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Margo MacDonald

PhD candidate

Current Research


My work explores the role of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) in the tumor microenvironment and examining how the biomechanical properties of the tumor microenvironment impact immunotherapy response. Recently, I have also been investigating the role NETs and lymphatic clotting play in severe cases of COVID-19.


Margo received their BA in physics and biophysics and MS in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. They are pursuing a PhD in the biophysical sciences program and are co-advised by Melody Swartz and Margaret Gardel. Outside of the lab, Margo is the co-director of GRIT and a member of the Biophysics Student Advisory Board and Biophysics admissions committee.


Lymphatic coagulation and neutrophil extracellular traps in lung-draining lymph nodes of COVID-19 decedents.

MacDonald ME, Weathered RK, Stewart EC, Magold AI, Mukherjee A, Gurbuxani S, Smith H, McMullen P, Mueller J, Husain AN, Mateos Salles C, Briquez PS, Rouhani SJ, Yu J, Trujillo JA, Pyzer AR, Gajewski TF, Sperling AI, Kilarski WW, Swartz MA.Blood Adv. 2022 Aug 17:bloodadvances.2022007798. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2022007798.

Correction for Liu et al., "Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Infection of Animal Dermal Fibroblasts".

Liu W, Krump NA, MacDonald M, You J.J Virol. 2018 May 14;92(11):e00476-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00476-18. Print 2018 Jun 1.

Merkel Cell Polyomavirus Infection of Animal Dermal Fibroblasts.

Liu W, Krump NA, MacDonald M, You J.J Virol. 2018 Jan 30;92(4):e01610-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01610-17. Print 2018 Feb 15.

Uncovering BRD4 hyperphosphorylation associated with cellular transformation in NUT midline carcinoma.

Wang R, Cao XJ, Kulej K, Liu W, Ma T, MacDonald M, Chiang CM, Garcia BA, You J.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Jul 3;114(27):E5352-E5361. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1703071114. Epub 2017 Jun 19.


Merkel Cell Polyomavirus: A New DNA Virus Associated with Human Cancer.

MacDonald M, You J.Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;1018:35-56. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-5765-6_4.

Merkel cell polyomavirus infection and Merkel cell carcinoma.

Liu W, MacDonald M, You J.Curr Opin Virol. 2016 Oct;20:20-27. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2016.07.011. Epub 2016 Aug 10.

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