Master’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences at the Faculty of Agriculture of Turin.
PhD in Immunology and Cell Biology at the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of Turin, with a thesis on viral infections and cellular senescence.
After five years of experience as scientist in an important Italian chemical company in the microbial biotechnology sector, since 1991 I have been carrying out research in the public sector at CNR, mainly dealing with plant viruses and plant biotechnology. At the beginning of my career¸ I have done a post-doc at the CNRS, Gif sur Yvette, France.
I am mainly interested in the pathogenetic mechanisms underlying the infectious processes of plant viruses and the role that the different viral proteins play during infection or transmission by insect vectors, as well as in the interactions between viruses/host plants/environment, in the context of climate change. I mainly worked on pathosystems involving viruses with DNA genomes, in particular geminiviruses, the largest group of plant viruses, very harmful and widespread all over the world, characterized by a small genome that encodes few proteins, highly multifunctional.
My research activity also includes the characterization of new variants or viral species, as well as the development/application of innovative diagnostic techniques.
Concerning the fight against viruses, I have dealt with different strategies based on pathogen-mediated resistance, gene silencing and use of dsRNAs, or expression of monoclonal antibodies targeting plant viruses.
In the field of plant biotechnology, I am particularly interested in producing in plants recombinant proteins and virion-like particles (VLPs) which, thanks to their immunological features, can be proposed as candidate vaccines against human or veterinary diseases. My experience mainly concerned the production of antigens or VLPs against human and bovine papillomaviruses, influenza viruses or against tumors.
Responsabile dei Progetti: DROni per il monitoraggio Noccioli sUl Territorio (DroNuts), Spettroscopia Raman accoppiata con dielettroforesi (Raman-DEP) per l’identificazione di virus e la valutazione di molecole antivirali (ViRaDEP)