Dr Rebecca Shears

Senior Lecturer

Health, Science and Wellbeing

I am a Senior Lecturer in Biological and Biomedical Sciences and Course Leader for the BSc Biological Science degree.

I have always been curious about the world around me and have a broad interest in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. I started my academic career studying Biology at the University of Manchester, and it was there that my love of Microbiology started. I became fascinated by the bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that cause infectious disease, particularly how these pathogens interact with the host, often ‘tricking’ the immune system to promote their own survival. This led me to pursue a PhD in parasitology/immunology (also at the University of Manchester), followed by a postdoc at the University of Liverpool, where I spent 4 years researching respiratory infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

Over the course of my PhD and postdoc, I became involved in teaching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate research projects, as well as lecturing on several courses within biological and biomedical sciences. I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of students to study life sciences and supporting our students to develop the skills required to land their dream job.

I am also research active, with projects on vaccine design for parasitic worms and the impact of air pollution on respiratory infection currently running within our labs at Staffordshire University.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Member of the British Society of Immunology
  • Affiliate Member of the Microbiology Society
  • Member Royal Society of Biology
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, ‘Defining the host protective antigens secreted by the murine whipworm, Trichuris muri’s, University of Manchester
  • BSc (Hons) Microbiology, University of Manchester

Expertise

  • Infection & immunology
  • Respiratory bacteria
  • Air pollution
  • Helminths

Publications

  • Shears RK, Law AE, et al. (2021). Intestinal helminth co-infection is an unrecognised risk factor for increased pneumococcal carriage and invasive disease. Sci Reports.
  • Shears RK, et al. (2020). Exposure to diesel exhaust particles promotes invasive pneumococcal disease. J Allergy Clin Immunol.
  • Xu R, Shears RK, et al. (2020) Interleukin-35 is critical for regulating superantigenic Staphylococcus aureus activated Th17 responses in human nasopharynx-associated lymphoid tissue.Mucosal Immunol.
  • Gallagher LA, Shears RK,et al. (2020) Impaired Alanine Transport or Exposure to d-Cycloserine Increases the Susceptibility of MRSA to β-lactam Antibiotics. J Infect Dis.
  • Bricio-Moreno L, ChaguzaC, Yahya R, Shears RK, et al. (2020) Lower density and shorter duration of nasopharyngeal carriage by pneumococcal serotype 1 (ST217) may explain its increased invasiveness over other serotypes. mBio.
  • Shears RK, et al. Air pollution and susceptibility to respiratory infection.[Under review at the Eur Resp J].
  • Shears RK, et al.Risk factors for pneumococcal transmission: the impact of host and environmental factors. [Review article in preparation]
  • Shears RK, et al. (2018) Extracellular vesicles induce protective immunity against Trichuris muris. Parasite Immunol.2018.
  • Shears RK, et al. (2018). Vaccination Against Whipworm: Identification of Potential Immunogenic Proteins in Trichuris muris Excretory/Secretory Material.Sci Rep.
UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022