Philippa Marrack is an immunologist who studies the life, death and function of the immune system’s T cells. Her work has application in both the treatment of autoimmune disorders and in the development of enhanced vaccines, which work by inducing T- and B-cell memories to protect from future infection.
Amongst her research highlights has been the discovery that autoresponsive developing T cells are terminated in the thymus, thereby ensuring that T cells are tolerant of the body’s own tissues. She was first to identify superantigens, a product of disease-causing microbes that can lead to the problematic, large-scale activation of T cells. IN addition, Philippa revealed that helper T cells identify antigens in combination with major histocompatibility complex proteins.
Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
Cellular and humoral immunology
Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize and Lecture
In recognition of their seminal contributions to T-cell biology, which include the characterisation of the T-cell receptor; the demonstration that self-tolerance is caused by clonal elimination in the thymus; and the discovery that bacterial toxins act as