Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
MedicinePostgraduate study
(023) 8120 4155

Miss Jodie Ackland  BSc, MSc, MRes

Postgraduate Research Student

Miss Jodie Ackland 's photo

Jodie Ackland is a Postgraduate Research Student in the Pulmonary Immunology group within Clinical and Experimental Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine working with Dr. Karl Staples and Professor Tom Wilkinson. Jodie's research focuses on host-pathogen interactions in the respiratory tract.

Jodie was awarded a LoveLuck scholarship to study for her undergraduate degree in Biology at Aberystwyth University. The broadness of the Biology degree allowed her to explore a wide range of topics from Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics to Immunology to Infectious Diseases and to Microbial Pathogenesis. Her dissertation project involved sampling computer keyboards in communal and office areas to investigate whether more bacteria are present on communally-used keyboards or single-user office keyboards, which has potential implications for public health infection control policies.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Jodie studied for her MSc in Biomedical Science, specialising in Medical Microbiology at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Here she was introduced to the infection and immunity field through modules such as Immunology, Molecular Biology and Medical Microbiology. Her interest in this field was furthered during her laboratory research project supervised by Dr Julia Rey-Nores and Dr Sarah Maddocks. This project used flow cytometry, ELISA, RT-PCR and gel electrophoresis to investigate the response of THP-1 monocytes infected with a mucoid and non-mucoid P.aeruginosa strain longitudinally isolated from an individual with cystic fibrosis.

After an enjoyable experience in the lab during her MSc, Jodie decided to pursue further research opportunities and is currently enrolled on the integrated PhD (iPhD) programme in Biomedical Science at the University of Southampton. After successful completion of year 1, Jodie was awarded a MRes in Biomedical Science (Immunity and Infection).

Jodie is currently working towards her PhD, investigating host-pathogen interactions in the asthmatic airway, combining her interests in the fields of infection and immunity and respiratory disease.


Degree Qualifications:

BSc, Biology, Aberystwyth (2014)

MSc, Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology), Cardiff Metropolitan University (2016)

MRes, Biomedical Science (Immunity and Infection), University Of Southampton (2017)

PhD, University Of Southampton (2017 - present)

Research interests

Jodie’s research focusses on the host-pathogen interactions in the respiratory tract and how this affects individuals with chronic respiratory disease.

Individuals with chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma have an altered lung microbiome, with increased chronic presence of the bacterium Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) which is associated with increased exacerbation risk and worsening of disease symptoms.

The predominant immune cell in the airway responsible for orchestrating the immune response to pathogens such as NTHi is the macrophage. In asthma however, the macrophage has an altered phenotype and function, resulting in reduced phagocytosis of bacteria such as NTHi. Furthermore, increasing evidence indicates that NTHi invades and replicates within host cells, such as macrophages. This intracellular persistence could be a mechanism by which NTHi is able to persist within the airway.

Macrophages are also targets of infection by viruses such as the influenza A virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Considering that up to 80% of asthma exacerbations are virally-driven and occurs on a background of airway microbial colonisation, it is not exactly clear how this co-infection affects the lung immune response.

The aim of Jodie’s research is to investigate how the macrophage immune response is modulated by infection with NTHi. This will primarily be investigated using dual RNA-sequencing in order to understand not just changes in the host gene expression during infection, but also changes in NTHi gene expression.


PhD research

Title: Host-pathogen interactions in the asthmatic airway

Supervisors: Dr Karl Staples, Dr David Cleary, Professor Myron Christodoulides and Professor Tom Wilkinson.

Funded by: Asthma UK

Research group

Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Student representation:

Clinical and Experimental Sciences Postgraduate Student Representative for Faculty of Medicine Graduate School Committee

Student Representative for Training and Development Group, Faculty of Medicine

Postgraduate Student Representative for Faculty Ethics Committee



STEM Ambassador: 2018 - present

Involved in ‘Meet The Scientist’ at LifeLab, SGH: 2018 - present

Clinical and Experimental Sciences ‘Buddy’ 2019 – present

Pint of Science volunteer and host – 2019 & 2020

Sort via:TypeorYear


Miss Jodie Ackland
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Building 85, Life Sciences Building, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO171BJ

Room Number: SGH/LF13/MP810

Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings