The unsuspected diversity of killer cells in our immune system revealed.

A major discovery has been made at the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille Luminy, CNRS, Inserm Aix Marseille Université, in Professor Eric Vivier's team, which has just been published in the internationally renowned journal Nature Immunology. The objective of this project is to propose a mapping of a type of white blood cells that play a crucial role in our immune system, Natural Killer (NK) cells. This study, conducted on patient samples, is essential for both fundamental research and clinical applications. This project is an exceptional collaboration between twenty major laboratories in the field. They are working together to map the characteristics of NK cells using advanced protein and gene data. Their research has identified three major types of NK cells, called NK1, NK2, and NK3. Each type has specific molecular characteristics and biological functions. These findings show that NK cells vary greatly depending on tissues and diseases. This helps to better understand their role in the immune system and tumor response. These studies have also contributed to identifying 2 distinct developmental pathways of NK subpopulations, a question that had remained a mystery for years.To make this data accessible, they have developed a simple and reliable classification system, available on a web portal. This will help researchers and doctors accurately identify NK cells in various biological samples.

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 Rebuffet L et al, Nature Immunology 2024:

The Master in Immunology Receives the PLUS* Label: where Research Meets Excellence

The CIML is pleased to announce that the Master in Immunology has been awarded the PLUS* label as part of the TFR 22 trajectory: "Transformation of Training through Research 2022." This project is led by research professors from CIML, Carole Berruyer and Franck Galland, who are respectively in charge of the Master 1 and the "Mention" Immunology Master2's program at Aix Marseille University. Thanks to the support of A*Midex Research, this Immunology program, ID TFR 45, has been distinguished with the PLUS label, providing enhanced funding opportunities for mobility, internships, and workshops.This distinction reinforces our commitment to excellence and innovation in training through research.



Celebrating CIML PhD Students: Awarded Fourth-Year Fellowships 

Congratulations to CIML PhD students : Lou Galliot, Cloé Zamit, Elisa Eme-Scolan, Mélanie Collin, Myriam Moussa, Eglantine Hector, Jessica Chevalier, Ramazan Akyol and Léa Bauge for obtaining their 4th year PhD fellowships.  Thanks to Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, la Ligue contre le Cancer, Centuri and Fondation ARC pour la recherche et le cancer for selecting and funding their projetcs.

PhD student


Andrea REBOLDI - University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, USA
Host : Mauro GAYA

Wolfgang KASTENMUELLER - University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, DEU
Host : Marc BAJENOFF

Katelyn SPILLANE - King’s College, London, GBR
Host : Pierre MILPIED


The unsuspected diversity of killer cells in our immune system revealed.
A major discovery has been made at the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille Luminy, CNRS, Inserm Aix Marseille…

Cloé Zamit, PhD student, and Jérémy Santamaria, Inserm Post-doctoral fellow in Magali Irla's team at the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML), received poster…

Eric Vivier, team leader at CIML and President of the Paris-Saclay Cancer Cluster (PSCC), has been appointed as a Professor at École Polytechnique, a founding…

What is Immunology

At the crossroads of biology and medicine, immunology is a scientific discipline that focuses on the operating mechanisms of the immune system. Appeared early in the evolution, this system enables living organisms to defend themselves against pathogens or their own components when they are altered. It involves a large number of cells whose capacity for cooperation, recognition and memory are far from having revealed all their secrets.


ERC "Advanced Grants"
Bernard Malissen – 2018 – Basilic Projet
Michael Sieweke – 2016 – Macrophage Aging and Rejuvenation
Eric Vivier – 2016 – Targeting  Innate Lymphoid Cells
Bernard Malissen – 2012 – Integrative biology of T cells and dendritic cells in vivo
Eric Vivier – 2010 – The Immune Function of Natural Killer
ERC "Consolidator Grants"
Sophie Ugolini – 2014 – Neural regulation of immunity
Marc Bajénoff – 2014 – Immunobiology of lymphoid stromal cells
ERC "Starting Grants"
Mauro Gaya - 2022 - Outlining the role of IgA in Memory Instruction
Réjane Rua - 2020 - Spatiotemporal control of neuroinfection by meningeal macrophages
Marc Dalod – 2011 – Harnessing systems immunology to unravel dendritic cell subset biology
Toby Lawrence - 2010 – Targeting tumor associated macrophages in Cancer
ERC "Proof of Concept (PoC) Grant"
Eric Vivier - 2019 - MInfla-TilcERC
ERC "Synergy Grant"
Eric Vivier - 2023 - Immunotherapy of liver metastases


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