Humanitas Mirasole s.p.a. – Istituto Clinico Humanitas

ICH is a general hospital started in 1996 and is recognized in Italy as a Scientific Institute of Research and Care. The Research Institute is directed by Alberto Mantovani. The ICH laboratory has a long-standing interest in innate immunity and inflammation, and has made key contributions to the field of the interleukin-1 family, chemokines, pentraxins, and their role in infections, inflammatory responses and cancer-related inflammation, with a focus on negative regulatory processes. Current work in the research group is focused on the long pentraxin-3 in innate immunity and as potential biomarker of inflammatory conditions, on negative regulators of inflammation (TIR8/SIGIRR, decoy receptors), and on markers of macrophage polarization (MSF). Located in the Department of immunity and Inflammation, the laboratories are fully equipped with all the state-of-the-art instrumentation necessary for cellular and molecular studies, including Flow Cytometry, Imaging Unit, an SPF Animal House with dedicated rooms to perform experimental infections and in vivo imaging.

Involved researchers:

Alberto Mantovani, MD was appointed Professor of General Pathology at the University of Brescia, Italy, in 1994, where he worked within the Department of Medical Biotechnology. In 2001 he moved to the University of Milan, Institute of General Pathology. His research is focused on the molecular function and regulation circuits of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. He described the negative regulation circuits of the type II decoy receptor for IL-1 and discovered that pro- and anti-inflammatory signals regulate the level of chemokine production and of receptors. His group cloned PTX3 (cDNA, genome, human, mouse), the first member of the long pentraxin family, and defined its function in innate immunity and inflammation.

Barbara Bottazzi, PhD is Head of the Laboratory of Immunopharmacology and is expert in biochemistry (PTX3 and MSF). She participated in the definition of biochemical and structural properties of PTX3 and on the characterization of PTX3 interactome. A particular interest has been devoted to the setting of the process for the purification of a clinical-grade protein and to the validation of PTX3 as diagnostic and prognostic marker in human pathology. In addition she expressed recombinant MSF and is presently addressing the role of the molecule in the context of macrophage polarization.

Cecilia Garlanda, PhD is Head of the Laboratory of Experimental Immunopathology. Her activity has been focused on the functional characterization of original molecules of the immune system, in particular the long pentraxin PTX3 in the context of innate immune responses to pathogens and in the regulation of inflammatory responses in conditions of infections or tissue damage. She is also focused on TIR8/SIGIRR, a member of the family of IL-1 Receptors and Toll Like Receptors, acting as a negative regulator of inflammatory and immune responses in the context of inflammatory diseases, infections and cancer. Her activities mainly consist in pre-clinical studies, taking advantage of original gene-modified animals.

Sebastien Jaillon, PhD His research focuses on innate immunity and inflammation and he has notably contributed to a better understanding of the mechanisms used by neutrophils in defence against fungi, bacteria, resolution of inflammation and regulation of adaptive immunity.