Dr Holly Stephenson

Dr Holly Stephenson

Lecturer in Clinical Education (Biomedical Sciences)

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



I joined the Peninsula Medical School as a lecturer in biomedical sciences in May 2022. I gained my PhD at the Institute of Child Health, UCL, studying the recognition of Campylobacter jejuni lipooligosaccharide and flagella by pattern recognition receptors on dendritic cells. I completed my postdoctoral studies at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, researching regulated macrophage cell death in immune responses in Drosophila melanogaster. My research interests focus on how macrophages drive inflammation via cell death and other mechanisms, which may be beneficial during acute immune responses to infection but conversely may contribute to pathogenesis of diseases associated with chronic inflammation, such as neurodegeneration and cancer. 


Ph.D. Infection & Immunity, University College London (2012)

B.Sc. (Hons) Biochemistry, University of Bristol (2008)



Teaching interests

My main teaching focus is infection & immunity. I have the following key responsibilities within the PMS:

  • Discipline co-lead for immunology (BMBS)
  • Enquiry-based learning facilitator
  • Academic tutor

I also teach on the Physician's Associate and Dental Therapy & Hygiene courses. 



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Stephenson HN, Streeck R, GrĂ¼blinger F, Goosmann C & Herzig A (2022) 'Hemocytes are essential for <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> post-embryonic development, independent of control of the microbiota' Development 149, (18) , DOI
Stephenson HN, Herzig A & Zychlinsky A (2016) 'Beyond the grave: When is cell death critical for immunity to infection?' Current Opinion in Immunology 38, 59-66 , DOI
Jowiya W, Brunner K, Abouelhadid S, Hussain HA, Nair SP, Sadiq S, Williams LK, Trantham EK, Stephenson H & Wren BW (2015) 'Pancreatic Amylase Is an Environmental Signal for Regulation of Biofilm Formation and Host Interaction in Campylobacter jejuni' Infection and Immunity 83, (12) 4884-4895 , DOI
Stephenson HN, Mills DC, Jones H, Milioris E, Copland A, Dorrell N, Wren BW, Crocker PR, Escors D & Bajaj-Elliott M (2014) 'Pseudaminic Acid on Campylobacter jejuni Flagella Modulates Dendritic Cell IL-10 Expression via Siglec-10 Receptor: A Novel Flagellin-Host Interaction' The Journal of Infectious Diseases 210, (9) 1487-1498 , DOI
Stephenson HN, John CM, Naz N, Gundogdu O, Dorrell N, Wren BW, Jarvis GA & Bajaj-Elliott M (2013) 'Campylobacter jejuni Lipooligosaccharide Sialylation, Phosphorylation, and Amide/Ester Linkage Modifications Fine-tune Human Toll-like Receptor 4 Activation' Journal of Biological Chemistry 288, (27) 19661-19672 , DOI
Arce F, Kochan G, Breckpot K, Stephenson H & Escors D (2012) 'Selective Activation of Intracellular Signalling Pathways in Dendritic Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy' Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry 12, (1) 29-39 , DOI
Arce F, Breckpot K, Stephenson H, Karwacz K, Ehrenstein MR, Collins M & Escors D (2010) 'Selective ERK activation differentiates mouse and human tolerogenic dendritic cells, expands antigen-specific regulatory T cells, and suppresses experimental inflammatory arthritis' Arthritis &amp; Rheumatism 63, (1) 84-95 , DOI
Edwards LA, Nistala K, Mills DC, Stephenson HN, Zilbauer M, Wren BW, Dorrell N, Lindley KJ, Wedderburn LR & Bajaj-Elliott M (2010) 'Delineation of the Innate and Adaptive T-Cell Immune Outcome in the Human Host in Response to Campylobacter jejuni Infection' PLoS ONE 5, (11) e15398-e15398 , DOI