Stefanie K. Wculek was born in Austria and studied Molecular Biology at the University of Vienna with research stays in Austria, Canada and Spain. She completed her Master’s thesis on the mechanisms of skin inflammation at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO) in Madrid. In 2011, Stefanie moved to London to work on the role of neutrophils in cancer at the London Research Institute of Cancer Research UK and obtained her PhD from the University College London in 2016.
During her postdoctoral work at the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) in Madrid, Stefanie further specialized on the biology and metabolism of innate immune cells in homeostasis and chronic diseases such as cancer. She developed an effective pre-clinical cancer immunotherapy based on a subset of dendritic cells as part of a large international consortium of industrial, clinical and basic scientists. Moreover, Stefanie discovered metabolic differences of tissue macrophages that depend on their organ of residence, which leads to therapeutically exploitable vulnerabilities of those cells. Overall, her work established the surprising diversity of functions and dependencies of dendritic cell and macrophage populations in vivo in health and non-infectious inflammatory diseases. In February 2023, Stefanie will join the IRB Barcelona as Group Leader to head the Innate Immune Biology laboratory.