I am a first-year PhD student in the Courtney Lab.
I hold an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology and a master’s in Cellular and Molecular Biology, both obtained at the University of Bologna. As part of my master’s, I worked for one year at the Heinrich Pette Institute for Experimental Virology in Hamburg (Germany), studying Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV). In particular, I employed single-molecule light microscopy to assess the role of subnuclear organelles in the biogenesis of the HCMV replication compartment.
My main interests lie in the many ways viruses hijack cellular processes to their benefit, as well as the intricacies of the host defence mechanism. I like employing high-technology microscopy approaches to dissect complex biological problems.
In the Courtney Lab, I am studying the mechanisms that guide the deposition of epitranscriptomic modifications on Influenza transcripts. It is known that many modifications are installed onto cellular transcripts co-transcriptionally, and the writer proteins responsible for their deposition are able to interact with the RNA polymerases of the cell. Thus, it is a possibility that the Influenza Polymerase (FluPol) could act as a recruitment hub for writers, resulting in the modification of all viral transcripts. I am currently employing single-molecule confocal microscopy, as well as unbiased proteomics approaches, to investigate the association between the FluPol and the writer machinery during infection.