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AIAS Seminar: Ermelinda Porpiglia, AIAS Associate Fellow

Revisiting the immune system: from warrior to nurturer

Credit: Britannia, Macrophage.

Info about event


Monday 11 March 2024,  at 11:00 - 12:00


AIAS, Building 1630 room 301

Ermelinda Porpiglia, AIAS Associate Fellow and Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University

The seminar is held in-person, but online attendance is possible via: https://aarhusuniversity.zoom.us/j/67482436575


We think about the immune system as a warrior that defends us against foreign invaders. Less known is its role as nurturer. For example, red blood cells develop around a central immune cell called the “macrophage”. Within the “erythroblastic island”, a specialized niche, macrophages create a supportive environment that concentrates tissue-specific nutrients and integrates signals from the environment.

We are interested in understanding how immune cells support stem cell function during tissue regeneration and elucidating whether their nurturing role is impaired during aging. Toward this goal we capitalize on novel single-cell technologies to map the dynamic interactions between stem cells and immune cells within the tissue microenvironment. Specifically, we aim to uncover specialized niches that support effective regeneration and investigate whether key niche interactions are disrupted in the context of aging. This research will reveal therapeutic targets and facilitate the development of strategies that modulate the immune system to boost tissue repair in the elderly.

Short Bio

Ermelinda Porpiglia is an AIAS Associate Fellow and a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedicine, at Aarhus University. Her research interest is to understand how aging impairs tissue regeneration. During her postdoctoral training at Stanford University, she pioneered the application of single-cell mass cytometry (CyTOF) to skeletal muscle, to identify aberrant stem cell subsets that accumulate during aging and understand how they affect muscle regeneration.

Her laboratory employs cutting-edge single-cell technologies, such as single-cell mass cytometry and imaging mass cytometry, to map stem cell niche dynamics at single-cell resolution and gain mechanistic insights into stem cell aging.

Ermelinda holds a BS/MS degree in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Bologna Medical School, Italy, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA. A passionate advocate for women in STEM, she is the Director of the Danish Society for Women in Science (DANWISE).

What is an AIAS Seminar?

The AIAS Seminar is a session of seminars held by the AIAS fellows, AIAS Visiting or Tandem Fellows or by other speakers proposed by the fellows. In each seminar, a fellow will present and discuss her/his current research and work-in-progress for 30 minutes, closing off with 30 minutes for questions, comments and discussion.

All seminars are held in English.