• 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.


Research output 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 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 Dombrowski Group Members

Dr Laura Gritti, Research Fellow

Dr Katherine Feeney, Research Assistant

PhD students

Richard Creswell, 2020-present

Victor Asuzu, 2020-present

Sarah Kuhn, 2018-present

Daniel Crooks, 2017-present

Jenny Moi Fong Lau, 2017-present

MSc students:

Laura Suitor (MSc in Experimental Medicine)

Lauren Doherty (MSc in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology)

Research Volunteers/Assistants

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

Dr Stephen McGovern (2020-present)


Former group members

Dr Rachael Bell

Emma McKay

Dr Louise Johnston

Dr Pol O'Catnaigh

Sarunas Dzinkevicius





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, 2019-present

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

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







BMS2106 The Science of Disease (Coordinator)

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

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 for medical students

WWIEM Presentation Skills for PhD students (facilitator)

BMS3012 Advanced Neuroscience (2017-2019)

SCM8097 MRes Translational Medicine (2016-2018)

BMS2016 Immunobiology (2012-2017)

PODT Pathology of Disease (2014-2016)



Supervision UG & PGT

MSc Students

Laura Suitor 2019-2020

Lauren Doherty 2019-2020 

Gemma McIlwaine 2018-2019

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


MRes Students

Gerry Mullan 2017-2018

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

Daniel Crooks 2016-2017

  • Poster prize, 5th REMERGE Symposium 2017

Samantha Gallaher 2016-2017

  • Prize competition finalist, 5th REMERGE Symposium 2017

Natasha Boylan 2015-2016

Samara Fleville 2014-2015

  • 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

Lauren Kelly 2017-2018

Arianne Moore 2017-2018

Ian Devine 2017-2018

Lydia Roets 2016-2017

Georgiana Parau 2016-2017

Amy Evans 2016-2017 (Literature review module)

Daniel Crooks 2015-2016

Calum Macdonald 2015-2016

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


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







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Research Output

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

Dombrowski, Yvonne (Recipient), 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • International Society of Neuroimmunology 2018-Best Flash talk

    Dombrowski, Yvonne (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

    Dombrowski, Yvonne (Recipient), 01 Oct 2014

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • MS Society Awards 2018

    Dombrowski, Yvonne (Recipient), 2018

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    W5 STEM Lab Day

    Yvonne Dombrowski (Participant)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in Festival/Exhibition

    Petr Broz

    Yvonne Dombrowski (Host)

    Jan 2019

    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

    Andreas Diefenbach

    Yvonne Dombrowski (Host)

    Jun 2019

    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

    Wellcome Trust Neuroimmunology Meeting

    Yvonne Dombrowski (Contributor)

    Jun 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Stefano Pluchino

    Yvonne Dombrowski (Host)

    Jun 2019

    Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitor

    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