Synthetic Immunology

Interactions between different cell types are key for immune function. Nevertheless, our toolbox to observe and decipher the biological meaning of interactions between immune cells in living animals is very limited. By coupling chemical and synthetic biology with mouse genetics, research in the Synthetic Immunology Lab aims at developing innovative technologies to study cell-cell communication in the immune system. We use these novel experimental approaches to track interactions between antigen-presenting cells and T cells, with the ultimate goal of revealing the molecular pathways governing the T cell response in vivo.

Five Selected Publications:

Chudnovskiy A, Pasqual G, Victora GD (2019) Studying interactions between dendritic cells and T cells in vivo. Current Opinion in Immunology 58:24-30.

Pasqual G, Chudnovskiy A, Tas JM, Schweitzer LD, Cui A, Agudelo M, Hacohen N, Victora GD (2018) Monitoring T cell–dendritic cell interactions in vivo by intercellular enzymatic labeling. Nature 553:496-500.

Ersching J, Efeyan A, Mesin L, Jacobsen JT, Pasqual G, Grabiner BC, Dominguez-Sola D, Sabatini DM, Victora GD (2017) Germinal center selection and affinity maturation require dynamic regulation of mTORC1. Immunity 46:1045-1058.

Tas JM*, Mesin L*, Pasqual G, Targ S, Jacobsen JT, Mano YM, Chen CS, Weill JC, Reynaud CA, Browne EP, Meyer-Hermann M, Victora GD (2016) Visualizing affinity maturation in germinal centers. Science 351:1048-54. *equal contribution.

Shulman Z, Gitlin AD, Targ S, Jankovic M, Pasqual G, Nussenzweig MC, Victora GD (2013) T follicular helper cell dynamics in germinal centers. Science 341:673-7

Active Funding:

European Research Council Starting Grant (2020-2025). Revealing dendritic cell-CD4 + T cell communication by using synthetic biology in vivo
Ricerca Finalizzata, Italian Ministry of Health (2021-2024). A LIPSTIC screening system to identify tumor neoantigens
PRIN, Italian Ministry of University and Research. In depth characterization of monocyte-B cell interactions in infection and cancer.

People Involved:

Giulia Pasqual, PhD, Associate Professor

Group members:

Agnieszka Maciola, Post-doc
Tania Baccega, Post-doc
Alfredo Pherez Farah, PhD student
Michelle Guarniero, Research Assistant