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“Finding the missing "lncs" of the innate immune system”
Dr Stephanie Fanucchi
CSIR & The University of Cape Town
[Host: Dr Musa Mhlanga]
Dr Fanucchi holds a PhD in biochemistry and cell biology from the University of the Witwatersrand. She joined the Mhlanga lab in 2010 and is currently a senior scientist jointly based at the CSIR and The Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine. Dr Fanucchi’s research is focused on understanding, at a fundamental level, how immune genes are regulated. In particular, understanding the role of nuclear architecture, long non coding RNAs and epigenetic regulation in the control of immune gene activation. Fanucchi has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed papers, one being part of a team of South African and international researchers who recently published a study that revealed the mechanism of how the immune system remembers prior exposures to pathogens, to trigger the right response to reinfection. Specifically, this study revealed that a new class of long non coding RNAs regulate the epigenetic acquisition of memory at immune genes that occurs during trained immune responses.