Nobel Laureate Abel Laureate Advisory Board Member USERN President USERN Policy Making Council USERN Manager USERN Deputy Junior Ambassador

Major: Immunology

Biographical Sketch

Diana Boraschi is an immunologist that built her experience both in academic institutions (Italian National Council for Nuclear Energy, Italian National Research Council -CNR-, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, Mario Negri Institute in Milan, Italy, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI) and industrial settings (the vaccine company Sclavo in Siena, Italy; the pharmaceutical company Dompé in L’Aquila, Italy). She is presently Senior Associate Researcher at CNR and at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Napoli, Italy, and serves as Alternate Representative of Italy for Excellent Science in Horizon 2020. She has served as Director of the Institute of Protein Biochemistry of CNR in Napoli, Italy, as Director of Fellowships at the Human Frontier Science Program Organization in Strasbourg, France, and was/is external expert evaluator and observer for the research programmes (FP5, FP6, FP7, H2020, EDCTP, EDCTP2) of the EU Commission, the Singapore National Medical Council, the US National Science Foundation, and many other national and international agencies. She is author of 188 peer-reviewed research articles in immunology (h-index 57, over 11000 citations), editor/author of 21 books, and inventor in eight patents, in addition to numerous monographic and divulging publications. She is particularly involved in higher education and science communication worldwide, including training activities and capacity building actions in Africa, in the field of poverty-related diseases and health care systems and delivery. She has received an honorary PhD degree by the University of Salzburg, Austria, in 2017.

Scientific activity

Diana Boraschi studies the mechanisms of innate defence responses, focussing in particular on the role of macrophages and inflammatory cytokines in the effector phase of defence reactions against infections and tumours, and in vaccination adjuvanticity and safety. Her main interests are the receptors of the IL-1R family and their cytokine ligands (IL-1 and IL-18). A fragment of IL-1 endowed with immunostimulatory activity is now defined as the “Boraschi loop”. She is currently studying the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of diseases (from autoimmune syndromes to degenerative diseases such as ALS, and ageing), with particular emphasis on abnormalities in the activation of monocytes and macrophages and on the role of innate memory in modulating their activities. Within the study of the initiating mechanisms causing chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, she has addressed the possible impact of engineered nanoparticles, and of their interaction with microbial derived factors, in initiating or modulating pathology-related inflammation. In the last years, she has started addressing the adaptation of innate immune responses of invertebrates to new abiotic-biotic environmental stressors (nano- and microplastics associated with bacteria and viruses).

Recent publications

• Boraschi, D., P. Italiani, S. Weil, and M.U. Martin. 2018. The family of the interleukin-1 receptors. Immunol. Rev. 281: 197-232. doi: 10.1111/imr.12606

• Boraschi, D., and P. Italiani. 2018. Innate immune memory: time for adopting a correct terminology. Front. Immunol. 9: 799. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00799

• Melillo, D., R. Marino, P. Italiani, and D. Boraschi. 2018. Innate memory in invertebrate metazoans: a critical appraisal. Front. Immunol. 9: 1915. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01915

• Boraschi, D., R.N. Apte, and M.U. Martin. 2019. One hits (almost) all. Nat. Immunol. 20: 1095-1097. doi: 10.1038/s41590-019-0463-5

• Melillo, D., R. Marino, G. Della Camera, P. Italiani, and D. Boraschi. 2019. Assessing immunological memory in the solitary ascidian Ciona robusta. Front. Immunol. 10: 1977. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01977

• Boraschi, D., A. Alijagic, M. Auguste, F. Barbero, E. Ferrari, S. Hernadi, C. Mayall, S. Michelini, N.I. Navarro Pacheco, A. Prinelli, E. Swart, B.J. Swartzwelter, N.G. Bastús, L. Canesi, D. Drobne, A. Duschl, M.-A. Ewart, J. Horejs-Hoeck, P. Italiani, B. Kemmerling, P. Kille, P. Prochazkova, V.F. Puntes, D.J. Spurgeon, C. Svendsen, C.J. Wilde, and A. Pinsino. 2020. Addressing nanomaterial immunosafety by evaluating innate immunity across living species. Small 16: 2000598. doi: 10.1002/smll.202000598

• Italiani, P., E. Mosca, G. Della Camera, D. Melillo, P. Migliorini, L. Milanesi, and D. Boraschi. 2020. Profiling the course of resolving vs. persistent inflammation in human monocytes: the role of IL-1 family molecules. Front. Immunol. 11: 1426. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01426



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