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Liza joined the Toxicology Unit in 2018, following completion of her PhD on ‘Mechanistically relevant biomarkers of pulmonary inflammation arising from exposure to traffic-related air pollution’ at Imperial College, London and Public Health England as part of the ITTP scheme. During this time, she spent a year with Dr. Ian Mudway’s group at King’s College, London (now Imperial College), learning techniques relevant to particulate toxicology.

As a UKRI-funded research fellow and member of the Willis Group, her first project with the Unit used omics-based strategies to identify adverse outcome pathways that associate with exposure to commonly-encountered air pollutants. Often these studies employed samples produced through human exposures and were performed in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Leicester, RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment and the University of Umeå. Specifically, these projects included dual proteomic and transcriptomic profiling of the host-bacterial response to brake dust exposuremetabolomic urinalysis of responses to aviation-related ultrafine particles and multi-platform characterisation of bronchial responses to wood-smoke exposure.

In January 2023, Liza began a new fellowship, funded by the University of Cambridge, that enables her research to focus on populations that are highly susceptible to particulate exposure. This project will use precision-cut lung slices, cutting edge spatial transcriptomic, CRISPR perturb sequencing and our new air-liquid interface exposure system to explore the differential impacts of metallic non-exhaust emission exposure in healthy individuals and those with cystic fibrosis.

Outside of the laboratory, Liza is a keen member of several public engagement groups, including the Public and Community Involvement, Engagement and Participation committee with colleagues from our joint NIHR HPRUs. In 2018, she participated in the MRC I’m a Scientist web-chat competition where students voted for her to receive £500 funding for public engagement work. This contributed to an interactive exhibition for school children that ran alongside Michael Pinksy’s air pollution pods on Clean Air Day in Manchester. Liza has also participated as a guest for podcasts, radio, BBC news items, television round-tables and Shambala festival.


Key Publications:

1. Fussell et al. (2022). A review of road traffic-derived non-exhaust particles: emissions, physicochemical characterisitics, health risks and mitigation measures. ES&T.

2. Purves et al. (2022). Air pollution induces Staphyylococcis aureus USA300 respiratory tract colonisation mediated by specific bacterial genetic responses dependent on the global virulence gene regulators agr and Sae. Environ. Microbiol

3. Selley et al. (2021). Alterations to the urinary metabolome following semi-controlled short exposures to ultrafine particles at a major airport. Accepted to Int. J. Environ. Health

4. Travaglio et al. (2021). Links between air pollution and COVID-19 in England. Environ. Pollut. 268.

5. Selley et al. (2019). Brake dust exposure exacerbates inflammation and transiently compromises phagocytosis in macrophage. Metallomics 12, 371–386.

6. Selley et al. (2019).  The potential of omics approaches to elucidate mechanisms of biodiesel-induced pulmonary toxicity. Part. Fibre Toxicol. 16.

7. Ghezzi et al. (2018). Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Induced by Environmental and Psychological Stressors: A Biomarker Perspective. Antioxidants Redox Signal. 28

TTI Fellow

Contact Details

MRC Toxicology Unit
Gleeson Building
Tennis Court Road


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