M. Carolina Florian: pioneering stem-cell researcher featured in Nature

The ICREA Research Professor at IDIBELL recently demonstrated how to “hack” the immune system to slow down aging.


M. Carolina Florian, leader of the IDIBELL’s Stem Cell Aging research group, has been spotlighted in the renowned journal Nature for her groundbreaking contributions to the field of ageing science. Under the title “Hacking the immune system could slow ageing – here’s how”, the award-winning writer Alison Abbott highlights Dr Florian’s work at the intersection of stem-cell research and healthy ageing.

In this regard, the Italian ICREA Research Professor demonstrated recently the transformative effects of stem-cell interventions in reversing age-related decline. By focusing on the correction of protein organization within stem cells, her research has yielded remarkable outcomes, including the rejuvenation of elderly mice and the preservation of their vitality.

Central to Dr. Florian’s research is her acknowledgment of the pivotal role played by the immune system in the ageing process. Her findings illuminate the intricate interplay between stem cells and immune function, providing valuable insights that may inform potential interventions aimed at slowing or reversing the ageing process.

M. Carolina obtained her Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and her Ph.D. in Endocrinology from the University of Milan, Italy. She did her postdoctoral training in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology at the University of Ulm, Germany. In 2020 she moved to the Program of Regenerative Medicine at IDIBELL to start her own group.

Her research in the past years strongly challenged the concept that aging is an irreversible process. Her team investigates the role of epigenetics and the stem cell microenvironment in driving the aging of somatic stem cells. The scope is to define possibilities to target aging and functionally rejuvenate stem cells and tissues and possibly extend health span and lifespan. To pursue these pioneering research goals, Florian’s team combines several cutting-edge technologies, bridging knowledge from interdisciplinary scientific fields.



The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).


Hacking the immune system could slow ageing – here’s how. Abbott A. Nature. 2024 May;629(8011):276-278. doi: 10.1038/d41586-024-01274-3.

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