Miss Charlotte Illsley

Miss Charlotte Illsley

Research Fellow

Peninsula Dental School (Faculty of Health)



Charlotte is currently employed at the University of Plymouth as a Research Fellow in Professor Bing Hu's Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Laboratory.

Charlotte is conducting research into the mechanisms involved in epidermal stratification and differentiation and investigating how these might be involved in the initiation and progression of skin cancer. While also exploring how some of these proteins could be manipulated to form novel cancer therapies.

Charlotte originally graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences, after which she started her PhD in Dr Bing Hu's research group working on developing skin equivalent systems to study the mechanism of skin aging and cancer. 

May 2021 - Present 

Research Fellow 

October 2017 - April 2021

Research Associate in Stem Cell and Cancer Biology

April 2017 - Present 

PhD student in tissue engineering and molecular biology 


2016, Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biological Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, UK

Professional membership

  • International Association of Dental Research
  • British Society for Oral and Dental Research



Research interests

(1) Skin and squamous cell carcinoma 

Investigating mechanisms and key proteins involved in epidermal stratification and differentiation.

Investigating novel molecular mechanisms involved in the initiation and progression of non-melanoma skin cancer and potential therapies.

(2) Tissue engineering and 3D bio-printing 

Using a pneumatic micro-extrusion 3D bio-printer to test different bio-materials and develop 3D skin models to help reduce and replace animal models in skin research. 

Working alongside industry partners in Cornwall, as part of an ERDF grant, the skin models were used to test novel skin care ingredients. This research was broadcast by BBC spotlight and covered by other local news. You can read the article published by the University of Plymouth using the link below:



(3) Tooth development and orthodontic research  

Within Professor Bing Hu's research team, Charlotte also uses different models to study key molecular pathways and proteins involved in tooth eruption and PDL mechanical strain and tooth movement.

Other research


Walker, J.V., Zhuang, H., Singer, D., Illsley, C.S., Kok, W.L., Sivaraj, K.K., Gao, Y., Bolton, C., Liu, Y., Zhao, M., Grayson, P.R.C., Wang, S., Karbanov√°, J., Lee, T., Ardu, S., Lai, Q., Liu, J., Kassem, M., Chen, S., Yang, K., Bai, Y., Tredwin, C., Zambon, A.C., Corbeil, D., Adams, R., Abdallah, B.M., Hu, B. Transit Amplifying Cells Coordinate Mouse Incisor Mesenchymal Stem Cell Activation. Nature Communications, 2019, in press.

Denes, B.J., Bolton, C., Illsley, C. S., Kok, W., Walker, J.V., Poetsch, A., Tredwin, C., Kiliaridis, S., Hu, B.(2019). Notch signalling coordinates periodontal ligament maturation through regulating Lamin A. Journal of Dental Research. doi:10.1177/0022034519871448.



Other academic activities

Conferences attended

BSODR 2019, Leeds

Clinical Research Network South West Peninsula Cancer Research Symposium 2019, Truro

Annual Research Event University of Plymouth Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry 2018, Plymouth (Best oral presentation prize winner)

IADR 2018, London

BSODR 2017, Plymouth

Related articles on the University website