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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

Sonia Chelbi, Berenice Fischer, Nicolas Fonta, Hanif Javanmard Khameneh, Alessandro Zenobi

Our research focuses on the interplay between major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I, cytotoxic T cell, and natural killer (NK) cell responses 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 their expression. MHC class I 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 cytotoxic T lymphocytes and NK cells 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.