Kuka Mirela Ricercatore a tempo determinatoMedicineMED 04




Mirela Kuka is Assistant Professor of General Pathology at UniSR and Research Immunologist in the Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases (DITID) at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute. Her research activity focuses on immune responses, with a particular interest in cell-to-cell interactions at the interface between innate and adaptive immunity.

After obtaining a Ph.D. at the University of Siena, Mirela Kuka joined the Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology (LICB) at the National Institutes of Health (US). Here she characterized immune responses to viral infections in murine models bearing defects in the crosstalk between DC and T cells. Her post-doctorate studies at LICB also led to the identification and characterization of TDC, a novel innate polyclonal T cell subset with dendritic cell properties. In 2013 Mirela Kuka joined the Dynamics of Immune Responses Unit at DITID, where she works on adaptive immune responses to viral infections.


2010: Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology - School of Evolutionary Biology - University of Siena, Siena (Italy)

2006: Master of Science in Molecular Biotechnologies (110/110 cum laude), University of Turin (Italy)

2004: Bachelor of Science in Biotechnologies (110/110 cum laude), University of Turin Turin (Italy)


2016-Present: Assistant Professor of General Pathology (MED/04) -  Faculty of Medicine and Surgery - Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan (Italy)

2016-Present: Young Principal Investigator - Dynamics of Immune Responses Unit - Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases - San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (Italy)

2013-2016: Senior Postdoctoral Fellow - Dynamics of Immune Responses Unit - Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases - San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (Italy)

2010-2013: Postdoctoral Fellow - Laboratory of Immune Cell Biology - National Cancer Institute (NCI) - National Institutes of Health, Bethesda (Maryland, US)

2006-2010: Ph.D. Student - Adjuvants Team - Department of Immunology - Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Siena (Italy). Collaborative Ph.D. program between University of Siena, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, and the FP6 Network of Excellence DC-THERA

2003-2006: Undergraduate Student (Bachelor and Master of Science Thesis) - Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences - University of Turin, San Luigi Hospital, Orbassano (Italy)

2003: Undergraduate Student (Internship) - Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry - University of Turin, Turin (Italy)


Viral immunology, Tumor Immunology, Innate Immune Responses, Adaptive Immune Responses, Dendritic Cells, T and B Lymphocytes, Immune Cell Biology, Immune Cell Dynamics.

2021-Present: Associate Faculty Member - Faculty Opinions – London (GB)

2021-Present: Board Member of the PhD Curriculum in Basic and Applied Immunology and Oncology – International PhD Program in Molecular Medicine - Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Milan, Italy)

2020-Present: Member of the OSR Institutional Seminars Organizing Committee - San Raffaele Scientific Institute (Milan, Italy)

2020-Present: Member of the DITID Divisional Seminars Organizing Committee - San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan (Italy)

2018-Present: Member of the SIICA (Società di Immunologia, Immunologia Clinica e Allergologia) Junior Faculty

2018: Travel Grant Award at Immunology 2018 (AAI Annual Meeting) - Austin, Texas (US)

2015-Present: Reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals in the immunology field.


ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9418-1559

Scopus ID: 36110072200

Google Scholar ID: UQIO76gAAAAJ&hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mirela-kuka-87300513/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirelaKuka


1.        Sala, E., and M. Kuka#. 2020. The Suppressive Attitude of Inflammatory Monocytes in Antiviral Antibody Responses. Viral Immunol 33: 327-333.

2.        De Giovanni, M., V. Cutillo, A. Giladi, E. Sala, C. G. Maganuco, C. Medaglia, P. Di Lucia, E. Bono, C. Cristofani, E. Consolo, L. Giustini, A. Fiore, S. Eickhoff, W. Kastenmuller, I. Amit, M. Kuka*#, and M. Iannacone*#. 2020. Spatiotemporal regulation of type I interferon expression determines antiviral CD4+ T cell polarization. Nat Immunol 21: 321-330

3.        Kuka, M., M. De Giovanni, and M. Iannacone. 2019. The role of type I interferons in CD4+ T cell differentiation. Immunol Lett 215: 19-23.

4.        Bénéchet, A. P., G. De Simone, P. Di Lucia, F. Cilenti, G. Barbiera, N. Le Bert, V. Fumagalli, E. Lusito, F. Moalli, V. Bianchessi, F. Andreata, P. Zordan, E. Bono, L. Giustini, W. V. Bonilla, C. Bleriot, K. Kunasegaran, G. Gonzalez-Aseguinolaza, D. D. Pinschewer, P. T. F. Kennedy, L. Naldini, M. Kuka, F. Ginhoux, A. Cantore, A. Bertoletti, R. Ostuni, L. G. Guidotti, and M. Iannacone. 2019. Dynamics and genomic landscape of CD8+ T cells undergoing hepatic priming. Nature 574: 200-205.

5.        Kuka, M., and M. Iannacone. 2018. Viral subversion of B cell responses within secondary lymphoid organs. Nat Rev Immunol 18: 255-265.

6.        Thierry, G. R., M. Kuka, M. De Giovanni, I. Mondor, N. Brouilly, M. Iannacone, and M. Bajénoff. 2018. The conduit system exports locally secreted IgM from lymph nodes. J Exp Med 215: 2972-2983.

7.        Kuka, M., and M. Iannacone. 2017. Intestinal Flossing Keeps Pathogens at Bay. Dev Cell 43: 383-384.

8.        Sammicheli, S.*, M. Kuka*, P. Di Lucia, N. J. de Oya, M. De Giovanni, J. Fioravanti, C. Cristofani, C. G. Maganuco, B. Fallet, L. Ganzer, L. Sironi, M. Mainetti, R. Ostuni, K. Larimore, P. D. Greenberg, J. C. de la Torre, L. G. Guidotti, and M. Iannacone. 2016. Inflammatory monocytes hinder antiviral B cell responses. Sci Immunol 1:

9.        Kuka, M., and M. Iannacone. 2014. The role of lymph node sinus macrophages in host defense. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1319: 38-46.

10.      Kuka, M.*, I. Munitic*, M. L. Giardino Torchia, and J. D. Ashwell. 2013. CD70 is downregulated by interaction with CD27. J Immunol 191: 2282-2289.

11.      Munitic, I.*, M. Kuka*, A. Allam*, J. P. Scoville, and J. D. Ashwell. 2013. CD70 deficiency impairs effector CD8 T cell generation and viral clearance but is dispensable for the recall response to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. J Immunol 190: 1169-1179.

12.      Kuka, M.#, and J. D. Ashwell. 2013. A method for high purity sorting of rare cell subsets applied to TDC. J Immunol Methods 400-401: 111-116.

13.      Kuka, M., I. Munitic, and J. D. Ashwell. 2012. Identification and characterization of polyclonal alphabeta-T cells with dendritic cell properties. Nat Commun 3: 1223.

14.      Kuka, M., R. Baronio, S. Valentini, E. Monaci, A. Muzzi, S. Aprea, E. De Gregorio, and U. D’Oro. 2010. Src kinases are required for a balanced production of IL-12/IL-23 in human dendritic cells activated by Toll-like receptor agonists. PLoS One 5: e11491.

15.      Rizzetto, L.*, M. Kuka*, C. De Filippo, A. Cambi, M. G. Netea, L. Beltrame, G. Napolitani, M. G. Torcia, U. D’Oro, and D. Cavalieri. 2010. Differential IL-17 production and mannan recognition contribute to fungal pathogenicity and commensalism. J Immunol 184: 4258-4268.

* Equal contribution                                                                                                

# Corresponding author


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