Welcome to Immunopharmacology of Cancer

Our overall aim is to develop novel treatments to enhance the body's immune defenses against cancer.

Our research aims first at uncovering new mechanisms leading to activation of the immune system, for example during viral infections. Using this bioinspiration, our goal is to develop pharmacological ways to stimulate anticancer immunity.

We are currently working on the following questions:

  • What is the early sequence of immune activation during a viral infection? How can we reproduce this sequence pharmacologically?
  • How do virally-derived components, such as Toll-like receptor ligands, activate anti-cancer immunity and decrease cancer-associated immunosuppression?
  • Can we enhance migration of effector T cells into the tumor with virally-derived components?
  • Can we use nanoparticles as delivery system to focus their action and prevent unwanted side effects?

You can find more detailed information on the ongoing projects in "Research section"

Recent News


We are welcoming Lejla Macic who is starting her internship as Master student in our lab on July 10, 2023.


We are welcoming Sylvie Chliate who is starting as Lab Technician in our lab on July 1, 2023.


We are welcoming Pragallabh Purwar who is starting his PhD in our lab on June 1, 2023.


We are welcoming Pauline Desvignes who is starting her internship as Master student in our lab on March 27, 2023.


We are welcoming Yasmina Merzouk who is starting her PhD in our lab on April 1, 2023.


Congratulations to our PhD student Eloïse Dupuychaffray who was awarded with the Best Poster First Prize of the 18th Spring School on Immunology, Ettal (Germany).

Congratulations to our PhD students, Hélène Poinot and Eloïse Dupuychaffray, who have been selected for the 7th edition of the regional final of My thesis in 180 seconds, organized by the University of Geneva.

PRESS RELEASE - Geneva | 9 November 2022

A new nanoparticle to act at the heart of cells

A team from UNIGE and LMU developed a transport nanoparticle to make an anti-inflammatory drug much more effective and less toxic.

Read the full Press Release


Congratulations to Betül Taskoparan Yaglikci for a very successful thesis defense entitled
“Role of Intratumoral HMGB1 in the Antitumor Immune Response”


We are welcoming Aya Sebak who is starting as Post-doctoral fellow in our lab on April 1, 2022


We are welcoming Isis Senoner who is starting as Lab Technician in our lab on March 1, 2022.


We are welcoming Meryem Dalouadi who is starting as Research Assistant in our lab on January 1, 2022.

Congratulations to Julia Wagner for a very successful thesis defense entitled
“Potential and Challenges in Improving Cancer Immunotherapy with Agonists for Nucleic Acid Sensors”


Congratulations to the winners of the Artwork Contest 2021

1st prize : Julia Wagner


The Warhol Nanoparticles

These images depict the uptake of nanoparticles into immune cells. More and more nanoparticles are used as delivery vehicles to bring specific immune-activating drugs directly to immune cells, thereby increasing their efficacy. Thus, it is important to evaluate their potent uptake into these cells beforehand. Here, I chose the same image in different color schemes to convey a sense of the diversity of these promising new delivery agents.

2nd prize : Betül Taskoparan

Finding arts in science. The immunofluorescence image of cultured murine colorectal carcinoma cells. The labelling is for focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in green, red for β-actin (cytoskeleton), and yellow/orange for colocalization of FAK and β-actin. The nucleus is DAPI stained, blue. (Created with BioRender.com).


Finding arts in science

3rd prize : Viola Puddinu


Monsters & Co. (Gastric tumors)

Detail of early development of gastric tumors in a mouse model of stomach cancer stained with the technique of multicolour-immunofluorescence. The green color indicates tumor cells in the pathogenic state of hypoxia, which are rapidly growing as indicated by the red color in the nuclei. Immune cells colored in magenta surround the tumors.


Betül Taskoparan, Julia Wagner & Viola Puddinu

Congratulations to Betül Taskoparan for winning Best Poster First Prize & Best Poster Layout Prize during 16th Spring School of Immunology organized by German Society of Immunology, October 25-30, 2020, Ettal (Germany).

Congratulations to Dr. Viola Puddinu for her promotion to Research and Teaching Fellow, November 1, 2020.

Congratulations to our 3 PhD students Julia Wagner, Betül Taskoparan and Hélène Poinot for winning a Registration Grant for the 14th World Immune Regulations Meeting (WIRM-XIV), October 4-7, 2020, Davos (Switzerland)

Congratulations to Julia Wagner for the Poster Prize of the 14th World Immune Regulations Meeting (WIRM-XIV), "Combination of a TLR agonist with a STING ligand induces T cell death", October 4-7, 2020, Davos (Switzerland).

The 3rd prize "ISPSO Master" for the best personal research work was awarded to Jérémie Tachet for his work entitled "Impact of glucocorticoid metabolism on anticancer immunity" carried out in our lab. Congratulations !

Congratulations to Dr. Aurélien Pommier for receiving a grant from the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse, to support the next 18 months work of the team on the discovery of novel immunotherapy treatment for patients with renal cancer.

Congratulations to Dr. Viola Puddinu for being awarded a grant from the Novartis Foundation for one year to study the connection between stomach cancer and the gastric microbiota.


We are welcoming Guillaume Disner who is starting his PhD in our lab on January 1, 2021.


We are welcoming Jérémie Tachet who is starting his PhD in our lab on January 1, 2021.