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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

Silvia Monticelli, PhD

Molecular Immunology

Group Leader

Via Vela, 6
6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland


Silvia Monticelli earned her Ph.D. degree at the University of Milan (IT). She began her research training at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan (IT), where her scientific interest was sparked by the study of molecular mechanisms underlying immunological processes. After spending some time at the Randall Institute, King’s College London (UK), she joined the Center for Blood Research, Harvard Medical School in Boston (USA), where she continued her scientific training by performing studies aimed at understanding the mechanisms of regulation of cytokine transcription in T lymphocytes and mast cells. In 2007 she joined the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona as Group Leader. Silvia Monticelli has published several papers covering various aspects of immunological processes, with a special focus on the regulation and function of T lymphocytes and mast cells. The main focus of her lab is the study of transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms of regulation of gene expression in the activation and function of cells of the immune system, including the role of transcription factors, microRNAs as well as epigenetic modifications such as methylation of the genomic DNA.

MicroRNAs in the regulation of human T lymphocytes
Role of transcription factors in regulating human T cell activation and functions
DNA methylation dynamics in the functional regulation of human T lymphocytes
Epigenetic modifications in mast cells responses
A molecular network regulating the proinflammatory phenotype of human memory T lymphocytes
S. Emming, N. Bianchi, S. Polletti, C. Balestrieri, C. Leoni, S. Montagner, M. Chirichella, N. Delaleu, G. Natoli, S. Monticelli
in Nat Immunol (2020) vol. 21 pp388-399
Rebound of disease activity after fingolimod withdrawal: Immunological and gene expression profiling
R. Sacco, S. Emming, C. Gobbi, C. Zecca, S. Monticelli
in Mult Scler Relat Disord (2020) vol. 40 pp101927
DNA (Hydroxy)Methylation in T Helper Lymphocytes
S. Monticelli
in Trends Biochem Sci (2019) vol. 44 pp589-598
The contribution of active and passive mechanisms of 5mC and 5hmC removal in human T lymphocytes is differentiation- and activation-dependent
L. Vincenzetti, C. Leoni, M. Chirichella, I. Kwee, S. Monticelli
in Eur J Immunol (2019) vol. 49 pp611-625
MicroRNAs as modulators of T cell functions in cancer
S. Emming, M. Chirichella, S. Monticelli
in Cancer Letters (2018) vol. 430 pp172-178
* 50 days' free access article: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1X6q415DNFU~JM
Epigenetic and transcriptional control of mast cell responses
S. Monticelli, C. Leoni
in F1000Res (2017) vol. 6 pp2064
Transcriptional determination and functional specificity of myeloid cells: making sense of diversity
S. Monticelli, G. Natoli
in Nat Rev Immunol (2017) vol. 17 pp595-607
Dnmt3a restrains mast cell inflammatory responses
C. Leoni, S. Montagner, A. Rinaldi, F. Bertoni, S. Polletti, C. Balestrieri, S. Monticelli
in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2017) vol. 114 ppE1490-E1499
Commented in Science (PMID: 28232567 )
Approaches to Detect microRNA Expression in T Cell Subsets and T Cell Differentiation
S. Monticelli, T. Aijo, S. Trifari
in Methods Mol Biol (2017) vol. 1514 pp153-172
TET2 Regulates Mast Cell Differentiation and Proliferation through Catalytic and Non-catalytic Activities
S. Montagner, C. Leoni, S. Emming, G. Della Chiara, C. Balestrieri, I. Barozzi, V. Piccolo, S. Togher, M. Ko, A. Rao, G. Natoli, S. Monticelli
in Cell Rep (2016) vol. 15 pp1566-79
Epigenetics of T lymphocytes in health and disease
C. Leoni, L. Vincenzetti, S. Emming, S. Monticelli
in Swiss Med Wkly (2015) vol. 145 ppw14191
Full Text
ERK phosphorylation and miR-181a expression modulate activation of human memory TH17 cells
F. Mele, C. Basso, C. Leoni, D. Aschenbrenner, S. Becattini, D. Latorre, A. Lanzavecchia, F. Sallusto, S. Monticelli
in Nat Commun (2015) vol. 6 pp6431
Federica Sallusto and Silvia Monticelli equally contributed to this work and are co-corresponding authors.
Reduced DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation in patients with systemic mastocytosis
C. Leoni, S. Montagner, L. Deho, R. D'Antuono, G. De Matteis, A. V. Marzano, S. Merante, E. M. Orlandi, R. Zanotti, S. Monticelli
in Eur J Haematol (2015) vol. 95 pp566-75
Two functionally distinct subsets of mast cells discriminated By IL-2-independent CD25 activities
L. Deho, C. Leoni, T. M. Brodie, S. Montagner, M. De Simone, S. Polletti, I. Barozzi, G. Natoli, S. Monticelli
in J Immunol (2014) vol. 193 pp2196-206
MicroRNAs in hematopoietic development
S. Montagner, L. Deho, S. Monticelli
in BMC Immunol (2014) vol. 15 pp14
Macrophage activation: glancing into diversity
G. Natoli, S. Monticelli
in Immunity (2014) vol. 40 pp175-7
MicroRNAs in T helper cell differentiation and plasticity
S. Monticelli
in Semin Immunol (2013) vol. 25 pp291-8
The many faces of CD4 T cells: Roles in immunity and disease
F. Sallusto, S. Monticelli
in Semin Immunol (2013) vol. 25 pp249-51
Short-term memory of danger signals and environmental stimuli in immune cells
S. Monticelli, G. Natoli
in Nat Immunol (2013) vol. 14 pp777-84
The role of miRNAs in mast cells and other innate immune cells
S. Montagner, E. M. Orlandi, S. Merante, S. Monticelli
in Immunol Rev (2013) vol. 253 pp12-24
miR-146a and NF-kappaB1 Regulate Mast Cell Survival and T Lymphocyte Differentiation
N. Rusca, L. Deho, S. Montagner, C. E. Zielinski, A. Sica, F. Sallusto, S. Monticelli
in Mol Cell Biol (2012) vol. 32 pp4432-44
* Selected as "Article of significant interest" by the Editors
Negative regulators take center stage
S. Monticelli, F. Sallusto
in Nat Immunol (2012) vol. 13 pp719-20
Pathogen-induced human TH17 cells produce IFN-gamma or IL-10 and are regulated by IL-1beta
C. E. Zielinski, F. Mele, D. Aschenbrenner, D. Jarrossay, F. Ronchi, M. Gattorno, S. Monticelli, A. Lanzavecchia, F. Sallusto
in Nature (2012) vol. 484 pp514-8
MiR-146a in Immunity and Disease
N. Rusca, S. Monticelli
in Mol Biol Int (2011) vol. 2011 pp437301
MiR-221 Influences Effector Functions and Actin Cytoskeleton in Mast Cells
R. J. Mayoral, L. Deho, N. Rusca, N. Bartonicek, H. K. Saini, A. J. Enright, S. Monticelli
in PLoS One (2011) vol. 6 ppe26133
Stable Overexpression of miRNAs in Bone Marrow-Derived Murine Mast Cells Using Lentiviral Expression Vectors
R. J. Mayoral, S. Monticelli
in Methods Mol Biol (2010) vol. 667 pp205-14
Human mast cells and mastocytosis: harnessing microRNA expression as a new approach to therapy?
L. Deho, S. Monticelli
in Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz) (2010) vol. 58 pp279-86
MicroRNAs and the Immune System
S. Monticelli
in Methods in Molecular Biology (2010) vol. 667 pp330p.
MicroRNA-221-222 regulate the cell cycle in mast cells
R. J. Mayoral, M. E. Pipkin, M. Pachkov, E. van Nimwegen, A. Rao, S. Monticelli
in J Immunol (2009) vol. 182 pp433-45
Genomics and the immune system
M. E. Pipkin, S. Monticelli
in Immunology (2008) vol. 124 pp23-32
A role for microRNAs in the development of the immune system and in the pathogenesis of cancer
C. Kanellopoulou, S. Monticelli
in Semin Cancer Biol (2008) vol. 18 pp79-88
Immunological applications of genomics
S. Monticelli, S. Sharma, A. Rao
in Genome Biol (2006) vol. 7 pp321
Regulation of gene expression in mast cells: micro-rNA expression and chromatin structural analysis of cytokine genes
S. Monticelli, K. M. Ansel, D. U. Lee, A. Rao
in Novartis Found Symp (2005) vol. 271 pp179-87; discussion 187-90, 198-9
Chromatin-based regulation of cytokine transcription in Th2 cells and mast cells
S. Monticelli, D. U. Lee, J. Nardone, D. L. Bolton, A. Rao
in Int Immunol (2005) vol. 17 pp1513-24
MicroRNA profiling of the murine hematopoietic system
S. Monticelli, K. M. Ansel, C. Xiao, N. D. Socci, A. M. Krichevsky, T. H. Thai, N. Rajewsky, D. S. Marks, C. Sander, K. Rajewsky, A. Rao, K. S. Kosik
in Genome Biol (2005) vol. 6 ppR71
Deletion of a conserved Il4 silencer impairs T helper type 1-mediated immunity
K. M. Ansel, R. J. Greenwald, S. Agarwal, C. H. Bassing, S. Monticelli, J. Interlandi, I. M. Djuretic, D. U. Lee, A. H. Sharpe, F. W. Alt, A. Rao
in Nat Immunol (2004) vol. 5 pp1251-9
Chromatin-level regulation of the IL10 gene in T cells
S. H. Im, A. Hueber, S. Monticelli, K. H. Kang, A. Rao
in J Biol Chem (2004) vol. 279 pp46818-25
Role of NFAT proteins in IL13 gene transcription in mast cells
S. Monticelli, D. C. Solymar, A. Rao
in J Biol Chem (2004) vol. 279 pp36210-8
NFAT1 and NFAT2 are positive regulators of IL-4 gene transcription
S. Monticelli, A. Rao
in Eur J Immunol (2002) vol. 32 pp2971-8
Myb proteins repress human Ig epsilon germline transcription by inhibiting STAT6-dependent promoter activation
S. Monticelli, R. Ghittoni, M. Kabesch, D. Vercelli
in Mol Immunol (2002) vol. 38 pp1129-38
Molecular regulation of class switch recombination to IgE through epsilon germline transcription
S. Monticelli, D. Vercelli
in Allergy (2001) vol. 56 pp270-8
Molecular regulation of IgE switching: let's walk hand in hand
S. Monticelli, L. De Monte, D. Vercelli
in Allergy (1998) vol. 53 pp6-8
To E or not to E? Can an IL-4-induced B cell choose between IgE and IgG4?
D. Vercelli, L. De Monte, S. Monticelli, C. Di Bartolo, A. Agresti
in Int Arch Allergy Immunol (1998) vol. 116 pp1-4
The transcription factor B cell-specific activator protein (BSAP) enhances both IL-4- and CD40-mediated activation of the human epsilon germline promoter
C. P. Thienes, L. De Monte, S. Monticelli, M. Busslinger, H. J. Gould, D. Vercelli
in J Immunol (1997) vol. 158 pp5874-82
Regulation of human epsilon germline transcription: role of B-cell-specific activator protein
L. De Monte, C. P. Thienes, S. Monticelli, M. Busslinger, H. J. Gould, D. Vercelli
in Int Arch Allergy Immunol (1997) vol. 113 pp35-8
The company they keep: How BSAP and other transcription factors may regulate the human ε germline promoter
L. De Monte, S. Monticelli, bd1
A.K. Oehling, J.G. Huerta Lopez, Editors
in Progress in Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1997) vol. 4 pp49-52