Alessandro Sette, Dr. Biol. Sci.

Professor and Member LaJolla Institute for Immunology, Division of Vaccine Discovery Center for Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research
La Jolla, CA
Advisor since 2022
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I am impressed with the RiverVest team’s inclination to dig into due diligence and ability to truly grasp the science and the implications of the science. At a time when the opportunities in immunology are greater than ever before, RiverVest is very well positioned to identify and invest in interesting companies.

Dr. Alessandro Sette is a professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in the Centers for Autoimmunity and Inflammation and Infectious Disease and Vaccine Research.  Dr. Sette has spent over 35 years studying immune responses to cancer, autoimmunity, allergy, and infectious diseases. Dr. Sette’s laboratory defines in chemical terms the specific structures (epitopes) that the immune system recognizes and uses this knowledge to measure and understand immune responses. The lab’s research will improve understanding of how the body successfully battles infection and how pathogens escape the immune system.

Dr. Sette’s disease focus has shifted over the years from HIV, HBV and HCV to emerging diseases and diseases of potential biodefense concern to diseases and pathogens relevant to worldwide global health, including Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, malaria, M. tuberculosis, B. pertussis, shingles, and most recently, SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, Dr. Sette’s team has adapted the methods and techniques developed in the context of infectious disease to understand the T cell response to common allergens and to discover a cell component in Parkinson’s Disease.

Dr. Sette’s SARS-CoV-2 research has focused on adaptive immunity. His laboratory produced a series of seminal studies, including the first description of the targets of adaptive immunity in humans following natural infection (Cell 2020). The study was highlighted by Dr. Antony Fauci in a Congressional hearing in the spring of 2020. Additional studies published in Cell and Science have explored various immune responses to the virus, as well as the durability of responses induced by COVID infection and vaccination.

Dr. Sette is a co-author of over 900 peer-reviewed publications, is an inventor on 41 U.S.-issued patents and is identified by Clarivate as a “Highly Cited Researcher.” Among his many honors and awards, Dr. Sette is an Elected Fellow of the AAAS (2020); Elected Honorary Member of the Accademia Medica di Roma (2021); and Fellow of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society.

Dr. Sette is Adjunct Professor for UCSD as well as The Scripps Research Institute.  Previously, Dr. Sette was a founder of Epimmune, Inc. a San-Diego based biopharmaceutical company and worked for Cytel Corporation.

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