skip to content

Engineering Biology in Cambridge



I obtained my BSc in Biotechnologies and my MSc in Molecular and Cell Biology (Hons.) from Tor Vergata University, Rome (2010). My research involved the use of protein-protein interaction assays to study the divisome (the bacterial cell division machinery). This machinery is conserved between E. coli and S. pneumoniae and could be a target for new antibiotics.

I then joined Dr Roberto Di Leonardo’s Microphysics Group in Sapienza University, Rome, on a project co-supervised by Dr Maria Lina Bernardini, aimed to apply optical tweezers and holographic microscopy to investigate bacterial motility and eukaryotic cell structure.

In 2012 I moved to Cambridge for an MRes, where I worked under the supervision of Dr Julia Gog (DAMTP) and Prof Clare Bryant (Veterinary Medicine) on the Mathematical analysis of Salmonella enterica interaction with macrophages.

In 2013 I began my PhD in Immunology in Professor’s Bryant Lab, to investigate the structure and the biological function of the inflammasome, an intracellular protein complex with a central role in innate immunity, during infection in health and autoinflammatory disease.


Key publications: 

Man, S.M., Ekpenyong, A., Tourlomousis, P., Achouri, S., Cammarota, E., Hughes, K., Rizzo, A., Ng, G., Wright, J. a, Cicuta, P., et al. (2014). Actin polymerization as a key innate immune effector mechanism to control Salmonella infection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.

Maggi, C., Lepore, A., Solari, J., Rizzo, A., and Di Leonardo, R. (2013). Motility fractionation of bacteria by centrifugation. Soft Matter 9, 10885.

Grenga, L., Rizzo, A., Paolozzi, L., and Ghelardini, P. (2013). Essential and non-essential interactions in interactome networks: the Escherichia coli division proteins FtsQ-FtsN interaction. Environ. Microbiol. 15, 3210–3217.

Angelani, L., Maggi, C., Bernardini, M.L., Rizzo, A., and Di Leonardo, R. (2011). Effective Interactions between Colloidal Particles Suspended in a Bath of Swimming Cells. Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 138302.

Available for consultancy


Collaborator profiles: 
Departments and institutes: