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Lydia Kalafati Group

Inflammation-mediated Regulation of Myelopoiesis

Portrait Lydia Kalafati

The bone marrow reacts to inflammation. Specifically, acute or chronic inflammation promotes increased production of myeloid cells from bone marrow progenitors, a process termed as emergency myelopoiesis. The ability of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells to sense and adapt to such pro-inflammatory cues underlies also the induction of trained immunity. Trained immunity is characterized by sustained epigenetic rewiring of bone marrow progenitors leading to production of “trained” myeloid cells with enhanced immune preparedness to respond to future stimuli. This hyper-responsiveness of trained myeloid cells can result to either beneficial or detrimental outcomes depending on the disease context.

Lydia Kalafati Research: Figure

Future Projects and Goals

Our lab is interested in defining how inflammatory modulation of myelopoiesis and processes pertinent to trained immunity may affect inflammatory disease and cancer, including tumor immunotherapy. With the planned collaborations with the Institute of Polymer Research in Dresden (IPF) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), we will be using the support of innovative biomaterials (IPF) and excellent imaging methods (HZDR) towards development of new cellular immunotherapies against cancer.

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  • Disease mouse models
  • Ex vivo and in vitro assays with primary mouse cells
  • Flow cytometry
  • Cell culture
  • Single cell and bulk sequencing (transcriptomics, epigenomics, metabolomics)


since January 2024
W1 Junior Professorship of Inflammation and Myelopoiesis, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus of TUD Dresden University of Technology

since October 2023
Junior Group Leader of Dresden Concept Research Group – Joint research group “Inflammation and Myelopoiesis” between the TUD (Faculty of Medicine), the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf (HZDR) and the Leibniz-Institut für Polymerforschung (IPF)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Chavakis Group, Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, TUD Dresden University of Technology, Germany

PhD Degree, Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, TUD Dresden University of Technology, Germany (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. T. Chavakis): “Innate Immune Training of Granulopoiesis: A Novel Target in Cancer Immunotherapy”, summa cum laude

Master Degree on Molecular Basis of Human Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece – Grade: Excellent 9,53/10

Bachelor Degree on Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Crete, Biology Department, Greece

Selected Publications

Kalafati L, Hatzioanou A, Hajishengallis G, Chavakis T
The role of neutrophils in trained immunity
Immunol Rev 314(1):142–157 doi: 10.1111/imr.13142 (2022)

Li X, Wang H, Yu X, Saha G, Kalafati L, Ioannidis C, Mitroulis I, Netea MG, Chavakis T, Hajishengallis G
Maladaptive innate immune training of myelopoiesis links inflammatory comorbidities
Cell 185(10):1709–1727.e18 doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2022.03.043 (2022)

Kalafati L, Kourtzelis I, Schulte-Schrepping J, Li X, Hatzioannou A, Grinenko T, Hagag E, Sinha A, Has C, Dietz S, de Jesus Domingues AM, Nati M, Sormendi S, Neuwirth A, Chatzigeorgiou A, Ziogas A, Lesche M, Dahl A, Henry I, Subramanian P, Wielockx B, Murray P, Mirtschink P, Chung KJ, Schultze JL, Netea MG, Hajishengallis G, Verginis P, Mitroulis I, Chavakis T
Innate Immune Training of Granulopoiesis Promotes Anti-tumor Activity
Cell 183(3):771–785.e12 doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.09.058 (2020)

Alissafi T, Kalafati L, Lazari M, Filia A, Kloukina I, Manifava M, Lim JH, Alexaki VI, Ktistakis NT, Doskas T, Garinis GA, Chavakis T, Boumpas DT, Verginis P
Mitochondrial Oxidative Damage Underlies Regulatory T Cell Defects in Autoimmunity
Cell Metab. 32(4):591–604.e7 doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2020.07.001 (2020)

Kalafati L, Mitroulis I, Verginis P, Chavakis T, Kourtzelis I
Neutrophils as Orchestrators in Tumor Development and Metastasis Formation
Front Oncol 10:581457 doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.581457 (2020)