Dr. Alessandro Sette
Professor and GVN Member
La Jolla Institute for Immunology
Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research
Center for Autoimmunity and Inflammation
University of California, School of Medicine
Biosketch: Dr. Alessandro Sette has devoted more than 35 years to understanding and measuring immune responses as well as developing disease intervention strategies against cancer, autoimmunity, allergies, and infectious diseases.
Dr. Sette's laboratory is a world leader in the study of the specific structures, called epitopes, that the immune system recognizes. Knowledge of epitopes allows researchers to define the hallmarks of a beneficial immune response associated with effective vaccines, as opposed to immune responses that are ineffective or that cause harm. His laboratory’s infectious disease interests include SARS-CoV2, dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, herpesviruses, poxviruses, Lassa fever, HIV, and hepatitis viruses, as well as bacterial pathogens such as tuberculosis and bordetella pertussis. Outside of infectious diseases, the lab also researches allergic asthma and Parkinson’s disease.
To help accelerate immunology research around the world, Dr. Sette has overseen the design and curation efforts of the national Immune Epitope Database (IEDB), a freely available, widely used bioinformatics resource that catalogs all epitopes for humans and experimental animals for allergens, infectious diseases, autoantigens and transplants. The IEDB also includes epitope prediction tools.
Dr. Sette has his doctorate in Biological Sciences from the University of Rome and did postdoctoral work at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine in Denver, Colorado. In 1988, Dr. Sette joined the newly founded company Cytel in La Jolla, and was also appointed adjunct assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute. He founded Epimmune in 1997, where he served both as Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Officer until 2002. At that time, he joined La Jolla Institute ILJI) as Head of the Division of Vaccine Discovery. He also heads LJI's Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research.