Innate Immunity Cells


Head of Research Unit 
Paola Vacca

The Research Unit analyzes the frequency and functions of innate immune cells and their relative diagnostic and prognostic impact in tumor, autoimmune and inflammatory pathologies.

It studies the mechanisms used by these cells in oncological and immune-mediated diseases of the pediatric age. Innate immunity is a non-specific type of immunity present from birth, even in subjects whose immune system has not yet developed and is therefore not capable of giving specific and selective responses to pathogens.
Innate immune cells represent the first line of defense in non-immunized subjects.

The working group of the Research Unit studies the effect of the microenvironment (tumor and non-tumor) on the function of the different subpopulations of lymphoid cells of innate immunity and examines their molecular and functional interactions with other cells present in the microenvironment, such as suppressive myeloid.

The Research Unit develops new immunotherapeutic approaches capable of directly enhancing the activity of innate immune cells and acting on immunosuppressive cells present in the microenvironment, inhibiting their function or eliminating them.

“The dream of Bambino Gesù Hospital,
the dream of the Pope, is to help bring
science and humanity to all children with
very severe diseases who need to be treated”
Pope Francis