The rules of the game in Hepatitis B

Matteo Iannacone

Matteo Iannacone

Milan, 16 april 2015 – A revolutionary technique of live microscopy (called intravital microscopy), developed in the labs of Luca G. Guidotti and Matteo Iannacone (a recipient of the Armenise Foundation’s Career Development Award) at IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital in Milano, has allowed for the first time in the world to observe from the inside, and in real time, how circulating lymphocytes manage to stop in capillaries in the liver and from there to recognize and destroy cells infected by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). In order to visualize the various stages of liver disease, Iannacone and Guidotti used murine models and extremely high resolution microscopes.

The results were published in “Cell”

Aldo D’Imperio worked in Prof. Alan D’Andrea’s lab at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  His talk was on “Critical mutations in FANCG and the essential function of FANCD2 in BRCA1 and BRCA2 deficient cells”.  Aldo’s supervisor in the lab was Raphäel Ceccaldi.  Erica Grignaschi presented on “Seeding neuroblastoma human cells as a model for aggregation in Parkinson’s disease”.  She worked in Prof. Dennis Selkoe’s lab, supervised by Dr. Tim Bartels and helped by a former Summer Fellow (2014) Matteo Rovere.

Claudia Latini spoke on “The role of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis related protein in transcription coupled splicing”.  Her work was done in Prof. Robin Reed’s lab in Harvard Medical School’s Cell Biology Department, and she was supervised and helped greatly by Binkai Chi and Alex Iocolano.

Luigi Petrucco gave a talk on “Investigating neural circuit activity by voltage sensitive dyes and two-photon imaging”, done in Prof. Takao Hensch’s lab in the Center for Brain Science at Children’s Hospital.  Luigi expressed gratitude  for the help of Erin Diel and Edward Soucy.

Thomas Perli worked in Prof. Pamela Silver’s lab, in the HMS Department of Systems Biology.  His talk was on “Creating tools for gene regulation in synechococcus Elongatus PC7942”, and he warmly thanked his supervisors, Isaac Plant and Stephanie Hays.

Matteo Naldini spoke on the “Onconogenic role of circRNA M27 in prostate cancer”.  His work was done in the lab of Prof. Pier Paolo Pandolfi, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and he wanted to thank Marco Bezzi and Jlenia Guarnerio for their help supervising him this summer.

Michela Zaffagni was the final student to present, with a talk titled, “Fibroblasts support cancer cells drug resistance”.  She worked in the lab of Prof. Joan Brugge in the HMS Department of Cell Biology, and thanked her supervisor Ioannis Zervantonakis, as well as the rest of the lab staff, who were extraordinarily kind during her stay.

The 2015 Summer Fellows Research Day concluded with remarks from the Italian Consul General of Boston, Nicola De Santis, who was pleased to join the group and commend them on their success with the summer program.   He encouraged them to consider coming back to Boston at some point in their academic career, as part of the preparation for their ultimate return to Italy.  The group was grateful for the Consul General’s gracious speech and for his willingness to be a part of the celebration of their achievement.

Finally, everyone from the students to the Armenise Harvard Foundation staff, expressed profound gratitude to Dr. Annarita Patrizi, the Director of the program, who has worked hard through the application cycle and the entire summer, to make this an experience they will never forget.  Part of the students’ obligation is the promise to continue to stay in touch with us, and we look forward to seeing the evolution of their scientific careers.