Margarita Dominguez-Villar, PhD

Principal Investigator

Marga Dominguez-Villar is a Senior Lecturer in Immunology in the Department of Infectious Disease at Imperial College London. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cadiz (Spain) and her postdoctoral training from both Harvard Medical School and Yale School of Medicine. Her laboratory investigates the mechanisms that control innate and adaptive immune responses in human disease, with a particular focus on T cell responses and regulatory T cell function/dysfunction in autoimmune and infectious diseases. 

Lab Members

Rachel Coulombeau

PhD student

I am a PhD student in the Dominguez-Villar lab. Previously a medical student, I realised during an intercalated MSc in Immunology that I wanted to dedicate myself entirely to research. Here in the MDV lab, I study the role of autocrine TNF in the maintenance of Treg identity in homeostasis and in multiple sclerosis. Outside of work, I love to read fiction, go bouldering or exercise with friends, learn about art and philosophy, and express my creativity in writing. 

Emma Jones

PhD student

I am currently a PhD student in the Dominguez-Villar lab. I carried out my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham before completing my Master’s degree in Immunology at Imperial. My MSc project focused on the effect of hyperglycaemia on the human monocyte response to influenza infection also in the Dominguez-Villar lab.  My PhD project is now funded by Diabetes UK where I have expanded my focus to look at the monocyte response to respiratory viral infection in individuals with type 1 diabetes. Outside of the lab I enjoy running and reading.

Allison K. Maher

PhD student

I am currently a PhD student in the Dominguez-Villar lab. Before this, I did a 4-year integrated Master’s Degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford. I am currently on the Wellcome Trust’s “Molecular and Cellular Basis of Infection” PhD scheme, which included a 1 year MRes Degree before starting my main PhD project. The focus of my PhD project is studying CD4+ T cell dysfunction during HTLV-1 infection. Outside the lab I love staying active and love rock climbing, touch rugby, and tennis.

Nianhan Shang

Undergraduate student

I am an undergraduate student at Imperial College London doing my final year project in Dominguez-Villar lab. I will be focusing on the role of OAS2 on human T cells. Outside of the lab, I enjoy reading and cooking to relax myself.

Maja Witowska

Research Assistant

Before I joined the MDV lab as a Research Assistant, I worked at the Novo Nordisk Research Centre in Oxford. While there, I assisted on a project on pancreatic beta cell de-differentiation and became proficient at production of CRISPR-Cas9 viral vectors. During my MSc in Integrated Immunology at University of Oxford, I characterised the responses of Tfh cells to inform HIV-1 vaccine design. Now, to combine my interest in autoimmunity and T lymphocytes, I want to explore Treg plasticity in an inflammatory environment e.g., in T1DM and MS. Outside the lab, I love to knit and paint, and occasionally do some weightlifting at the gym.

Wiktoria Checinska

Undergraduate student

I am currently an undergraduate student at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and I have joined Dominguez-Villar lab to perform my Bachelor’s degree project here.  During this time I will characterize cross-reactivity of HTLV-1-specific T cells in healthy individuals and people infected with HTLV-1. In my free time I enjoy to run, go for walks around the city and read books. 

Former Lab Members