Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Infectious Disease

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology



+44 (0)20 7594 3072t.thurston




2.40Flowers buildingSouth Kensington Campus





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Research Summary

Research in the Thurston laboratory seeks to understand what determines the fate of intracellular bacteria, a complex interaction mediated by both the host and the pathogen. On the host side, our research focuses on cell-intrinsic innate immune mechanisms that protect against intracellular bacteria. To complement this, our other area of research focuses on how Salmonella effector proteins, delivered into host cells, manipulate innate immune signaling.

Research in the Thurston laboratory is funded by the BBSRC as well as an MRC research grant awarded in 2021 and an ERC Starting Grant due to start in 2022. In addition, from 2022 we are an official Crick Satellite group at the Francis Crick Institute where we work closely with our collaborator Dr. Katrin Rittinger. 



Teresa completed her PhD in 2010 with Dr. Felix Randow, at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge. During this time and a short postdoc period, she worked on understanding how antibacterial autophagy functions as a cell autonomous innate immune mechanism to restrict the growth of cytosolic bacteria.

In 2011, Teresa 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 to establish her own research focused on innate immune signaling during Salmonella infection. 

In July 2018 Teresa took up a 5 year BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship within the CMBI to continue investigating host-pathogen interactions. The goal of this research is to use a multidisciplinary approach encompassing proteomics, genetic screens, cell biology and structural biology, to identify and investigate how both host and pathogen determinants alter the outcome of bacterial infections. Such fundamental research into understanding host-pathogen interactions is needed to provide valuable insight into the pathophysiology of bacterial infections and represents an essential step for future research into novel therapeutic strategies.



Thurston TLM, Holden DW, 2023, The Salmonella Typhi SPI-2 injectisome enigma., Microbiology (reading), Vol:169

Baig MS, Thurston TLM, Sharma R, et al., 2023, Editorial: Targeting signalling pathways in inflammatory diseases, Frontiers in Immunology, Vol:14, ISSN:1664-3224

Thurston TLM, Helaine S, 2023, Editorial overview: Two to tango: The intricate communications between host and bacteria, Current Opinion in Microbiology, Vol:74, ISSN:1369-5274

Panagi I, Thurston TLM, 2023, Ready, STAT3, Go! Bacteria in the race for M2 macrophage polarisation, Current Opinion in Microbiology, Vol:73, ISSN:1369-5274

Pillay TD, Hettiarachchi SU, Gan J, et al., 2023, Speaking the host language: how Salmonella effector proteins manipulate the host, Microbiology, Vol:169, ISSN:1350-0872, Pages:1-30

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