Rosa Sottile obtained her PhD in Immunology from the University Magna Graecia of Catanzaro, Italy. She conducted half of her PhD at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, under the joint supervision of Ennio Carbone and Klass Kärre, where she gained extensive expertise in the field of Natural Killer (NK) cells and tumor immunology. Her research focused on how alterations in the tumor microenvironment impact susceptibility to NK cells and strategies to counteract tumor escape mechanisms.
She then moved to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA, to join the lab directed by Katharine Hsu, where became interested in immune cell plasticity. She identified a T cell population capable of innate mechanisms of tumor recognition which lacks signs of exhaustion, thus challenging the concept of a clear phenotypic and functional distinction between the innate and adaptive arm of immunity.
Sottile is now a senior scientist at the Translational Immunology Lab directed by Enrico Lugli, where she continues her studies on hybrid immune cell populations and T cell exhaustion, in particular how heterogeneity in the T cell compartment influences cell fates, persistence and ultimately patient’s response to therapy.