Dr Andy Howden

Principal Investigator/Lecturer

Cell Signalling and Immunology, School of Life Sciences

Andy Howden
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+44 (0)1382 385767


I’m a university lecturer (commencing November 2023) within the Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology. My research uses quantitative proteomics and protein biochemistry to provide new molecular understanding into how immune cells sense and respond to their environment and regulate core cellular processes.

I have a particular interest in understanding how B cells regulate their protein landscape upon activation and as they differentiate into plasma cell populations. One major aim of my research is to understand how antibody secreting plasma cells fuel protein production. Individual plasma cells can secrete up to 10,000 antibodies every second, putting enormous metabolic demands on the cell. Plasma cell dysfunction is linked to a broad spectrum of diseases from autoimmunity to neurodegeneration. My research programme aims to identify the transport machinery and metabolic regulators that fuel plasma cell protein production. I aim to understand how these cells maintain protein production for years (long-lived plasma cells) and how tissue niche shapes metabolic output. Ultimately, I aim to characterise the activity of plasma cells in ageing and autoimmune individuals, linking fundamental basic biology back to disease. 

I also have an active interest in how immune cell dysfunction is linked to neurodegenerative disease and I’m currently using quantitative mass spectrometry to map immune cells in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Selected Publications

  • Lloyd, A.F., Muriana, A.M., Hou, P., Davis, E., Mancuso, R., Brenes, A.J., Geric, I., Snellinx, A., Craessaerts, K., Theys, T., Fiers, M., *De Strooper, B and *Howden, A.J.M. Deep proteomic analysis of human microglia and model systems reveal fundamental biological differences of in vitro and ex vivo cells. *co-corresponding author. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.07.07.498804v1
  • Salerno, F., Howden, A.J.M., Matheson, L., Screen, M., Lingel, H., Brunner-Weinzierl, M.C., and Turner, M. The proteome of B cell maturation identifies PDCD4 as limiting the response of marginal zone B cells.https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.12.22.521580v1
  • Baker, C.P., Phair, I.R., Brenes, A.J., Ryan, D., Dinkova-Kostova, A., *Arthur, J.S.C. and *Howden, A.J.M. DIA-label free proteomic analysis of murine bone marrow derived macrophages using the S-Trap method and Spectronaut. (2022) Star Protocols 26;3(4):101725 *co-corresponding author.
  • Damasio, M.P., Marchingo, J.M., Spinelli, L., *Cantrell, D.A. and *Howden, A.J.M. (2021) Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway control of CD8+ T cell differentiation. Biochemical Journal. 478 (1) pp79–98. *co-corresponding author
  • *Reyes, L., *Sanchez-Garcia, M.A., *Morrison, T., *Howden, A.J.M. et al., (2021) Proteomics identifies a Type-1 IFN hyperinflammatory prothrombotic circulating COVID neutrophil signature distinct from non-COVID ARDS. Wellcome Open Research. 6:38. *shared first author
  • Howden, A.J.M., Hukelmann, J.L., Brenes, A., Spinelli, L., Sinclair, L.V., Lamond, A.I. and Cantrell, D.A. (2019) Quantitative analysis of T cell proteomes and environmental sensors during T cell differentiation. Nature Immunology 20, pp1542–1554.
  • *Howden, A.J.M., *Geoghegan, V., *Katsch, K., *Efstathiou, G., Bhushan, B., Boutureira, O., Thomas, B., Trudgian, D., Kessler, B., Dieterich, D.C., Davis, B.G.  and Acuto, O. (2013) QuaNCAT: quantitating proteome dynamics in primary cells. Nature Methods 10 pp. 343-346. *shared first author
View full research profile and publications


Alongside my research I teach undergraduate immunology and signalling. I’m also a member of the Dundee Research Interest Group (DRIG) for Parkinson’s disease which links people affected by PD with the Dundee PD research community.