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Philippa Marrack, PhD, FRS

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Philippa Marrack

Philippa Marrack, PhD, is a researcher at National Jewish Health. Dr. Marrack serves as Chair of the Department of Immunology and Genomic Medicine.

Special Interests

Research Interests

Most of our work over the years has focused on T cells. T cells are amongst the cells which recognize that an infection is occurring in the body. They accomplish this in an unexpected way, by reacting with fragments of the infection bound to special proteins of the body, the MHC proteins. We are trying to find out how T cells learn to react in this way. We are also interested in the ways in which T cells are prevented from attacking MHC proteins bound to fragments of their own host. In most people such attack is efficiently avoided. However, in some individuals T cells do react in this way, and this event causes autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile diabetes. However we do also study B cells, in particular a previously under investigated type of B cell (ABC) we first found in elderly female mice, but which has also been found by others and ourselves in women and mice with autoimmune diseases and in mice and humans with various infections including SARS-CoV-2. In mice these cells are important producers of autoantibodies and antibodies that efficiently get rid of virus infections. However, although they can produce autoantibodies in humans, their significance in infections is not currently known.



Cambridge University, England, BA, MA
Cambridge University, England, PhD


1971 - 1973
University of California (San Diego, CA), Postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Richard Dutton

Awards & Recognition

2021: Honorary Degree Rockefeller University
2020: BioLegend Celebrating Women in Science Award
2019: Citation Laureate Web of Science
2019: AAI Distinguished Fellow (inaugural class)
2016: Novartis Prize for Immunology
2015: National Women’s Hall of Fame
2015: Wolf Prize in Medicine, Wolf Foundation
2004: National Jewish Health Abraham J. Kauvar Presidential Award
2004: University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, Mentoring Award
2004: L’Oreal UNESCO for Women in Science Award
2003: Faculty Ambassador Award, National Jewish Health
2000: Lifetime Achievemant Award, American Association of Immunologists
2001: Irvington Institute Scientific Leadership Award in Immunology
1999: Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Award
1999: University of Chicago, Howard Taylor Ricketts Prize
1998: The Rabbi Shai Schacknai Memorial Prize
1996: Honorary Doctorate of Sciences, Macalester College
1995: Dickson Prize in Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
1995: Behring-Heidelberger Lecture Award
1995: FASEB Excellence in Science Award
1995: The Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize-Columbia University
1993: The Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstädter Prize, Germany
1993: Cancer Research Institute's 1993 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Fundamental Immunology
1992: The Ernst W. Bertner Memorial Award, MD Anderson Cancer Center 1991: Honorary Doctorate of Sciences, University of Rochester

Professional Memberships

British Society of Immunology
American Association of Immunologists
The Royal Society
The National Academy of Sciences USA
American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Clayton GM, Wang Y, Crawford F, Novikov A, Wimberly BT, Kieft JS, Falta MT Bowerman NA, Marrack P, Fontenot AP, Dai S and Kappler JW.  Structural basis of chronic beryllium disease: linking allergic hypersensitivity and autoimmunity.  Cell 158:132-42. 2014.  PMC4269484..
Marrack P, Krovi SH, Silberman D, White J, Kushnir E, Nakayama M, Crooks J, Danhorn T, Leach S, Anselment R, Scott-Browne J, Gapin L and Kappler J.  The somatically generated portion of T cell receptor CDR3a contributes to the MHC allele specificity of the T cell receptor.   eLife 6:e30918, 2017.  PMC 5701794.
Krovi SH, Kappler JW, Marrack P and Gapin L.  Inherent reactivity of unselected TCR repertoires to peptide-MHC molecules.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA 116:22252-22261, 2019 1909504116 2019.  PMC 6825295.
Phalke S, Aviszus K, Rubtsova K, Rubtsov A, Barkes B, Powers L, Warner B, Crooks JL, Kappler JW, Fernández Pérez ER, Maier LA, Hamzeh N and  Marrack P. Age associated B cells appear in patients with granulomatous lung diseases.  Am J Respir Crit Care Med  doi: 10.1164/rccm.201911-2151OC, 2020.  PMC 7528799   With editorial, same journal  
Liu H, Wei P, Kappler J, Marrack P,  Zhang G   SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants of interest receptor binding domain mutations and virus infectivity.  Frontiers in Immunology, 13:825256, 2022   PMC8828474

Academic Affiliations

Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado Denver
Professor in the Department of Immunology & Microbiology and the Depts. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Medicine, University of Colorado Denver

Website Information

Kappler Marrack Lab

Conflicts of Interest

National Jewish Health physicians and scientists may collaborate with pharmaceutical or other industries to develop medical and scientific breakthroughs or to provide education on trends in quality medical practice and outcomes to physicians and health professionals around the country. National Jewish Health maintains a strict conflict of interest policy to ensure that all potential conflicts are clearly visible and that management plans are put in place in order to further innovation and education while ensuring the protection of our patients and the integrity of our research. National Jewish Health publicly discloses any payment to our physicians or scientists. View this faculty member’s industry relationships and collaborations.