Prof F. Sallusto

Federica Sallusto

Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Switzerland

Federica Sallusto received the degree of Doctor in Biology from the University of Rome, worked at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome and at the Basel Institute for Immunology, and since 2000 she has been a group leader at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona, Switzerland. She is an expert in the field of human cellular immunology. Her research has focused on dendritic cell and T cell traffic, mechanisms of T cell differentiation and immunological memory. Her studies revealed a differential expression of chemokine receptors in human Th1 and Th2 cells and led to the characterization of “central memory” and “effector memory” T cells as memory subsets with distinct migratory capacity and effector function. Among her recent contributions are the discovery of Th22 cells, the identification of surface markers of human Th17 cells, and the characterization of two distinct types of pathogen-specific human Th17 cells that produce IFN-γ or IL-10. In the mouse system her work has focused on leukocyte traffic in lymph nodes and brain. She showed that NK cells, T helper cells, and cytotoxic T cells can migrate to inflamed lymph nodes, where they profoundly modulate T cell responses, and that pioneer CCR6-positive Th17 cells enter the CNS through the choroid plexus, which in turn allows other cells to enter and cause autoimmunity. Recently, her lab showed that in mice persistent antigen and germinal centre B cells sustain Tfh cell responses and phenotype. For her scientific achievements, she received the Pharmacia Allergy Research Foundation Award in 1999, the Behring Lecture Prize in 2009, and was elected member of the German Academy of Science Leopoldina in 2009 and of EMBO in 2011. She is currently President of the Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology.