Haywood-Small, S., McDougall, G.J., Cross, N., & Jordan-Mahy, N. (2013). Differential effects of polyphenols on proliferation and apoptosis in human myeloid and lymphoid leukemia cell lines. Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry, 13 (10), 1601-1613.

Cole, L.M., Mahmoud, K., Haywood-Small, S., Tozer, G.M., Smith, D.P., & Clench, M.R. (2013). Recombinant "IMS TAG" proteins - A new method for validating bottom-up matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation ion mobility separation mass spectrometry imaging. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 27 (21), 2355-2362.

Battle, R., Poole, K., Haywood-Small, S., Clark, B., & Woodroofe, N. (2012). Molecular characterisation of the monocytic cell line THP-1 demonstrates a discrepancy with the documented HLA type. International Journal of Cancer, 132 (1), 246-247.

Doherty, R.E., Haywood-Small, S.L., Sisley, K., & Cross, N.A. (2011). Aldehyde dehydrogenase activity selects for the holoclone phenotype in prostate cancer cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 414 (4), 801-807.

Haywood-Small, S.L., Vernon, D.I., Griffiths, J., Schofield, J., & Brown, S.B. (2006). Erratum to “Phthalocyanine-mediated photodynamic therapy induces cell death and a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in cervical cancer cells” [Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 339 (2006) 569–576]. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 341 (2), 673.

Haywood-Small, S.L., Vernon, D.I., Griffiths, J., Schofield, J., & Brown, S.B. (2006). Phthalocyanine-mediated photodynamic therapy induces cell death and a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in cervical cancer cells. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 339 (2), 569-576.

Lawson, K., Furness, P., Shelton, T., Beresford, R., Taylor, S., & Haywood-Small, S. (n.d.). Physiotherapy for fibromyalgia: A phenomenological study ofpatients’ experiences. Journal of Pain Management.

Conference papers

Mahbub, A., Le Maitre, C., Haywood-Small, S.L., McDougall, G., Cross, N.A., & Jordan-Mahy, N. (2012). The Anti-cancerous Potential of Polyphenols in the Treatment of Human Myeloid and Lymphoid Leukaemia. JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY, 228, S34.

Haywood-Small, S.L., Hopkinson, K., Stephenson, T.J., Reed, M.W.R., Woodroofe, N., Brown, N.J., & Pockley, A.G. (2010). Influence of apoptotic and necrotic tumour cells on tumour growth and the prevalence of CD4+ CD25high regulatory T cells. IMMUNOLOGY, 131, 112-113.

Book chapters

Haywood-Small, S. (2017). "A Future Amalgamation Between the Scientist and the Clinician?". In Cole, L. (Ed.) Imaging mass spectrometry : methods and protocols. (pp. 1-6). New York: Humana Press:

Theses / Dissertations

Little, L.D. (2022). Volatile organic compounds as breathomicviomarkers of malignant mesothelioma. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Haywood-Small, S., Carolan, V., Allen, L., & Cole, L.

Voloacă, O.M. (2022). A multimodal approach to identify asbestos and characterise clinically relevant mesothelioma biomarkers. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Haywood-Small, S.

Mahbub, A.A.-.H. (2015). The anti-cancer potential of polyphenols in the treatment of leukaemia. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Jordan-Mahy, N., Cross, N., Le Maitre, C., & Haywood-Small, S.

Other activities

Dr Haywood-Small routinely reviews grants and provides scientific support for the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund.

Cancel event

Are you sure you want to cancel your place on Saturday 12 November?