Mucosal Immunology Lab

Research area

My research group specifically focuses on understanding and functionally manipulating for therapeutic purposes the interactions between the mucosal immune system and the intestinal microenvironment. 

The intestinal compartment is a complex biological system composed by different type of cells (immune cells, epithelial cells, gut microbiota) involved in functional crosstalks aimed at maintaining a balance between tolerance and immunity. These interactions may give rise to different functional outcomes. In healthy conditions immune cells contribute to intestinal homeostasis maintenance, while in genetically predisposed individuals hyperactivation of immune cells may lead to in chronic autoimmune intestinal inflammation. In the context of intestinal tumours, defective activation of immune cells may contribute to decreased immunesurveillance and tumour development.
Specifically, our projects focus at: 

  • deciphering the role of conventional and unconventional intestinal CD4+ T helper cells in contributing to tissue homeostasis and in participating to inflammatory immune responses;
  • understanding the functions of intestinal T lymphocytes in the control of epithelial neoplastic transformations;
  • dissecting the functional interactions between T cells , the gut microbiota and the intestinal microenvironment during intestinal neoplastic transformation and inflammation
  • manipulating the function of immune cells for therapeutic purposes.

To do so, we take advantage of a translational approach involving in vitro systems, murine models of colorectal cancer and intestinal inflammation, and patients’-derived surgical specimens.


  • Clinical trials

    1. Study on the role of gut microbiota in the shaping of iNKT cell function during colorectal cancer (CRC) progression, IEO 0566
    2. Modulazione funzionale del sistema immunitario mucosale attraverso il trapianto di microbiota fecale (FMT): uno studio traslazionale (IMMUBAC) (with Policlinico Hospital Milan and Policlinico Hospital Tor Vergata, Rome).


Università degli Studi di Milano Ecancer Medical Science IFOM-IEO Campus


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