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Prof. Dr.

Federica Sallusto

Year of election: 2009
Section: Microbiology and Immunology
City: Bellinzona
Country: Switzerland

Research

Federica Sallusto received the degree of Doctor in Biology at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Italy) in 1988. She is currently the Head of the Cellular Immunology Laboratory at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona (Switzerland). From 1993 to 1995 she was visiting scientist in the laboratory of Antonio Lanzavecchia at the Basel Institute for Immunology (Switzerland). There she developed a system to generate human immature dendritic cells by culturing monocytes with GM-CSF and IL-4.

The system provided for the first time a facile model to study dendritic cell physiology and to use dendritic cells for vaccination. In 1995 she began her own group at the Italian National Institute of Health in Rome, with a research focus on human T cell response to allergens, and in 1997 she moved to Basel as Member of the Basel Institute for Immunology. From 1997 to 2000, the group contributed significantly to the use of chemokine receptors as markers to distinguish human Th1 and Th2 cells and to define subsets of human central and effector memory T cell endowed with distinct migratory capacities and effector function. In 2000, the Sallusto lab moved to the newly founded Institute for Research in Biomedicine. Among the most recent contributions of the lab in the human immunology field is the characterization of Th17 and Th22 cells. In the mouse system the work of the lab has challenged the current dogma on lymphocyte traffic in lymph nodes and brain.

The Sallusto lab recently showed that pioneer Th17 cells enter the brain through the choroid plexus, which in turn allows other cells to enter the brain and cause autoimmune diseases.

Career

  • 2000 moving of the Sallusto lab to Institute for Research in Biomedicine
  • 1997 moving to Basel as a Member of the Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland
  • 1993-1995 visiting scientist in the laboratory of Antonio Lanzavecchia at the Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland
  • 1988 degree of Doctor in Biology at the University of Rome, Italy

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