Systems Immunology Group Leader
Assoc. Prof. Marta Polak
I am a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow & an Assoc. Prof. at the University of Southampton, leading Systems Immunology Group. Our research projects seek to understand how immune responses are initiated and regulated in human skin and whether we can find new treatment strategies for immune disorders. To be able to understand how the skin cells make a decision whether to activate or not immune responses, we use a wide range of methods – experimental, computational and modelling. We develop new methods for single cell analysis, we make an in silico model of molecular cross-talk in skin, and look for ways to treat eczema (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/ita/index.page?). Twitter @SIG__PolakLab
Dr Sofia Sirvent
Dr Andres Vallejo
Current PhD Researchers
Dr Ying Teo
Ying Teo is a dermatology trainee who has an interest in Severe Cutaneous Adverse Drug Reactions (SCARs), in particular Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS). She is currently undertaking a post-graduate project exploring transcriptomic changes in DRESS compared to other diseases in order to validate biomarkers for identification of causative drug and evaluating the utility of skin tests in diagnostic work-up in DRESS.
Although I now work with the Faculty of Medicine, my background is actually in mathematics! I gained my BSc Mathemetics from the University of Essex in 2013, before moving to Devon to train as a teacher. Following this, I worked for 3 years as a primary school teacher before returning to university to continue my studies. I found a passion for applying mathematics to biological contexts during my MSc Mathematical biology, Ecology and Medicine at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and so I chose to persue this with a PhD with the Systems Immunology Group.
My PhD involves developing novel computational techniques to predict the immune responses in keratinocytes.
I am a first-year Infection and immunity integrated PhD student. Within the group I have had the opportunity to gain skills and experience through completing a short research project where I used bioinformatics to identify the transcriptional differences between Langerhans cells of healthy and psoriatic skin, activated and quiescent subpopulations and between Langerhans cells from different areas of the body. I have been fortunate enough to stay within the group to complete a second short research project this time with the aim of determining the clonality of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) to specific medications.