My current research focuses on the development of novel broad-speactrum antivirals targeting emerging viruses, primarily flaviviruses and alphaviruses. In collaboration with the Translational Research Resource Centre at the LMCB and the UCL School of Pharmacy, my work combines high-throughput screening, pharmacology, cell biology, and molecular virology, in order to identify novel pharmacological targets and small molecule compounds for the development of antiviral drugs.
In parallel, I am interested in how viruses have evolved to exploit fundamental cellular pathways in order to establish a successful infection. This is paramount to develop new and much needed antiviral strategies. My work covers different aspects of host-pathogen interaction, from entry to manipulation of cellular metabolism. Work in collaboration with colleagues in Cambridge has revealed that different viruses maximise cellular use of glucose and glutamine in a way not dissimilar to cancer cells. Current work is exploring the metabolic changes that follow infection with different viruses, defining common and different mechanisms of action, testing the consequences of preventing virus-induced activation of metabolic pathways on viral replication, and exploring the importance of cell metabolism on virus tropism and disease.
2013 | Research associate, Imperial College London/University of Cambridge, UK
2010 | PhD, UCL Infection & Immunity, UK
2005 | MSc, Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies, Universita’ degli Studi di Padova, Italy
Medical Research Council
Signalling pathways, Viral pathogens, Cell metabolism
Light microscopy, High throughput screening, Flow cytometry, Molecular biology, Biochemistry