Dr Steven J Coles


Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry

School of Science and the Environment

Biological Sciences

Contact Details

email: s.coles@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 542577

Steve joined the University of Worcester in 2013, following 5 years post-doctoral experience at Cardiff University, School of Medicine (Section of Haematology), working with Professors Tonks and Darley. During his time at Cardiff, Steve investigated the role of the immune checkpoint molecule, CD200, in a type of blood cancer known as acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

Since joining us, Steve has introduced several new modules to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences curriculum that align with his expertise, including: Immunology and Biochemistry of Cancer.

Steve has also helped to establish and lead the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, where the research focusses on Cancer, Neurodegeneration and Cardiovascular Disease.

Teaching Interests

Steve contributes to teaching at each stage of your degree and has previously been awarded the ‘Deputy Vice Chancellor Award for Teaching Excellence (2017)’.

Modules led by Steve:

  • BIOL1005 Chemistry for the Life Sciences (L4)
  • BIOS2110 Immunology (L5)
  • BIOS3113 Biochemistry of Cancer (L6)

Steve also teaches on the following modules:

  • BIOL1001 Cell Biology (L4)
  • BIOS2201 Molecular and Cellular Biology (L5)
  • BIOS3401 Haematology and Transfusion Science (L6)
  • BIOS3111 Extension Module in Biological Sciences (L6)
  • MBIO4001 Research Methods (L7)

Research Interests

Steve has an established research track record in Blood Cancer (AML) and Immunology, as well as the role of Oxidative Stress in Health & Disease. Steve also leads several projects that focus on the development of rapid diagnostic tests for Infectious Disease.

Steve supervises several post-graduate project students (PhD and MBiol) and his research has been supported by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust (SHT) and the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IMBS).

Recent PhD Completions:

  • James Hillier (2020) – “The Role of BCAT1 in the Development and Treatment of AML”

Current Externally Funded Research:

  • The development of a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) for the rapid diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis in a biomedical science laboratory (2021, IBMS).
  • Development of a rapid and cost-effective Point-of-Care diagnostic test for the detection of Ureaplasma infection among preterm neonates (2018-2021, SHT).
  • Steve has active research collaborations with Cardiff Metropolitan University (Dr Mike Beeton), The University of Wolverhampton (Dr Wayne Heaselgrave).


Recent Peer Reviewed Articles:

Hillier, J., Allcott, G.J., Guest, L.A., Heaselgrave, W., Tonks, A., Conway, M.E., Cherry, A.L. and Coles S.J. (2022) The BCAT1 CXXC motif provides protection against ROS in acute myeloid leukaemia cells. Antioxidants doi/10.3390/antiox11040683

Rastogi, N., Baker, S., Man, S., Uger, R., Wong, M., Coles, S.J., Hodges, M., Gilkes, A., Knapper, S., Darley, R. and Tonks, A. (2021) Use of an anti-CD200 blocking antibody improves immune responses to AML in vitro and in vivo. British Journal of Haematology doi/10.1111/bjh.17125

Wadley, A.J., Cullen T, Vautrinot, J, Keane G, Bishop, N.C. and Coles, S.J. (2020) High intensity interval exercise increases the frequency of peripheral PD-1+ CD8+ Central memory T-cells and soluble PD-L1 in Humans Brain Behavior and Immunity – Health doi.org/10.1016/j.bbih.2020.100049

Heaselgrave, W., Hamad, A., Coles, S.J. and Hau, S. (2019) In vitro evaluation of the inhibitory effect of topical ophthalmic agents on Acanthamoeba viability Translational Vision Science & Technology 8(5), 2164-2591

Wadley, A.J., Keane, G., Cullen, T., James, L., Vautrinot, J., Davies, M., Hussey, B., Hunter, D.J., Mastana, S.S., Holiday, A., Petersen, S.V., Bishop, N.C., Lindley, M.R. and Coles, S.J. (2019) Characterisation of extracellular redox enzyme concentrations in response to exercise in humans Journal of Applied Physiology doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00340.2019

Wadley, A.J., Morgan, R.G., Heesom, K.J., Hole, P.S and Coles, S.J. (2018) Detecting intracellular thiol redox stat in leukaemia and heterogeneous immune cell populations: an optimized protocol for digital flow cytometers MethdosX 5, 1473-1483

Morgan, R.G., Chambers, A.C., Legge, D.N., Coles, S.J., Greenhough, A and Williams, A.C. (2018) Optimized delivery of siRNA into 3D tumour spheroid cultures in situ Scientific Reports 8(1), 7952

Coles, S.J. (2018) Targeting the immune checkpoint in cancer: is this a viable treatment option for AML? Open Access Journal of Oncology and Medicine 1(2), 1-2

Wadley, A.J., Holliday, A., Morgan, R.G., Heesom, K.J., Aldred, S., Peters, D.M., Bueno, A.A and Coles, S.J. (2018) Preliminary evidence of reductive stress in human cytotoxic T-cells following exercise Journal of Applied Physiology doi.org/10.1152/ japplphysiol.01137.2017

Coles, S.J and Wadley, A.J. (2017) Can BCAT1 expression level help predict disease progression in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Canc Oncol Open Access J 1(1), 1-5 

Wadley, A.J., Aldred, S and Coles, S.J. (2016) An unexplored role for Peroxiredoxin in exercise-induced redox signalling? Redox Biology 8, 51-58

Coles, S.J., Gilmour, M., Reid, R., Knapper, S., Man, S., Tonks, A. and Darley R.L. (2015) The immunosuppressive ligands PD-L1 and CD200 are linked in AML immunosuppression: identification of a new immunotherapeutic synapse. Leukaemia DOI: 10.1038/leu.2015.62.

Agathanggelou, A., Weston, V.J., Perry, T., Davies, N.J., Skowronska, A., Payne, D.T., Fossey, J.S., Oldreive, C.E., Wei, W., Pratt, G., Parry, H., Oscier, D., Coles, S.J., Hole, P.S., Darley, R.L., McMahon, M., Hayes, J.D., Moss, P., Stewart, G., Taylor, M.R. and Stankovic, T. (2015) Targeting the ATM-null phenotype in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia with pro-oxidants. Haematologica DOI: 10.3324/haematol.2014.115170.

Book Sections:

Wadley, A.J. and Coles, S.J. (2022) Time to ‘couple’ redox biology with exercise immunology in Oxidative Eustress in Exercise Immunology ISBN: 9781003051619

Wadley, A.J., Morgan R.G., Darley R.L., Hole, P.S and Coles, S.J. (2019) Using flow cytometry to detect and measure intracellular thiol redox status in viable T cells from heterogeneous populations Methods in Molecular Biology 1990, 53-70


Oct 2020 – EuroLeuk (poster presentation)

Apr 2020 – British Society for Haematology Annual Meeting (poster presentation), abstract available in BJHaem

Dec 2018(1) – American Society of Haematology Annual Meeting (poster presentation) abstract available in Blood

Dec 2018 (2) – American Society of Haematology Annual Meeting (poster presentation) abstract available in Blood

Dec 2014 – American Society of Haematology Annual Meeting (poster presentation) abstract available in Blood

Membership of Professional Bodies

Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (FIBMS).

External Roles

External Examiner:

MSc Haematology, Kingston University

Doctoral Examinations:

PhD External Examiner (Aug 2020, UWE)

Journal Editor:

(2021 – 2025) Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology