Claudia Monaco trained as a Cardiologist (1998) and PhD (2001) with Professor Attilio Maseri at the Catholic University of Rome, Italy. During this inspiring time, I was privileged to get involved in the field of inflammation in atherosclerosis when it was still in its infancy with the identification of a cytokine-dependent systemic inflammatory response in patients with acute coronary syndromes. After my PhD studies I moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College London to work with Professor Marc Feldmann to understand the drivers of tissue inflammation in atherosclerosis. She became a Clinical lecturer/Group Leader at Imperial College in 2003 and moved to the University of Oxford in 2013. Her research demonstrated that human atherosclerotic disease shares features of persistent or chronic inflammation with classic inflammatory diseases, including the dysregulated production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and that such inflammation is dependent on the innate Toll-like receptors. More recently, her lab was one of the first to apply single cell biology techniques to the study of the vascular tissue immune system. I currently head the “Cardiovascular inflammation” Lab, and the Mass Cytometry Facility at NDORMS, Oxford, with a focus on vascular single cell biology.