Matteo Iannacone, 2010

Career Development Award Project Title

“Imaging liver immunopathology by intravital microscopy”, 2010

Who he is

Matteo Iannacone is a scientist specialized in molecular medicine. Since 2010 he directs the “Dynamics of immune responses” laboratory at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan. He returned to Italy thanks to the Armenise-Harvard Career Development Award after a long period in the United States, first at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, then at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

What he does

Iannacone’s research program seeks to dissect the complex dynamics of host-virus interactions with a particular focus on the development and function of adaptive immune responses.

Since it is still beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated in vitro methodology to simulate the complex interplay of physical, cellular, biochemical, and other factors that influence cell behavior in microvessels and interstitial tissues, he makes use of intravital microscopy.

This technique is complemented by more traditional molecular, cellular and histological approaches, thus characterizing host-virus interactions at the molecular-, single cell- and whole animal-level.

News from the lab

For the first time ever, intravital microscopy has allowed Iannacone’s team to reveal how immune cells track down and eliminate the hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the host liver. The findings, published in the April 2015 issue of Cell, have important therapeutic implications.