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Dr David Finlay


D. Finlay photo

Dr David Finlay
Assistant Professor
Phone: +353-1-8963564
Fax: +353-1-6772400
Location: 5th Floor, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute


Our immune system is important for our health protecting us from infection/cancer, but inappropriate immune responses cause us harm. Diverse diseases could be treated through therapeutic manipulation of our immune systems. My research group wants to understand how to control immune cells and is now revealing the importance of cellular metabolism. Our research shows that the cellular fuels available to immune cells and the ways that these fuels are used has a big impact on their function. We are revealing novel strategies to modulate immune cell function through targeting cellular metabolism and new therapeutic opportunities are being explored.

Specifically, our data shows that the serine/threonine kinase mTORC1 (mammalian Target of Rapamycin complex 1) is a key regulator of immune cell metabolism and function in T cells, Natural Killer (NK) cells and Dendritic cells. Our work is further characterising the molecular links between mTORC1 controlled metabolism and immune cell function.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Understanding mTORC1/HIF1a/iNOS controlled dendritic cell metabolism and function.
  • Characterising metabolic networks in activated NK cells and how they facilitate NK cell immune function.
  • Studying the role of mTORC1/Srebp signaling in facilitaing NK cell and T cell lipid and glucose metabolism.

Model for “Glucose regulation of DC-induced T cell responses” from our recent Nature Communications paper; Lawless et al., 2017


Current Research Students:
Roisin Loftus
Vanessa Bittencourt
Nidhi Mehta
Katie O’Brien
Jessica Walls

Postdoctoral Research Scientists:
Dr Nadine Assmann


Marie Curie Fellowship
Science Foundation Ireland
Science Without Borders (Brazil)
Irish Cancer Society


Dr Clair Gardiner - School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin.
Prof. Christine Biron – Brown University, MA, USA
Prof Veronika Sexl – University Veternary Hospital, Austria.
Prof. Luke O'Neill - School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin.
Prof Doreen Cantrell - School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland.
Prof Angus Lamond - School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland.



Last updated 8 August 2017 (Email).