Innate immune sensing of DNA through the cGAS-STING pathway


Event details

Date and time 16.12.2020 12:1513:15  
Speaker Dr Andrea Ablasser, SV / GHI / UPABLASSER
Category Conferences - Seminars
The life of any organism depends on the ability of its cells to recognize and respond to pathogenic microbes. To accomplish this vital task cells rely on intricate signaling pathways that couple sensing of pathogen-associated danger signals to the execution of antimicrobial immune responses. The cGAS-(cGAMP)-STING signaling pathway is at the core of a highly conserved innate immune strategy that originated in bacteria to protect from phage infection. In mammals, the pathway detects intracellular DNA to promote an antiviral and inflammatory state. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the cGAS-STING pathway plays a critical role in regulating a number of (patho-)physiological processes that fall outside its traditional function in host defense. As such, the cGAS-STING pathway is implicated in a number of inflammatory disease states where homeostasis is compromised and out-of-context self DNA accumulates, including autoimmunity, cancer, and neurodegeneration.
In this talk I will present advances in our understanding of the activation and regulation of the cGAS-STING pathway. I will also discuss how aberrant cGAS-STING signaling contributes to inflammatory phenotypes and highlight opportunities for pharmacologically targeting cGAS-STING pathway activity.

Andrea Ablasser obtained her MD at the University of Munich. After her post-doc at the University of Bonn, she joined EPFL as an assistant professor. Her research focuses on mechanisms of innate immunity. She played a major role in deciphering how cells respond to DNA as a signal of infection via the so-called cGAS-STING pathway - a fundamental discovery, which paved the way for promising new immunotherapies. Amongst several distinctions, Andrea Ablasser is recipient of the Coley Award, the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Award, the  National Latsis Prize, the ACTERIA Prize, and the Eppendorf Award, and she was elected member of EMBO. She is the founding scientist of IFM Due, a biopharmaceutical company developing cGAS-STING antagonists for the treatment of inflammatory disorders.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free


  • SV Faculty


  • Dr Hirling, M. Mary


innate immunity inflammation immunotherapy DNA sensing

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