Dr. Nicole Grandi
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Section of Molecular Virology, University of Cagliari, Italy
Dr. Nicole was born in Bologna, Italy, on July 23rd, 1987. In December 2012 She obtained her Master Degree in Health Biology cum laude at the University of Bologna, with a thesis entitled ?Viral tropism prediction at plasmatic and cellular levels: results from an experience conducted in Human Immunodeficiency Virus infected patients in the absence of therapy?. After graduation, She continued her research activity at the Retrovirus Laboratory of the S.Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital Microbiology Unit (Bologna, Italy), focusing on the evaluation of the HIV subtype F infections prevalence in the diagnostic routine using genotypic assays and phylogenetic analysis. She also spent a time period at the University of Cagliari, Section of Molecular Virology, during which she had the opportunity to test in vitro a number of synthetic compounds and natural extracts as inhibitors of the HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase enzymatic functions. In January 2014, She joined the PhD program in Life, Environmental and Drug Sciences of the University of Cagliari, working at the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Section of Molecular Virology, under the supervision of Prof. Enzo Tramontano. During her PhD, she started working on the bioinformatics analyses of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERV) in primate genomes. Particularly, her PhD thesis was dedicated to the exhaustive characterization of the HERV-W group individual members in human and non-human primates genome assemblies, and their possible contribution to human evolution and physiopathology. Since April 2017, she is continuing her research activity at the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Section of Molecular Virology as a post-Doc.
Since the beginning, her research activity has been focused on the field of Virology and, particularly, on human Retroviruses. She dedicated some years to the study of HIV-1 clinical isolates, working mainly on the genotypic characterization of viral tropism and analysing mutations associated to pharmacological resistant forms.She also investigated the inhibitory activity of both synthetic compounds and natural extracts on the HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase-associated polymerase and Ribonuclease H enzymatic functions, by in vitro assays. Since about four years, her research activity is aimed to the identification and characterization of Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERV) into the primate genomes. Particularly, she is interested in the HERV contribution to primates evolution and their possible link to human diseases, exploring them as possible innovative diagnostic tools and therapeutic targets. Currently, her attention is focused on the HERV-W and HERV-K groups.