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Professor Derek Doherty

Professor In / Head of Immunology (Immunology)

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, I completed a PhD at King's College London and postdoctoral research in the University of Washington, Seattle and University College Dublin before holding lecturing positions at NUI Maynooth and subsequently Trinity College Dublin.
 CD1d binding peptide motifs for the stimulation of NKT cells.
 The role and treatment potential of innate lymphocytes in neonatal brain injury
 Metabolic profiles of innate lymphocytes from patients with sepsis
 The role and treatment potential of natural killer T cells in patients with upper gastrointestinal cancer
 Delivery of Gene Editing Tools to Primary T cells using Profector Technology

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Secretary, Irish Society for Immunology 2000 2004
Committee member, Irish Society for Immunology 2000 2018
Hawerkamp HC, Dyer AH, Patil ND, McElheron M, O'Dowd N, O'Doherty L, Mhaonaigh AU, George AM, O'Halloran AM, Reddy C, Kenny RA, Little MA, Martin-Loeches I, Bergin C, Kennelly SP, Donnelly SC, Bourke NM, Long A, Sui J, Doherty DG, Conlon N, Cheallaigh CN, Fallon PG., Characterisation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine signature in severe COVID-19., Frontiers in Immunology, 14, 2023, p1170012-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Alharbi B, Qanash H, Binsaleh NK, Alharthi S, Elasbali AM, Gharekhan CH, Mahmoud M, Lioudakis E, O'Leary JJ, Doherty DG, Mohamed BM, Gray SG., Proof of concept nanotechnological approach to in vitro targeting of malignant melanoma for enhanced immune checkpoint inhibition, Scientific Reports, 13, 2023, p7462-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Singh K, Cogan S, Elekes S, Murphy DM, Cummins S, Curran R, Najda Z, Dunne MR, Jameson G, Gargan S, Martin S, Long A, Doherty DG., SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins fail to activate human dendritic cells or "" T cells., PloS one, 17, (7), 2022, pe0271463 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Huggard D, Kelly L, Worrall A, Gallagher G, Fallah L, Yoo LL, McGrane F, Lagan N, .Roche E, Balfe J, Doherty DG, Molloy EJ, Melatonin as an immunomodulator in children with Down syndrome, Pediatric Research, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Can the immune system be targeted to treat COVID-19? in, editor(s)Aurelie Fabre, John R. Hurst and Sheila Ramjug , ERS Monograph - COVID-19, European Respiratory Society, 442 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2PX, UK, European Respiratory Society, 2021, pp69 - 85, [Sarah Abdelhafeez and Derek Doherty], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL
Deslyper,G., Murphy, D.M., Sowemimo, O.A., Holland, C.V. and Doherty, D.G., Distinct hepatic myeloid and lymphoid cell repertoires are associated with susceptibility and resistance to Ascaris infection, Parasitology, 148, (5), 2021, p539 - 549, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
Dunne MR, Wagener J, Loeffler J, Doherty DG, Rogers TR, Unconventional T cells - New players in antifungal immunity., Clinical Immunology, 227, 2021, p108734-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Taher NAB, Kelly LA, Al-Harbi AI, O'Dea MI, Zareen Z, Ryan E, Molloy EJ, Doherty DG, Altered distributions and functions of natural killer T cells and γδ T cells in neonates with neonatal encephalopathy, in school-age children at follow-up, and in children with cerebral palsy, Journal of Neuroimmunology, 15, (356), 2021, p577597-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Ma Y, Su H, Yuksel M, Longhi MS, McPhail MJ, Wang P, Bansal S, Wong GW, Graham J, Yang L, J Thompson R, Doherty DG, Hadzic N, Zen Y, Quaglia A, Heneghan MA, Samyn M, Vergani D, Mieli-Vergani G, Human Leukocyte Antigen Profile Predicts Severity of Autoimmune Liver Disease in Children of European Ancestry, 74, (4), 2021, p2032-2046 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text
Ashanty M.Melo, Eimear Mylod, Vivienne Fitzgerald, Noel E.Donlon, Dearbhla M. Murphy, Emma K.Foley, Anshul Bhardwaj, John V.Reynolds, Derek G.Doherty, Joanne Lysaght, Margaret R. Dunne, Melissa J. Conroy, Tissue distribution of γδ T cell subsets in oesophageal adenocarcinoma, Clinical Immunology, 229, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI

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Ssekamatte P, Nakibuule M, Nabatanzi R, Egesa M, Musubika C, Bbuye M, Hepworth MR, Doherty DG, Cose S, Biraro IA., Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Latent Tuberculosis Infection Moderately Influence Innate Lymphoid Cell Immune Responses in Uganda, Frontiers in Immunology, 12, 2021, p716819-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Core concepts in immunology. in, editor(s)Gershwin ME, Vierling JM, Manns MP , Liver Immunology: Principles and Practice, New York, Springer Science and Business Media, 2014, pp11 - 26, [O'Farrelly C, Doherty DG], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Innate immune mechanisms in the liver. in, editor(s)Gershwin ME, Vierling JM, Manns MP , Liver Immunology: Principles and Practices, New Jersey, Humana Press, 2007, pp41-48 , [O'Farrelly C, Doherty DG. ], Notes: [2nd edition], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
A short primer on fundamental immunology in, editor(s)Gershwin ME, Vierling JM, Manns MP , Liver Immunology: Principles and Practices, New Jersey, Humana Press, 2007, pp15-24 , [O'Farrelly C, Doherty DG. ], Notes: [2nd edition], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Lymphocyte repertoires in healthy liver. in, editor(s)Gershwin ME, Vierling JM, Manns MP , Liver Immunology, Philadelphia, Hanley & Belfus, 2003, pp31-46 , [Doherty DG, O'Farrelly C.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Basic immunological terms and concepts: a short primer of fundamental immunology in, editor(s)Gershwin ME, Vierling JM, Manns MP , Liver Immunology, Philadelphia, Hanley & Belfus, 2003, pp1 - 13, [O'Farrelly C, Doherty DG], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
The human major histocompatibility complex and disease susceptibility. in, Rimoin DL, Connor JM, Pyeritz RE , Emery and Rimoin's Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics, New York, Churchill Livingstone, 1997, pp497-504 , [Doherty DG, Nepom GT. ], Notes: [third edition], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Elected to Fellowship of Trinity College Dublin 2012
Our research is aimed at finding out how the immune system protects against or causes disease in humans and how it can be manipulated for the development of novel therapies. We are particularly interested in populations of 'innate lymphocytes' (natural killer cells, natural killer T cells, gamma/delta T cells and mucosal-associated invariant T cells), which appear to be master regulators of the immune system. Innate lymphocytes can be trained to prevent and treat infectious and immune-mediated diseases and cancers in animal models. Various innate lymphocyte populations are being targeted in clinical trials for cancer in humans, and although the results are promising, no such cellular therapy has yet received approval. In order to improve the efficacy of innate lymphocyte therapies that are currently being tested and to develop new treatments, we are investigating the molecular and cellular interactions that take place between innate lymphocytes, pathogens and other cells. We have shown that innate lymphocytes are heterogeneous with diverse effector functions including tumour cell killing, the release of cytokines that activate or suppress the actions of T cells, and contact-dependent stimulatory and regulatory interactions with monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells and B cells. In collaboration with clinical colleagues, we have found that innate lymphocyte populations are numerically and/or functionally impaired in patients with hepatitis B and C, HIV, candidiasis, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, oesophageal, stomach, colorectal, liver and lung cancer, post-operative infection and sepsis, coeliac disease, autoimmune vasculitis, antibody deficiencies and neonatal encephalopathy. Our results show that various innate lymphocyte populations can be manipulated to promote the generation of desirable immune responses for the treatment of multiple diseases and this has led to funded collaborations with three biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies, in which we are pooling our efforts to develop robust therapies for cancer, infectious and autoimmune disease.