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Department of Pathology


Our Research

Our research group studies human mononuclear phagocytes, including dendritic cells, monocytes and macrophages. We are interested in the ontogeny and function of these cells in different contexts, such as placental biology and arthritis. We use a range of technologies to understand these cells, such as flow cytometry, CyTOF, single cell RNA sequencing and confocal microscopy.

Current research topics include:

Changes in placental macrophages from first trimester to full term

Mechanisms used by placental macrophages to fight infection

The role of monocytes and dendritic cells in driving arthritis

Key Publications

Subset-defining markers reveal the phenotype and functional properties of human embryonic macrophages, Hofbauer cells. Thomas JR, Appios A, Zhao X, Dutkiewicz R, Donde M, Lee C, Naidu P, Lee C, Cerveira J, Liu B, Ginhoux F, Burton G, Hamilton R.S, Moffett A, Sharkey A, McGovern N. Journal of Experimental Medicine (2021) PMID: 33075123

Microbial exposure during early human development primes fetal immune cells. Mishra A, Lai GC, Yao LJ, Aung TT, Shental N, Rotter-Maskowitz A, Huang EK, Singh GSN, Pai R, Shanti A, Wong RMM, Lee A, Khyriem C, Dutertre CA, Chakarov S, Srinivasan K.G, Shadan NB, Zhang XM, Khalilnezhad S, Cottier F, Tan ASM, Low G, Chen P, Fan Y, Hor PX, Lee AKM, Choolani M, Vermijlen D, Sharma A, Fuks G, Straussman R, Pavelka N, Malleret B, McGovern N#, Alban S#, Chan JKY#, and Ginhoux F#. Cell (2021) PMID: 34077752 #co-corresponding author

Human foetal 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). PMID:28614294

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). PMID:25200712 *co-first author

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). PMID:23706669. *co-first author


Dr Naomi McGovern

Principal Investigator



Dr Joseph Hutton

Clinical PhD Student

Dr Nagisa Yoshida

Post-Doctoral Research Associate


Holly Anderson

Lab Manager

Lucy Gardner

Lab Manager

Qian Li

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant

Emily Konstantinou

MPhil Student

Kate Rebenko (Катерина Ребенко)