Maurizio Falconi

University of Camerino, Italy

Maurizio Falconi was born in Tolentino (MC), Italy, in 1959. He obtained a University degree in biological science (1984) and Ph.D. degree in cellular and molecular biology (1990) in the Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Biology MCA, University of Camerino (Italy). He is a Tenure-Track Staff Researcher at the School of Bioscience and Biotechnologies, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, University of Camerino, Italy. At the beginning of his career, Falconi has spent about 3 years working in different laboratories in Italy (the University of Florence and CNR Naples) and abroad (Planck-Institut fuer Molekulare Genetik , Berlin, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA). Falconi has studied the nucleoid-associated proteins in bacteria focusing his interests on the role that some of these proteins play as transcriptional regulators. In particular, he has elucidated both the primary and quaternary structure of the nucleoid protein H-NS and how the oligomerization state of H-NS controls its capacity to repress gene expression. Moreover, he studied the regulation of the hns gene showing that this gene belongs to the cold-shock regulon. About 15 years ago, Falconi began to deal with the regulation of virulence genes or factors involved in bacterial pathogenicity processes. He has clarified, at molecular level, the mechanisms governing the expression of the virulence gene virF of Shigella, the acid-resistance Gad system, and the a-hemolysin operon of Escherichia coli. Few years ago, he started to study the regulation mediated by small noncoding RNA in bacteria. Falconi discovered a new antisense RNA (RnaG) which, by a transcriptional attenuation mechanism, negatively controls the virulence gene icsA of Shigella. Further investigation demonstrated also the interplay between RnaG and the 2 global regulators H-NS and VirF on icsA regulation. Falconi has been a referee of the following international scientific journals: Molecular Microbiology, Research in Microbiology, Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Letters, and FEBS Journal.

Biography Updated on 16 August 2012

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