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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

Immune Mechanisms

Greta Guarda, Group Leader

Berenice Fischer, Hanif Javanmard Khameneh, Pedro Ventura, Alessandro Zenobi

Our research focuses on the interplay between major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I, cytotoxic T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells in the context of infection and cancer. In fact, recognition of infected or transformed cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes requires MHC class I molecules. NK cells, using a complementary strategy, eliminate hazardous cellular targets lacking MHC class I expression. These molecules are therefore central players in immunity and we study novel mechanisms – relevant for innate and adaptive cytotoxic responses – regulating their levels. Further, we investigate new molecular pathways controlling function and metabolic fitness of lymphocytes in health and disease. To achieve these goals, we use a variety of approaches, including genetic, genomic, biochemical, and molecular techniques, as well as translational models.