Marta Trub


Marta Trüb, Post Doc


Contact Details


Phone: 0131-650-8685

Location: Room 1.01, Ashworth Laboratories


Research interests

Until now, my research revolved around various aspects of autoimmune conditions. I have joined Zamoyska Lab in March 2016 to investiagte T cell receptor (TCR) signalling and the role of hematopoietic phosphatase Ptpn22 in the immune responses to cancer and inflammation. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Ptpn22 gene has been identified as a most strongly associated (after MHC genes) SNP predisposing human to autoimmune diseases. In particular, I investigated how γδ T cells and IL-17 responses contribute to pathology in animal model of psoriasis. Additionally, I am using ID8 ovarian carcinoma as an animal model to investigate whether tumour rejection and T cell responses vary between Ptpn22-deficient and Ptpn22-sufficient animals.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my undergraduate degree and became intrigued by the concept of autoimmune diseases during my Honours project, which focused on the regulatory role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). My results have shown that pDCs respond to apoptotic cells by secreting IL-10 and that this is a TLR-9 driven process. I have also used human samples from SLE patients to investigate how the tolerance mechanisms are broken in the autoimmune disease.

My PhD project, which was supervised by Prof. David Gray, investigated the interactions between B cells and T follicular helper cells (Tfh). I have shown that discrete Tfh populations formed after immunisation with sheep red blood cells differ from each other with respect to their dependency on B cells and their ability to convert to other Tfh subsets. Importantly, T-B cell interactions are essential for antibody formation and it is crucial to understand this process thoroughly as many autoimmune conditions are manifested by the presence of the antibodies.

Therefore, having investigated several different aspect of the autoimmune diseases, I work towards understanding the complex mechanisms involved in maintaining immune tolerance and, conversely, signals leading to the onset of autoimmunity.


Main laboratory techniques

  • In vivo work (Mouse): Intraperitoneal and intravenous injections, topical substance administration, bone marrow chimera generation, adaptive cell transfers, blood sampling, in vivo models of bacterial infection, cancer and skin inflammation, general animal welfare assessment.
  • Cell culture: Isolation, purification and primary cell culture; bacterial cell cultures.
  • Molecular Biology: RNA extraction, gene expression analysis by qRT-PCR and PCR.
  • Immunology: ELISAs, cytokine and antibody detection from in vivo and in vitro samples.
  • Flow Cytometry: Designing multi-colour panels, machine compensation (FACS Canto, LSR II, MacsQuant), sample acquistion, cell sorting of rare populations and data analysis (BD FACS Diva and FlowJo Software).
  • Microscopy: Immunofluorescent and immunohistochemistry staining.


Additional activities

Associate Fellowship of The UK Higher Education Academy  (July 2017  - present)

Committee Member of BioDocSoc, University of Edinburgh  (2016 - present)

Equality and Diversity Committee Member for the School of Biological Sciences (2016 - present )

Tutor for third-year BSc immunology course and research supervisor of honours student (2016 - 2017)

Demonstrator and floor leader of practicals for third-year BSc immunology course (2014 - 2017)

Member of Edinburgh University Women's Volleyball 1st team (2008-2013)



Trüb, M., Barr, T. A., Morrison, V. L., Brown, S., Caserta, S., Rixon, J., et al. (2017). ‘Heterogeneity of Phenotype and Function Reflects the Multistage Development of T Follicular Helper Cells’. Frontiers in Immunology, 8, 489.

Simpson, J., Miles, K., Trüb, M., MacMahon, R., & Gray, M. (2016). ‘Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Respond Directly to Apoptotic Cells by Secreting Immune Regulatory IL-10 or IFN-α’. Frontiers in Immunology, 7, 590.


Short Biography

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, UK, March 2016-present 

PhD, Institute of Immunology and Infection Research, University of Edinburgh, 2013 – Feb. 2016  

Supervisor: Prof. David Gray; Thesis title: ‘Follicular T Helper cell populations’.          

Bachelor of Science, 1st Class Honours, University of Edinburgh, UK, 2009 - 2013      

Honours Project supervisor: Dr. Mohini Gray, Bachelor thesis title: ‘The role of apoptotic cells in determining regulatory responses of plasmacytoid dendritic cells’.  

Member of International Genetically Engeneered Machine (iGEM) 2010 Team, University of Edinburgh, UK, June – Sep 2010     

Supervisor: Dr. Chris French, Project title: Communicating through bridges (light-based communication between bacteria)