Welcome to the Ciucci Lab
T lymphocytes are critical players in the immune responses to autoimmune diseases, infections and tumors. During infection, T cells are needed to eliminate or restrain pathogens and for the development of immune memory that prevents reinfection. In addition, T cells can recognize malignant cells and directly mediate tumor rejection. Therefore, T cells are the focus of most cancer immunotherapy efforts, including T cell transfer and checkpoint inhibitor therapies. However, the heterogeneity of T cell responses to both tumor and pathogens and their versatility overtime have limited our ability to manipulate them in patients.
To tackle this problem, we are studying T cell repertoire formation and its response to infection and tumors at the single-cell resolution.
Results from this research aim at identifying novel T cell subpopulations that could be used in patients as diagnostic or prognostic tools to tailored therapeutic intervention. In addition, given the critical role of T cells in immunity, investigating their diversity, differentiation and function is expected to facilitate the design of cancer immunotherapy strategies and the treatment or prevention of infectious and autoimmune diseases.