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2024 - Maria Rescigno

Maria Rescigno is full professor, vice-rector and delegate for research at Humanitas University and group leader at Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan.
She graduated in Biology in 1990 at the University of Milan. From 1991 to 1994, she worked at the University of Cambridge, UK, in the Department of Biochemistry, as a visiting scholar. From 1995 to 1999, she worked at the National Research Council of Milan where she received her PhD in Pharmacology and toxicology in 1999. From 1999 to 2001, she worked at the University of Milano-Bicocca where she specialized in Applied Biotechnology. From 2001 to 2017, she has been the director of the Dendritic cell biology and immunotherapy Unit at the Department of Experimental Oncology at the European Institute of oncology. She was the first to show that dendritic cells actively participate to bacterial uptake in the gut, the existence of a gut vascular barrier that resembles the blood brain barrier and the discovery of a new vascular barrier in the choroid plexus. 

Her major field of interest is mucosal immunology, the microbiota and the development of new cancer immunotherapy strategies.

She authored more than 200 publications in high impact journals including Science, Nature Immunol, Immunity, J. Exp. Med., Science TM. She was elected EMBO young investigator in 2007 and in 2011 EMBO member. In 2008-2013 she was visiting professor at the University of Oslo. She has been the recipient of three ERC grants (starting, proof-of-concept and consolidator). From 2019, she is member of the EMBO council. She seats in the technical and scientific board of several charities, funding agencies and in different companies. She has received several awards including the Avon prize as 'symbolic woman of the city of Milan' (2011), a mention of honor of the Belgian embassy (2022), the Rome prize for business, economics and social affairs (2022) and the De Sanctis prize for social health (2023).

In 2016, Maria Rescigno has founded Postbiotica s.r.l. a spin-off of the University of Milan that exploits microbiota-derived metabolites as new pharmaceutical agents. In 2017, Postbiotica has won two competitions: Bioupper (Italy) and MyStart BCN (Spain).

Maria Rescigno will deliver the Pezcoller-Marina Larcher Fogazzaro-EACR Women in Cancer Research Award lecture at the EACR 2024 Congress, in Rotterdam. She will also be invited to give a lecture in Trento, Italy, in Autumn 2024. 


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