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Understanding Dendritic Cell Development and Function

English title Understanding Dendritic Cell Development and Function
Applicant Tussiwand Roxane
Number 179056
Funding scheme SNSF Professorships
Research institution Departement Biomedizin Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Immunology, Immunopathology
Start/End 01.10.2018 - 31.12.2020
Approved amount 949'673.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Immunology, Immunopathology
Molecular Biology

Keywords (4)

Dendritic cells; Transcription factors; Function; Development

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lo sviluppo e le funzioni delle cellule dendritiche
Lay summary

Le cellule dendritiche sono essenziali nella regolazione della risposta immunitaria. Capire il loro sviluppo e il loro funzionamento è fondamentale per capire il nostro sistema immunitario. Studi recenti hanno messo in evidenza la loro eterogeneità, ipotizzando che i diversi sottotipi di cellule dendritiche sono caratterizzati da funzioni specifiche. Lo scopo del nostro progetto e di capire se determinati sottotipi di cellule dendritiche sono responsabili nella patogenesi di malattie immunitarie. Inoltre, dato il ruolo centrale delle cellule dendritiche nell’attivazione delle altre cellule del sistema immunitario, riteniamo essenziale studiare il loro sviluppo e la loro maturazione, con l’obbiettivo di poter modulare la loro funzione a scopo terapeutico.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 28.12.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Name Institute


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
150714 Understanding Dendritic Cell Development and Function 01.10.2014 SNSF Professorships
150714 Understanding Dendritic Cell Development and Function 01.10.2014 SNSF Professorships
185193 Dissecting Notch Signalling in T cell development 01.04.2019 Project funding (Div. I-III)


Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical regulators of the immune system bridging innate with adaptive immunity and maintaining tolerance. DCs are highly abundant in epithelial tissues at the interphase with the environment. Equipped with pattern recognition receptors (PRR) and danger associated molecular sensors, DCs constantly survey tissues under steady state conditions. Following an insult, such as an infection or sterile inflammation, DCs are able to orchestrate with epithelial and tissue resident cells the appropriate immune response. Accumulating evidence supports a functional specialization by DCs parallel to the one described for T helper and innate lymphoid cells. Understanding the functional identity of the different DC subsets will be instrumental to understand how our immune system works. The study of their transcriptional regulation will enable us to understand the mechanisms, which regulate their functional properties. We aim at characterizing and understanding the role and function of key transcription factor/s expressed by a given DC subset; at defining the underlying regulatory mechanisms, and identifying common pathways shared across different DC subsets and other immune cells in response to pathogens. Collectively our goal is to understand and determine the cellular and molecular pathways, which induce protective immunity against pathogens, promote tumor development, or lead to immunopathology and chronic inflammation. We believe that, to discover novel targets and envision immune-based therapies it is essential to fully dissect cellular and transcriptional regulatory mechanisms, which trigger immune responses.