Federica Benvenuti
Federica Benvenuti
affiliation: ICGEB - International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Padriciano, Trieste
research area(s): Immunity And Infection
Course: Molecular Biomedicine
University/Istitution: Università di Trieste
Since January 2010: Group Leader, Cellular Immunology, (ICGEB), Trieste, Italy.
2005-2009: Postdoc, ICGEB Trieste, Italy
2001-2004: Postdoc, Institute Curie, Paris, France
1996-2000: PhD student, ICGEB Trieste, Italy
The lab has a major interest in the mechanisms that regulate innate and adaptive functions of dendritic cells (DCs) during priming of T cells immunity. By combining cell imaging and functional assays we study how signals from incoming pathogens are transferred from DCs to T lymphocytes within the immune synapse. We focus on cytoskeletal and trafficking proteins that orchestrate the spatio-temporal distribution of proteins and sub-cellular organelles at the interface between DCs and T lymphocytes. We have recently begun to identify the SNAREs and Rabs that are important to traffic different cytokines secreted by DCs in response to microbial stimulation and to analyse how these pathways are subverted in tumour bearing hosts. A second major line of research is the role of actin and actin regulatory proteins in controlling activation of type-I interferon genes in plasmacytoid dendritic cells, the major IFN-a producing cells during viral infections. As a model, we study cells deficient in the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein, a key regulator of actin polymerisation mutated in a rare immunodeficiency in humans. In the context of this disease we are currently addressing the role of altered type-I interferon production by WASp deficient pDCs in the disease pathogenesis.
Pulecio, J., Petrovic, J., Prete, F., Chiaruttini, G., Lennon-Dummenil, A.-M., Desdouets, C., Gasman, S., Burrone, O.R., Benvenuti, F. 2010. Cdc42-mediated MTOC polarization in dendritic cells controls targeted delivery of cytokines at the immune synapse”. J. Exp. Med. 207, 2719-2732

Pulecio, J., Tagliani, E., Scholer, A., Fetler, L., Burrone, O., Benvenuti, F. 2008. Expression of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein in dendritic cells regulates synapse formation and activation of naïve T cells. J Immunol. 181, 1135-1142

Tagliani, E., Guermonprez, P., Sepulveda, J., Lopez-Bravo, M., Ardavin, C., Amigorena, S., Benvenuti, F., Burrone, O.R. 2008. Selection of an Antibody Library Identifies a Pathway to Induce Immunity by Targeting CD36 on Steady-State CD8a Dendritic Cells. J. Immunol. 180, 3201-3209
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.