Johns Hopkins All Children's Research

Martin Trapecar, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor; Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Department and Institute Affiliations

Martin Trapecar, Ph.D.
  • Institute for Fundamental Biomedical Research, Johns Hopkins All Children’s
  • Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Johns Hopkins All Children’s
  • Department of Medicine (Primary Appointment), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Contact Information

Research and Education Building
600 Fifth Street S
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Fax: (727) 767-8804
Twitter: @MTrapecar
Learn more about Dr. Trapecar’s work


Post-doctoral opportunities

Two post-doctoral research positions are available in the laboratory of Dr. Trapecar in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Institute for Fundamental Biomedical Research. Learn more about the positions.

For more information or if interested in the position, please contact Dr. Trapecar at with a CV and a brief description of scientific interests.


  • Dipl. Ing, Life Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia, 2008
  • Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, University of Maribor, Slovenia, 2014
  • Post-doctoral fellow, Immunology, Gladstone Institutes/UCSF, California, 2017
  • Post-doctoral associate, Biological Engineering, MIT, Massachusetts, 2021


Dr. Trapecar is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a trained immunologist and bioengineer, he is using innovative human-on-a-chip technologies to gain better understanding of how fundamental disruption in tissue-tissue and tissue-immune crosstalk leads to the early emergence of autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune diseases of the liver and Parkinson’s disease. These remain some of the biggest challenges of our time.

Honors and Awards

  • Merck Exploratory Science Fellowship, Merck, 2019-2020
  • SMI Young Investigator Award, Society for Mucosal Immunology, 2017
  • Gladstone Career Advancement Award, Gladstone Institutes, 2017
  • EUREKA Innovation Grant (SF-ANTISPOIL), The Eureka Association, 2011-2014
  • Young Researcher Ph.D. Scholarship, Slovenian Research Agency, 2010-2014
  • Vet&Agro Undergraduate stipend, Vet&Agro d.o.o., 2004


Research Interests

Metabolic and inflammatory disorders such as metabolic syndrome, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases are increasing at alarming rates, with little progress made in untangling their causal connection or mitigation of mortality. Emerging human multiorgan microphysiological systems (MPSs), in combination with multiomics and systems biology, offer new and exciting possibilities to provide clarity in metabolic and inflammatory diseases through controlled interaction of multiple MPSs as well as components of the innate and adaptive immune system.

MPSs are reductionist in vitro models comprising multiple cell types, specialized microenvironments, and perfusion, that capture salient features of in vivo organ behavior. We are focused on identifying causation in gut-liver-brain immunometabolic pathologies and explore how disruption of tissue-immune homeostasis leads to the emergence of metabolic diseases. While this approach might yield tangible targets in disease prevention and treatment, it will also contribute to our understanding of humoral physiology of the gut-liver-brain axis, the role of innate and adaptive immune cells for tissue regeneration, and susceptibility of the axis to metabolic perturbation.

Select Publications

  • Trapecar, M, Wogram, E, Svoboda, D, Omer, A, Lungjangwa, T, Communal, C, Phabmixay, P, Velazquez, J, Schneider, K, Wright, S, Mildrum, A, Hendricks, V, Butty, S, Levine, M, Lee, DA, Lauffenburger, CW, Trumper, D, Jaenisch, R, Griffith, LG. A Human Gut-Liver-Brain physiomimetic approach to parse links between microbial metabolites and neurodegenerative diseases – Science Advances 7: eabd1707  (2021)
  • Trapecar, M, Communal, C, P, Velazquez, J, Maass, CA, Huang, Y, Schneider, K, Wright, CW, Eng, G, Yilmaz, O, Trumper, D, Griffith, LG. Gut-Liver physiomimetics reveal paradoxical modulation of IBD-related inflammation by short-chain fatty acids. Cell Systems doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2020.02.008 (2020)
  • Trapecar, M, Khan, S, Cohn, BL, Wu, F, Fontaine, KA, Ott, M, Sanjabi, S. B cells are the predominant mediators of early systemic viral dissemination during rectal LCMV infection. Mucosal Immunology doi: 10.1038/s41385-018-0009-4 (2018)
  • Trapecar, M, Khan, S, Roan, N, Chen, TH, Telwatte, S, Deswal, M, Pao, M, Somsouk, M, Deeks, SG, Hunt, PW, Yukl, S, Sanjabi, S. An Optimized and Validated Method for Isolation and Characterization of Lymphocytes from HIV+ Human Gut Biopsies. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses (2017)
  • Trapecar, M, Goropevsek, A, Gorenjak, M, Gradisnik, L, Rupnik, M. A co-culture model of the developing small intestine offers new insight in the early immunomodulation of enterocytes and macrophages by lactobacillus spp. through Stat1 and Nf-kB p65 translocation. Plos One, 9(1), 1-8. (2014)

Publication Links


Read more about Dr. Trapecar's work:

A Journey to Understand What it Means to Be Alive

For Martin Trapecar, Ph.D., a lifelong quest to understand human diseases brings him to Johns Hopkins All Children’s.

Read More