Martin Turner

Martin Turner
Martin Turner
Martin Turner
Head of Programme and Associate Director
Martin Turner

Research Summary

The molecular processes which control the development and function of lymphocytes have been extensively studied from the perspective of cell surface receptors and their associated intracellular signalling.

Also, many transcription factors which repress or promote the production of mRNA have been identified as being essential for lymphocyte development and activation.  These studies have revealed that genes, molecules and pathways that are used early in the development of lymphocytes are re-used in fully mature cells as part of the response to infection.

We are developing tools for measuring gene expression in rare cell populations.  We also use genome wide approaches to study RNA turnover and translation and to identify the targets of RNA binding proteins.

We aim to characterise fundamental mechanisms controlling lymphocyte development and function throughout the life-course.  These include understanding the roles of RNA binding proteins in lymphocyte development and activation. 

In the future explaining how these are integrated with signal transduction pathways, microRNA and transcription factor networks will be an important step towards a systems level understanding of immunity.

Current Work

Zfp36l1 establishes the high-affinity CD8 T-cell response by directly linking TCR affinity to cytokine sensing.

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Petkau G, Mitchell TJ, Evans MJ, Matheson L, Salerno F, Turner M.

Eur J Immunol. 2024

PMID: 38039407


RNA helicase EIF4A1-mediated translation is essential for the GC response.

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Screen M, Matheson LS, Howden AJ, Strathdee D, Willis AE, Bushell M, Sansom O, Turner M.

Life Sci Alliance. 2023

PMID: 38011999 


An integrated proteome and transcriptome of B cell maturation defines poised activation states of transitional and mature B cells.

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Salerno F, Howden AJM, Matheson LS, Gizlenci Ö, Screen M, Lingel H, Brunner-Weinzierl MC, Turner M.

Nat Commun. 2023

doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-40621-2.


Multiomics analysis couples mRNA turnover and translational control of glutamine metabolism to the differentiation of the activated CD4+ T cell

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Matheson LS, Petkau G, Sáenz-Narciso B, D'Angeli V, McHugh J, Newman R, Munford H, West J, Chakraborty K, Roberts J, Łukasiak S, Díaz-Muñoz MD, Bell SE, Dimeloe S, Turner M

Scientific Reports, 2022

PMID: 36385275


A functional screen of RNA binding proteins identifies genes that promote or limit the accumulation of CD138+ plasma cells

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Turner DJ, Saveliev A, Salerno F, Matheson LS, Screen M, Lawson H, Wotherspoon D, Kranc KR, Turner M

ELIFE, 2022

PMID: 35451955


The timing of differentiation and potency of CD8 effector function is set by RNA binding proteins.

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Petkau G, Mitchell TJ, Chakraborty K, Bell SE, D'Angeli V, Matheson L, Turner DJ, Saveliev A, Gizlenci O, Salerno F, Katsikis PD, Turner M

Nature Communications, 2022

PMID: 35477960


Efficient homing of antibody-secreting cells to the bone marrow requires RNA-binding protein ZFP36L1

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Saveliev A, Bell SE, Turner M

The Journal of experimental medicine, 2021

PMID: 33306108


RNA-binding proteins control gene expression and cell fate in the immune system

Turner M, Díaz-Muñoz MD

Nature Immunology, 2018

PMID: 29348497



Zfp36l1 and Zfp36l2 balances proliferation and differentiation in the developing retina

Fuguo Wu, Tadeusz Kaczynski, Louise S. Matheson, Tao Liu, Jie Wang, Martin Turner, Xiuqian Mu


An improved iCLIP protocol Profile

Flora C. Y. Lee, Anob M. Chakrabarti, Heike Hänel, Elisa Monzón-Casanova, Martina Hallegger, Cristina Militti, Federica Capraro, Christoph Sadée, Patrick Toolan-Kerr, Oscar Wilkins, Martin Turner, Julian König, Christopher R. Sibley, Jernej Ule


Regulation of IFNγ production by ZFP36L2 in T cells is context-dependent

Nordin D. Zandhuis, Aurélie Guislain, Abeera Popalzij, Sander Engels, Branka Popović, Martin Turner, Monika C. Wolkers


MiR-155 epigenetically counteracts hypoxia for mitochondrial fitness during germinal center positive selection

Rinako Nakagawa, Miriam Llorian-Sopena, Sunita Varsani-Brown, Probir Chakravarty, Jeannie Marie Camarillo, David Barry, Roger George, Neil P. Blackledge, Graham Duddy, Robert Klose, Martin Turner, Dinis P. Calado

Group Members

Martin Turner

Head of Programme and Associate Director

Sarah Bell

Senior Research Associate

Georgia Bullen

PhD Student

Elise French

PhD Student

Ozge Gizlenci

Visiting Scientist

Tahmid Hussain

PhD Student

Marian Jones Evans

PhD Student

Twm Mitchell

Postdoc Research Scientist

Georg Petkau

Postdoc Research Scientist

Francesca Rossi

Marie Curie Fellow

Beatriz Saenz

Postdoc Research Scientist

Fiamma Salerno

Visiting Scientist

Alexander Saveliev

Postdoc Research Scientist

Michael Screen

Postdoc Research Scientist

Harry White

Senior Research Scientist