Giorgio Trinchieri, M.D.

Giorgio Trinchieri, M.D.
Program Director
NIH Distinguished Investigator
Head, Cancer Immunology Section

Dr. Trinchieri has contributed to the identification of the interplay between inflammation/innate resistance and adaptive immunity, and of the role of cytokines and interferons in the regulation of hematopoiesis, innate resistance and immunity in infections and cancer.  His main focus now is the role of inflammation/innate resistance and commensal microbiota in carcinogenesis, cancer progression and therapy of cancer.

As Program Director, Dr. Trinchieri oversees the operations of intramual laboratories that constitute the major immunologic component of the NCI inflammation and cancer initiative that seeks to partner NCI's expertise in inflammation and immunoloogy with its cutting-edge etiology and carcinogenesis program. 

Areas of Expertise

1) inflammation, 2) microbiota, 3) carcinogenesis, 4) cytokines, 5) interleukin-12,
6) interferons

Contact Info

Giorgio Trinchieri, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 37, Room 4146A
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 240-760-7735
Fax: 240-541-4492

Role of Inflammation, Innate Resistance, and Immunity in Carcinogenesis, Cancer Progression, and Prevention or Destruction

Recent studies are shedding quite a different light on the way in which innate resistance, as an integral part of inflammation, is participating in oncogenesis and tumor surveillance. For a long time, innate resistance has been considered a primitive non-specific form of resistance to infections eclipsed by the potent and specific acquired immunity of higher organisms. More recently, it has been recognized that innate resistance is not only the first line of defense against infections but it sets the stage and it is necessary for the development of adaptive immunity. It is now becoming evident, however, that the processes that the organisms use for resistance to infections are derived and shared with the mechanisms essential for tissue homeostasis and morphogenesis. Innate resistance is mediated not only by specialized cells but most stromal and parenchyma cells participate in the process and they may express and utilize many of the receptors also utilized by "immune cells" with similar signaling and physiological responses. Similarly, in cancer biology, it is becoming manifest that what used to be considered the defensive mechanisms of innate resistance and inflammation are indeed manifestations of tissue homeostasis and control of cellular proliferation that have many pleiotropic effects on carcinogenesis and tumor progression and dissemination. The interaction of the inflammatory mediators and effector cells with carcinogenesis and tumor progression is complicated and results in effects that either favor or impede tumor progression. The simple concept that early inflammation is necessary for carcinogenesis whereas inflammatory and immune response would prevent, when successful, tumor progression has being replaced by a more subtle understanding that the degree of inflammation and the type of inflammatory/immune response are responsible for tilting the balance between tumor progression and regression. The different investigators of the Cancer and Inflammation Program (CIP), also in collaboration with many investigators focusing in carcinogenesis and tumor biology, both in Bethesda and in Frederick, will be investigating many aspects of the complex cross-talk between inflammation and cancer.

In my own group and in collaboration with the other investigators in the CIP, I plan to pursue a scientific program both in the mouse and in humans on the interface between inflammation, natural resistance and adaptive immunity with a focus on:

  1. The molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating the activity of dendritic cell subsets, particularly the type I Interferon-producing plasmacytoid dendritic cells as well as conventional dendritic cells and their cross-activating interaction with other inflammatory cell types, natural killer (NK) cells, and T cells.
  2. The role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the regulation of immune response and tolerance in experimental models of cancer, autoimmunity, and infections.
  3. The study of the molecular, structural and signaling aspects of receptors recognizing pathogens, particularly Toll-like receptors, cytoplasmic NOD and RIG-I-like receptors, and other surface receptor and their synergism/antagonism in the regulation of the inflammatory response.
  4. The role of cytokines (including IL-12 family, type I and II interferons, interleukin-10) and dendritic cells in regulating the early innate response to infections and cancer and the deviation of the adaptive response for the development of preventive (vaccines) and prophylactic treatments for cancer and infectious diseases.
  5. The study of the immunosuppressive tumor environment resulting in alternate activation of macrophages and myeloid cells and paralysis of dendritic cells, with an emphasis on the role of IL-10 and STAT3 activation; the reversion of the immunosuppressive environment will be combined to activation of innate resistance or modulation of the inflammatory response for anti-tumor therapy.
  6. The role of various inflammation-related gene products (tumor necrosis factor, IL-12, IL-23, IL-27, IL-10, IL-17, IL-22, Toll-like receptors and their signaling molecules) in carcinogenesis utilizing various genetic or chemical models of colon and skin carcinogenesis.
NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Systems Biology, Virology
  1. Sui Y, Lewis GK, Wang Y, Berckmueller K, Frey B, Dzutsev A, Vargas-Inchaustegui D, Mohanram V, Musich T, Shen X, DeVico A, Fouts T, Venzon D, Kirk J, Waters RC, Talton J, Klinman D, Clements J, Tomaras GD, Franchini G, Robert-Guroff M, Trinchieri G, Gallo RC, Berzofsky JA.
    J Clin Invest. 129(3): 1314-1328, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Dmitrieva-Posocco O, Dzutsev A, Posocco DF, Hou V, Yuan W, Thovarai V, Mufazalov IA, Gunzer M, Shilovskiy IP, Khaitov MR, Trinchieri G, Waisman A, Grivennikov SI.
    Immunity. 50(1): 166-180, 2019. [ Journal Article ]
  3. odogai M, O'Connell J, Kim K, Kim Y, Moritoh K, Chen C, Gusev F, Vaughan K, Shulzhenko N, Mattison JA, Lee-Chang C, Chen W, Carlson O, Becker KG, Gurung M, Morgun A, White J, Meade T, Perdue K, Mack M, Ferrucci L, Trinchieri G, de Cabo R, Rogaev E, Egan J, Wu J, Biragyn A.
    Sci Transl Med. 10(467): 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Plantamura E, Dzutsev A, Chamaillard M, Djebali S, Moudombi L, Boucinha L, Grau M, Macari C, Bauché D, Dumitrescu O, Rasigade JP, Lippens S, Plateroti M, Kress E, Cesaro A, Bondu C, Rothermel U, Heikenwälder M, Lina G, Bentaher-Belaaouaj A, Marie JC, Caux C, Trinchieri G, Marvel J, Michallet MC.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 115(41), 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Smith CK, Trinchieri G.
    J Leukoc Biol. 104(4): 701-715, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Trinchieri was most recently the Director of the Schering Plough Laboratory for Immunological Research in Dardilly, France, and an NIH Fogarty Scholar at the Laboratory for Parasitic Diseases, NIAID. Since August 2006, he has been the Director of the Cancer and Inflammation Program, and Chief of the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology. His research at the CCR focuses on the interplay between inflammation/innate resistance and adaptive immunity, and the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the regulation of hematopoiesis, innate resistance, and immunity. He discovered interleukin-12 while at the Wistar Institute in 1989 and for many years has been characterizing the molecular mechanisms of interleukin-12 production and action, and the role of this molecule in tumor immunity, infections, and autoimmunity.

Name Position
Tim Back Biological Laboratory Technician
Jonathan H. Badger, Ph.D. Staff Scientist
Sharon Bargo M.S. Technical Laboratory Manager
Pramita Chatterjee M.S. Microbiologist
Ren-Ming Dai Special Volunteer
Amiran K. Dzutsev M.D., Ph.D. Staff Scientist
April Huang B.S. Research Associate (Contr.)
John McCulloch Ph.D. Research Fellow
Stephanie Prescott M.S.N. Special Volunteer
Indira Rao B.S. Special Volunteer
Soumen Roy Dr. rer. nat. Research Fellow
Rosalba Salcedo, Ph.D. Staff Scientist
Loretta Smith Biological Laboratory Technician
Lisa Thammavong B.Sc. Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Marie A. Vetizou Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Giselle Wallace BSc. Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Rodrigo Xavier Das Neves Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)