• Room 03.061 - CEM

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to discuss PhD opportunities in my lab with enthusiastic candidates. The focus of the project would be on MS, neuroinflammation, regenerative inflammation, inflammasomes in tissue damage and repair.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr Dombrowski’s research focuses on immune mechanisms in tissue damage and repair. Tissue damage can occur in infectious (e.g. bacteria, virus, fungi) or sterile settings (e.g. trauma, autoimmune attack). The Dombrowski group is primarily interested in the underlying immunological mechanisms that direct tissue repair and regeneration with the goal to identify novel therapeutic targets for immune-mediated diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Despite driving pathology in many diseases, the immune system is required for tissue regeneration. Innate immune receptors sense disruption of tissue homeostasis initiating a regenerative immune response that leads to the repair of the damaged tissue. Our central goal is to elucidate the mechanisms of regenerative inflammation in particular the role of the innate immune system in myelin regeneration in MS.

In MS the myelin sheath that covers nerve fibres is damaged due to an autoimmune attack against proteins in the myelin sheath. As a result the nerve fibres die leading to a loss of function, which can result in paralysis and other neurodegenerative symptoms. There is no cure for MS to date and there are no therapies that can restore damaged myelin in order to prevent nerve loss.

Current projects of the group investigate the function of inflammasomes during myelin damage and regeneration in the central nervous system (CNS) and the effects of IL-1 cytokines on oligodendrocytes in the CNS - the cells that produce myelin. Other projects in the group investigated the role of inflammasomes in regenerative inflammation after infectious tissue damage and the role of e-cigarette vapour as an inflammasome activator. 

Dr Dombrowski has published her work in high-impact journals (e.g. Nature Neuroscience) and her research has been recognized in prestigious awards including an Early Career Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust, the MS Society Reserach of the Year award and the invitation to the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting for Physiology and Medicine as one of ten UK representatives. 


Join the team!

The Dombrowski group is welcoming applications from enthusiastic and ambitious students and postdoctoral researchers who wish to work at the cutting-edge of regenerative immunology. Please contact Dr Yvonne Dombrowski for further information (y.dombrowski@qub.ac.uk).


Follow us for updates on our research!

Facebook: @TheDombrowskiLab https://www.facebook.com/thedombrowskilab/

Twitter: @DombrowskiLab https://twitter.com/dombrowskilab?lang=en  ; @DombrowskiQUB https://twitter.com/dombrowskiqub?lang=en



Current Dombrowski Group Members

Dr Laura Gritti, Research Fellow

Dr Katherine Feeney, Research Assistant

Dr Maria Munoz San Martin (visiting Marie Curie Fellow, 2023)

PhD students

Huda Alsalamin, 2022-present

Richard Creswell, 2020-present

Victor Asuzu, 2020-present

MSc students

Emmy Erskine (MSci Biol Sciences, 2023)

Conor Chapman (MSc in Exp Medicine, 2023)

Research Volunteers/Assistants

Dr Stephen McGovern (2020-present)

Emmy Erskine, MSc (2023)

BSc students

Joe Reel (Biomed Sciences, 2023)


Former group members

Dr Sarah Kuhn (PhD, 2023)

Dr Daniel Crooks (PhD 2022)

Dr Jenny Lau (PhD 2021)

Dr Rachael Bell (PhD 2021)

Dr Louise Johnston (Research assistant)

Dr Pol O'Catnaigh (Research assistant)






Selected Awards

Research grants from the Royal Society, the Fritz-Thyssen-Foundation, the Freemasons of Ireland Medical Research Fund, NC3R

The Leverhulme Trust career development fellowship 

64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting for Physiology and Medicine  (1 of 10 Royal Society selected UK representatives)

MS Society Awards 2018 Best Research 

Best flash talk, International Society for Neuroimmunology Meeting, Sydney (2018)

Best poster at the Irish Society of Immunology Meeting (2015)

Best Postdoctoral Researcher of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Annual Celebration of Excellence (2014)

British Neuropathological Society Pilot Grant (2013)

Best talk at the German Society of Dermatology Research (ADF) Meeting (2012)



Conference presentations and institutional seminars (selection from past 5 years)


14th World Congress on Inflammation, Sydney, Australia, 15th-19th Sept 2019

MS Frontiers, Bath, 4th-5th July 2019

British Society for Immunology-Ulster Immunology Group Symposium, Belfast, 13th-14th June

Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammation, Trondheim, Norway, 3rd-6th June 2019

MS Symposium Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium, 23rd May 2019 (keynote speaker)

University of Victoria, guest seminar, British Columbia, Canada, 19th March 2019

La Jolla Institute for Immunology, guest seminar, La Jolla, California, 15th March 2019


University of Manchester,  guest seminar, Manchester, 13th Dec 2018

RCSI Dublin, guest seminar, 8th October 2018,

NIMS Network Research Symposium, Belfast, 6th March 2019


University of Milan-Bicocca, guest seminar, Milan, Italy, 15th Nov 2017

National University of Ireland Galway, CURAM, guest seminar, Galway, 14th Aug 2017

MS Frontiers, Edinburgh, 29th-30th June 2017

5th REMERGE Symposium, 26th June 2017, Belfast

Inaugural MS Research Symposium, Belfast, 9th May 2017


Gordon Research Seminar Myelin, Tuscany, Italy14th-15th May 2016

Kenneth B Fraser Symposium,  Belfast, 19th Apr 2016


University of Manchester, guest seminar, Manchester, 1st Dec 2015

3rd Translational Immunology Conference,  Würzburg, Germany, 29th-30th Oct 2015



External committees

MS Society UK Biomedical Research Grant Panel, 2019-present

British Society for Immunology - Ulster Immunology Group President, 2020-present

British Society for Immunology - Ulster Immunology Group Treasurer, 2017-2020






Undergraduate Portfolio 

Biomedical Sciences

BMS2106 The Science of Disease (Module Coordinator)

BMS3012 Advanced Neuroscience (2017-2019)

BMS2016 Immunobiology (2012-2017)


MED1012 ePortfolio tutor for medical students (years 1 & 2)

C25 Medical Curriculum Case based learning facilitator (year 1)

MED2016 Student Selective Component Multiple Sclerosis: Much done much to do (until 2019)

PODT Pathology of Disease (2014-2016)

Postgraduate Taught Portfolio

SCM8097 MSc Experimental Medicine

SCM8067 MSc Experimental Medicine

WWIEM Presentation Skills for PhD students (facilitator)

SCM8097 MRes Translational Medicine (2016-2018)





UG & PGT Supervision 

MSc Students

Hannah Johnston 2023-2024 (MSci Biol Sciences)

Emmy Erskine 2022-2023 (MSci Biol Sciences)


Tara Bertholon 2021-2022 (MSci Biol Sciences)

Gemma Coyle 2021-2022 (MSci Biol Sciences)

Emma McKay 2020-2021 (MSci Biol Sciences)

  • Awardee of the BSI prize for Best student in Immunology 2020

Caitlyn Harvey 2020-2021 (MSc Exp Medicine)

Laura Suitor 2019-2020 (MSc Exp Medicine)

Lauren Doherty 2019-2020 (MSc Biotechnology)

Gemma McIlwaine 2018-2019 (MSc Exp Medicine)

Sarah Kuhn 2018 (in collaboration with LMU Munich), Erasmus student (MSc)

Gerry Mullan 2017-2018 (intercalated MRes)

  • Best poster, QUAMS 2018
  • Travel award Pathological Society 2018

Daniel Crooks 2016-2017 (MRes)

  • Poster prize, 5th REMERGE Symposium 2017

Samantha Gallaher 2016-2017 (MRes)

  • Prize competition finalist, 5th REMERGE Symposium 2017

Natasha Boylan 2015-2016 (intercalated MRes)

Samara Fleville 2014-2015 (intercalated MRes)

  • Poster prize, Pathological Society Annual Meeting 2016
  • Best oral presentation, 3rd REMERGE Symposium 2015


BSc UG Students

Joe Reel 2022-2023 

Ruth Cleland 2021-2022

  • Awardee Ann Green Bequest Prize for best level 3 research project across Biomedical Sciences and Human Biology degree pathways 2022

Anna Magennis 2020-2021 (Hum Biol)

Tara Bertholon 2020-2021 (Biol Sciences)

Joseph Curran 2019-2020

Rachel Browne Murray 2018-2019

Lauren Kelly 2017-2018

Arianne Moore 2017-2018

Ian Devine 2017-2018

Lydia Roets 2016-2017

Georgiana Parau 2016-2017

Amy Evans 2016-2017 

Daniel Crooks 2015-2016

Calum Macdonald 2015-2016



Workplacement students/Professional studies

Tara Bertholon 2019-2020 (now RA in Small lab, PGJCCR)

Emma McKay 2018-2019 (now PhD, Biol Sciences)


Summer Students/Erasmus students/Internships

Ben Scullion (QUB BMS) WWIEM summer studentship 2023

Hafeeza Jummakhan (MBRU Dubai MBBS), WWIEM summer studentship 2023

Joe Reel (AIMS RN summer student fellow) 2022

iENGAGE (WWIEM, international online summer programme) 2021

Alice Adams (QUB Medicine) 2019

  • 2nd prize WWIEM Summer Student Symposium 2019

Joseph Curran (QUB, Biomedical Sciences) 2019

Sarunas Dzinkevicius 2018-2019

Lise Pradat (University of Auvergne, France) 2018, Erasmus student

Mattias Mehmed (QUB) 2018, BSI summer studentship

Samuel Moore (University of Cambridge) 2017

Anne-Laure Boinet (Ecole Nationale Superieure de Technologie des Biomolecules de Bordeaux) 2017

Samara Fleville (QUB) 2013 & 2014








Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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