Sara Piccinelli, M.D. Ph.DPostdoctoral Fellow

Sara is a physician scientist who since she was a medical student she has been interested in haematology, immunology and bone marrow transplantation.

The first period of her career was mainly devoted to clinical activity. She did her residency in hematology at the University of Perugia where she has been in touch with major experts in the field of hematology and bone marrow transplantation as Prof. Andrea Velardi, Prof. Massimo Fabrizio Martelli and Prof. Brunangelo Falini. During her residency she was actively involved in an innovative clinical trial of adoptive immunotherapy with regulatory and conventional T cells in one HLA haplotype mismatched (haploidentical) haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in order to enhance T cell immunity against leukemia and infections while controlling Graft versus Host Disease.

She continued her career attending a PhD program in clinical and molecular medicine in the laboratory of Prof. Andrea Velardi. There, her research activity was strongly translational and mainly focused on the role of bone marrow regulatory T cells in the maintenance of the haematopoietic stem cell niche and B cell lymphopoiesis in human and mouse models and the use of regulatory T cells to prevent Graft versus Host Disease after haploidentical transplantation for the treatment of high risk leukemia.

In November 2019 she moved to Dr. David Scadden’s Laboratory in Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston) as a Postdoctoral fellow, supported by American-Italian Cancer Foundation (AICF).

For her postdoctoral training, she will continue to build on her previous work in immunology and regulatory T cells that will allow her to address additional questions regarding their role in leukemogenesis. Specifically, her interest focuses on the role of regulatory T cells in the leukemia microenvironment in order to investigate critical pathways under Treg control that allow for leukemia onset, maintenance and progression. Thus, in order to provide new tools for improving leukemia treatment and patients’ survival.