Ilaria Ferlenghi

Associate Director, Head of Structural Microscopy, External RD



Her scientific interests are currently focused on the correlation between bacterial and viral surface protein structures and their functionality. She contributed to the development of the “Structural Vaccinology”, a new approach that allows, starting from the knowledge of the three-dimensional structure, obtained by a multidisciplinary structure-based approach where cryo-electron microscopy plays a key role, to determine the most effective antigens/epitopes and to engineer them to make them more immunogenic and to use them as vaccines. This approach has been instrumental in the development of Bexsero ™, a recently approved FDA vaccine to protect against Meningococcus B infection. In a dedicated team, composed by colleagues with different background, she recently conceived and developed, a pioneer approach named GEMINI, based on the combined use of cryo-tomography, cryo-SPR, HDx-MS and X-ray crystallography with machine learning approach, that allows fast  and focused identification of new vaccine candidates. Since 2016 she become member of the Scientific Advisory Board of European Networks dedicated to the structural biology (iNext and iNext-Discovery) and member since 2017 of the, a network of Italian Professional women in the field of scientific knowledge.

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