Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases
The immune system is a complex system of molecules, cells and tissues responsible of combating external and internal insults. An intact immune system is essential for maintaining our health and its dysfunctions are associated with increased susceptibility to infection or the development of inflammation, autoimmunity, allergy or cancer. The Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases investigates the development and function of the immune system in health and in several pathological conditions.
The Division harbors more than 170 scientists from basic and clinical areas, which work both on independent projects and integrated multidisciplinary programs focusing on specific pathological conditions. View all the research units here.
The division contains also the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).
A relevant activity of the Division is dedicated to the training of both basic and clinical immunologists who are enrolled in the International PhD Program in Molecular Medicine of San Raffaele University or in the International Postdoctoral Program of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute.
Studies on fundamental mechanisms underlying the immune cell physiology are performed and compared with the alterations characterizing pathological processes, aiming at both elucidating the molecular bases of diseases and defining new therapeutic strategies.
The continuous interaction with the excellent clinical activities performed at IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele prompts ideal connections among the basic and clinical research and allows the investigation of a wide range of pathological conditions such as cancer, infections, autoimmunity, allergy and organ transplantation.
The Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases daily collaborates with the following research groups, affiliated with the clinical departments of the hospital:
Thanks to the funding provided by the AIRC 5x1000 program, many researchers of the Division are now involved in a 7 years research project aimed at the development of ATMP for liver metastasis ►click here to discover more
Selected recent publications
Patrone M, Cammarota E, Berno V, Tornaghi P, Mazza D, Degano M . Combinatorial allosteric modulation of agonist response in a self-interacting G-protein coupled receptor (2020) Commun Biol 3: 27, doi:10.1038/s42003-020-0752-4
Cigana C, Ranucci S, Rossi A, De Fino I, Melessike M, Bragonzi A. Antibiotic efficacy varies based on the infection model and treatment regimen for Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Eur Respir J. 2019
Temesgen Z, Cirillo DM, Raviglione MC. Precision medicine and public health interventions: tuberculosis as a model?The Lancet, Correspondence, Vol 4, issue 8, PE374, August 01 2019.
Meehan CJ, Goig GA, Kohl TA, Verboven L, Dippenaar A, Ezewudo M, Farhat MR, Guthrie JL, Laukens K, Miotto P, Ofori-Anyinam B, Dreyer V, Supply P, Suresh A, Utpatel C, van Soolingen D, Zhou Y, Ashton PM, Brites D, Cabibbe AM, de Jong BC, de Vos M, Menardo F, Gagneux S, Gao Q, Heupink TH, Liu Q, Loiseau C, Rigouts L, Rodwell TC, Tagliani E, Walker TM, Warren RM, Zhao Y, Zignol M, Schito M, Gardy J, Cirillo DM, Niemann S, Comas I, Van Rie A. Whole genome sequencing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis: current standards and open issues. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2019 Jun 17.
Sorini C, Cosorich I, Lo Conte M, De Giorgi L, Facciotti F, Lucianò R, Rocchi M, Ferrarese R, Sanvito F,Canducci F, Falcone M. Loss of gut barrier integrity triggers activation of islet-reactive T cells and autoimmune diabetes. PNAS 2019 Jun 10.
Poggi A, Benelli R, Venè R, Costa D, Ferrari N, Tosetti F and Zocchi MR, Human Gut-Associated NaturalKiller Cells in Health and Disease. Front. Immunol., 2019
Toffalori C, Zito L, Gambacorta V, Riba M, Oliveira G, Bucci G, Barcella M, Spinelli O, Greco R, Crucitti L, Cieri N, Noviello M, Manfredi F, Montaldo E, Ostuni R, Naldini MM, Gentner B, Waterhouse M, Zeiser R, Finke J, Hanoun M, Beelen DW, Gojo I, Luznik L, Onozawa M, Teshima T, Devillier R, Blaise D, Halkes CJM, Griffioen M, Carrabba MG, Bernardi M, Peccatori J, Barlassina C, Stupka E, Lazarevic D, Tonon G, Rambaldi A, Cittaro D, Bonini C, Fleischhauer K, Ciceri F, Vago L. Immune signature drives leukemia escape and relapse after hematopoietic cell transplantation. Nat Med. 2019; 25(4):603-611.
Noviello M, Manfredi F, Ruggiero E, Perini T, Oliveira G, Cortesi F, De Simone P, Toffalori C, Gambacorta V, Greco R, Peccatori J, Casucci M, Casorati G, Dellabona P, Onozawa M, Teshima T, Griffioen M, Halkes CJM, Falkenburg JHF, Stölzel F, Altmann H, Bornhäuser M, Waterhouse M, Zeiser R, Finke J, Cieri N, Bondanza A, Vago L, Ciceri F, Bonini C. Bone marrow central memory and memory stem T-cell exhaustion in AML patients relapsing after HSCT. Nat Commun. 2019 Mar 25;10(1):1065.
Honours and awards PI
- Alessandra Bragonzi for the Research Grant Cystic Fibrosis Foundation USA entitled: "Linking CFTR-modulators to infections in cystic fibrosis lung disease"
- Angelo A Manfredi has been coopted into the Istituto Lombardo Accademia di Scienze e Lettere
- Giulia Casorati for the 2019 grant funded by Worldwide Cancer Research entitled: ”Adoptive immunotherapy of acute leukemia with CD1c-retargeted iNKT cells”
- Marika Falcone for the research grant awarded by National Multiple Sclerosis Society USA entitled: “Assessing the immune regulatory role of gut microbiota in brain autoimmunity and disease activity in RRMS patients.
- Matteo Bellone’s lab for the Best Translational Paper 2018 Award– OSR Scientific Retreat , Baveno March 14-16 2019
Honours and awards Junior scientists
- Arianna Brevi for the award of "V Premio Marzia Galli Kienle 2019" as third best young researcher working on oncological field, with the paper entitled Microbiota-driven interleukin-17-producing cells and eosinophils synergize to accelerate multiple myeloma progression
- Maya Fedeli for her first grant as PI awarded by CARIPLO Foundation entitled: Cancer-induced invariant Natural Killer T cell dysfunction: molecular definition of a novel tumor escape mechanism.
- Gloria Delfanti for the Fellowship awarded by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro entitled: Harnessing invariant Natural Killer T cells for the dual targeting of cancer cells and tumor-supporting myeloid cells
- Alessandra Mancino for the Fellowship awarded by Fondazione Umberto Veronesi entitled: Deciphering epigenetic and transcriptional drivers of CD1 gene expression as new molecular targets in lipid-specific T cell therapy of acute leukemia
- Arianna Brevi for the Fellowship awarded by the Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro entitled: “Dissecting the role of integrin α2 in neuroendocrine prostate cancer progression”
Autoimmunity and vascular inflammation
Dynamics of immune responses
Emerging bacterial pathogens
Daniela Maria Cirillo
Immunogenetics, Leukemia Genomics and Immunobiology
Immunobiology of HIV
Infections and Cystic Fibrosis
Innate immunity and tissue remodelling
Maria Pia Protti
Viral evolution and transmission
Viral pathogens and biosafety
Group leader, Cellular immunology Unit
Group leader, Experimental hematology
Group leader, Infections and cystic fibrosis Unit
Group leader, Experimental immunology Unit
Group leader, Innovative immunotherapies Unit
Daniela Maria Cirillo
Group leader, Emerging bacterial pathogens Unit
Group leader, Biocrystallography Unit
Research associate, Experimental immunology Unit
Group leader, Immunopathology Unit
Research associate, Immunobiology of HIV
Group leader, Lymphocyte activation Unit
Group leader, Autoimmunity and vascular inflammation Unit
Group leader, Dynamics of immune responses Unit
Maria Pia Protti
Group leader, Tumor immunology Unit
Group leader, Innate immunity and tissue remodeling Unit
Group leader, Viral evolution and transmission Unit
Group leader, Experimental hepatology Unit
Group leader, Immunogenetics, leukemia genomics and immunobiology Unit
Group leader, Viral pathogens and biosafety Unit
Gene therapy to defeat chronic Hepatitis B
An ERC Proof of Concept grant will explore gene therapy in chronic hepatitis B
Chronic Hepatitis B: a molecule to reactivate the immune system against the virus
The research unveiled a key mechanism behind the ineffective immune response and demonstrated the potential efficacy of a known molecule – a cytokine – to reactivate it
Gut bacteria alter multiple myeloma progression
The study is among the first to trace a direct link between intestinal microbiota and a tumor located in a different organ
Discovered how Acute Myeloid Leukemia escape immune recognition after BM transplantation
The study unveiled new survival strategies implemented by tumor cells as a result of transplantation and could have direct implications for the clinical treatment of AML relapses
A research fellow position is available in the Infections and Cystic Fibrosis Unit, headed by Alessandra Bragonzi