Principal Investigators

Microbiome and Antitumor Immunity

Luigi Nezi

Luigi Nezi

Group Leader

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 performing multiOMIC analysis 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 prophylactic treatments or immune-based therapeutic choices.
  • Personalized interventions, by combining biotic and abiotic formulations to promote cancer prevention or turn an NR in an R.




Manzo T, [...] Rodighiero S, Dwyer KC, Sherrod SD, Kim M, Navin NE, Caprioli RM, Greenberg PD, Draetta G and Nezi L*

Accumulation of Long-chain fatty acids in the tumor microenvironment drives dysfunction in intra-pancreatic CD8+ T cells.

J Exp Med, 2020 *Corresponding author.


Gopalakrishnan V*, Spencer CN*, Nezi L*, [...] Futreal PA, Daniel CR, Ajami NJ, Petrosino JF, Tetzlaff MT, Sharma P, Allison JP, Jenq RR, Wargo JA

Gut microbiome modulates response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients.

Science, 2018 *Equal contribution.


Crasta K, Ganem NJ, Dagher R, Lantermann AB, Ivanova EV, Pan Y, Nezi L, Protopopov A, Chowdhury D, Pellman D

DNA breaks and chromosome pulverization from errors in mitosis.

Nature, 2012

Postdoc Bioinformatician

Punit Tyagi

PhD Student

Karol Konrad Kugiejko

PhD Student Bioinformatician

Angeli Dominique Garcia Macandog


Martina Romeo

Undergraduate Student

Andrea Marchetto

Chiara Martina

Research projects
Complete list of publications
Lab Alumni