skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Naomi McGovern

Sir Henry Dale Fellow

Division of Immunology

Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge. CB2 1QP
Office Phone: +44 (0)1223330291

Research Interests

PhD studentship available


The McGovern laboratory studies the subset specific functionalities of human dendritic cells and macrophages. Our research involves understanding how different human tissues and their changing microenvironments (e.g. inflammation vs. steady state, fetal vs. adult) impact on immune cell fate and function.  To address these questions we use a combination of cutting edge technologies including advanced flow cytometry, single cell mRNA sequencing, confocal microscopy and cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF).

We are funded by the Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, Centre for Trophoblast Research and A*STAR BMRC YIG.

Group members: Clio Katsouridi


Research Supervision

Currently accepting applicants for PhD studentships:

Key Publications

Human fetal dendritic cells promote prenatal T-cell immune suppression through arginase-2. McGovern N, Shin A, Low G, Low D, Duan K, Yao LJ, Msallam R, Low I, Shadan NB, Sumatoh HR, Soon E, Lum J, Mok E, Hubert S, See P, Kunxiang EH, Lee YH, Janela B, Choolani M, Mattar CNZ, Fan Y, Lim TKH, Chan DKH, Tan KK, Tam JKC, Schuster C, Elbe-Bürger A, Wang XN, Bigley V, Collin M, Haniffa M, Schlitzer A, Poidinger M, Albani S, Larbi A, Newell EW, Chan JKY, Ginhoux F. Nature. 2017 Jun 29;546(7660):662-666. doi: 10.1038/nature22795.

Mapping the human DC lineage through the integration of high-dimensional techniques. See P, Dutertre CA, Chen J, Günther P, McGovern N, Irac SE, Gunawan M, Beyer M, Händler K, Duan K, Sumatoh HRB, Ruffin N, Jouve M, Gea-Mallorquí E, Hennekam RCM, Lim T, Yip CC, Wen M, Malleret B, Low I, Shadan NB, Fen CFS, Tay A, Lum J, Zolezzi F, Larbi A, Poidinger M, Chan JKY, Chen Q, Rénia L, Haniffa M, Benaroch P, Schlitzer A, Schultze JL, Newell EW, Ginhoux F. Science. 2017 Jun 9;356(6342). pii: eaag3009. doi: 10.1126/science.aag3009.

Unsupervised High-Dimensional Analysis Aligns Dendritic Cells across Tissues and Species. Guilliams M*, Dutertre CA*, Scott CL*, McGovern N*, Sichien D, Chakarov S, Van Gassen S, Chen J, Poidinger M, De Prijck S, Tavernier SJ, Low I, Irac SE, Mattar CN, Sumatoh HR, Low GH, Chung TJ, Chan DK, Tan KK, Hon TL, Fossum E, Bogen B, Choolani M, Chan JK, Larbi A, Luche H, Henri S, Saeys Y, Newell EW, Lambrecht BN, Malissen B, Ginhoux F. Immunity. 2016 Sep 20;45(3):669-84. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.08.015. (*Co-first author)

Dendritic cells and monocyte-derived cells: Two complementary and integrated functional systems. Schlitzer A, McGovern N, Ginhoux F. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2015 May;41:9-22. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2015.03.011. Epub 2015 May 6. Review.

Langerin-expressing dendritic cells in human tissues are related to CD1c+ dendritic cells and distinct from Langerhans cells and CD141high XCR1+ dendritic cells. Bigley V, McGovern N, Milne P, Dickinson R, Pagan S, Cookson S, Haniffa M, Collin M. J Leukoc Biol. 2015 Apr;97(4):627-34. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1HI0714-351R.

Human dermal CD14⁺ cells are a transient population of monocyte-derived macrophages. McGovern N, Schlitzer A, Gunawan M, Jardine L, Shin A, Poyner E, Green K, Dickinson R, Wang XN, Low D, Best K, Covins S, Milne P, Pagan S, Aljefri K, Windebank M, Miranda-Saavedra D, Larbi A, Wasan PS, Duan K, Poidinger M, Bigley V, Ginhoux F, Collin M, Haniffa M. Immunity. 2014 Sep 18;41(3):465-77. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2014.08.006.

A three-dimensional atlas of human dermal leukocytes, lymphatics, and blood vessels. Wang XN, McGovern N, Gunawan M, Richardson C, Windebank M, Siah TW, Lim HY, Fink K, Li JL, Ng LG, Ginhoux F, Angeli V, Collin M, Haniffa M. J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Apr;134(4):965-74. doi: 10.1038/jid.2013.481.

IRF4 transcription factor-dependent CD11b+ dendritic cells in human and mouse control mucosal IL-17 cytokine responses. Schlitzer A*, McGovern N*, Teo P, Zelante T, Atarashi K, Low D, Ho AW, See P, Shin A, Wasan PS, Hoeffel G, Malleret B, Heiseke A, Chew S, Jardine L, Purvis HA, Hilkens CM, Tam J, Poidinger M, Stanley ER, Krug AB, Renia L, Sivasankar B, Ng LG, Collin M, Ricciardi-Castagnoli P, Honda K, Haniffa M, Ginhoux F. Immunity. 2013 May 23;38(5):970-83. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.04.011. (Co-first author)