Professor Lydia Lynch
Associate Professor, TCD and Lecturer, Harvard Medical School 
Professor Lydia Lynch received her B.Sc. degree in Cell Biology and Genetics from University College Dublin, Ireland. She received her PhD in Immunology in 2008 from University College Dublin, in the lab of Prof. Cliona O’Farrelly in St. Vincent’s University Hospital. Lydia received a Newman Fellowship for her early post-doctoral studies with Prof. Donal O’Shea in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. Here they established the Immunology and Obesity Lab, which coordinates international, collaborative, translational research in obesity and its complications. Lydia then received the prestigious UNESCO-L’Oreal International Women In Science Fellowship, where she moved to Harvard Medical School to study iNKT cells in adipose tissue in the lab of Mark Exley. In 2009, Lydia received an International Marie Curie Fellowship to continue her postdoctoral studies in immunometabolism, in the labs of Prof. Michael Brenner and Prof. Ulrich von Andrian in Harvard. In 2013, she became a junior faculty member at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2014, Lydia started her independent lab with a joint appointment between the Division of Endocrinology and the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Dr Lydia Lynch had a major breakthrough when she discovered iNKT (invariant natural killer T-cells) in fat, and demonstrated that therapies to activate these cells could help manage obesity, diabetes and metabolic disease. She went on to find a critical role for IL-17 in the normal functions of fat, in particular in keeping us warm. The Lynch lab is interested in the effects of obesity and diet on immune cell functions, particularly innate cells including iNKT cells, NK cells and gd T cells, and how this impacts on cancer risk. The Lynch lab is particularly interested in ‘non-immune’ roles for the immune system, particularly the local immune system in adipose tissue in mice and humans in the regulation of metabolism and body weight and thermogenesis.
Lydia (38), is from Greenhills in Dublin, has three children, Erin (22), Luka (14) and Layla (8). She was a single teenage mum to Erin and went on to do a BSc in cell biology and genetics followed by a PhD in immunology. She was recruited as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and now lives between Boston and Dublin. She was recently awarded a European Research Commission starting grant (€1.82m), which allowed her to return to set up a laboratory at Trinity College, where she is an associate professor.
Lydia has won a dazzling array of awards, including the UNESCO-L’Oréal International Women in Science Award ($40k/€36k), a Marie Curie International Fellowship ($350k/€313k), an American Diabetes Association Award ($600k/€537k) and a Cancer Research Institute Award ($200k). She was selected as one of the ‘Women on Walls’ of the Royal Irish Academy, where her portrait hangs on the wall, the first female portrait in the 230 year history of the RIA. Lydia’s ambition is to make a real difference in human health, particularly by finding new ways to use our immune system to fight against cancer.
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Decker

Developmental Biology & Disease Mechanisms | Genetics, Epigenetics & Gene Regulation | Immunology & Pathogens


Developmental Biology & Disease Mechanisms | Genetics, Epigenetics & Gene Regulation | Immunology & Pathogens



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