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Institute for Research in Biomedicine
Istituto di Ricerca in Biomedicina

Via Vincenzo Vela 6 - CH-6500 Bellinzona
Tel. +41 91 820 0300 - Fax +41 91 820 0302 - info [at] irb [dot] usi [dot] ch

Cellular Immunology

Federica Sallusto, Group Leader

Camilla Basso, Antonino Cassotta, Greta Durini, Mengyun Hu, Wenjie Jin, Sandra Jovic, Federico Mele, Samuele Notarbartolo, Luana Perlini, Daniela Peruzzu, Laura Terzaghi, Daniela Vaqueirinho

The focus of our laboratory is the analysis of the immune response in humans using novel high throughput cell-based assays complemented with powerful analytical technologies, such as next generation sequencing, single cell transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics. With our studies, we are defining the signals through which cells of the innate immune system, such as dendritic cells and monocytes, determine the differentiation, proliferation and long-term survival of cells of the adaptive immune system. These studies aim to address fundamental questions related to how the immune system can protect us against different classes of microbial pathogens, such as viruses, or bacteria, and to provide insights for the design of new and more effective vaccine strategies. More recently, we are conducting studies to understand why in patients with chronic or disseminated infections, including children with rare primary immunodeficiencies caused by genetic disorders, the immune system fails to protect the host. By applying the same experimental approach, we perform studies to understand how some individuals mount immune responses against not harmful environmental antigens or self-antigens, which cause allergy and autoimmunity. In this context, we are continuing our studies, in patients suffering from neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis and, more recently, narcolepsy, in collaboration with university hospitals in Zurich, Bern and Genova, and the Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland. Finally, we are developing new tools to advance the highly active and exciting field of cancer immunotherapy.