Participant 4 | IIT

Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT – Italian Institute of Technology) is a scientific research institution established to promote excellence in both basic and applied research and to facilitate the economic development at the national level. IIT scientific vision is interdisciplinary, based on the concept of “translating evolution into technology”, that is mimicking natural solutions to develop new technologies in the fields of robotics, materials science, and life science. Research is carried out in the Central Research Laboratories in Genoa (IIT headquarters), 11 research satellite centers across Italy, and 2 outstations in US. The IIT Center for Advanced Biomaterials for Healthcare in Naples is equipped with cell culture, molecular biology, microscopy and flow cytometry facilities.

Dr. Velia Siciliano is the leader of the Synthetic and Systems Biology lab for biomedicine. Her research focuses on designing and prototyping new therapeutic approaches based on non-invasive modification of mammalian cells. Her work also encompasses the use of DNA or RNA circuits to study biological processes. A major research goal is the development of more effective T cell therapies counteracting exhaustion by engineering cells synthetic devices that can sense and neutralize the dysfunction. This research is funded by the ERC-Starting grant (Synthetic T-rEX).

Within T-FITNESS, IIT will be responsible for the design of microRNA sensors that function as a proxy of differentially expressed microRNAs in T cells undergoing exhaustion. By playing with number and location of microRNA-TS the ultimate goal is to regulate the expression of desired transcription factors.

Velia Siciliano
Leader of Synthetic and Systems Biology Lab for Biomedicine
Rita Tarnai
Assunta Sellitto