Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste - Structural Biology Laboratory

ELETTRA (http://:www.elettra.trieste.it/) is a multidisciplinary international laboratory of excellence, specialized in generating high quality synchrotron and free-electron laser light for scientific applications.

The Structural Biology laboratory (http://www.elettra.trieste.it/labs/structural-biology) provides state-of-the-art facilities for structural studies, including HT cloning, large-scale expression in bacterial and eukaryotic cells, purification of recombinant proteins, an automated crystallisation facility, as well as the biophysical and biochemical characterisation of proteins and protein complexes. Structural and biophysical studies are complemented by cell biology and biochemistry.
Our research is mainly focussed on the structural characterisation of proteins and protein complexes involved in the process of DNA replication and DNA repair in eukaryotic cells. These are crucial events in the cell cycle, underpinning cellular processes with important consequences such as cell proliferation and genome stability. Failure to control these processes causes chromosome instability, which can lead to the development of cellular abnormalities, genetic diseases and the onset of cancer.

Role in the AntiHelix project

The Elettra Structural Biology laboratory will carry out structural and functional studies on a number of helicases. Among those we will focus on the human RecQ4 helicase, playing a role at the interface between DNA replication and repair, and a number of Fe-S helicases, with a range of function spanning from DNA repair, to DNA replication, sister-chromatid cohesion and regulation of telomere length.

The AntiHelix Team

Silvia OnestiESR4 Supervisorsilvia.onesti@elettra.eu
Luisa NapolitanoESR3 Supervisorluisa.napolitano@elettra.eu
Cecilia BlasettiAdministratorcecilia.blasetti@elettra.eu
Manil KanadeESR4manil.kanade@elettra.eu

Silvia Onesti

Silvia Onesti (http://www.elettra.trieste.it/People/SilviaOnesti.HomePage) graduated in Chemistry at the University of Pavia (Italy), followed by a PhD in Biophysics at Imperial College London (UK), under the supervision of P. Brick and D.M. Blow. She obtained a permanent position at Imperial College, first in the department of Physics and then in the Department of Life Sciences, where she worked on the structural aspects of proteins involved in translation, DNA replication and transcription. After 20 years in London she moved back to Italy, to set up and run the Structural Biology Laboratory at the Italian synchrotron facility Elettra. Her research now focusses on the interface between DNA replication and repair, and in particular on the role of helicases in some of these processes.
In collaboration with ICTP (www.ictp.it), the IUCr and INSTRUCT, S. Onesti has organised a number of Advanced Schools or Workshops in Structural Biology and Biophysics, in various countries (London, Trieste, Bangalore, Cape Town, Teheran, Ziguinchor, Florence, Naples, Arusha).

Within the AntiHelix consortium she has a role as supervisor of ESR4, member of the Supervisory Board, and co-organiser of the First Plenary meeting and some Transferable Skill Courses. As Webmaster and Leader of Work Package 8, she is overseeing the Outreach and Dissemination activities.

Luisa Napolitano

Luisa M.R. Napolitano received a Master Degree in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Naples (Italy). She obtained a PhD in Life Sciences from the Open University (UK), under the supervision of G. Meroni (TIGEM-Naples) and RT Hay (University of Dundee). From August 2011 to January 2018 she was a research fellow at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA, Trieste), in the department of Neurobiology, working on the structure of cyclic nucleotide gated ion channels, by combining crystallography with molecular dynamics. She is currently a Researcher in the Structural Biology Laboratory at the Italian synchrotron facility Elettra focusing on the role of Recq4 helicase on the interface between DNA replication and repair.

Within the AntiHelix consortium she has a role as supervisor of ESR3 and organiser of Hands-on practical classes.

Manil Kanade

Manil Kanade received a Batchelor and Master’s degree (BS-MS dual degree) from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune (IISER Pune, INDIA). During his undergraduate studies, he worked with Dr. Gayathri Pananghat (Assistant professor, IISER Pune) on the biochemical and structural characterization of prokaryotic small Ras-like GTPases. 

Manil joined Elettra on September 2020 as ESR4; within the Antihelix consortium he will be focussing on structural aspects of Fe-S helicases.”

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 859853