Specialised training courses

UniMiFlow is the Flow Cytometry Academy of the University of Milan, a new project that provides training for modern high-dimensional flow cytometry and for its computational analytic approaches. Its founder, the Unit of Clinical and Experimental Immunology (labmavilio.it)UCEI – has a long-lasting experience in this potent and versatile technology increasingly used both in clinical protocols and research projects.

The Academy's mission

The fast implementation of new instruments and reagents of high-dimensional flow cytometry is associated with an increasing need of training and “on hand” classes for the users of this technology. This includes the organization of educational courses to teach experiment planning and execution together with the modern computational methods to proper reading the “big data” generated from high-dimensional flow cytometry experiments.

To comply with this clinical and experimental needs, UniMiFlow provides on-site courses directed to flow cytometry users including researchers, medical specialists and lab technicians. In particular, we organize:

  1. Dry courses with frontal lectures and practical reading of the experimental data of high dimensional flow cytometry in informatic laboratories.
  2. Wet courses that include planning, performing and analyzing high dimensional experiments of flow cytometry and cell sorting of increasing complexity.

The main aim of UniMiFlow courses is to offer a proper training for high dimensional flow cytometry users to improve their knowledge and skills in specific and different issues of this technology both in clinical protocols and experimental projects. The school is equipped with modern and advanced analyzers able to measure up to 50 parameters at the same time even with a spectral technology and of a cell sorter up to 4 different sorting channels.

Given the overlapping analytic features between high dimensional flow cytometry and RNA sequencing and considering the several scientific intersections of these two experimental technologies at single cell level, UniMiFlow also provides dry training courses focused on modern analytic methodologies and bioinformatic approaches for the analysis of data generated from experiments of single cell RNA sequencing.

Citometria a flusso
Flow Cytometry

Upcoming courses

All courses are organized at the University of Milan as postgraduate courses and provide a final attendance certificate.

About us



Domenico Mavilio
Prof. Mavilio obtained his M.D. at Genova University Medical School (Italy) and the Ph.D. in Clinical and Experimental Immunology within a joint program between the University of Genova and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Maryland, USA). He spent 9 years at the NIH as a physician-scientist prior to joining the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, Italy. He is currently a Principal Investigator and Head of the Unit of Clinical and Experimental Immunology. He also currently serves as a Full Professor of Translational Medicine at Medical School of Milan University. As physician, Prof. Mavilio focuses his clinical activities on immunological disorders and haematology malignancies. As a researcher, he leads several projects focused on translational medicine from the “bed-to bench” side that study the role of innate immune responses (unconventional T cell, NK cells, Dendritic Cells, etc) in the pathophysiology and therapies of autoimmune disorders, viral infections (HIV-1, HCMV), solid and haematologic cancers. He has published more than 125 manuscripts on peer-review scientific journal, several book chapters and received several national and international prizes. His research is supported by American, Italian and European public and private funding agencies in the context of projects of translational immunology in collaboration with several scientific and academic institution in, Italy, Europe, Americas and Africa. Prof. Mavilio serves as councillor in Italian and American societies of immunology and cell biology, is a member of several boards of peer-review scientific journals and scientific/academic institutions, organises several International meeting of translational immunology in Europe and USA (websites: https://www.humanitas-research.org/groups/domenico-mavilio-group/ and https://www.unimi.it/en/ugov/person/domenico-mavilio).
Prof. Mavilio is the co-founder of the Flow Cytometry academy at University of Milan (https://flowcytometryacademy.com), as he extensively use this technology in his studies of translational immunology. The opening of an advanced academic school of modern Flow Cytometry is linked to the lack of teaching platforms on this topic that make it possible to follow the remarkable and fast advances of this technology at single cell level and the associated methods of computational/bio-informatic analyses.


Silvia Della Bella
Prof. Silvia Della Bella is Associate Professor of General Pathology and Immunology at the University of Milan. She graduated in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Milan, where she also obtained her postgraduate Specializations in Allergology and Clinical Immunology, and in Internal Medicine. Driven by a strong interest in translational immunological research, she also obtained a PhD in Internal Medicine. From 2001 to 2011 she directed the Lab of Immunology at Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies of the University of Milan, where she started the Lab of Flow Cytometry. Then she moved to the Department of Medical Biotechnologies and Translational Medicine, at Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, where she is Senior Staff Scientist in the Unit of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, leading the Research group on Dendritic Cells. Her research activity has been mainly focused on the immunobiology of human dendritic cells in distinct physiological and pathological conditions including pregnancy, aging, viral infections and cancer. Based on her long-standing expertise in Flow Cytometry, from 2014 to 2021she has been member of the Executive Board and Secretary of the European Society for Clinical Cell Analysis (ESCCA), a scientific society devoted to the standardization, validation and dissemination of flow cytometry and its implementation in the clinical setting. Her teaching activity includes teaching Immunology and General Pathology in Degree programs of Medicine, Postgraduate and Doctoral Schools, as well as supervision and training of undergraduate, PhD and MD-PhD students hosted in the lab for the preparation of their experimental theses. She is author of more than 80 research papers and reviews published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and more than 150 communications in national and international meetings.
Prof. Silvia Della Bella is co-founder of the Flow Cytometry Academy (https://flowcytometryacademy.com), where she is involved in the planning and organization of dry and wet courses.

Scientific Advisors:


Paola Contini
Paola Contini graduated as Biological Sciences at the University of Genova. She attended the Specialty School in Clinical Immunology and Allergy , then obtained the PhD in Immunology at the same University. She did a PostDoc in Immunology at the Cornell University, New York (USA). Since 2004 She works as Senior Biologist at the University of Genova and the IRCCS San Martino University Hospital, where she is in charge of Research activity and clinical lab activity in hematology and Immunology. She is Author or Coauthor of more than 115 peer review and articles published in international journals.
The main scientific contributions of Dr. Contini have been the characterization of the role of Classic and non classical soluble HLA Class I molecules on CD8+ T cells and NK cells.
In the last years, Dr. Contini have substantial contributions to clarify the mechanisms regulating immune responses to infections and in development of autoimmune diseases, particularly studying immune dysregulation and subversion of Treg functions.
She has a longstanding experience in the use of flow cytometer machines as, Navios, Canto II, Fortessa XLSII, Aquios, CytoFLEX LX, and Mass Cytometry machines (Helios, Standard Biotools). She currently uses flow cytometry softwares as Kaluza, Diva, Infinicyt, FCS Express, FlowJo.


Clara Di Vito
Clara Di Vito is an Assistant Professor (RTT) at the Department of Medical Biotechnologies and Translational Medicine of the University of Milan.
Dr Di Vito obtained her Master’s degree in Medical Biotechnology at the University of Pavia, Italy and the PhD in Molecular Medicine at the University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy. She then spent four years as post-doctoral fellow at the University of Milan, before moving to the Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy. She is currently a Senior Staff Scientist of the Unit of Clinical and Experimental Immunology, where she is leading a research team that includes two PhD students, an undergraduate student, and a technician. Currently, together with her collaborators inside and outside Humanitas and Italy, her research activities are focused on projects of translational medicine aim at investigating the role of innate lymphoid cells and Natural Killer cells in the etiology and severity of hematologic malignancies and their immune-reconstitution profiles after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to better exploit these cells and to ameliorate patient prognosis. To do that she is employing state of the art technologies and newly developed immunological approaches, including 50-color flow cytometry and FACS Sorting.
Her research activity is supported by Italian and European funding agencies, including Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, EMBO and Italian Ministry of Health. Dr Di Vito has published about 40 manuscripts on peer-review international journals as main or co-author. She is currently member of several scientific Italian societies, and she serves as reviewers in international scientific journals.
As member of the steering committee of the UniMiFlow Academy and scientific coordinator of the flow facility at the Department of Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine, University of Milan, Dr Di Vito is involved in design and delivery of the wet lab courses organized by the Academy.


Giulia Marchetti
Giulia Marchetti was born in Milan in December 27, 1970. She is married with one son. She received her MD in 1995 at the University of Milan, Italy. She completed Residency in Infectious Diseases in 2000 (Milan), she took her PhD in HIV/AIDS Clinic and Pathogenesis in 2003 (Milan). She was visiting fellow at the RIVM (Bilthoven, the Netherlands), Rush University (Chicago, US) and the NIH (Bethesda, US) between 1996 and 2002. She is currently Full Professor at the University of Milan – Department of Health Sciences at San Paolo Hospital where she runs a Laboratory focused on studies on HIV pathogenesis, immune reconstitution and co-morbidities, and – most recently- SARS-COV-2-related disease. She is Head of the Clinic of Infectious Diseases at San Paolo Hospital, Milan. Dr. Marchetti has been involved in studies of HIV pathogenesis, therapies and HIV-related co-morbidities since 1996, and has authored or co-authored 135 original peer-reviewed publications in this field. In particular, her major research fields are the immunopathogenesis of HIV infection with a particular focus on the interconnection between HIV-related inflammation and damage to the gastrointestinal system. Most recently, she has started a new research topic on the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 with a particular focus on the pathogenetic determinants of severe versus mild disease. She is the PI of several competitive grants from the Italian Ministry of Health, Regione Lombardia, Fondazione Cariplo for studies on the immunopathogenesis of HIV and – most recently – of SARS-COV-2.
Her work has been presented at national and international conferences, and she has participated and invited lecturer to both national and international conferences.


Rocco Piazza
Prof. Rocco Piazza graduated (M.D.) from the university of Pavia and obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Department of Biochemistry of the same university. He is currently a principal investigator and associate professor in the Department of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Milano – Bicocca, Milan. He also works as clinical hematologist in the hematology unit of the San Gerardo Hospital, Monza. His main research interest lies in the dissection of the molecular mechanisms responsible for cancer onset and evolution, using both bioinformatics as well as wet-lab techniques such as CRISPR-Cas9 libraries, bulk and single-cell multiomics analyses, NGS and, more recently, spatial transcriptomics. He is author of 100+ publications on indexed international journals, among them Nature, Nature Genetics and Blood. He is recipient of several national and international research grants, among them AIRC, Horizon2020 and PRIN. Among the most relevant scientific accomplishments: Identification and characterization of the SETBP1 oncogene in myeloid malignancies (Piazza R et al. Nature genetics 2013;45(1):18-24; Piazza R et al. Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 6;9(1):2192); Identification and characterization of the ETNK1 oncogene (Gambacorti-Passerini C et al. Blood 2015;125(3):499-503; Fontana D et al. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 23;11(1):5938); Demonstration of the critical role of Crizotinib for the treatment of advanced ALK+ lymphomas (Gambacorti-Passerini C et al. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2014;106(2):djt378); characterization of the role of the CD40/CD40-ligand axis in modulating the immune microenvironment in Waldenström Macroglobulinemia (Sacco A et al. Blood. 2023 Feb 3;blood.2022019240).


Simone Puccio
Dott. Puccio obtained his master degree at Tor Vergata University of Rome (Italy) and the Ph.D. in Molecular and Translation Medicine within a joint program between the University of Milan and the National Research Council of Italy. He spent 2 years at Temple University (Philadelphia) as a Visiting Research Scholar prior to joining the Institute for Biomedical Technologies in Segrate, Italy. I currently work as researcher at Institute for Genetic and Biomedical Research (IRGB).
He also currently serves as a collaborator of the Translational Immunology Lab at Humanitas Research Hospital (Rozzano). As bioinformatician, Dott. Puccio focuses his activities on transcriptional regulation in the immune system.
As a researcher, he collaborates in several projects focused on high dimensional approaches such as single cell RNA sequencing; 30-parameter flow cytometry; spatial profiling and computational biology; to dissect the complexity of the immune system and in particular of T cell compartments that contribute to the antitumor activity. He has published more than 20 manuscripts on peer-review scientific journal and developed two bioinformatics webtool for transcriptomic and InteractomeSeq data analysis.


Francesca Calcaterra
Dr Calcaterra joined the Unit of Clinical and Experimental Immunology as under-graduate student and then worked in the Unit as PhD student and Post-Doc. In particular, Dr Calcaterra obtained in 2011 her Master’s Degree in Medical Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine at University of Milan and then in 2016 completed her Ph.D. program (University of Milan) developing projects aimed to characterize human endothelial progenitor cells – with a particular focus on endothelial colony-forming cell (ECFCs) – in physiological and pathological conditions.  Currently, Dr Calcaterra is a Staff Scientist at the Unit of Clinical and Experimental Immunology and her studies are aimed to investigate the role of endothelial dysfunction in several pathological conditions (i.e. unprovoked venous thromboembolism, anti-phospholipid syndrome and oncohematologic patients receiving CAR-T cell therapy) through the characterization of patient-specific ECFCs. In addition, she is also involved in research projects which investigate the innate and adaptive immunity in tumors (i.e. Glioma, breast implant-associated Anaplastic large cells lymphoma – BIA-ALCL) and COVID-19 by applying approaches of flow cytometry and scRNA-sequencing. Her research activity is supported by several funding agencies, including AIRC, Fondazione Umberto Veronesi, Fondazione Cariplo and Italian Ministry of Health. Dr Calcaterra has published 24 manuscripts on peer-review international journals as main or co-author and is currently member of several scientific societies. Having a longstanding experience in flow cytometry and being member of the steering committee of the UniMiFlow Academy, Dr Calcaterra is involved in design and delivery of the wet lab courses organized by the Academy.

With the support of