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Sheryl Fuller-Espie, PhD, DIC

Sheryl Fuller-Espie, PhD, DIC

Professor, Biology

Sheryl Fuller-Espie, PhD, DIC, conducts groundbreaking research in cell-mediated innate immune responses in invertebrates.

Her research focuses on invertebrate cellular defense mechanisms and antimicrobial properties of earthworms (annelids).

Her lab uses flow cytometric methods to investigate the effects of pathogen-associated molecular patterns, oxidative stress, environmental pollutants, and heavy metals on cellular responses including natural killer-like and phagocytic activities, reactive oxygen species production,  mitochondrial membrane depolarization, apoptosis, and macroautophagy. Also under investigation are the antimicrobial effects of earthworm protein extracts on the viability of bacteria as alternative sources of antibiotics.

With Cabrini students as collaborators, research in Fuller-Espie’s lab has been published in scholarly journals and presented at state, national, and international conferences, including the eighth, ninth, and 10th International Symposia on Earthworm Ecology, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, and the Arts, Research, and Scholarship Symposium at Cabrini University.

The National Science Foundation, and the Department of Community and Economic Development of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium of Higher Education have provided funding for Fuller-Espie’s research. She has also received federal grants from the Department of Education, as well as Cabrini-sponsored funding through the Romano/Borneman Research Fund and faculty development summer grants.

Since 2006, she has served as supervisor for 33 research students (high school, undergraduate, and graduate-level) who have received 37 research grants from the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society, and the Romano/Borneman Undergraduate Research Fund.

After earning a doctoral degree in biotechnology and a Diploma of Imperial College (DIC) from Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of London, Fuller-Espie completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the Imperial College of Medicine, London (formerly the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital), and the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, and a postdoctoral teaching appointment at Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College).

She earned two bachelor of science degrees in cell & molecular biology, and microbiology & immunology from the University of Washington, Seattle, and an associate degree in pre-medicine from North Dakota State College of Science.

She is a board member of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, serving as corresponding secretary and membership chair; and, is also a member of the Biotechnology Advisory Board of Montgomery County Community College.

Areas of Expertise

Immunology, microbiology, biotechnology, and genetics

 

Presentations

  • British Society for Immunology
  • The seventh and eighth International Congresses of Immunology
  • The European Federation of Immunological Societies
  • The University of Pennsylvania Graduate Group in Immunology
  • The American Society for Microbiology Infection and Immunity Forum
  • The eighth, ninth, and 10th International Symposia on Earthworm Ecology
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Science
  • The Clark Lecture at York College of Pennsylvania

Publications

Journal Articles:

  • Daye, H. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2020) Development of a flow cytometry assay to investigate the antimicrobial effecs of protein extracts purified from Eisenia hortensis on the bacterium Micrococcus luteus. Accepted for publication.
  • Bauer, A., Rothman, A., Scarpone, S. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2020) Use of a modified tube dilution method to determine bacterial susceptibility to antimicrobial proteins from Eisenia hortensis. Cabrini University Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2020: 5-16. https://www.cabrini.edu/globalassets/pdfs-website/academic-affairs/symposium/ugrj-2020.pdf
  • Daly, J.H., Jakeman, J.M. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2018) Earthworm coelomocytes exhibit chemotaxis to pathogen-associated molecular patterns: an in vitro analysis using a combined Boyden-flow cytometry approach. BIOS – A Quarterly Journal of Biology, 88(4): 153-161. This publication won the McClung Award for the best paper published in BIOS – a Quarterly Journal of Biology for Volume 88 (stipend and plaque awarded).
  • Townsend, O., Markowitz, L. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2018) Earthworms as sentinel species for the measurement of macroautophagic biomarkers in response to heavy metal environmental pollutants, cadmium and copper. Cabrini University Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2018, 132-147. https://www.cabrini.edu/globalassets/pdfs-website/academic-affairs/symposium/ugrj-2019.pdf
  • Grant, S. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2018) In vitro analysis of cell proliferation in earthworm coelomocytes in response to mitogenic agents using Click-iT EDU and flow cytometric methods. Cabrini University Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2018, 120-131. https://www.cabrini.edu/globalassets/pdfs-website/academic-affairs/symposium/ugrj-2019.pdf
  • Grant, S., Mastrando, J., & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2018) Using flow cytometry for the analysis of macroautophagy in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis in response to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons for use as a biomarker for ecotoxicologists. Cabrini University Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2018, 104-118. https://www.cabrini.edu/globalassets/pdfs-website/academic-affairs/symposium/ugrj-2019.pdf
  • Jakeman J.M., Daly, J.H. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2017) Development of a combined Boyden-flow cytometry protocol to investigate chemotaxis in the invertebrate Eisenia hortensis. Cabrini University Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2017: 47-63. https://www.cabrini.edu/about/departments/academic-affairs/academic-symposium
  • Daly, J.H., Cook, S.R. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2016) Xenoreactive immune responses in annelids: a flow cytometric study investigating natural killer-like activity of earthworm coelomocytes. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2016: 26-33. https://www.cabrini.edu/about/departments/academic-affairs/research
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., Harris, D.R., Daly J.H. & Jakeman, J.M. (2015) Optimization of cell culture conditions for the earthworm Eisenia hortensis: a study investigating the effects of media, carbon dioxide, temperature, serum, and anti-fungal agents. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, 89(2): 57-68. https://pennsci.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/JPAS_V89_2.pdf
  • Cook, S.R., Sperratore, M.M., & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2015) Nitric oxide production in celomocytes of the earthworm Eisenia hortensis following bacterial challenge. Invertebrate Survival Journal, 12: 46-65. http://www.isj.unimo.it/articoli/ISJ364.pdf
  • Cook, S., Sperratore, M. & Fuller-Espie, S. L. (2015) A flow cytometric method to measure nitric oxide production in coelomocytes of Eisenia hortensis in response to soil-dwelling bacteria. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2015: 24-33. https://www.cabrini.edu/about/departments/academic-affairs/research
  • Tumminello, R.A., & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2013) Heat stress induced ROS production and histone phosphorylation in coelomocytes of Eisenia hortensis. Invertebrate Survival Journal, 10: 50-57. http://www.isj.unimo.it/articoli/ISJ293.pdf
  • Tumminello, R.A. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2013) The effects of heat stress on the production of reactive oxygen species and cell viability in Eisenia hortensis. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2013: 90-100. https://www.cabrini.edu/about/departments/academic-affairs/research
  • Brown, J. & Fuller-Espie S.L. (2013) Effects of pathogen-associated molecular patterns on the prophenoloxidase pathway in Eisenia hortensis. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2013: 54-69. https://www.cabrini.edu/about/departments/academic-affairs/research 
  • Blake, E.L. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2012) An in vitro study investigating apoptosis induction of coelomocytes in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis using a DNA fragmentation assay. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2012: 158-175. https://www.cabrini.edu/about/departments/academic-affairs/research
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., Bearoff, F.M. & Minutillo, M.A. (2011) Exposure of coelomocytes from Eisenia hortensis to copper, cadmium and dimethylbenz[a]anthracene: An in vitro study examining production of reactive oxygen species and inhibitory effects on immune response to environmental pollutants in earthworms. Pedobiologia - International Journal of Soil Biology, 54S: 531-536. doi:10.1016/j.pedobi.2011.09.009.
  • Nacarelli, T. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2011) Pathogen-associated molecular pattern-induced mitochondrial membrane depolarization in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 108: 174-179. doi:10.1016/j.jip.2011.08.008.
  • Bearoff, F.M. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2011) Alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential and phosphatidylserine translocation as early indicators of heavy metal-induced apoptosis in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis. Invertebrate Survival Journal, 8: 98-108. http://www.isj.unimo.it/articoli/ISJ240.pdf
  • Nacarelli, T. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2011) A study using flow cytometric phosphatidylserine translocation to detect apoptosis in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis in vitro. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2011: 82-101.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2010) Using flow cytometry to measure phagocytic uptake in earthworms. Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education, 11(1): 144-151. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3577174/pdf/jmbe-11-2-144.pdf
  • Fuller-Espie S.L., Nacarelli, T., Blake, E.L. & Bearoff, F.M. (2010) The effect of oxidative stress on phagocytosis and apoptosis in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis. Invertebrate Survival Journal, 7: 89-106. http://www.isj.unimo.it/articoli/ISJ205.pdf
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2010) Vertebrate cytokines interleukin 12 and gamma interferon, but not interleukin 10, enhance phagocytosis in the annelid Eisenia hortensis. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology, 104: 119-124. doi:10.1016/j.jip.2010.02.009.
  • Goodfield, L. & Fuller-Espie, S.L..(2010) An analysis of the effect of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) on phagocytosis by hyaline amoebocyte populations in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2010: 62-80.
  • Hill, K. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2010) Effects of recombinant human cytokines gamma interferon, IL-10, and IL-12 on the natural killer-like response in Eisenia hortensis and its method of cytotoxicity. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2010: 81-98.
  • Goodfield, L. & Fuller-Espie, S.L (faculty mentor). (2009) A flow cytometric analysis of the effects of pathogen associated molecular patterns peptidoglycan and flagellin on phagocytosis in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis with enriched cell populations. [CD-ROM] Proceedings for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Asheville, 53-61.
  • Hill, K. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (faculty mentor) (2009) Effects of recombinant human cytokines on the natural killer-like response in Eisenia hortensis: cytotoxicity of invertebrate effectors revealed using a non-radioactive spectrophotometric assay. [CD-ROM] Proceedings for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Asheville, 39-46.
  • DeRogatis, N. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2009) The in vitro effects of human pro-inflammatory cytokines granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor and interleukin-1 beta on natural killer-like responses in Eisenia hortensis. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2009: 195-223
  • Goodfield, L., Hill, K., Grant, K., DeRogatis, N., & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2009) The effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 beta, IL-2, GM-CSF, and TNF-alpha on phagocytosis and cell proliferation in Eisenia hortensis. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2009: 141-173.
  • Patel, M. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2009) Investigation of effects of 7,12 dimethylbenz[a]-anthracene (DMBA) on cell-mediated cytotoxicity in Eisenia fetida; an invertebrate model to study innate immune responses. Cabrini College Journal of Undergraduate Research, 2009: 224-248
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., Goodfield, L., Hill, K., Grant, K. & DeRogatis, N. (2008) Conservation of cytokine-mediated responses in innate immunity: a flow cytometric study investigating the effects of human proinflammatory cytokines on phagocytosis in the earthworm Eisenia hortensis. Invertebrate Survival Journal, 5:124-134. http://www.isj.unimo.it/articoli/ISJ175.pdf
  • Patel, M., Francis, J., Cooper, E.L. & Fuller-Espie, S.L. (2007) Development of a flow cytometric, non-radioactive cytotoxicity assay in Eisenia fetida: An in vitro system designed to analyze immunosuppression of natural killer-like coelomocytes in response to 7, 12 dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA). European Journal of Soil Biology, 43S1:S97-103. doi:10.1016/j.ejsobi.2007.08.013
  • Kunjibettu, S., Fuller-Espie, S., Carey, G.B., & Spain, L.M (2001) Conserved transmembrane tyrosine residues of the TCR beta chain are required for TCR expression and function in primary T cells and hybridomas. International Immunology, 13:211-222. https://intimm.oxfordjournals.org/content/13/2/211.full.pdf+html
  • Fuller-Espie, S., Hoffman Towler, P., Wiest, D.L., Tietjen, I., & Spain, L.M. (1998) Transmembrane polar residues of the TCR beta chain are required for signal transduction. International Immunology, 10:923-933. http://intimm.oxfordjournals.org/content/10/7/923.full.pdf+html
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., Murphy, G.A., Brett, S.J., & Lechler, R.I. (1997) Quantitative but not qualitative variation in MHC class II alters CD4 interaction and influences T cell repertoire formation. Cellular Immunology, 177:49-61. doi:10.1006/cimm.1997.1081, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0008874997910819
  • Lombardi, G., Hargreaves, R., Sidhu, S., Imami, N., Lightstone, L., Fuller-Espie, S., Ritter, M., Robinson, P., Tarnok, A., & Lechler, R. (1996) Antigen presentation by T cells inhibits IL-2 production and induces IL-4 release due to altered cognate signals. Journal of Immunology, 156:2769-2775. http://www.jimmunol.org/content/156/8/2769.short
  • Batten, P., Heaton, T., Fuller-Espie, S., & Lechler, R. (1995) Human anti-mouse xenorecognition. Provision of non-cognate interactions reveals plasticity of T cell repertoire. Journal of Immunology, 155:1057-1065. http://www.jimmunol.org/content/155/3/1057.short
  • Lombardi, G., Sidhu, S., Fuller-Espie, S., & Lechler, R. (1993) Molecular mechanisms of T-cell induced unresponsiveness. Clinical Science, 85 (S29): 2p.
  • Klee, H., Montoya, A., Horodyski, F., Lichtenstein, C., Garfinkel, D., Fuller, S., Flores, C., Peschon, J.H,, Nester, E., & Gordon, M. (1984) Nucleotide sequence of the tms genes of the pTiA6NC octopine Ti plasmid: two gene products involved in plant tumorigenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 81:1728-1732. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC344992/pdf/pnas00607-0126.pdf
  • Lichtenstein, C., Klee, H., Montoya, A., Garfinkel, D., Fuller, S., Flores, C., Nester, E., & Gordon, M. (1984) Nucleotide sequence and transcript mapping of the tmr gene of the pTiA6NC octopine Ti plasmid: a bacterial gene involved in plant tumorigenesis. Journal of Molecular and Applied Genetics, 2:354-362. 

 

Book Chapters:

  • Fuller-Espie, S., Simpson, E., & Lechler, R. (2001) Major and minor transplantation antigens, in Pathology and Immunology of Transplantation and Rejection, (S Thiru and H Waldmann, eds) Blackwell Scientific Publications, Ltd, Oxford, U.K., pp. 29-72.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L. (1991) Processing of viral antigens and their recognition by T cells. Transplantation and Clinical Immunology XXIII, Lyon, France, Elsevier Science Publishers, pp 21-31.
  • Lichtenstein, C.P., & Fuller, S.L. (1987) Vectors for the genetic engineering of plants, in Genetic Engineering, vol. 6, (Rigby P, ed) Academic Press, London. pp103-183.

 

Instructional Publications and Related Material:

  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2018) Garland Science Learning System: The Immune System, 4th edition, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Development of 1200 interactive online assessment questions embedded in 51 assessment modules that provide instructors with real-time dashboard evaluation of students’ comprehension of material before and during class using RocketMixTM as the online platform. Feedback loops associated with student responses were designed to enhance students’ learning and provide strategies for more effective classroom pedagogy through reinforcing narrative, visual displays and videos.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2014) The Immune System, 4th edition, Peter Parham, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote 250 end -of- chapter essay and multiple choice questions and answers for this immunology textbook for advanced undergraduates and medical school students, included USMLE-style questions.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2014) The Immune System, 4th edition, Peter Parham, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote 1000 essay and multiple choice questions and answers for this immunology textbook as a testbank for instructors, included USMLE-style questions, available on OnlineTestbank for ClasswireTM.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2011) Introduction to Genetics: A Molecular Approach, Terry Brown, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote 500 essay and multiple choice questions and answers for this genetics textbook for students.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2011) Introduction to Genetics: A Molecular Approach, Terry Brown, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote 580 essay and multiple choice questions and answers for this genetics textbook as a testbank for instructors, available on OnlineTestbank for ClasswireTM.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2010) Microbiology, A Clinical Approach, Tony Strelkauskas, Jennifer Strelkauskas, and Danielle Strelkauskas, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote essay and multiple choice questions and answers for this genetics textbook as a testbank for instructors, available on OnlineTestbank for ClasswireTM.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2009) The Immune System, 3rd edition, Peter Parham, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote end-of- chapter essay and multiple choice questions and answers for this immunology textbook for advanced undergraduates and medical school students, included USMLE-style questions.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2009) Classwire - The Immune System, 3rd edition, Peter Parham, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote OnlineTestbank for ClasswireTM.
  • Fuller-Espie, S.L., textbook contributor: (2004) The Immune System, 2nd edition, Peter Parham, Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group. Wrote end of chapter essay questions and answers for this immunology textbook for advanced undergraduates and medical school students.

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