Dr. Doriana Fruci
Doriana Fruci, PhD is an established basic-science investigator with experience in the biology of MHC class I antigen processing and presentation, tumor immunology and microRNAs. In 1998 she was awarded an Inserm Post Vert for the laboratory of Dr Peter van Endert, where she was part of the team that identified an aminopeptidase activity in the endoplasmic reticulum (Immunity 2001, Nature Immunology 2015). In 2002 Dr Fruci established her own research group in Rome investigating the implications of ERAP1 and ERAP2 in tumor development. Dr. Fruci’s scientific output has resulted in 53 publications (19 of which as a corresponding author) in major peer-reviewed journals, including Immunity, Nature Immunology, Leukemia, Cancer Research, Journal of Immunology, with more than 1500 citations and an h-index of 19. Among these publications are seminal contributions within the field of MHC class I antigen processing and presentation biology. Particularly relevant is the recent finding on the role of the mouse homolog ERAP1 (ERAAP) in tumor rejection. Her group demonstrated that loss of ERAAP plays a key role in stimulating anti-tumor innate and adaptive immune responses. This is because MHC class I molecules produced in the absence of ERAAP retain their capability of presenting antigens to CD8+ T cells, but not of inhibiting NK cells. More recently she demonstrated that ERAP1 regulates NK cell function by controlling the engagement of inhibitory receptors. Currently in Dr. Fruci’s laboratory is active in exploiting ERAPs modulation for developing innovative strategies of anticancer immunotherapy. She has trained several researchers over the years, including 5 PhD students, 5 post-docs and 5 undergraduate students contributing to the publication of studies in international peer-reviewed journals with high impact factor. Three PhD students are currently employed as post-doc at Yale University (USA), Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute La Jolla (USA) and Merck Serono Ivrea (IT), respectively, while a post-doc has just taken a start-up research grant to establish her proper research team in Rome.