Federica Sallusto, Ph.D., group leader, Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland
Federica Sallusto 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 in the human system revealed a differential expression of chemokine receptors in Th1, Th2 and Th17 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 as a distinct subset of skin-homing T cells and the characterization of non-classic Th1 cells induced by bacteria and of two distinct types of pathogen-specific Th17 cells with pro-inflammatory and regulatory properties. Her studies in the mouse model challenged current dogmas as to the mechanisms that control lymphocyte migration in lymph nodes and in the central nervous system. She also developed a method for the analysis of human naïve and memory T cell repertoires based on high throughput cellular screenings of expanded T cell libraries that provides a comprehensive platform for an analytic approach to vaccine design.