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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.

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 have provided funding for Fuller-Espie’s research. She also has received federal grants from the Department of Education, and faculty development summer grants from Cabrini University.

Since 2006, she has served as supervisor for 30 research students (high school, undergraduate, and graduate-level) who have received 31 research grants from the Pennsylvania Academy of Science and the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society.

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.

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.

Fuller-Espie is Cabrini University's Program Coordinator for the Master of Science in Biological Sciences program.

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



Research papers:

  • Pedobiologia – International Journal of Soil Biology
  • Invertebrate Survival Journal
  • European Journal of Soil Biology
  • Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
  • International Immunology
  • Cellular Immunology
  • Journal of Immunology
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
  • Journal of Molecular and Applied Genetics
  • BIOS, A Quarterly Journal of Biology
  • Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science
  • Journal of Undergraduate Research - Cabrini University

Book chapters:

  • Pathology and Immunology of Transplantation Rejection
  • Transplantation and Clinical Immunology XXIII
  • Genetic Engineering


  • Immunology, microbiology, and genetics textbooks
  • End-of-chapter questions and answers and instructor testbanks for The Immune System (second, third, and fourth editions), Microbiology: A Clinical Approach, and Introductory Genetics: A Molecular Approach.


  • 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

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