• 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 should be on MS, neuroinflammation, regenerative inflammation, inflammasomes in tissue damage and repair.

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

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 investigate 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 Group Members

Research Fellow Dr Laura Gritti

Research Assistant Dr Katherine Feeney


PhD students

Sarah Kuhn, 2018-present

Topic: Identifying innate immune mechanisms in myelin regeneration in models of Multiple Sclerosis

Daniel Crooks, 2017-present

Topic: Identifying molecular targets for brain repair in Multiple Sclerosis

Jenny Moi Fong Lau, 2017-present

Topic: Investigating the role of inflammasomes in tissue repair

Rachael Bell, 2016-present

Topic: Effect of e-cigarette vapour on macrophage function and pulmonary inflammation


MSc students:

Laura Suitor (MSc in Experimental Medicine)

Lauren Doherty (MSc in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology)



Researcher Volunteers

Tara Bertholon (workplacement student 2019-2020, Biological Sciences, QUB)




Selected Awards

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

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

British Society for Immunology - Ulster Immunology Group Treasurer



Teaching modules


BMS2106 The Science of Disease (Co-coordinator)

  • Lectures: Innate and adaptive immunity, Sensing Infection, Transplantation, Tumour Immunology, Autoimmunity, Tolerance & Immunoregulation
  • Immunology tutorials

BMS3012 Advanced Neuroscience

  • Lecture: Molecular basis of demyelination

MED2016 Student Selective Component Multiple Sclerosis: Much done much to do

  • Lecture, tutorials and practical (immunohistochemistry)

SCM8097 MSc Experimental Medicine

  • Lectures: Inflammasomes, Hypersensitivity & Allergy, Autoimmunity

MED1012 ePortfolio tutor

CEM Presentation Skills for PhD students (facilitator)

SCM8097 MRes Translational Medicine (2016-2018)

BMS2016 Immunobiology (2012-2017)

PODT Pathology of Disease (2014-2016)




MSc Students

Gemma McIlwaine 2018-2019

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


MRes Students

Gerry Mullan 2017-2018

Project: Investigating the role of inflammasomes in CNS repair

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

Daniel Crooks 2016-2017

Project: Identifying the roles of inflammasomes in brain repair

  • Poster prize, 5th REMERGE Symposium 2017

Samantha Gallaher 2016-2017

Project: Identifying the impact of inflammasomes on lung stem cells

  • Prize competition finalist, 5th REMERGE Symposium 2017

Natasha Boylan 2015-2016

Project: Identification of the effect of IL-1beta and IL-18 on oligodendrocyte lineage cells

Samara Fleville 2014-2015

Project: Inflammasomes in Central Nervous System Demyelination and Remyelination

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



BSc Students

Joseph Curran 2019-2020

Rachel Browne Murray 2018-2019

Project: IL-18 mediated regulation of oligodendrocyte lineage cells in demyelinated CNS lesions

Lauren Kelly 2017-2018

ProjectIdentifying the role of inflammasomes in lung repair

Arianne Moore 2017-2018

Project: Identifying inflammasomes in brain repair

Ian Devine 20167-2018

ProjectInvestigating the inflammatory potential of e-cigarettes on lung cells

Lydia Roets 2016-2017

Project: Identifying inflammasomes in brain repair

Georgiana Parau 2016-2017

Project: Identifying danger signals in sterile inflammation in spinal cord damage

Amy Evans 2016-2017 (Literature review module)

Project: Regenerative inflammation

Daniel Crooks 2015-2016

Project: Investigation of the expression of IL-1beta in the demyelinated CNS

Calum Macdonald 2015-2016

Project: Investigating the expression of IL-1alpha in demyelinated/remyelinating CNS lesions

Andre O. Borba 2014-2015 (Literature review module)

Project: The influence of inflammasome activity on Multiple Sclerosis pathogenicity



Summer Students and Internships

Alice Adams (QUB Medicine) 2019

  • 2nd prize WWIEM Summer Student Symposium 2019

Joseph Curran (QUB, Biomedical Sciences) 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

Andre B. Olivera (QUB) 2014

Samara Fleville (QUB) 2013 & 2014

Maeve Moore (QUB) 2014







Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Yvonne Dombrowski is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 17 Similar Profiles
Oligodendroglia Medicine & Life Sciences
Inflammasomes Medicine & Life Sciences
Keratinocytes Medicine & Life Sciences
Myelin Sheath Medicine & Life Sciences
Skin Medicine & Life Sciences
Vitamin D Medicine & Life Sciences
Peptides Medicine & Life Sciences
Psoriasis Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2006 2019

Inflammasome component expression in myelin damage and regeneration in vivo

McKay, E., Gritti, L., Fleville, S., Fitzgerald, D. & Dombrowski, Y., 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Inflammasomes: novel players in OPC proliferation and myelin regeneration

Gritti, L., McKay, E., Crooks, D., Boinet, A-L., Fleville, S., Fitzgerald, D. & Dombrowski, Y., 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Best Flash Talk

Yvonne Dombrowski (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

School Dentistry
Research Personnel

International Society of Neuroimmunology 2018-Best Flash talk

Yvonne Dombrowski (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

Yvonne Dombrowski (Recipient), 01 Oct 2014

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


MS Society Awards 2018

Yvonne Dombrowski (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

honors and awards

Activities 2008 2019

Stefano Pluchino

Yvonne Dombrowski (Host)
Jun 2019

Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

Petr Broz

Yvonne Dombrowski (Host)
Jan 2019

Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

Veit Hornung

Yvonne Dombrowski (Host)
Feb 2019

Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

“Cells involved in MS pathophysiology: novel insights.”

Yvonne Dombrowski (Keynote speaker)
May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Invited seminar

Yvonne Dombrowski (Invited speaker)
Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Press / Media

MS Society Awards 2018, Awards Ceremony

Yvonne Dombrowski


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Research

BBC Newsline NI

Yvonne Dombrowski


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Study raises hopes for drug to reverse the course of MS

Yvonne Dombrowski


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Queen's University multiple sclerosis research 'a landmark'

Yvonne Dombrowski


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Paralysis inspires MS discovery

Yvonne Dombrowski


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research