Principal Investigators

Microbiome and Antitumor Immunity

Luigi Nezi

Luigi Nezi

Group Leader

Email [email protected]
Telephone +39 02 94375171
Location Building 13
Floor 2nd
Via Adamello 16, Milano


Based on the most recent estimate of microbes populating the human body, we are made of bacteria at least as much of human cells and they coexist on our body as result of a dynamic equilibrium between Darwinian competition and cooperation. There is a growing appreciation of the role of the microbiome in cancer-related outcomes and our recent work demonstrated that differential bacterial “signatures” exist in the gut of melanoma patients that responded (R) or not (NR) to immunotherapy. Building on the synergy between scientists from different backgrounds to bridge the chasm between the bench and the clinic, our lab is seeking for innovative strategies to improve cancer prevention and response to immunotherapy by manipulating the human microbiome. We are interested in molecular mechanisms that regulate the crosstalk between innate and adaptive immune system in response to modulation of the microbiome, in particular in the gut.


We are generating and integrating multiOMIC datasets and developing new ex vivo and in vivo systems to create:

  • Diagnostic tools, that could reveal high-risk subjects or potential R and NR patients, and guide subsequent immune-based therapeutics.
  • Personalized interventions, by combining biotic and abiotic formulations to promote cancer prevention or turn NR patients in R.





Sambruni G, Macandog AD, Wirbel J, Cagnina D, Catozzi C, Dallavilla T, Borgo F, Fazio N, Fumagalli-Romario U, Petz WL, Manzo T, Ravenda SP, Zeller G, Nezi L*, Schaefer MH*
*Equal contribution.
Location and condition based reconstruction of colon cancer microbiome from human RNA sequencing data.
Genome Med, 2023


Tiberti S, Catozzi C, Croci O, Ballerini M, Cagnina D, Soriani C, Scirgolea C, Gong Z, He J, Macandog AD, Nabinejad A, Nava Lauson CB, Quinte' A, Bertalot G, Petz WL, Ravenda SP, Licursi V, Paci P, Rasponi M, Rotta L, Fazio N, Ren G, Fumagalli-Romario U, Schaefer MH, Campaner S, Lugli E, Nezi L*, Manzo T*
*Equal contribution.
GZMKhigh CD8+ T effector memory cells are associated with CD15high neutrophil abundance in non-metastatic colorectal tumors and predict poor clinical outcome.
Nat Commun
, 2022


Manzo T*, Prentice BM, Anderson KG, Raman A, Schalck A, Codreanu GS, Nava Lauson CB, Tiberti S, Raimondi A, Jones MA, Reyzer M, Bates BM, Spraggins JM, Patterson NH, McLean JA, Rai K, Tacchetti C, Tucci S, Wargo JA, Rodighiero S, Clise-Dwyer K, Sherrod SD, Kim M, Navin NE, Caprioli RM, Greenberg PD, Draetta G, Nezi L*
*Equal contribution.
Accumulation of Long-chain fatty acids in the tumor microenvironment drives dysfunction in intra-pancreatic CD8+ T cells.
J Exp Med
, 2020


Gopalakrishnan V*, Spencer CN*, Nezi L*, Reuben A, Andrews MC, Karpinets TV, Prieto PA, Vicente D, Hoffman K, Wei SC, Cogdill AP, Zhao L, Hudgens CW, Hutchinson DS, Manzo T, Petaccia de Macedo M, Cotechini T, Kumar T, Chen WS, Reddy SM, Szczepaniak Sloane R, Galloway-Pena J, Jiang H, Chen PL, Shpall EJ, Rezvani K, Alousi AM, Chemaly RF, Shelburne S, Vence LM, Okhuysen PC, Jensen VB, Swennes AG, McAllister F, Marcelo Riquelme Sanchez E, Zhang Y, Le Chatelier E, Zitvogel L, Pons N, Austin-Breneman JL, Haydu LE, Burton EM, Gardner JM, Sirmans E, Hu J, Lazar AJ, Tsujikawa T, Diab A, Tawbi H, Glitza IC, Hwu WJ, Patel SP, Woodman SE, Amaria RN, Davies MA, Gershenwald JE, Hwu P, Lee JE, Zhang J, Coussens LM, Cooper ZA, Futreal PA, Daniel CR, Ajami NJ, Petrosino JF, Tetzlaff MT, Sharma P, Allison JP, Jenq RR, Wargo JA
*Equal contribution.
Gut microbiome modulates response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients.
Science, 2018 


Martina Freisa

Serena Galiè

Luis Gustavo Sabino


Davide Olivari

Undergraduate Student

Javaneh Khadempour

Research projects
Complete list of publications
Former Members