Dr. Alessandro Sette has devoted more than 35 years in biotech and academia to understanding and measuring immune responses, and developing disease intervention strategies against cancer, autoimmunity, allergy, and infectious diseases. Dr. Sette’s laboratory is the world leader in the study of the specific structures, called epitopes, that the immune system recognizes. Dr. Sette has overseen the design and curation efforts of the national Immune Epitope Database (IEDB), a freely available, widely used bioinformatics resource. The IEDB catalogs all epitopes for humans and experimental animals for allergens, infectious diseases, autoantigens and transplants, and includes epitope prediction tools to accelerate immunology research around the world. Dr. Sette’s lab uses knowledge of epitopes 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. The laboratory’s infectious disease interests include SARS CoV2, dengue, Zika Chikungunya, herpesviruses, poxviruses, lassa fever, HIV and hepatitis viruses, and bacterial pathogens such as tuberculosis and bordetella pertussis. Our investigations outside infectious disease include allergic asthma and Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Sette is a Doctor 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, when he joined LJI as Head of the Division of Vaccine Discovery. He also heads the Center for Infectious Disease at LJI.