Sergio Abrignani, MD, PhD

Sergio Abrignani is an M.D. Ph.D from the University of Padua, Italy. He is scientific director of the National Institute of Molecular Genetics of Milan, a research institute aimed at the discovery of new therapies for neoplastic, infectious and autoimmune diseases. He is full professor of Pathology at the University of Milan. He has twenty years of industrial research experience in pharma (Ciba-.Geigy Basel) and biotech (Chiron Italy and USA), and ten years of academic research experience (INGM and University of Milan). His research activity has focused on immunology and on the interactions between viruses and human cells. One of his contributions has been the discovery of CD81 as the key entry receptor of hepatitis C virus. His research has also defined how cytokine cocktails can activate in an antigen-independent manner human T lymphocytes. More recently, he has focused on the identification of new targets on intratumoral Treg cells for cancer immunotherapy. In 2011 he was awarded an “Advanced Grant” of the European Research Council, the most important competitive grant for European researchers. Because of his studies on the hepatitis C virus, in 2004 he received the Public Health gold Medal of Merit from the President of the Italian Republic.