Dr. Francesco Renzi awarded a NARC fellowship starting on 1st of October 2020 for a period of 2 years

As is the custom at the beginning of every academic year, the UNamur appointed the new Namur Research College (NARC) Fellows. Dr. Francesco Renzi, member of the NARILIS institute, is one of the 2020 newly elected NARC fellows! This appointment acknowledges his top-level research in the field of Molecular Bacteriology and follows the Incentive Grant for Scientific Research (MIS) that he received from the FNRS end 2019.

Microbiologist Dr. Francesco Renzi is a permanent FNRS research associate who leads a unique research team at NARILIS focusing on the pathogenesis of Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacterium living as a commensal in the dog mouth and causing rare but severe life-threatening infections in humans. Francesco Renzi’s research group, established at the Research Unit in Biology of Microorganisms (URBM) of the UNamur, aims at unravelling how these bacteria build their cell envelope, a dynamic structure essential for their survival and interaction with the host. The group characterizes surface structures of C. canimorsus. In particular, they study surface-exposed lipoproteins that are part of multiprotein membrane complexes devoted to nutrient acquisition. These complexes, encoded in genomic loci called Polysaccharide Utilisation Loci (PUL), are considered as key bacterial virulence factors. The team also explores the pathway that flips these lipoproteins to the surface of C. canimorsus, a pathway crucial for both commensalism and pathogenicity.

Thanks to his appointment as NARC fellow, Francesco Renzi will receive administrative and financial support from the UNamur in order to pursue his work within a high-quality research environment. His NARC fellowship started on 1 October 2020 for a period of 2 years. As a mentor, Francesco Renzi chose Prof. Jean-François Collet, FNRS Research Director at de Duve Institute (UCLouvain). This internationally renowned researcher works in a field of research close to that of Francesco. The goal of Jean-François Collet’s lab is to understand how bacteria assemble their cell envelope and to elucidate the mechanisms by which they respond to stress conditions in their environment, in particular to oxidative stress.

Read more on https://www.unamur.be/en/research/narc/fellows/francesco-renzi