Eduardo Bonavita

Assistant Professor

General Pathology
Assistant Professor


  • 2015 Ph.D. in Life and Biomolecular Sciences
    The Open University, Milton Keynes UK; Affiliated Research Centre Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano (Milan) ITALY
  • 2009 Degree and Master in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology
    University of Salerno, Fisciano, ITALY.

Advanced training courses and qualifications

  • 2021 “EMBO Laboratory Leadership” held by European Molecular Biology Organization, Germany
  • 2021: “Information Security and Data Protection” held by The University of Manchester, UK
  • 2019 “Research Integrity” held by Epigeum-Oxford University Press, UK
  • 2016 “Essential Data Analysis Skills for Biologists” held by The University of Cambridge, UK

Academic background

I obtained a master degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Salerno (Italy) in 2009 by defending a thesis on the effect of Toll-like receptor 9 agonists in modulating immune responses in lung cancer.

In 2010 I joined the laboratory of Prof. Cecilia Garlanda and Prof. Alberto Mantovani to study the inflammatory processes associated with cancer development and progression.

In 2014, I was awarded a fellowship from the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (FIRC-AIRC). In 2015 I obtained a Ph.D. in Immunology and Life Sciences from The Open University (Milton Keynes, UK) and Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre. During my doctoral studies, I uncovered the essential role of Pentraxin 3 and the Complement system in regulating tumor-promoting inflammation.

Moreover, I studied the properties of Interleukin-1 receptor 8 in controlling NK cell activity and I described its role as an NK cell checkpoint receptor in both viral infections and anti-tumor immunity. Notably, these discoveries were recognized by the ACTERIA-EFIS award as the best Ph.D. thesis in Immunology in Europe (2015-2018).

In 2016 I joined the group led by Dr. Santiago Zelenay at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, where I was awarded an EMBO long-term fellowship in 2016 and an EMBO advanced fellowship in 2019 to investigate the mechanisms of immune evasion in cancer driven by cyclooxygenase 2/prostaglandin E2 axis, in a project with extensive translational potential.

After more than 6 years in the UK, in 2022, thanks to the AIRC start-up program, I joined the IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital to lead the Cellular and Molecular Oncoimmunology Lab. My group focuses on understanding the instructive mechanisms of immune escape in cancer with the aim of designing new therapeutic strategies for patients.

Academic honors, awards and prices

  • 2021 AIRC Start-up Grant 2021 (1 million € for 5 years) awarded by AIRC
  • 2020 British Association for Cancer Research travel award
  • 2019 EMBO Advanced Fellowship (£79.830 for 2 years) granted by European Molecular Biology Organization
  • 2019 “Keystone Symposia Future of Science Fund scholarship” travel award to attend the Keystone meeting on “Innate and Non-Classical Immune Cells in Cancer Immunotherapy”, Keystone, Colorado.
  • 2018 Doctoral Prize in Immunology (150.000 € for 3 years) awarded by ACTERIA and EFIS; Prize for best doctoral thesis in Immunology 2015-2018
  • 2017 Award “Young innovator-Italy 2017” – MIT Technology Review Italy
  • 2016 EMBO long-term Fellowship (£61.048 for 2 years) granted by European Molecular Biology Organization
  • 2016 Award “Premio Marzia Galli Kienle” – SOS Foundation (Fondazione Solidarieta’ in Oncologia San Marco- Zingonia)
  • 2016 Award “Premio Marisa Colbacchini” – Carlo Erba Foundation and ASIS
  • 2015 Award “Prix Galien Italy 2015”
  • 2015 NIBIT travel award to attend the “Cancer: Inflammation and Immunity” meeting. Finalborgo, Italy
  • 2015 Award for best oral presentation “Bright Spark Award” at the 4th European congress of immunology. Wien, Austria
  • 2015 EFIS travel award to attend the 4th European congress of immunology. Wien, Austria
  • 2015 Poster award “8th International Conference on Complement Therapeutics”. Chania, Greece
  • 2015 Seahorse Travel award to attend the Cell Symposia “Cancer, Inflammation and Immunity” Sitges, Spain
  • 2015 Award for best oral presentation at Word Immune Regulation Meeting 2015. Davos, Switzerland
  • 2014 FIRC-Fellowship for Italy 2014 (75.000 € for 3 years) granted by the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research
  • 2014 Award for best oral presentation at the Ph.D. student retreat of the Italian Society of Immunology and Allergology. Bari, Italy

Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.