- 03/08-present Scientific Director of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy;
- 03/07-present Professor in Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Surgery, “Vita-Salute San Raffaele” University, Milan, Italy;
- 07/03-present Chief of Clinic, Pediatric Immunology and Hematology and Clinical Research Unit (CRU-P) San Raffaele Institute and San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy;
- 06/00-09/08 Director of San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (HSR-TIGET), Milan, Italy;
- 12/98-05/00 Co-Director of San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (HSR-TIGET), Milan, Italy;
- 02/98-12/98 Director of Cellular Therapy Laboratory, Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy, Scientific Institute H.S: Raffaele (HSR-TIGET), Milan, Italy;
- 11/01-02/07 Associate Professor in Pediatrics, School of Medicine and Surgery, “Vita-Salute San Raffaele” University, Milan, Italy;
- 11/94-10/01 Associate Professor in Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Turin, Turin, Italy;
- 3/92-12/96 Senior Staff Scientist, Human Immunology Department, DNAX Research Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Palo Alto, CA;
- 3/89-3/92 Staff Scientist, Human Immunology Department, DNAX Research Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Palo Alto, CA;
- 2/88-2/89 Assistant pediatrician (Medecin Resident Etranger des Hospices Civils de Lyon), Division of Transplantation and Clinical Immunology , Hospital E. Herriot, Lyon, France;
- 8/86-1/88 Associate Senior Scientist (Chargee de Recherches), Laboratory for Immunological Research, UNICET (Schering-Plough Corporation), Dardilly, France; Assistant Professor (Assistant Etranger), School of Medicine, University Claude Bernard, Lyon, France;
- 1985-7/86 Intern, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Immunology , School of Medicine, University of Turin, Italy;
- 1984 Research Associate, Laboratory for Immunological Research, UNICET (Schering-Plough Corporation), Dardilly, France;
- 1983-84 Research Fellow, Division of Transplantation and Clinical mmunology Hospital E. Herriot, Lyon, France;
- 1980-83 Intern, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Immunology , School of Medicine, University of Turin, Italy;
- 1982 M.D. Thesis with honors, University of Turin, Italy.
During her stay in Lyon at the Edouard Herriot Hospital and at the Laboratory for Immunological Research UNICET Maria Grazia Roncarolo worked on the mechanism of tolerance in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) patients transplanted with allogenic hematopoietic stem cells.
She worked for more than 8 years at the DNAX Research Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Human Immunology Department, in Palo Alto, CA, on the basic biology of hematopoietic stem cells, cytokines, and transplantation tolerance.
She has a long-lasting interest in the mechanisms that lead and maintain tolerance in bone marrow transplantation, organ transplantation, autoimmune disease and gene therapy.
In addition, she is interested in investigating the mechanisms underlying the immune defects, and identifying new cures for children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and other forms of primary immunodeficiencies. She studied the mechanism of tolerance in SCID patients transplanted with allogenic hematopoietic stem cells. In these children, she demonstrated that tolerance is due to an active mechanism of suppression. She was among the first to convincingly prove that active suppression is mediated by regulatory T cells. Her group was pioneer in the demonstration and biological characterization of a new subset of regulatory T cells named T regulatory type 1. Since her publication in the “Nature” scientific journal, these cells have been the subject of extensive investigation, and several groups, including that of Maria Grazia Roncarolo, proved that T regulatory type 1 cells play a key role in immunological homeostasis and in prevention of autoimmune diseases.
Her current research interests are:
- Immunotolerance: Mechanisms underlying T-cell tolerance, induction of T-cell anergy and T regulatory cells
- Immunomodulation: Mechanisms underlying T-cell activation and T-cell anergy
- Transplantation: Immune reconstitution and T-cell tolerance after allogenic stem cell transplantation
- Primary immunodeficiencies: Characterization of molecular and immunological defects
- Hematopoiesis: Mechanisms underlying growth and differentiation of hematopoietic precursors
- Cytokines: Role in regulation of immune and inflammatory responses
- Gene therapy: Gene transduction of hematopoietic stem cells for gene therapy in primary immunodeficiencies and metabolic diseases
The clinical interests are: Primary immunodeficiencies, Autoimmune diseases, Allogenic Bone Marrow Transplantation, and Gene Therapy Clinical trials
She has published 201 papers in international scientific peer review journals (total Impact Factor 1957 with average I.F. 9,74), and contributed 22 chapters to books. Overall, her papers have been cited > 8500 times. (Scopus “h “ index : 48).
Inventor of 11 international patents issued or pending.
- Reviewer for the following funding agencies: Wellcome Trust, UK; Immune Tolerance Network, USA; EEC (5th and 6th European Framework); The Italian Ministry of University and Scientific Research (Cofin-Cineca); Fonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) - Austria; A.I.S.M. – Italy; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – USA (until 09/2008); French National Research Agency (ANR) and French Institute for Research on Rare Diseases (GIS-Institut des Maladies Rares); The Spanish Ministry of Health and Consumer's Affairs; ERC Starting Grants.
- Member of the Editorial Board for Current Gene Therapy (January 2006-present); Human Immunology (January 2007-present); Rivista Italiana di Pediatria (June 2007-present).
- Member of the Board for the Italian School of Immunology "Ruggero Ceppellini" of Naples (1997-present).
- Member of ITERT (Institut de transplantation et de recherche en transplantation) of Nantes Scientific Advisory Board (2001-present).
- Member of the Scientific Committee of the European School of Hematology (ESH) (January 2004-present).
- Member of the ASGT Immunology of Gene Therapy Committee (May 2004-present).
- Member of the ESGT Regulatory and Ethics Committee (as from December 2006).
- Chair of the ASGT Immunology of Gene Therapy Committee (January 2008- present).
- Member of the EBMT Immunology Working Party (May 2008-present).
Prof. Roncarolo has mentored > 10 PhD students to successful completion of their studies.