June 25, 2021: During the 10° giornata della Ricerca della Svizzera italiana, organized by the EOC Clinical Trial Unit and the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI), held at USI in Lugano on Friday, June 25, 2021, Dr. Stefan Emming was awarded for the “Best original publication 2020 (under 35)” prize for the paper entitled “A molecular network regulating the proinflammatory phenotype of human memory T lymphocytes.”
Dr. Emming performed his PhD in the Molecular Immunology lab headed by Dr. Silvia Monticelli at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), affiliated to USI. His PhD thesis focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to highly proinflammatory phenotypes of human T lymphocytes, potentially linked to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
T helper cells are lymphocytes playing a pivotal role in different inflammatory processes, such as supporting the activation of B cells, antibody production, macrophage maturation, and cytotoxic T cells activation. These functions are mediated by cytokines, small molecules produced by T helper cells that influence the behavior of target cells.
In this study, published last year in the renowned journal Nature Immunology, Stefan aimed at understanding the mechanisms that modulate helper T lymphocyte functions to decipher normal and pathogenic immune responses in humans. To achieve this goal, Stefan and coworkers analyzed the profile of isolated human memory T lymphocytes able to produce high cytokines level. With this approach, the group of Dr. Silvia Monticelli observed common patterns among proinflammatory lymphocytes, such as the activation of the NF-κB pathway and the expression of the transcriptional repressor BHLHE40. These results revealed a molecular network regulating the proinflammatory phenotype of human memory T lymphocytes, potentially contributing to disease. A more detailed explanation and the link to the publication can be found on the IRB website: https://www.irb.usi.ch/news/a-molecular-network-to-balance-inflammatory-programs-in-immune-cells/
“This prize represents a wonderful recognition for an exciting project in human immunology. The results represent a large part of my PhD thesis and the essential contributions of the Molecular Immunology group and our collaborators. The publication and its recognition support me in current and future grant applications by putting me into a more competitive position.” said Stefan after receiving the award.
In 2018, Stefan was awarded the BioLegend Best Workshop Presentation at the World Immune Regulation Meeting (WIRM). Since 2019, Dr. Emming works as Postdoctoral Research Officer in the Inflammasome Lab at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (University of Queensland, Australia).
The IRB wishes to congratulate Stefan on this award.
On behalf of Dr. Stefan Emming currently in Australia, the award has been received by Dr. Silvia Monticelli, supervisor of Stefan’s thesis and Prof. Greta Guarda, Vice-Dean of Research at the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, USI.