Giuditta De Lorenzo

Giuditta De Lorenzo

Research Fellow

AREA Science Park

About me

My field of research is molecular virology, an interest born studying rotavirus during my PhD and matured during my six years as a researcher at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR). At the CVR I first worked on the development and the preclinical evaluation of a Zika virus (ZIKV) candidate vaccine and then I focused on the impact of the emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2 variants. As a Research Fellow at the Research and Innovation Technology Institute (RIT) at Area Science Park in Trieste, I am studying the interaction between viruses and infected host cell, in particular the synergy between two cellular pathways (UPR and PRR) in mounting an antiviral response and the role of the emerging mutations of SARS-CoV-2 in affecting cellular DNA Damage response and subsequent inflammation and senescence. My interest in vaccine development is still very alive, and I am starting now to expand on new projects about the application of antiviral peptides.

Interests
  • Molecular virology
  • Flaviviruses
  • Coronavirus
  • Vaccine development
Education
  • PhD in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, 2016

    University of Nova Gorica

  • Master’s degree in Functional Genomics, 2011

    University of Trieste, Italy

Experience

 
 
 
 
 
Research Fellow
AREA Science Park
February 2023 – Present Trieste - Italy
 
 
 
 
 
Research Associate
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre For Virus Research (CVR)
August 2020 – February 2023 Glasgow - UK
 
 
 
 
 
Research Assistant
MRC-University of Glasgow Centre For Virus Research (CVR)
November 2016 – July 2020 Glasgow - UK

Projects

*
Impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants on genome integrity and their involvement in inflammation and neuropathogenesis
An imbalanced inflammatory response plays a key role in the pathogenesis of Covid-19, where multiple inflammatory pathways lead to hyperinflammation and a cytokine storm, resulting in acute respiratory syndrome, multi-organ failure, with long-term effects known as Long COVID. SARS-CoV-2 infection has been reported to compromise genome integrity by causing virus-induced DNA damage (VIDD) through Orf6 and NSP13, and by inhibiting DNA repair through the Nucleocapsid (N) protein(1). This leads to activation of proinflammatory pathways and virus-induced senescence (VIS) with autocrine/paracrine activity. Recent variants of concern (VoCs), including currently circulating Omicron BA.2 and BA.5 sub-lineages, have shown recurrent substitutions in Orf6, N and NSP13, and enhanced expression of Orf6 and N including the production of a novel subgenomic RNA encoding a truncated form of N. The effect of these changes on virus-induced DD and senescence in the context of inflammation and both acute and chronic pathogenesis remain poorly characterized. With this project, in collaboration with ICGEB and CNR-IFOM, we plan to determine the impact of SARS-CoV-2 VoCs on VIDD and VIS, particularly focusing on their implication in paracrine neuroinflammation. We will explore a novel in vivo model of virus-associated neuropathy accompanied by long-term neurological consequences and investigate telomeric antisense oligos and senotherapeutics endowed with antiviral activity as a novel therapeutic approach for neuropathogenesis.
Impact of SARS-CoV-2 variants on genome integrity and their involvement in inflammation and neuropathogenesis

Publications

Evolution of enhanced innate immune suppression by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) human adaptation resulted in distinct lineages with enhanced …
Phenotyping the virulence of SARS-CoV-2 variants in hamsters by digital pathology and machine learning
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has continued to evolve throughout the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) …

Current students

Former students

Contact