Jump to content

Inflammation and Myelopoiesis – a DRESDEN-concept Research Group headed by Dr. Lydia Kalafati


Dr. Lydia Kalafati is the head of the Inflammation and Myelopoiesis Research Group since October 2023. The group researches the regulation of hematopoiesis in the bone marrow. Three DRESDEN-concept partner institutions are involved in the group: the Faculty of Medicine at the TUD Dresden University of Technology, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF).

The Faculty of Medicine of the Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF) are jointly establishing the DRESDEN-concept Group “Inflammation and Myelopoiesis” and sharing resources for this purpose. The research group is in the field of immunology and immunometabolism and focuses on understanding the role of the trained immune response in tumor immunology.

Dr. Lydia Kalafati, who conducts research at the three partner institutions, has been recruited to head the group.

Lydia Kalafati (TUD/HZDR/IPF)

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. 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.

After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and her Master’s degree in Molecular Basis of Human Diseases at the University of Crete in Greece, Lydia Kalafati came to the Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine at TUD in 2018 to do her doctorate under Professor Triantafyllos Chavakis. She had already worked with Professor Chavakis during her Master’s thesis and wanted to continue this successful collaboration. She completed her doctorate on Innate Immune Training of Granulopoiesis: A Novel Target in Cancer Immunotherapy at the Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine at TUD in 2022, then became a postdoctoral researcher and, in October 2023, head of the DRESDEN-concept junior research group Inflammation and Myelopoiesis, which is jointly supported by three DRESDEN-concept partners. The research group, which is jointly supported by three DRESDEN-concept partners, benefits not only from the clinical research of the TUD’s Faculty of Medicine, but also from the broad expertise of the HZDR and the IPF. HZDR offers a high level of in vivo tracking systems facilitating the investigation of the in vivo roles of myeloid cells and IPF has developed a 3D-culture system that allow to perform optimal hematopoietic progenitor cell culturing conditions.

Next DDc Lunch Retreat with Dr. Lydia Kalafati: