From 1991 to 1994, Garlanda has been research assistant at the Immunology Laboratory at the “Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri”, in Milan, and, from 1994 to 1995, visiting fellow at the Département de Biologie Moléculaire et Structurale at the Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires de Grenoble, in France. After returning in Italy, she became head of the Experimental Immunopathology Unit of the Laboratory of Immunology at “Mario Negri”, before joining Humanitas Research Hospital in 2005, as a group leader. In September 2015 she became adjunct professor of medical microbiology at Humanitas University and since May 2017 Garlanda is associate professor of clinical pathology at Humanitas University.
Her research has been focused on the functional characterization of original molecules of the immune system, in particular of the long pentraxin PTX3 in innate immune responses to pathogens of fungal, bacterial or viral origin, and in the regulation of inflammatory responses in conditions of infections or tissue damage, such as wound healing and cancer. She contributed to characterizing the diagnostic potential of PTX3 in human inflammatory diseases and she is involved in the translation of PTX3 to the clinic as therapeutic and diagnostic tool in infectious diseases.
As of November 2022, she authored more than 250 peer reviewed paper and her h-index, according to Scopus, is 76. Garlanda’s research has been funded, among other, by the European Union, the Italian Association for Cancer Research (Fondazione AIRC), the Italian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, University and Research.