Giulia Barbieri
Giulia Barbieri
affiliation: Università di Pavia
research area(s): Molecular Biology, Genetics And Genomics
Course: Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Pavia
06.2019 – present: Researcher in Genetics (contract RTD –type A, SSD BIO/18) at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Pavia

2011: PhD in Genetic and Biomolecular Sciences, Doctoral School in Life Sciences “Camillo Golgi”, at the University of Pavia, under the supervision of Dr. S. Comincini. Thesis title: Silencing of cellular prion protein (PrPC) expression induces autophagy-dependent cell death in glioma cells.
2008: Diploma from the Institute for Advanced Study (IUSS) of Pavia.
2007: Master degree in Experimental and Applied Biology at the University of Pavia, cum laude, under the supervision of Prof. A. Albertini.

05.2011 – 05.2019: Postdoc in the laboratory of Microbial Molecular Genetics, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Pavia. Head of the laboratory: Prof. Albertini. Research topics: Bacillus evolution engineering via protoplast fusion and genome shuffling: creating hybrid strains for secondary metabolites production; Identification of biopesticides of bacterial origin for the biological control of Ae. albopictus; Regulation of gene expression in Bacillus during stationary phase of growth.
09.2012 – 01.2013: “Short term visiting research scholar” in the laboratory of Professor Abraham L. Sonenshein, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston (Massachusetts, USA). Research topic: role of the transcriptional regulator CodY in the control of extracellular proteases and oligopeptide permeases genes in Bacillus subtilis.
11.2010 – 04.2011: Research fellowship funded by the University of Pavia on the topic “Autophagy induction in human glial tumor cells”, scientific supervisor Dr. S. Comincini.

Microbial Genetics and Biotechnology (3 CFU) Laurea magistralis in Advanced Biotechnology (course held in Italian)
February 2020-present: Proponent of the PhD Program in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Pavia.
Referee for indexed journals, such as World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, and ACS books.

Her major research interest is the study of the genetics of bacterial pathogens. In particular, her research activity is focused on the study of the role of the role of the transcriptional regulator CodY in the control of metabolism and pathogenesis in Streptococcus agalactiae, a major cause of invasive neonatal infections.
She has experience in the development of bacterial strains for the production of enzymes of industrial interest. She was involved in the isolation, identification and characterization of new bacterial strains capable of producing insecticidal molecules for the control of Aedes albopictus.
She collaborated to the characterization of the microbiota of patients with sporadic and familial colon-rectal cancer.
Since January 2019 she started a collaboration with the group of Prof. Riccardi and Prof. Buroni on the development of new compounds and innovative strategies to treat the cystic fibrosis pathogen Burkholderia cenocepacia.

PI of a three years (2018-2021) research project (“Exploring the role of the transcriptional regulator CodY in the pathogenesis of neonatal Group B streptococcal meningitis”) funded by Cariplo Foundation (€ 250,000) and aimed at studying the role of CodY in controlling the metabolism and pathogenesis of Streptococcus agalactiae, one of the leading causes of severe neonatal infections.
Regulation of metabolism and virulence in Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus)
Streptococcus agalactiae is one of the main causes of invasive neonatal infections occurring in the first three months of life. Since this Gram-positive bacterium is a commensal of the gastro-intestinal and urogenital tract of up to 30% of healthy adults, it can be vertically transmitted from a colonized mother to her child during pregnancy or during delivery. Although administration of intra partum antibiotic prophylaxis to women colonized by Streptococcus agalactiae reduced the incidence of vertically acquired infections, this strategy did not contribute to reducing the incidence of infections horizontally transmitted after birth. These manifest within 7 and 90 days of age and are characterized by bloodstream infection with a high rate of associated meningitis.
The project "Exploring the role of the transcriptional regulator CodY in the pathogenesis of neonatal Group B streptococcal meningitis", funded with € 250,000 by Fondazione Cariplo, aims to study the molecular mechanisms underlying the virulence of Streptococcus agalactiae. In particular, the role of the transcriptional regulator CodY will be analyzed. In Gram-positive bacteria, this protein controls metabolism according to the nutritional status of the cell. In all the pathogenic bacteria in which it has been described, CodY is also responsible for the coordinated expression of metabolism and virulence genes.
Starting from the idea that regulation of metabolism and coordination of expression of metabolic and virulence genes is important for Streptococcus agalactiae pathogenesis, this project aims at studying for the first time the role of CodY in the regulation of gene expression and virulence of Streptococcus agalactiae.

Additional information:

1 Ursino E, Albertini AM, Fiorentino G, Gabrieli P, Scoffone VC, Pellegrini A, Gasperi G, Di Cosimo A, Barbieri G. 2020. Bacillus subtilis as a host for mosquitocidal toxins production. Microbial biotechnology 10.1111/1751-7915.13648.
2 Chiarelli LR, Scoffone VC, Trespidi G, Barbieri G, Riabova O, Monakhova N, Porta A, Manina G, Riccardi G, Makarov V, Buroni S. 2020. Chemical, metabolic and cellular characterization of a FtsZ inhibitor effective against Burkholderia cenocepacia. Frontiers in Microbiology 11:562
3 Scoffone VC, Barbieri G, Buroni S, Scarselli M, Pizza M, Rappuoli R, Riccardi G. 2020. Vaccines to Overcome Antibiotic Resistance: The Challenge of Burkholderia cenocepacia. Trends Microbiol 28:315-326.
4 Mori G, Orena BS, Cultrera I, Barbieri G, Albertini AM, Ranzani GN, Carnevali I, Tibiletti MG, Pasca MR. 2019. Gut Microbiota Analysis in Postoperative Lynch Syndrome Patients. Front Microbiol 10:1746.
5 Scoffone VC, Trespidi G, Chiarelli LR, Barbieri G, Buroni S. 2019. Quorum Sensing as Antivirulence Target in Cystic Fibrosis Pathogens. Int J Mol Sci 20.
6 Mori G, Rampelli S, Orena BS, Rengucci C, De Maio G, Barbieri G, Passardi A, Casadei Gardini A, Frassineti GL, Gaiarsa S, Albertini AM, Ranzani GN, Calistri D, Pasca MR. 2018. Shifts of Faecal Microbiota During Sporadic Colorectal Carcinogenesis. Sci Rep 8:10329.
7 Barbieri G, Albertini AM, Ferrari E, Sonenshein AL, Belitsky BR. 2016. Interplay of CodY and ScoC in the Regulation of Major Extracellular Protease Genes of Bacillus subtilis. J Bacteriol 198:907-20.
8 Belitsky BR, Barbieri G, Albertini AM, Ferrari E, Strauch MA, Sonenshein AL. 2015. Interactive regulation by the Bacillus subtilis global regulators CodY and ScoC. Mol Microbiol 97:698-716.
9 Barbieri G, Voigt B, Albrecht D, Hecker M, Albertini AM, Sonenshein AL, Ferrari E, Belitsky BR. 2015. CodY regulates expression of the Bacillus subtilis extracellular proteases Vpr and Mpr. J Bacteriol 197:1423-32.
10 Barbieri G, Palumbo S, Gabrusiewicz K, Azzalin A, Marchesi N, Spedito A, Biggiogera M, Sbalchiero E, Mazzini G, Miracco C, Pirtoli L, Kaminska B, Comincini S. 2011. Silencing of cellular prion protein (PrPC) expression by DNA-antisense oligonucleotides induces autophagy-dependent cell death in glioma cells. Autophagy 7:840-53.
11 Comincini S, Paolillo M, Barbieri G, Palumbo S, Sbalchiero E, Azzalin A, Russo MA, Schinelli S. 2009. Gene expression analysis of an EGFR indirectly related pathway identified PTEN and MMP9 as reliable diagnostic markers for human glial tumor specimens. J Biomed Biotechnol 2009:924565.
12 Azzalin A, Sbalchiero E, Barbieri G, Palumbo S, Muzzini C, Comincini S. 2008. The doppel (Dpl) protein influences in vitro migration capability in astrocytoma-derived cells. Cell Oncol 30:491-501.
13 Sbalchiero E, Azzalin A, Palumbo S, Barbieri G, Arias A, Simonelli L, Ferretti L, Comincini S. 2008. Altered cellular distribution and sub-cellular sorting of doppel (Dpl) protein in human astrocytoma cell lines. Cell Oncol 30:337-47.

Book Chapters

1. Barbieri G, Calabria A, Chotani G, Ferrari E. 2019. Bacillus and the story of protein secretion and production, p 3-27. In Komives C, Zhou W (ed), Bioprocessing Technology for Production of Biopharmaceuticals and Bioproducts. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken (NJ), USA.
No projects are available to students for the current accademic year.