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Unveiling the Gender Gap in Immunity: Camila Consiglio joins the Lund Stem Cell Center

Portrait of Camila Consiglio. Photo.

While it is well known that men and women have different health needs, have you ever considered why? The Systems Immunology research group, led by Camila Consiglio, has. Together, Lund Stem Cell Center’s newest members are working to uncover whether the answer lies in the differences between the female and male immune systems.

“At the heart of our research is the question: how can we understand the immune system better? Key to this is considering the unique immune responses mounted by men and women and understanding the different factors at play,” explained Camila Consiglio, Assistant Professor at Lund University.

Driven by the desire to discover better ways to prevent and treat human illness, Camila Consiglio's research dives into the human immune system using novel, state-of-the-art computational methods to understand the differences in human immune responses between the sexes. The goal is to identify mechanisms that can be exploited to develop new cancer therapies, improved vaccines, and patient-tailored medications. 

“For example, women are known to produce higher antibody responses to vaccines when compared to men, and yet we are treated the same and given the same vaccines, reactive agents, dosing, and timing. So, understanding the differences in our immune responses is something that I am very excited and curious about – here we have the space to make a change and create more personalized medicine for both women and men in the future,” continued Camila Consiglio. 

Camila, originally from Porto Alegre, Brazil, developed an interest in this area of study while pursuing a Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, in the United States. There she began looking into how biological sex influences the immune system in cancer using mice models before expanding this research beyond cancer to infectious diseases and additional research models during a nine-month fellowship in France.

“It is valuable to have this foundation in immunology - to know how the immune system functions in a healthy state and a disease state such as cancer or infection. Also valuable was a series of bioinformatics workshops I attended which introduced me to the idea of not only conducting beautiful experiments and interesting research but being able to go deeper into your data for a more comprehensive view of what is going on. This made me more enthusiastic about this field of research and became a turning point in my career,” noted Camila Consiglio.

After graduating at the end of 2019, Camila went on to explore her growing interest in the world of "big data" as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie post-doctoral research fellow in the lab of Petter Brodin, Professor of Pediatric Immunology at the Department of Women’s and Children's Health, at Karolinska Institutet. During her time in Stockholm, she became more familiar with the integrative systems-level approach used in the Brodin lab to study the immune system. Here, she utilized this approach to dissect the variation in human immunity and understand the mechanisms behind sex differences in immune responses by studying a unique cohort of people: individuals undergoing sex-reassignment therapy with sex hormone treatment.  

This approach, her interest in big data, and a grant through the data-driven life sciences (DDLS) initiative - the ScilifeLab and Wallenberg career program that supports the next generation of data-driven life scientists in Sweden - have now brought Camila to Lund where she is establishing her research group at Lund University.

”DDLS is a great initiative. They provided me with the resources needed to get my Systems Immunology lab started. Now the recruiting begins, but first I am taking the time to think about the expertise needed for the projects I wish to initiate. I want to hit the ground running but it is important to pace myself, and ensure that I set up a good working environment and lab culture,” highlighted Camila Consiglio.

As the newest member to join Lund Stem Cell Center, Camila and the Systems Immunology research group will add valuable knowledge to our network, providing key insights as to how and why the male and female body reacts differently to illness and infection. 

“I am excited to join this network of outstanding principal investigators and leaders in the field. It is nice to be part of a community working together towards a larger goal and for my lab to be able to partake in the amazing events and training organized by the Center,” concluded Camila Consiglio.

Warm welcome, Camila Consiglio and the Systems Immunology research group to Lund Stem Cell Center!


Camila Consiglio

Principal Investigator
Department of
 Laboratory Medicine (ILM)
BMC B12, Lund University
221 84 Lund, Sweden

Phone: +46 046-2228132
Mail: camila [dot] consiglio [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Profile in Lund University research portal