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Danuta Gutowska-Owsiak


Senior Postdoctoral Researcher

I studied medicine at the Medical University in Gdansk, Poland and qualified as an MD in 2003. I subsequently moved to the UK and undertook a PhD programme in Infection and Immunity at the University of Liverpool, where I investigated the role of Natural Killer T (NKT) cells in rheumatoid arthritis. I came to Oxford to join MRC Human Immunology Unit at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine in 2009. I am pleased to have been working as a postdoctoral immunologist/senior postdoctoral immunologist in the Cutaneous Immunology Group of Professor Graham Ogg since.  

I am interested in the basic mechanisms of allergic inflammation with relevance to atopic dermatitis (AD). I specifically focus on the epidermal barrier formation and function as well as communication between the non-immune component of the skin (keratinocytes) and the cells of the immune system. My previous work increased our understanding of how the AD pathology (persistent inflammatory state and aberrant keratinocyte differentiation) affects the function of the skin barrier. I also determined how keratinocyte-mediated responses of T cells to environmental allergens change in the context of AD. In a recent collaboration with the Nanoimmunology group, using powerful high- and super-resolution microscopy techniques, we also discovered a fundamental mechanism governing epidermal stratification and cornification during the formation of functional epidermal barrier. Currently I am interested in long distance communication in the skin and how this affects inflammation and allergen-specific T cell reactivity. Presently these studies investigate basic immunological mechanisms, but with a focus on translational angle in the future I hope my work will also contribute to the availability of novel therapeutic options for allergic patients.

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Recent Publications

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