School of Biotechnology
Academic biographyI am a biologist with significant expertise in Redox Biology and its applications in Biosciences. My postgraduate research focused on clinical biochemistry and following on the sclerotial metamorphosis of filamentous fungi in relation to oxidative stress. As a postdoc I employed biochemical and metabolomic approaches within the fields of nanotoxicology, cell toxicology and ecotoxicology. I am an assistant professor and a SIRG awardee on an research trajectory within applications of Biochemistry in Microbial Physiology and Systems Ecotoxicology. I have established the first freshwater organisms facility in the School of Biotechnology.
Research interestsI am a Biologist with a focus in Biochemistry by training. My postgraduate research was oriented on Oxidative Stress and Redox Biology which are crucial to physiological phenomena (i.e. signaling, aging etc.) and in the underlying mechanisms of several pathological conditions (i.e. cancer, neurodegenerative diseases).
During my postgraduate studies, I developed novel biochemical methodologies for biomarkers of oxidative stress and specifically for the quantification of protein and lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation, thiol redox state, reactive oxygen species, and two ultrasensitive protocols for the quantification of proteins. During my PhD thesis I studied sclerotial metamorphosis and aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus and provided a biochemical link between these two processes via oxidative stress. I extended this project to a metabolic perspective as a postdoctoral fellow using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Furthermore, I participated in several collaborations among different fields of research. Specifically, in a collaboration with the astrogeophysicist Dr. Christopher P. McKay (from NASA Ames Research Center) I studied the formation of life-inhibiting oxidants in Mars-like analogue desserts and developed novel biochemical methods useful for planetary research. My biochemical experience allowed me to participate in a diverse set of research projects ranging from bioindicators for environmental pollution, animal models for ischemia/reperfusion injury, in vitro assessment of anticancer drugs, neurodegeneration models and ageing in mice, and clinical samples for obstructive jaundice.
In 2014 I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Université catholique de Louvain, where I worked on the mechanisms of cytotoxicity of silver nanoparticles on human intestinal cells and the protective effects of phenolic antioxidants. I also studied the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential of different plant tissue extracts from Rhus tripartitum, an endemic Tunisian medicinal plant, on intestinal cells after exposure to ethanol stress. Following, from 2016 I was a research fellow at the University of Birmingham, working on Environmental Metabolomics withing the context of Molecular Ecotoxicology. I studied the physiology and growth of Daphnia magna using metbaolomic signatures upon exposure to mixtures of chemicals. For my research I developed a miniaturized approach for the acute toxicity and algae feeding and discovered the molecular fingerprints of metabolite coronas on nanomaterials.
In 2017 I joined the School of Biotechnology as an assistant professor and secured prestigious funding from Science Foundation Ireland by a Starting Research Investigator Grant on Environmental Metabolomics. Working in a reputable academic institute with a dynamic, inspiring, and interactive environment in Dublin City University gave me the opportunity to establish the first freshwater organism facility and set out an independent research career. I am actively involved in teaching and research within the School and across it borders participating in various visiting and host activities.
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ORCID: 0000-0002-6276-495X Scopus Author ID 23097934200