Francesco Renzi's research group welcomes three new researchers to work on bacterial cell envelope biogenesis

Dr. Francesco Renzi is a microbiologist leading a unique research team at NARILIS focusing on cell envelope biogenesis in Bacteroidetes, using Capnocytophaga canimorsus and Flavobacterium johnsoniae as a model organisms. C. canimorsus is a bacterium living as a commensal in the dog mouth and causing rare but severe life-threatening infections in humans while F. johnsoniae is a free-living environmental bacterium. Francesco Renzi’s research group, established at the Research Unit in Biology of Microorganisms (URBM) of the UNamur, aims at characterizing the surface structures that are essential for the biology and pathogenesis of bacteria. At the end of 2019, Francesco was awarded an Incentive Grant for Scientific Research (MIS) from the FNRS. More recently, he was appointed NARC fellow by the UNamur for a period of 2 years. The beginning of this year 2021 is marked by the arrival of three new members in his team: Katsuya Fuchino and Fabio Giovannercole as postdoc researchers and Félix Poncelet as PhD student.

Katsuya Fuchino is a Japanese researcher who obtained his PhD degree from the Lund University (Sweden) in 2015, with his studies on changes in bacterial cell architecture in response to osmotic stress. He then moved to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway) to work as a postdoc researcher from 2015 till 2020 on the ethanologenic alphaproteobacterium Zymomonas mobilis, a promising biofuel producer.

Originally from Italy, Fabio Giovannercole completed his doctoral thesis in 2019 at the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) on the biochemical characterization of glutamate decarboxylase from Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Before joining the UNamur, he spent 6 months at the Institut Pasteur (Rome) and 20 months at the ITQB, a research institute of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal).

Félix Poncelet graduated from the UCLouvain in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2019. He performed his Master thesis at the UCLouvain and his internship at the Institut Pasteur (Paris) in the field of molecular bacteriology. He just joined the team of Francesco to start a doctoral thesis.

NARILIS wishes all three a warm welcome and much success in their new projects!

From left to right: Félix Poncelet (PhD student), Francesco Renzi (team leader), Katsuya Fuchino (postdoc) and Fabio Giovannercole (postdoc)