Silvia Buroni
Silvia Buroni
affiliation: Università di Pavia
research area(s): Immunity And Infection
Course: Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology
University/Istitution: Università di Pavia
POSITION TITLE: Assistant Professor

07/2003 MSc in Biological Sciences, University of Pavia, Italy
11/2003 Qualification to Biologist Profession, University of Pavia, Italy
11/2006 Degree of the “Scuola Avanzata di Formazione Integrata (SAFI)”, IUSS, University of Pavia
01/2007 PhD in Genetics and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Pavia, Italy

A. Personal Statement
I started my career studying drug resistance and the development of new drugs for the treatment of mycobacteria. Within two European projects, the group, supervised by Prof. Giovanna Riccardi, identified the cellular target of benzothiazinones (Makarov et al., Science 2009. Paper cited as one out of the 10 key articles published in 2009 by Nature Medicines), now in Phase II human clinical-trials. The characterization of the three-dimensional structure of the target was published in Science Translational Medicine (Neres et al., 2012).
About fifteen years ago, I started studying drug resistance in CF pathogens and produced 27 peer–reviewed articles on this topic, 9 as first author and 9 as corresponding author. My current research involves the synthesis of new molecules effective against Burkholderia cenocepacia.
I have been invited to present my work to internationally established conferences, including the 41st European Cystic Fibrosis Conference, and international advanced schools. I am also a member of the “International Burkholderia cepacia Working Group”, I presented the results of my work many times at these meeting and during the last one (Dublin, 2018) I was chair of the antimicrobial session. I have been awarded grant travels, and I achieved a best presentation (Cortona Procarioti, Italy, 2010) and a best poster award.
Since November 2017 I have been the PI of the peer-reviewed Blue Sky Research Grant (85,000 €) for the project “Burkholderia cenocepacia divisome as a new target to hit a rare cystic fibrosis pathogen”. I also took part to many national and international research projects: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 2017, Italian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (2015, 2012, 2009, 2006, 2004), PRIN 2005, FP6-2004-LIFESCIHEALTH-5.
I have been referee for "Israely Ministry of Science, Technology and Space", for many scientific journals and guest associate editor for “Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology” Research Topic for the Journals Frontiers in Genetics and Frontiers in Microbiology and “Insights into New Strategies to Combat Biofilms” Research Topic for Frontiers in Microbiology; I am member of the Editorial Board of “EC Pulmonology and Respiratory Medicine”. I have also been member of the committee for the best poster award at the conference: “I discepoli di Adriano Buzzati-Traverso: la Genetica Molecolare tra Università e CNR”, University of Pavia (2011).

B. Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment
2003-2007: PhD student in Genetics and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Pavia.
June-August 2007: Research stage at the Laboratory of Microbiology and Immunology of the University of Western Ontario in London Ontario (Canada).
2006-2011: Post Doc researcher at the Department of Genetics and Microbiology of the University of Pavia on the project “New medicines for tuberculosis”.
2011-2018: Post-Doc researcher at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology “L. Spallanzani” of the University of Pavia.
1st December 2018-present: Assistant Professor BIO/19 – Microbiology.

Professional Memberships
2007-present: Member of the SIMGBM (Italian Society of General Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnologies).
May 2019- February 2020: Proponent of the PhD Program in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Pavia.
February 2020-present: Teacher of the PhD Program in Genetics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Pavia.

National scientific qualification
April 2017: National Scientific Qualification as Associate Professor of Microbiology (SSD: BIO/19).

2008 Travel Grant to attend the International B. cepacia Working Group meeting, Italy.
2010 Best poster award: XXXIX Congresso Nazionale AMCLI, Italy.
2010 Award for the results achieved in the “New Medicines for Tuberculosis” project.
2010 Best presentation award: Cortona Procarioti meeting, Cortona, Italy.
2010 Selected and granted by Cariplo Foundation to be one of the 10 Italians out of 600 people attending the 60th Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.
2011 Travel Grant to attend the 4th Congress of European Microbiologists FEMS 2011, Geneva, Switzerland.

C. Contributions to Science

Authors of 43 peer-reviewed publications, 4 book chapters, more than 60 abstracts. H-index: 19, Citations: 1483.
About fifteen years ago, I started studying drug resistance in Cystic Fibrosis pathogens: my current research involves the synthesis of new molecules effective against Burkholderia cenocepacia and ESKAPE pathogens.

A benzothiadiazol compound (C109) synthesized by Dr. V. Makarov (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow) is very active against Gram-negative and -positive bacteria and we identified a mechanism of resistance (Scoffone et al., Front. Microbiol. 2015). We also identified the target of C109, the FtsZ cell division protein (Hogan et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2018). New inhalable formulations of the compound have been developed in collaboration with Prof. F. Ungaro (Costabile et al., 2020). Other collaborations within Burkholderia research include: M. Valvano (University of Belfast), T. Coenye (University of Ghent), E. Mahenthiralingam (University of Cardiff), P. Drevinek (CF centre - Paediatric Department, Motol university hospital - 2nd Medical School Charles University, Prague).
The compound is highly effective also against some ESKAPE pathogens and we are currently characterizing its activity and mechanism of resistance in collaboration with Prof. P. Visca and Prof. F. Imperi (University of Roma Tre), Prog. G. Pozzi (University of Siena), Prof. G. Rossolini (University of Florence), and Prof. M. Sanguinetti (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore).

Moreover, the characterization of the quorum sensing enzymes of B. cenocepacia, as target of anti-virulence compounds, could represent a new promising therapeutic approach. The two enzymes CepI and DfsA have been obtained in recombinant form and, for the latter the crystal structure has been resolved (Spadaro et al. 2016. Biochemistry 55: 3241-50). The activity assay of both enzymes has been assessed, allowing the screening of potential inhibitors. This screen led to new compounds active in vitro against CepI, which are able to dramatically decrease the virulence of the bacteria in an in vivo C. elegans model (Scoffone et al., 2016. Sci. Rep. 6: 32487).
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 (IF=4.0)
Buroni S*, Chiarelli LR. (2020) Antivirulence compounds: a future direction to overcome antibiotic resistance? Future Microbiology 15:299-301. (IF=3.19)
Buroni S*, Makarov V, Scoffone VC, Trespidi G, Riccardi G, Chiarelli LR. (2020) The cell division protein FtsZ as a cellular target to hit cystic fibrosis pathogens. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 190: 112132 (IF=4.816)
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 in Microbiology 28: 315-326 (IF=11.974)
Costabile G, Provenzano R, Azzalin A, Scoffone VC, Chiarelli LR, Rondelli V, Grillo I, Zinn T, Lepioshkin A, Savina S, Miro A, Quaglia F, Makarov V, Coenye T, Brocca P, Riccardi G, Buroni S§, Ungaro F. (2020) PEGylated mucus-penetrating nanocrystals for lung delivery of a new FtsZ inhibitor against Burkholderia cenocepacia infection. Nanomedicine 23: 102113 (IF=6.5)
Buroni S*, Pollini S, Rossolini GM, Perrin E. (2019) Editorial: Evolution of Genetic Mechanisms of Antibiotic Resistance. Frontiers in Genetics 10: 983 (IF=3.789)
Nunvar J, Hogan AM, Buroni S, Savina S, Makarov V, Cardona ST, Drevinek P. (2019) The effect of 2-thiocyanatopyridine derivative 11026103 on Burkholderia cenocepacia: resistance mechanisms and systemic impact. Antibiotics (Basel). 8. pii: E159 (IF=2.921)
Lightly T, Frejuk K, Groleau M, Chiarelli LR, Ras C, Buroni S, Déziel E, Sorensen J, Cardona S. (2019) Phenylacetyl-CoA, not phenylacetic acid, attenuates CepIR-regulated virulence in Burkholderia cenocepacia. Applied Environmental Microbiology 85: e01594-19 (IF=4.077)
Scoffone VC, Trespidi G, Chiarelli LR, Barbieri G, Buroni S§. (2019) Quorum sensing as antivirulence target in cystic fibrosis pathogens. International Journal of Molecular Science 13: pii: E1838 (IF=4.183)
Sass A, Slachmuylders L, Van Acker H, Vandenbussche I, Ostyn L, Bové M, Crabbé A, Chiarelli LR, Buroni S, Van Nieuwerburgh F, Abatih E, Coenye T. (2019) Various evolutionary trajectories lead to loss of the tobramycin potentiating activity of the quorum sensing inhibitor baicalin hydrate in Burkholderia cenocepacia biofilms. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 63: pii: e02092-18. (IF=4.476)
Hogan AM, Scoffone VC, Makarov V, Gislason AS, Tesfu H, Stietz MS, Brassinga AKC, Domaratzki M, Li X, Azzalin A, Biggiogera M, Riabova O, Monakhova N, Chiarelli LR, Riccardi G, Buroni S§, Cardona ST. (2018) Competitive fitness of essential gene knockdowns reveals a broad-spectrum antibacterial inhibitor of the cell division protein FtsZ. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 62. pii: e01231-18. (IF=4.476)
Buroni S*, Scoffone VC*, Fumagalli M, Makarov V, Trespidi G, De Rossi E, Forneris F, Riccardi G, Chiarelli LR. (2018) Investigating the mechanism of action of diketopiperazines inhibitors of the Burkholderia cenocepacia quorum sensing synthase CepI: a site directed mutagenesis study. Frontiers in Pharmacology. In Press. (*equal contributors). (IF = 3.831)
Scoffone VC, Chiarelli LR, Trespidi G, Mentasti M, Riccardi G, Buroni S§. (2017) Burkholderia cenocepacia infections in cystic fibrosis patients: drug resistance and therapeutic approaches. Frontiers in Microbiology 8: 1592. (IF=4.019)
Israyilova A*, Buroni S*, Forneris F, Scoffone VC, Shixaliyev NQ, Riccardi G, Chiarelli LR. (2016) Biochemical characterization of glutamate racemase-a new candidate drug target against Burkholderia cenocepacia infections. PLoS One 11: e0167350. (*equal contributors). (IF=2.806)
Scoffone VC, Chiarelli LR, Makarov V, Brackman G, Israyilova A, Azzalin A, Forneris F, Riabova O, Savina S, Coenye T, Riccardi G, Buroni S§. (2016) Discovery of new diketopiperazines inhibiting Burkholderia cenocepacia quorum sensing in vitro and in vivo. Scientific Reports 6: 32487. (IF=4.259)
Scoffone VC, Ryabova O, Makarov V, Iadarola P, Fumagalli M, Fondi M, Fani R, De Rossi E, Riccardi G, Buroni S§. (2015) Efflux-mediated resistance to a benzothiadiazol derivative effective against Burkholderia cenocepacia. Frontiers in Microbiology 6: 815. (IF=4.165)
Makarov V, Manina G, Mikusova K, Möllmann U, Ryabova O, Saint-Joanis B, Dhar N, Pasca MR, Buroni S, Lucarelli AP, Milano A, De Rossi E, Belanova M, Bobovska A, Dianiskova P, Kordulakova J, Sala C, Fullam E, Schneider P, McKinney JD, Brodin P, Christophe T, Waddell S, Butcher P, Albrethsen J, Rosenkrands I, Brosch R, Nandi V, Bharath S, Gaonkar S, Shandil RK, Balasubramanian V, Balganesh T, Tyagi S, Grosset J, Riccardi G, Cole ST. (2009) Benzothiazinones kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis by blocking arabinan synthesis. Science 324: 801-804. (IF=29.747)
Project Title:
Identification of new drugs and new targets for Burkholderia cenocepacia and ESKAPE pathogens.
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