CD8 T cell memory; T cell response; homeostasis and activation of dendritic cells.

Group Leader
Francesca Di Rosa

Member of the Executive Board of Italian Society of Immunology,
Clinical Immunology and Allergology (SIICA)


Laboratorio di Patologia Molecolare

c/o Dipartimento di Medicina Molecolare
Sapienza Università di Roma
Viale Regina Elena 291
00161 Roma

Membri del Laboratorio

  • Dr. Ambra Natalini, Post-doc
  • Silvia Gitto, PhD student
  • Gabriele Favaretto,
  • Technician
  • Luciano Lucantonio, master student
Principali progetti e collaborazioni Dr. Di Rosa’s research activity deals with the induction and the maintenance of immunological memory by CD8 T cells, a highly specialized type of leukocytes controlling intracellular infections and tumors. Although several aspects of CD8 T cell memory have been clarified, a complete picture of the events involved in antigen-induced proliferation and differentiation from naive to memory CD8 T cell is not currently available, nor it is known how memory CD8 T cells are steadily maintained as seemingly quiescent cells, and yet are poised to promptly generate a huge progeny of effector CD8 T cells upon secondary response. A better knowledge of CD8 T cell memory is essential for our understanding of human diseases, including cancer, and the development of vaccines and of therapeutic and diagnostic modalities. Dr. Di Rosa’s research group has demonstrated that the capacity of CD8 T cells to migrate to the bone marrow (BM) and assume long-term residence in this organ is an important aspect of immunological memory. Current research interests of the group are: 1) to better understand the functional and molecular differences between memory CD8 T cells from the BM and those from lymphoid periphery (blood, spleen, lymph nodes, etc); 2) to test the hypothesis that the BM offers two types of niches for memory T cells: one driving self-renewal, the other supporting quiescence, thus echoing the duality of niches for hematopoietic stem cells; 3) to compare different vaccination protocols for their capacity to induce CD8 T cell priming and establishment of CD8 T cell memory in the BM; 4) to investigate the protective function of BM memory CD8 T cells against cancer. Ongoing collaboration with Fabrizio Antonangeli, IBPM researcher and CIN member International collaboration with prof. Adrian Hayday (Francis Crick Institute, and King’s College London), London, UK

Trumenti / tecnologie

Cytofluorimetry facility, in collaboration with Gabriele Favaretto