The immunology cluster at ICGEB comprises two Groups in New Delhi (Structural Immunology – Salunke; Cellular Immunology – Kumar) and one Group in Trieste (Cellular Immunology – Trieste) with complementary interests in the molecular and cellular mechanisms of the immune response to pathogens and cancer. The Benvenuti Group has developed preclinical models of lung cancer and multi parametric flow cytometry to dissect the immune cell composition and function in lung tumors to understand tumor-driven immune suppression. The Structural Immunology Group has a long-standing interest in structural aspects of antibody-antigen recognition and has discovered key principles of molecular mimicry and evolution of the antibody responses to maintain self/non-self discrimination. The Kumar Group has a strong background in Mycobacterium host pathogen interaction and investigates changes in intracellular trafficking and gene expression in infected macrophages.
Recent discoveries from the Structural Immunology group have shed light on the mechanism of loss of efficacy of vaccines against influenza virus (Vashisht et al, Mol Imm, 2019). A recent study from the Cellular Immunology Group in Delhi developed powerful tools to decipher transcriptional changes in Mycobacterium infected macrophages (Kalam H et al, IUBMB Life, 2018). The Cellular Immunology Group in Trieste is soon to publish the results of a four-year project on antigen presentation in lung tumors (Caronni et al, in revision).