Institute of Cellular Medicine

Staff Profile

Dr Rachel Crossland

Research Associate



2018: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

2011: PhD Molecular Biology of Cancer, Newcastle University

2006: BSc Biomedical Sciences, Newcastle University (First class)



Pathological Society Meeting Bursary. March 2018.

NanoString RNA:Protein competition awardee. May 2016.

EMEA Affymetrix Tumour Profiling competition awardee. April 2016.

British Council Researcher Links Scholarship - Extracellular Vesicles Workshop, Russia. Feb 2015.

Life Technologies Ion Torrent™ Transcriptome Profiling competition awardee. Jan 2015.

NanoString PanCancer Panel Driver Genes and Cancer Pathways competition awardee. April 2014.

NEPAC Travel Scholarship - American Society of Haematology 56th Annual Meeting. Dec 2014.

BACR non-student Travel Award - 12th International Conference on Malignant Lymphomas. June 2013.

First Poster Prize, Euroscicon Meeting - Biomarker Discovery: Driving Technologies. Feb 2013.

BSH Travel Scholarship - ESH International Conference on Lymphomas. Oct 2012.

ESH Scholarship - ESH International Conference on Lymphomas. Oct 2012.

Newcastle University Graduate School Award - North East Postgraduate Conference 2009.

ESH Scholarship - Biomarkers and Prognosis in Malignant Lymphoma ESH-EHA Scientific Workshop. Apr 2008.


COST Action CA17138 EUROGRAFT Management Committee

COST Action CA17138 EUROGRAFT Science Communication Manager

Reviewer for the Newcastle Biobank

RealICM (Researchers Altogether ICM) Committee, Newcastle University

Topic Editor Frontiers Special Edition: Cell to Cell Communication by Extracellular Vesicles

Board Member: Social Media, UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles (UKEV)


Google Scholar





British Association for Cancer Research (BACR)

European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)

British Society for Haematology (BSH)

Pathological Society

Biochemical Society

UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles (UKEV)

Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS)

European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI)


My Research

My research focuses on the molecular profiling of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. I am particularly interested in the role of extracellular vesicles (EVs) and their molecular cargo in disease pathology, as biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis, and as potential therapeutic agents. I am currently investigating the beneficial effects of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) derived EVs in chondrocyte regeneration as a potential therapy for osteoarthritis. I am also interested in EV molecular profiles in acute and chronic graft versus host disease, and their biomarkers potential.

Research Goal

To develop/improve acellular approaches as therapeutic strategies for regenerative medicine and controlling inflammation.

Research areas include the role of EVs in:

  • Immunomodulation: MSC-EVS, Treg-EVs etc (mechanistic/therapeutic)
  • Disease diagnosis and prognosis as potential molecular biomarkers
  • Regenerative medicine: MSC-EVs for bone/cartilage regeneration, skin wound healing

Extracellular Vesicles

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small particles released by all cells, including bacteria, plants and animals. The vesicles contain essential proteins and genetic information that provide an insight into the health and status of the cells from which they derive. EVs also form a novel way for cells to communicate with each other, by transferring their informative cargo between cells. In this way, EVs can influence neighbouring cells, potentially changing both their behaviour and their genetic information. This, in turn, can affect the function of the cell. 

The study of EVs is at the frontier of basic biology, and these small particles have fundamental implications for both health and disease. EVs can be isolated from many biological fluids, including;

  • Blood
  • Milk
  • Saliva
  • Urine
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Media from culture cells, bacteria and yeast.
More information on EV research in the UK can be found by visiting the UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles:



Annual undergraduate students from BSc Biomedical Sciences


Annual MRes students


4th year elective medical student projects


Mrs Kay Carruthers (current)

Dr Sadaf Atarod (alumnus)

Dr Rihab Gam (alumnus)

Other Teaching

Versus Arthritis Tissue Engineering Centre Training and Development Programme Coordinator

COST Action CA17138 Short Term Scientific Mission Supervisor

Celleurope Initial Training Network: Immunohistochemistry Workshop and Molecular Biology Workshop.