For many years, Professor Mantovani has focused his studies on the functioning mechanisms of innate immunity, which is the first line of defense against infections that are caused by viruses and bacteria, helping to discover new molecules and functions.

“These functional ancestors of antibodies play an essential role in resistance to different classes of viruses. The challenge today is to see if these defense molecules are able to recognize the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and play a defensive role against the infection. And this is what we are studying, together with other colleagues, at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan,” said Professor Mantovani. Clarifying the relationship between the immune system and SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, may be the basis for developing new tools for diagnosing the disease.

The study is funded by the international fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana, which strengthens an already active collaboration with Humanitas University.

“We felt we had to do something to combat this devastating virus that is affecting the whole humanity, starting with China. In these cases it is important to make the right choice. That is why we thought Humanitas University was the ideal interlocutor: a special reality for excellence and humanity, with which we have already collaborated on a scholarship project.

In facing tragedies of such dimensions, every action may seem irrelevant, but now, even the smallest gesture can have an enormous significance. Supporting scientific research is a moral duty for us, we hope that our contribution can help to solve this dramatic problem,” said Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.

The study puts together the expertise of the team led by Professor Mantovani and Prof. Cecilia Garlanda, from Humanitas University, about the immune system, and those studies focused on viruses led by Prof. Elisa Vincenzi and Prof. Massimo Clementi from the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, the first in Italy to isolate the pathogen responsible for SARS virus.