I graduated with a BSc in Biology and I specialised in Biomedical Research with a MSc from the University of Milan, Italy. At the time of my Master Degree I had an internship in Federica Sallusto laboratory and Dr Tess Brodie in Bellinzona, Switzerland, where the focus of our research was to characterize and quantitate T helper cells in different allergic responses and analyse the specificity and the functionality of allergen-specific CD4+ T helper cells.
I moved to Oxford in Prof Andrew McMichael Viral Immunology laboratory as a research assistant with Dr Suzanne Campion, where we studied pre-existing repertoires of HIV-1 specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. At the University of Oxford, I also completed my DPhil in Clinical Medicine under the supervision of Prof Andrew McMichael, Prof Persephone Borrow and Dr Suzanne Campion. The research project was to investigate T follicular helper cell biology from different human tissues through a variety of different functional and phenotypical approaches and to develop T cell receptor sequencing and clonotyping techniques.
As a post-doctoral researcher in Prof Andrew McMichael and Prof Persephone Borrow Viral Immunology laboratory I mainly focus my research on the development of HIV-1 broadly neutralising antibodies, by analysing the CD4+ T follicular helper cells specificity and repertoire and performing quantitative analysis of HIV-1-specific CD4+ T cell in HVTN106 clinical trial to determine the impact of different vaccination regimes designed.
In addition, we collaborate with Prof Michael Dustin (Kennedy Institute, Oxford) to investigate T and B cell contact in the immunological synapses using different co-culture techniques and high-resolution technology.
Preexisting memory CD4+ T cells contribute to the primary response in an HIV-1 vaccine trial
Campion SL. et al, (2021), Journal of Clinical Investigation, 131
The Importance of Cellular Immune Response to HIV: Implications for Antibody Production and Vaccine Design.
Brenna E. and McMichael AJ., (2021), DNA and cell biology
HLA-E–restricted, Gag-specific CD8
T cells can suppress HIV-1 infection, offering vaccine opportunities
Yang H. et al, (2021), Science Immunology, 6
CD4+ T Follicular Helper Cells in Human Tonsils and Blood Are Clonally Convergent but Divergent from Non-Tfh CD4+ Cells
Brenna E. et al, (2020), Cell Reports, 30, 137 - 152.e5
Repertoire sharing between CD4(+) T follicular helper cells in peripheral blood and tonsil
Brenna E. et al, (2019), EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY, 49, 424 - 425