Cellular and Molecular Immunology


The immune system is continually confronted with foreign invaders. Whether these invaders are bacteria, viruses or our own cells that no longer behave properly, the immune system is tasked with distinguishing between our healthy cells (self) and these invaders (non-self). The inability to distinguish between self and non-self can lead to tolerance, which is the lack of recognition of foreign invaders by the immune system, or autoimmunity, which is the recognition by the immune system of healthy cells as foreign, or to tolerance, which is the lack of recognition of foreign invaders by the immune system.

Our team is studying the immunological mechanisms that regulate the fine balance between immunity and tolerance. Our aim is to understand how the activation of dendritic cells (the main sentinels of the immune system) and regulatory T lymphocytes (the main regulator/suppressors of the immune response) can lead to protective immunity or to different pathologies such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. We hope to translate the mechanisms discovered in mouse models to improve human health. Our research covers several major areas of immunology, as organ transplantation, autoimmunity, immunosurveillance and cancer and immunity and tolerance in the gut.


Research Head: Mario Rosemblatt

Doctoral Students: Juan Saavedra • Elizabeth Rivas • Violeta Kallens • Felipe Flores

Undergraduate Students: Pilar Hörmann • Solange Gouet • Daphne Moreno

Postdoctoral Fellows: Sarah Nuñez

Master Students: Pedro Briceño • Brian Parra • Nicolás Valdivieso • Justin Castañeda

Research Assistants: Leonardo Vargas • María Valeska Simon


Ana María Lennon (1992), PI at Institut Curie, France
Alejandra Loyola (1996). Group Leader at the Fundación Ciencia & Vida, Santiago, Chile
Gisella Puga, (1998) PI, University Hospitals Geneva
Claudio Cortés, (1998), Associate Professor, Oakland University
Rodrigo Naves, (1999), PI at Universidad de Chile
Pablo Vargas (2003), PI at Institut Curie, France
Rodrigo Mora (2005), Head of Immunology Platform, Moderna
Fabiola Osorio, (2006), PI at Universidad de Chile
Fernando Sepúlveda, (2006), PI -Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital, France
Raúl Elgueta (2007), PI Centauri Therapeutics, UK
Lilian Reyes (2007), Director School of Biochemistry USS
Paula Michea, (2007), Aix-Marseille Université, France
Gonzalo Ureta , (2007) PI; Merken Biotech, Chile
Jennifer Alfaro (2008), PI Merken Biotech, Chile
Karina Pino-Lagos, (2010), PI at Universidad de los Andes
Carolina Moore, (2010), Research Associate, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital
Paulina Ruiz, (2010), Assistant Professor, Universidad de Chile
Karla Alvarez, (2011), Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jaime de Calisto, (2011), Universidad Mayor
Andrés Ramírez, (2011), Regional specialist, Bio-Rad Laboratories
Paz Reyes (2011), Field Applications Specialist Becton Dickinson , Chile
Nicole Halcartegaray (2012) Scientific Advisor Fundación Daya, Chile
Alejandra Gleisner (2012), Research assistant at Universidad de Chile
Paula Maldonado, (2013), Postdoctoral Fellow at Ragon Institute of MGH-MIT- Harvard
Valeria Manríquez,( 2014), Postdoc at Institut Curie, France
Constanza Miller, (2014), IP Consultant, ClarkeModet
Pablo Cifuentes (2015), Chief Scouting Officer – Phage Tecnologies, Chile
María José Morales, (2015), Patentes, Consultant, JarryIP Lawyers


National Collaborations:
• Dr. María Rosa Bono. Faculty of Sciences Universidad de Chile
• Dr. Daniela Sauma. Faculty of Sciences Universidad de Chile

International Collaboration:
• Dr. Francisco J. Quintana (Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School)
• Dr. Caglar Cekic (Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bilkent University)
• Dr. Ciprian Tomuleasa (Center for Functional Genomics and Translational Medicine, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj Napoca, Romania)
• Dr. Andreas Lundqvist (Karolinska Institutet, Department of Oncology-Pathology)
• Dr. Christian Krebs, UKE Research Hamburg


  • Elizabeth Rivas-Yáñez, Carlos Barrera-Avalos, Brian Parra-Tello, Pedro Briceño, Mariana V. Rosemblatt, Juan Saavedra-Almarza, Mario Rosemblatt, Claudio Acuña-Castillo, María Rosa Bono and Daniela Sauma. P2X7 receptor at the crossroads of T cell fate. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 4937; doi:10.3390/ijms21144937. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Yessia Hidalgo, Sarah Núñez, Maria Jose Fuenzalida, Felipe Flores-Santibáñez, Pablo J. Sáez, Jessica Dorner, Ana-Maria Lennon-Dumenil, Victor Martínez, Emmanuel Zorn, Mario Rosemblatt, Daniela Sauma and Maria Rosa Bono. Thymic B Cells Promote Germinal Center-Like Structures and the Expansion of Follicular Helper T Cells in Lupus Prone Mice. Front. Immunol. 11:696 (2020). doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.00696. | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Felipe Flores-Santibáñez, Bárbara Cuadra, Dominique Fernández, Mariana Rosemblatt, Sarah Núñez, Pablo Cruz, Felipe Gálvez-Cancino, J.César Cárdenas, Alvaro Lladser, Mario Rosemblatt, María Rosa Bono and Daniela Sauma. In Vitro-Generated Tc17 Cells Present a Memory Phenotype and Serve As a Reservoir of Tc1 Cells In Vivo. Frontiers in Immunology. 9:209. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00209 (2018). | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Daniela Sauma, Natalia Crisóstomo, Camila Fuentes, María Alejandra Gleisner, Yessia Hidalgo, María José Fuenzalida, Mario Rosemblatt & María Rosa Bono. Adoptive transfer of autoimmune splenic dendritic cells
to lupus-prone mice triggers a B lymphocyte humoral response. Immunol Res. 65(4):957-968. doi: 10.1007/s12026-017-8936-9 (2017). | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Tejón G., Manríquez V., De Calisto J., Flores F., Hidalgo Y., Crisóstomo N., Fernández D., Sauma D., Bono M. R., Rosemblatt M. Vitamin A impairs the reprogramming of Treg into IL-17-producing cells during intestinal inflammation. Biomed. Res. International. 2015, 1-8 (2015) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Moore C., Tejón G., Fuentes C., Hidalgo Y., Bono M. R., Maldonado P., Fernández R., Wood K., Fierro J. A., Rosemblatt M., Sauma D., Bushell A. Alloreactive regulatory T cells generated with retinoic acid prevent skin allograft rejection. Eur. J. Immunol. 45, 452-463 (2015) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Doñas C., Fritz M., Manríquez V., Tejón G., Bono M. R., Loyola A., Rosemblatt M. Trichostatin A promotes the differentiation and suppressive functions of regulatory T cells. Clin. Dev. Immunol 2013, 679804 (2013) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Moore C., Fuentes C., Sauma D., Morales J., Bono M. R., Rosemblatt M. and Fierro J. A. Retinoic acid generates regulatory T cells in experimental transplantation. Transplant. Proc. 43 (6): 2334-2337 (2011) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Sauma D., Espejo P., Ramirez A., Fierro A., Rosemblatt M. and Bono M. R. Differential regulation of Notch ligands in dendritic cells upon interaction with T helper cells. Scand. J. Immunol. 74, 62-70 (2011) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Villablanca E. J., Wang S., De Calisto J., Gomes D. C. O., Kane M. A., Napoli J. L., Blaner W. S., Kagechika H., Blomhoff R., Rosemblatt M., Bono M. R., Von Andrian U. H. and Mora J. R. MyD88 and retinoic acid signaling pathways interact to modulate gastrointestinal activities of Dendritic cells. Gastroenterology 141, 176-185 (2011) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Jorgensen T. N., Alfaro J., Enriquez H. L., Jiang C., Loo W. M., Atencio S., Bupp M. R., Mailloux C. M., Metzger T., Flannery S., Rozzo S. J., Kotzin B. L., Rosemblatt M., Bono M. R. and Erickson L. D. Development of murine lupus involves the combined genetic contribution of the SLAM and FcyR intervals within the Nba2 autoimmune susceptibility locus. The J. Immunol. 15, 775-786 (2010) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Elgueta R., Sepúlveda F. E., Vilches F., Vargas L., Mora J. R., Bono M. R. and Rosemblatt M. Imprinting of CCR9 on CD4 T cells requires IL-4 signalling on mesenteric lymph node dendritic cells. J. Immunol. 180, 6501-6507 (2008) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Wilhelm V., Miquel A., Burzio L. O., Rosemblatt M., Engel E., Valenzuela S, Parada G. and Valenzuela P. D. T. A vaccine against the salmonid pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis based on recombinant proteins. Vaccine 24 (23): 5083-5091 (2006) | PDF | ABSTRACT
  • Mora J. R., Bono M. R., Manjunath N., Weninger W., Cavanagh L. L., Rosemblatt M. and Von Andrian U. H. Selective imprinting of gut-homing T cells by Peyer’s patch dendritic cells. Nature 424, 88-93 (2003) | PDF | ABSTRACT