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Federico Iovino


Visiting address : Nobels Väg 16 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Postal address : Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), C1, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), C1, Box 280 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Delivery address : Tomtebodavägen 12 C, Lastkajen 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

About me

Federico Iovino is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at the Karolinska Institutet focusing on bacterial meningitis. He received his PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) in 2013 before joining MTC for his postdoc.


2013: PhD in Medical Microbiology (University of Groningen, The Netherlands).

2008: Master in Experimental and Applied Biology, Class of Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (University of Pavia, Italy).

2006: Bachelor in Biological Sciences, Class of Human Biology and Biomedical Sciences (University of Pavia, Italy).

Research description

Dr. Federico Iovino´s research:

Biology of Streptococcus pneumoniae as cause of bacterial meningitis: Identification and characterization of the virulence factors that enable the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and cause meningitis.
Discovery of new meningitis therapies: Development of new therapeutic strategies to block the interaction of Streptococcus pneumoniae with the blood-brain barrier preventing the occurrence of meningitis.
Microglial early sensing of invading pathogens: Study of how microglia, the macrophages of the brain, are able to sense the presence of bacteria when pathogens are still within the blood-brain barrier vasculature and not yet in the brain.

Teaching portfolio

- Coordinator Lecturer of the Bacteriology Course (Infection and Immunity) for Biomedicine bachelor students.

- Teacher of Medical Microbiology for second year Medical students.


Academic honors, awards and prizes


2016: Karolinska Institutet KID grant (co-applicant). 

2013: Jan Kornelis de Cock-Stichting research grant for PhD students (main applicant).

2012: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases ESCMID (main applicant). 

2010: Boehringer Ingelheim Grant (main applicant) 


Academic distinctions

2014: SpotLight of Infection & Immunity (peer-review international journal)

The manuscript “F. Iovino et al., Infection and Immunity. 82: 3555-66 (2014)” selected by the editorial board as article of significant interest.


pIgR and PECAM-1 bind to pneumococcal adhesins RrgA and PspC mediating bacterial brain invasion
Iovino F, Engelen-lee Jy, Brouwer M, Van De Beek D, Van Der Ende A, Valls Seron M, et al
The Journal of experimental medicine 2017;214(6):1619-1630

How Does Streptococcus pneumoniae Invade the Brain?
Iovino F, Seinen J, Henriques-normark B, Van Dijl Jm
Trends in microbiology 2016;24(4):307-15

Pneumococcal meningitis is promoted by single cocci expressing pilus adhesin RrgA
Iovino F, Hammarlof Dl, Garriss G, Brovall S, Nannapaneni P, Henriques-normark B

Platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1, a putative receptor for the adhesion of Streptococcus pneumoniae to the vascular endothelium of the blood-brain barrier
Iovino F, Molema G, Bijlsma Jj
Infection and immunity 2014;82(9):3555-66

Streptococcus pneumoniae Interacts with pIgR expressed by the brain microvascular endothelium but does not co-localize with PAF receptor
Iovino F, Molema G, Bijlsma Jj
PloS one 2014;9(5):e97914-

The proteasome-ubiquitin system is required for efficient killing of intracellular Streptococcus pneumoniae by brain endothelial cells
Iovino F, Gradstedt H, Bijlsma Jj
mBio 2014;5(4):e00984-14

Interactions between blood-borne Streptococcus pneumoniae and the blood-brain barrier preceding meningitis
Iovino F, Orihuela Cj, Moorlag He, Molema G, Bijlsma Jj
PloS one 2013;8(7):e68408-

Signalling or binding: the role of the platelet-activating factor receptor in invasive pneumococcal disease
Iovino F, Brouwer Mc, Van De Beek D, Molema G, Bijlsma Jj
Cellular microbiology 2013;15(6):870-81

Streptococcus pneumoniae invades endothelial host cells via multiple pathways and is killed in a lysosome dependent manner
Gradstedt H, Iovino F, Bijlsma Jj
PloS one 2013;8(6):e65626-