Paola Italiani

Research Areas: Immunology

Research Area NA 1 – Naples
+39 0816132 314 (office)
+39 0816132 367 (Lab)

Innate Immunity, Inflammation and Nanosafety

Keywords : innate immunity, Inflammation, nanosafety, monocytes/macrophages.

Dr. Paola Italiani, head of the laboratory of Innate Immunity, Inflammation and Nanosafety at IBBC, is an experimental immunologist with twenty years’ experience in innate immunity and inflammation and pharmacology, in project management in academy and in collaboration with industry, and in higher education and training. She has extensive experience in innate immunity mechanisms, focussing on human responses to inflammatory stimuli, with particular emphasis on the activity of monocytes/macrophages, in health and disease. She has designed and implemented human primary cell-based in vitro models of innate immune/inflammatory response in physiological conditions and during pathological derangements, for providing valid nanosafety and pharmacological testing. In human diseases, she studies the cross-regulation of factors and receptors of the IL-1/IL-18 family in chronic inflammatory, autoimmune and degenerative pathologies (e.g., ALS, SLE, Alzheimer’s disease). Moreover, she studies the modulation of monocyte/macrophage functions for predictive assessment of the health hazard posed by engineered nanoparticles and nanomedicines (nanoimmunosafety) and microplastics. In the last years, she has approached the comparative study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of innate immune memory in human monocytes and macrophages and in marine invertebrates.

She has a strong collaboration with Dr Maria Rosaria Coscia, Lab Adaptive immune response in a cold environment.


  • PhD in Molecular Medicine, Curriculum Immune and Inflammatory reactions
    Università degli Studi di Milano (
  • Postgraduate Specialization in Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversità degli studi di Pisa (
  • Degree in Biological Sciences
    Università degli studi di Pisa ( 

Positions: Ricercatore CNR, III Livello

Italiani P, Ettore Mosca E, Della Camera G, Melillo D, Migliorini P, Milanesi L, Boraschi D. 2020. Profiling the course of resolving vs. persistent inflammation in human monocytes: the role of IL-1 family molecules. Front Immunol. 11:1426. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01426

Melillo D, Marino R, Della Camera G, Italiani P, Boraschi D. 2019. Assessing Immunological Memory in the Solitary Ascidian Ciona robusta. Front Immunol, 10:1977. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01977

Italiani P, Manca ML, Angelotti F, Melillo D, Pratesi F, Puxeddu I, Boraschi D, Migliorini P. 2018. IL-1 family cytokines and soluble receptors in systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Res Ther 20:27. doi: 10.1186/s13075-018-1525-z

Boraschi D, Italiani P, Palomba R, Decuzzi P, Duschl A, Fadeel B, Moghimi SM. 2017. Nanoparticles and innate immunity: new perspectives on host defence. Sem Immunol 34:33-51. doi: 10.1016/j.smim.2017.08.013

Italiani P, Boraschi D. 2014. From Monocytes to M1/M2 Macrophages: Phenotypical vs. Functional Differentation. Front Immunol 5:514. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00514

Researchers : Annunziata Corteggio

Associate Researchers:

Diana Boraschi
Phone: +39 380 3845416

Rita Marino 
Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn
Phone: +39 081 5833429

Post-doctoral fellows:

Daniela Melillo
Phone: 081 6132367

PhD students:

Giacomo Della Camera
Ana Margarida Campos
Nguyen Phuc
Alessandro Verde

PRIN 2017 “NanoTechVax Tackling biological barriers to antigen delivery by nanotechnological vaccines”. Prot. 20173ZECCM

H2020 ETN project “ENDONANO: Quantitative detection of bacterial ENDOtoxin by novel NANOtechnological approaches”. H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018-EID-812661.

Collaborative Research Agreement GSK Vaccines S.R.L. – IBBC. Project: “Modulation of human monocyte and macrophage reactivity by OMVs derived by Neisseria meningitidis: the role of Adhesin A and Siglec receptors”