Keynote Speaker for Vaccines conference - Giuseppe Bardi
Giuseppe Bardi
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy
Title : Vaccine-adjuvant nanotechnologies: Tailoring immune-interaction properties of nano particles


Inorganic and organic nanomaterials synthesized for biomedical applications have been mostly studied and modified to escape the immune system, for example, to produce bio-persistent drug delivery nanoparticles. However, the huge variability and specificity of cellular and molecular defenses vanish many of the researchers’ efforts to produce efficient immune-stealth materials. Looking at nanomaterial bio-applications up-side-down, it is reasonable to rather exploit their immune-activating properties. Nowadays, we can modify biomaterials at the nanoscale to tailor their cellular fate or membrane interaction. Theoretically, the functionalization of nanomaterials with immune-related molecules (i.e. sugars, lipoproteins or proteins) could specifically bind and activate their cognate receptors and the following pathways. In addition, the selective cell receptor expression could help their preferential targeting, although, the receptor binding and activation are not obvious as for the free molecule. A precise nanomaterial surface chemistry is required to properly add macromolecules that maintain signaling activity. To assure it, a detailed physicochemical characterization of the as-synthesized nanomaterial, as well as its behavior in the biological medium is required. We produced different types of nanoparticles decorated with chemokines to explore their potential immune applications. The “ad hoc” combination with other immune-active molecules can produce the specific response of the innate immune cells, which in turn leads to different adaptive responses. This immune response cascade can be modulated to provide the required adjuvant activity to specific vaccines that would not be significantly immunogenic by themselves.  Immune-specific nanomaterials’ chemical and biological characterization in vitro, as well as cell targeting and internalization properties will be shown and discussed in the frame of the latest results in the field.

Audience Take Away:

  • The talk will highlight the importance of a coordinated interdisciplinary research
  • The presented results will provide information on the precise nanomaterials design to achieve a specific goal.
  • It will provide a proof of principle that can be adapted to a broader range of applications
  • Successfully designed nanomaterials could significantly improve vaccine efficacy and a specific immune response


Dr Giuseppe Bardi graduated at University of Bologna (Italy) in Biological Sciences and received the PhD at The Theodor Kocher Institute in Bern (Switzerland) in Cellular and Molecular Immunology. He worked as postdoc at the The Babraham Institute (Cambridge, UK) and at the FELS Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University (Philadelphia, PA, USA). Dr Bardi has been Research Associate in the Dep. of Pharmacology and Physiology at Drexel University (USA) before moving back to Italy at Neuroscience Institute CNR (Pisa, Italy) and Contract Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Pisa (Italy). Since 2011 Dr Bardi is a Scientist of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Genova, Italy), focusing on nanomaterials’ interactions with immune cells. His research aims at developing tailored nanoparticles to behave as vaccine adjuvants with novel properties. Dr Bardi is also a member of the Editorial Board of “Vaccines” (MDPI) and Topic Editor for “Nanomaterials” (MDPI). He serves as reviewer for several journals as well as for the Polish “National Science Centre” founding agency (Narodowe Centrum Nauki – NCN, Poland).