Benedetta Savino


Benedetta Savino

Assistant professor, University of Milan

Dr. Benedetta Savino graduated in Medical Biotechnologies at the University of Milan in 2006 and received her PhD in Experimental Pathology and Neuropathology from the Faculty of Medicine at University of Milan in 2009. From the graduate degree, she worked in the Laboratory of Leukocyte Biology at Humanitas Clinical and Reseach Center (headed by Prof. Massimo Locati), acquiring experience in the field of macrophage lineage in inflammatory and tumor conditions, in human and murine settings.

During her PhD, she performed biochemical studies on the signaling of the atypical chemokines’ receptor ACKR2 and she demonstrated the role of ACKR2 in the control of the chemokines’ gradient and inflammatory monocytes’ recruitment during inflammation in vivo. She found also that the activation of immunosuppressive functions of monocytes is dependent on the ACKR2’s scavenging activity of inflammatory chemokines, as demonstrated in a GVHD model. In 2012, she was awarded with the Ed Leonard Prize Fund for Chemotaxis/Chemokine Research, during the 10th Joint Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine Society (ICS), in Geneve, Switzerland. In the 2014, during the three years AIRC (Italian Foundation for Cancer Research) fellowship, she published a work on Kaposi’s sarcoma and its expression of ACRK2, which sustains tumor growth modulating infiltration and polarization of macrophages.

In 2015, as PI of the project, Dr. Savino received a scientific research grant of three years funded by the Italian Ministry of Health (RF, Bando Ricerca Finalizzata 2013) to conduct studies on “Natural killer cells and macrophages cross-talk in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection”, in order to evaluate whether NK cells were able to re-educate M2 macrophages in an anti-tumor phenotype during the progression of the HIV-related Kaposi’s sarcoma. In 2018, she carried out the study on the anti-metastatic neutrophils in ACKR2 KO mouse model.

In 2019 he took part in a project aimed to study the tetraspanin MS4A4A, whose expression is restricted to human and murine macrophages M2-type and to tumor-associated macrophages (TAM), demonstrating that MS4A4A regulates the activation of cytotoxic NK cells against metastatic tumor cells. In the last years, she is investigating the heterogeneity and the functional properties of human brain macrophage populations in high grade gliomas, performing scRNAseq and flow-cytometry analysis.

From November 2021, Dr. Benedetta Savino is a type B fixed-term researcher (RTDB) of the Department of Medical Biotechnologies and Translational Medicine at the University of Milan and she holded the national scientific qualification (ASN) for associate professor, sector 06/A2 “General pathology and clinical pathology” (2021).