Federico Forneris, 2013
Career Development Award Project Title
“Molecular Recognition at the Neuromuscular Synapse”, 2013
Who he is
Trained in physical chemistry and molecular biology, Federico Forneris returned to Italy after 5 years in the Netherlands at the beginning of 2014. Thanks to the Armenise Harvard Career Development Award, he now leads the Armenise Harvard laboratory of structural biology at the University of Pavia. In 2014 he also won the Levi Montalcini fellowship for young researchers. He is currently associate professor of Molecular Biology in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Pavia, where also serves as Vice-Rector for research.
What he does
The Forneris team studies how the interactions between various extracellular macromolecules significant from the bio-medical viewpoint trigger processes that lead to intracellular signaling cascades with an impact on cell communication and development. This is achieved through the integration of state-of-the-art methods for recombinant protein production (the comprehensive description of the strategies established for recombinant protein production has been published in Faravelli et al., Bio Protocol, 2021) with biochemistry, biochemistry, biophysics and structural studies of molecules. Active research projects focus on molecular interactions responsible for synapse formation (what enables communication between neurons in the brain and muscle cells, allowing us to move and breathe?), collagen biosynthesis (what are the key steps needed for collagen maturation and tissue homeostasis), and extracellular signaling (how does a single molecular trigger initiate a cascade responsible for dramatic cellular events such as differentiation, or cell death?). The goal is to generate a “molecular blueprint” of the most critical interactions responsible for these processes: a little like trying to understand how an engine is made by looking at each of its essential components, to better understand how it actually works. The goal is to reveal the structures and mechanisms of tertiary and quaternary-induced activation in multi-domain proteins and multi-protein complexes that underlie complex recognition and regulation processes.
News from the Lab
For the most recent updates, please check the news section of the Forneris lab website.
Latest achievements include:
– the discovery of an unprecedented feedback mechanism triggered by mosquito saliva, enabling the probing movements essential for blood feeding (Arnoldi, Mancini et al., Current Biology, 2022)