Clinical Immunology

U.O. name

Clinical Immunology

Scientific Coordinator

Prof. Gilberto Filaci


The U.O. of Clinical Immunology mainly perform translational research activity. It has a main field of research constituted by immunoregulation. Hence, studies are focused on the characterization of regulatory cells and mechanisms involved in the physiology of the immune system. Researches are performed on healthy subjects and also in patients affected by different diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases and viral infections (HIV, HCV), in order to explore the immunopathogenesis of these diseases. The search for new biological agents or vaccines with therapeutic potentials is another hot topic for the Unit. Related to this topic, studies on experimental models are performed with the aim of achieving information on the efficacy of these new biological agents or vaccination protocols. The findings coming from in vitro and ex vivo studies are then translated to humans through the setting of specific clinical trials.

List of pubblications

  1. Parodi A., Traverso P., Kalli F., Conteduca G., Tardito S, Curto M, Grillo F, Mastracci L, Bernardi C, Nasi G, Minaglia F, Simonato A, Carmignani G, Ferrera F, Fenoglio D, Filaci G. Residual tumor micro-foci and overwhelming regulatory T lymphocyte infiltration are the causes of bladder cancer recurrence. - Oncotarget. 2016 Jan 25. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7024.
  2. Fenoglio D, Parodi A, Lavieri R, Kalli F, Ferrera F, Tagliamacco A, Guastalla A, Lamperti MG, Giacomini M, Filaci G. Immunogenicity of GX301 cancer vaccine: Four (telomerase peptides) are better than one. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2015;11(4):838-50. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2015.1012032. PMID:25714118
  3. Ferrera F, Fenoglio D, Cutolo M, Balbi G, Parodi A, Battaglia F, Kalli F, Barone D, Indiveri F, Criscuolo D, Filaci G. Early and repeated IgG1Fc-pCons chimera vaccinations (GX101) improve the outcome in SLE-prone mice. Clin Exp Med. 2015 Aug;15(3):255-60. doi: 10.1007/s10238-014-0303-8. Epub 2014 Jul 25.PMID:25059463
  4. Rigo V, Corrias MV, Orengo AM, Brizzolara A, Emionite L, Fenoglio D, Filaci G, Croce M, Ferrini S. Recombinant IL-21 and anti-CD4 antibodies cooperate in syngeneic neuroblastoma immunotherapy and mediate long-lasting immunity. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2014 May;63(5):501-11. doi: 10.1007/s00262-014-1536-9. Epub 2014 Mar 20.PMID:2464760
  5. Dentone C, Di Biagio A, Parodi A, Bozzano F, Fraccaro P, Signori A, Cenderello G, Mantia E, Orofino G, De Maria A, Filaci G, Fenoglio D. Innate immunity cell activation in virologically suppressed HIV-infected maraviroc-treated patients.AIDS. 2014 Apr 24;28(7):1071-4. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000194.PMID:24499952
  6. Fenoglio D, Traverso P, Parodi A, Kalli F, Zanetti M, Filaci G. Generation of more effective cancer vaccines. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2013 Dec;9(12):2543-7. doi: 10.4161/hv.26147. Epub 2013 Aug 26.PMID:23978951
  7. Kalli F, Machiorlatti R, Battaglia F, Parodi A, Conteduca G, Ferrera F, Proietti M, Tardito S, Sanguineti M, Millo E, Fenoglio D, De Palma R, Inghirami G, Filaci G. Comparative analysis of cancer vaccine settings for the selection of an effective protocol in mice. J Transl Med. 2013 May 12;11:120. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-11-120.PMID:23663506
  8. Serpero LD, Filaci G, Parodi A, Battaglia F, Kalli F, Brogi D, Mancardi GL, Uccelli A, Fenoglio D. Fingolimod modulates peripheral effector and regulatory T cells in MS patients. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2013 Dec;8(5):1106-13. doi: 10.1007/s11481-013-9465-5. Epub 2013 May 7.PMID:23649711
  9. Fenoglio D, Traverso P, Parodi A, Tomasello L, Negrini S, Kalli F, Battaglia F, Ferrera F, Sciallero S, Murdaca G, Setti M, Sobrero A, Boccardo F, Cittadini G, Puppo F, Criscuolo D, Carmignani G, Indiveri F, Filaci G. A multi-peptide, dual-adjuvant telomerase vaccine (GX301) is highly immunogenic in patients with prostate and renal cancer. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013 Jun;62(6):1041-52. doi: 10.1007/s00262-013-1415-9. Epub 2013 Apr 17.PMID:23591981
  10. Parodi A, Battaglia F, Kalli F, Ferrera F, Conteduca G, Tardito S, Stringara S, Ivaldi F, Negrini S, Borgonovo G, Simonato A, Traverso P, Carmignani G, Fenoglio D, Filaci G. CD39 is highly involved in mediating the suppression activity of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T regulatory lymphocytes. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013 May;62(5):851-62. doi: 10.1007/s00262-013-1392-z. Epub 2013 Jan 29.PMID:23359087
  11. Fenoglio D, Bernuzzi F, Battaglia F, Parodi A, Kalli F, Negrini S, De Palma R, Invernizzi P, Filaci G. Th17 and regulatory T lymphocytes in primary biliary cirrhosis and systemic sclerosis as models of autoimmune fibrotic diseases. Autoimmun Rev. 2012 Dec;12(2):300-4. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2012.05.004. Epub 2012 May 23. Review.PMID:22634708
  12. Fenoglio D, Battaglia F, Parodi A, Stringara S, Negrini S, Panico N, Rizzi M, Kalli F, Conteduca G, Ghio M, De Palma R, Indiveri F, Filaci G. Alteration of Th17 and Treg cell subpopulations co-exist in patients affected with systemic sclerosis. Clin Immunol. 2011 Jun;139(3):249-57. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2011.01.013. Epub 2011 Feb 2.PMID:21419712
  13. Filaci G, Fenoglio D, Indiveri F. CD8(+) T regulatory/suppressor cells and their relationships with autoreactivity and autoimmunity. Autoimmunity. 2011 Feb;44(1):51-7. doi: 10.3109/08916931003782171. Epub 2010 Jul 29. Review.PMID:20670118
  14. Bernuzzi F, Fenoglio D, Battaglia F, Fravega M, Gershwin ME, Indiveri F, Ansari AA, Podda M, Invernizzi P, Filaci G. Phenotypical and functional alterations of CD8 regulatory T cells in primary biliary cirrhosis. J Autoimmun. 2010 Nov;35(3):176-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jul 16.PMID:20638239
  15. Conteduca G, Ferrera F, Pastorino L, Fenoglio D, Negrini S, Sormani MP, Indiveri F, Scarrà GB, Filaci G. The role of AIRE polymorphisms in melanoma. Clin Immunol. 2010 Jul;136(1):96-104. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.03.002. Epub 2010 Apr 2. PMID:20363194
  16. Fenoglio D, Poggi A, Catellani S, Battaglia F, Ferrera A, Setti M, Murdaca G, Zocchi MR. Vdelta1 T lymphocytes producing IFN-gamma and IL-17 are expanded in HIV-1-infected patients and respond to Candida albicans. Blood. 2009 Jun 25;113(26):6611-8. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-01-198028. Epub 2009 Apr 24.PMID:19395673
  17. Fenoglio D, Ferrera F, Fravega M, Balestra P, Battaglia F, Proietti M, Andrei C, Olive D, Antonio LC, Indiveri F, Filaci G. Advancements on phenotypic and functional characterization of non-antigen-specific CD8+CD28- regulatory T cells. Hum Immunol. 2008 Nov;69(11):745-50. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2008.08.282. Epub 2008 Sep 29.PMID:18832002
  18. Filaci G, Fenoglio D, Fravega M, Ansaldo G, Borgonovo G, Traverso P, Villaggio B, Ferrera A, Kunkl A, Rizzi M, Ferrera F, Balestra P, Ghio M, Contini P, Setti M, Olive D, Azzarone B, Carmignani G, Ravetti JL, Torre G, Indiveri F. CD8+ CD28- T regulatory lymphocytes inhibiting T cell proliferative and cytotoxic functions infiltrate human cancers. J Immunol. 2007 Oct 1;179(7):4323-34.PMID:17878327
  19. Filaci G, Fravega M, Setti M, Traverso P, Millo E, Fenoglio D, Negrini S, Ferrera F, Romagnoli A, Basso M, Contini P, Rizzi M, Ghio M, Benatti U, Damonte G, Ravetti JL, Carmignani G, Zanetti M, Indiveri F. Frequency of telomerase-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes in patients with cancer.Blood. 2006 Feb 15;107(4):1505-12. Epub 2005 Oct 25. PMID:16249379
  20. Filaci G, Fravega M, Negrini S, Procopio F, Fenoglio D, Rizzi M, Brenci S, Contini P, Olive D, Ghio M, Setti M, Accolla RS, Puppo F, Indiveri F. Nonantigen specific CD8+ T suppressor lymphocytes originate from CD8+CD28- T cells and inhibit both T-cell proliferation and CTL function. Hum Immunol. 2004 Feb;65(2):142-56.PMID:14969769
  21. Filaci G, Contini P, Fravega M, Fenoglio D, Azzarone B, Julien-Giron M, Fiocca R, Boggio M, Necchi V, De Lerma Barbaro A, Merlo A, Rizzi M, Ghio M, Setti M, Puppo F, Zanetti M, Indiveri F. Apoptotic DNA binds to HLA class II molecules inhibiting antigen presentation and participating in the development of anti-inflammatory functional behavior of phagocytic macrophages. Hum Immunol. 2003 Jan;64(1):9-20.PMID:12507810

Main research lines

The lines of research are mainly focused on:

  1. Mechanisms and biological factors able to modulate the function of the immune system, with specific attention to regulatory lymphocytes;
  2. The characterization of antigen-specific anti-tumor immune responses;
  3. The study of clinical and immunological aspects of systemic autoimmune diseases;
  4. The setting of original gene vaccination protocols against tumors and autoimmune disorders;
  5. The analysis of genetic and immunologic pathogenic mechanisms of autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cancers.

Research group ERC sector


Internal personnel

Surname Name Department Title Scientific area
Filaci Gilberto DIMI Full professor Internal Medicine
Fenoglio Daniela DIMI Full Professor Internal Medicine
Ferrera Francesca DIMI Technician Molecular Biology


  • Prof. Raffaele De Palma, Federico II University, Naples, Italy
  • Prof. Mauro Cosentino, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy;
  • Prof. Maurizio Zanetti, UCSD, San Diego, USA;
  • Prof. Nicole Suciu-Foca, Columbia University, NY, USA;
  • Prof. Bevra Hahn, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA.


The U.O. of Clinical Immunology has several partnerships with national (Federico II University of Naples, University of Chieti, University of Insubria, Varese; San Raffaele Institute, Milan) and international (UCSD, UCLA, Columbia University, Harward University) Academies as well as with scientific Institutes (Center of Advanced Technology, Genoa, CBA; Gaslini Hospital, Genoa) and private companies (Mediolanum Farmaceutici spa, Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd, ViiV Healthcare UK Ltd).


The U.O. of Clinical Immunology received grants for more than 1 million of euro in the last 10 years from public (MIUR, University) or private (Mediolanum Farmaceutici spa, Genovax srl, Compagnia di San Paolo) sponsors.

Last update 24 November 2022