Dr Alfredo Maria Gravagnuolo

Research Associate

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Overview

Research description

2017 March - present: 2D MATERIALS FOR NEXT GENERATION HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGIES (2D HEALTH project).

Theme IV: 2D Sheets for Cancer Immunotherapy, i.e. the mobilisation of the body’s own immune defences against cancer. Graphene oxide is an ideal multifunctional nanocarrier: easy diffusion despite large lateral dimensions, large available surface and controlled functionalisation with a plurality of biochemical functions. The aim of this multidisciplinary research is to confer biologically responsive/targeted properties to graphene and 2D materials, via selective chemical functionalization and bioconjugation reactions.

http://2d-health.com/cancer-immunotherapy/

http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/major-award-for-graphene-and-2d-materials-in-biomedicine

 

 

Biography

 

Alfredo Maria has an inter-disciplinary background. Ranked 29th among the best high school students in Natural Sciences in Italy by ANISN in 2004, he obtained his MSc in Biotechnology cum Laude and Mention in 2011, Naples, working with Prof Leila Birolo and Prof Raffaele Velotta on laser induced cross-linking of polypeptides for mass spectrometry based proteomics. In the same year he was awarded a research placement on the EU Leonardo da Vinci programme and joined the group of Prof Pau Gorostiza at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) focusing on remote photocontrol of cell trafficking.

In 2015, Alfredo Maria received his PhD in Industrial and Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Naples “Federico II” (UNINA). During his PhD, he worked with Prof Paola Giardina on surface applications of self-assembling functional amyloid proteins and spent one year with Prof Arben Merkoçi’s group at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). Whilst at ICN2, he worked on nanomaterials-proteins hybrids. In 2017, after a post-doc in Naples, Alfredo Maria joined the 2D-Health project at the University of Manchester (UoM) working with Prof Nicola Tirelli’s group on molecular engineering of graphene oxide for cancer immunotherapy. Since September 2018 Alfredo is a post-doc of the Nanomedicine Lab and he is liaising with the pre-clinical core of 2D-Health leaded by Prof Kostas Kostarelos.

  

 

Projects

2017 – Present: EP/P00119X/1 - EPSRC. 2D Health: “2D Materials for Next Generation Healthcare Technologies” http://2d-health.com/

2016 – 2017: PON03PE_00107_1/1 – PON “R&C” 2007/2013 - MIUR. BioPoliS: “Development of green technologies for production of BIOchemicals and their use in preparation and industrial application of POLImeric materials from agricultural biomasses cultivated in a Sustainable way in Campania region”.

2015: P.O.R. Campania FERS 2007/2013. BIP: “Bio Industrial Processes” - project for a Regional Biotechnologies Network in Campania.

2013 – 2014: P.O.R. Campania FSE 2007/2013, CREMe: “Campania Research in Experimental Medicine".

2011 – 2012: EU Leonardo da Vinci Programme “Unipharma-graduates 7”.

 

 

Publications

 

 2017

Kaur J, Vergara A, Rossi M, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Valadan M, Corrad F, Conte M, Gesuele F, Giardina P, Altucci C. (2017). Electrostatically driven scalable synthesis of MoS2-Graphene hybrid films assisted by hydrophobins. RSC ADVANCES, Vol 7, pp 50166-50175, ISSN 2046-2069, doi: 10.1039/C7RA09878B.

 

Piscitelli A, Cicatiello P, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Sorrentino I, Pezzella C, Giardina P. (2017). Applications of Functional Amyloids from Fungi: Surface Modification by Class I Hydrophobins. BIOMOLECULES, vol 7, Epp 45 EISSN 2218-273X, doi: 10.3390/biom7030045

 

Cicatiello P, Dardano P, Pirozzi M, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, De Stefano L, Giardina P (2017). Self-assembly of two hydrophobins from marine fungi affected by interaction with surfaces. BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOENGINEERING, ISSN 1097-0290, doi: 10.1002/bit.26344. [Epub ahead of print].

 

Kaur J,‡ GRAVAGNUOLO AM,‡* Maddalena P, Altucci C, Giardina P, Gesuele F.* (2017). Green synthesis of luminescent and defect-free bio-nanosheets of MoS2: interfacing two-dimensional crystals with hydrophobins. RSC ADVANCES, vol 7, pp 22400-22408 ISSN 2046-2069, doi: 10.1039/C7RA01680H.

 

 2016 

Cicatiello P, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Gnavi G, Varese GC, Giardina P. (2016). Marine fungi as source of new hydrophobins. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULES, vol 92, pp 1229-1233 ISSN 0141-8130, doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2016.08.037.

 

Politi J, De Stefano L, Rea I, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Giardina P, Methivier C, Casale S, Spadavecchia J. (2016). One-pot synthesis of a gold nanoparticle-Vmh2 hydrophobin nanobiocomplex for glucose monitoring. NANOTECHNOLOGY, vol 27, pp 195701 ISSN 0957-4484, doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/27/19/195701.

 

GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Longobardi S, Luchini A, Appavou MS, De Stefano L, Notomista E, Paduano L, Giardina P. (2016). Class I hydrophobin Vmh2 adopts atypical mechanisms to self-assemble into functional amyloid fibrils. BIOMACROMOLECULES, vol 17, pp 954-964, ISSN 1616-301X, doi: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b01632.

  

Della Ventura B, Rea I, Caliò A, Giardina P, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Funari R, Altucci C, Velotta R, De Stefano L. (2016). Vmh2 hydrophobin layer entraps glucose: a quantitative characterization by label-free optical and gravimetric methods. APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, vol 364, pp 201–207, ISSN 0169-4332, doi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.12.080

 

 2015

GRAVAGNUOLO AM,‡ Morales-Narváez E,‡ Matos CRS, Longobardi S, Giardina P, Merkoçi A. (2015). On-the-spot immobilization of quantum dots, graphene oxide, and proteins via hydrophobins. ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS, vol 25; pp 6084-6092, ISSN 1616-301X, doi: 10.1002/adfm.201502837.

  

Portaccio M, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Longobardi S, Giardina P, Rea I, De Stefano L, Cammarota M, Lepore M. (2015) ATR FT-IR spectroscopy on Vmh2 hydrophobin self-assembled layers for Teflon membrane bio-functionalization.  APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, vol 351, pp 673–680, ISSN  0169-4332, doi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2015.05.182

 

GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Morales-Narváez E, Longobardi S, da Silva ET, Giardina P, Merkoçi A. (2015). In situ production of biofunctionalized few-layer defect-free microsheets of graphene. ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS, vol 25; pp 2771-2779, ISSN 1616-301X, doi: 10.1002/adfm.201500016

  

Longobardi S, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Funari R, Della Ventura B, Pane F, Galano E, Amoresano A, Marino G, Giardina P. (2015). A simple MALDI plate functionalization by Vmh2 hydrophobin for serial multi-enzymatic protein digestions. ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, vol 407; pp 487-496, ISSN: 1618-2650, doi: 10.1007/s00216-014-8309-3

 

 2014

(NOT LISTED IN SCOPUS) – Longobardi S, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, De Stefano L, Rea I, Giardina P (2014). Self–assembling fungal proteins and their biotechnological applications. RENDICONTI - ACCADEMIA NAZIONALE DELLE SCIENZE DETTA DEI XL. MEMORIE DI SCIENZE FISICHE E NATURALI; pp 65-76, ISSN: 0392-4130, doi: 10.4399/97888548717173

  

Longobardi S, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Rea I, De Stefano L, Marino G, Giardina P (2014). Hydrophobin-coated plates as matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization sample support for peptide/protein analysis. ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY, vol 449; pp 9-16, ISSN: 0003-2697, doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2013.11.021 (front cover)

 

 2013

Leo G, Altucci C, Bourgoin-Voillard S, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Esposito R, Marino G, Costello CE, Velotta R, Birolo L (2013). Ultraviolet laser-induced cross-linking in peptides. RAPID COMMUNICATIONS IN MASS SPECTROMETRY, vol 27; pp 1660-1668, ISSN: 0951-4198, doi: 10.1002/rcm.6610

 

 

Communications

 

2018

(KEYNOTE LECTURE) - GRAVAGNUOLO AM, d’Arcy R, Prestat E, Donno R, Kostarelos K, Tirelli N. (2018) The organic chemistry of graphene oxide: en route to application. In: 3rd European Symposium on Surface Science. Nice, France, October 17-19

 

(INVITED TALK) - GRAVAGNUOLO AM, d’Arcy R, Donno R, Prestat E, Kostarelos K, Tirelli N. (2018) En route to graphene oxide functionalization. In: 2D-Health Mini-Symposium. London, United Kingdom, April 24

 

(INVITED POSTER) - GRAVAGNUOLO AM, d’Arcy R, Prestat E, Kostarelos K, Tirelli N. (2018) Supramolecular (long-range) character of graphene oxide reactions: rearrangements and restructuring complicate reaction stoichiometry. ln: UK-China Conference: Grand Challenges and Solutions in 2D Materials Science and Technologies – National Graphene Institute. Manchester, United Kingdom, January 24-26

 

2017 

(POSTER + SHORT TALK) - GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Cicatiello P, Pennacchio A, Sorrentino I, Politi J, De Stefano L, Piscitelli A, Giardina P. (2017) Fungal hydrophobins, proteins with potential in drug delivery. ln: 2017 Controlled Release Society Italy Chapter (IT-CRS) Annual Workshop – Macromolecules in Drug Delivey. Fisciano, Italy, October 26-28

 

(POSTER) GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Morales-Narváez E, Longobardi S, Merkoçi A, Giardina P. (2017) Bio-adhesive proteins from fungi: biotechnological production, self-assembly and applications. ln: 14th International Conference on Polymers for Advanced Technologies (PAT 2017). Manchester, United Kingdom, September 11-13

 

(POSTER) Kaur J, Vergara A, Rossi M, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Valadan M, Gesuele F, Giardina P, Altucci C. (2017) Scalable production of 2D materials based heterostructures through green route. ln: 3rd European Graphene Forum. Paris, France, April 26-28

  

2016

(POSTER) GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Cicatiello P, Pennacchio A, Sorrentino I, Piscitelli A and Giardina P. (2016) Fungal Self-assembling proteins, their adhesive properties and applications. In: Workshop BIO/10 - 99 Poster di Docenti e Ricercatori di Biochimica delle Università della Campania. Naples, Italy, January 18. (Organized by the University of Naples ‘’Federico II’’).

  

(POSTER) GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Cicatiello P, Pennacchio A, Sorrentino I, Piscitelli A and Giardina P. (2016) Fungal Self-assembling proteins, their adhesive properties and applications. In: 3rd Workshop Ph.D. COMPLEX FLUIDS SCHOOL @ UNINA. Naples, Italy, November 24. (Organized by the University of Naples ‘’Federico II’’ in collaboration with Procter & Gamble Italia).

  

(ORAL PRESENTATION) Kaur J, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Maddalena P, Giardina P, Altucci C and Gesuele F. (2016) Green route for production and biofunctionalization of transition metal dichalcogenides based nanosheets. ln: 2nd Graphene & 2D Materials International Conference and Exhibition. Montreal, Canada, October 18-20

  

(ORAL PRESENTATION) GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Politi J, Cicatiello P, De Stefano L, Morales-Narváez E, Merkoçi A, Giardina P. (2016). Self-assembled nanoscale films and complexes of the surface active protein Vmh2. ln: 2nd European symposium on Surface Science. Capri, Italy, September 21-23.

  

(ORAL PRESENTATION) Cicatiello P, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Gnavi G, Varese GC, Giardina P. (2016). Novel hydrophobins from marine fungi. ln: 9th International Conference on Fiber and Polymer Biotechnology. Osaka, Japan, September 7-9.

  

(POSTER) Gesuele F, Kaur J, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Giardina P, Maddalena P, Altucci C. (2016). Liquid-phase exfoliation and biofunctionalization of Transition Metal dichalcogenides. ln: E-MRS Spring Meeting (European Materials Research Society). Lille, France, May 2-6.

 

2015 

(ORAL PRESENTATION) Cicatiello P, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Giardina P. (2015). Marine fungi as source of protein biosurfactants. ln: 5th International Conference on Biofoams. Sorrento, Italy, October 13-16

  

(POSTER) GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Morales-Narváez E, Longobardi S, da Silva ET, Giardina P, Merkoçi A. (2015). Fabrication of bio-functionalized few-layer defect-free microsheets of graphene. ln: ICREA Workshop on Graphene Nanobiosensors. Barcelona, Spain, May 25-26

  

2014

(POSTER) Longobardi S, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Marino G, Giardina P (2014). Surface functionalization through a fungal hydrophobin for proteomic applications. In: 8th International Conference on Polymer and Fiber Biotechnology, IPFB 2014. Braga, Portugal, May 25-27.

 

2013

(POSTER) Longobardi S, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Marino G, Giardina P (2013). Hydrophobin layer as versatile coating of MALDI plate. In: 4th MS-J-Day “I giovani e la spettrometria di massa 2013”. Potenza, Italy, November 14.

  

(ORAL PRESENTATION) Longobardi S, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Rea I, De Stefano L, Giardina P (2013). Fungal hydrophobin self-assembly: an active layer for multipurpose nanotech devices. In: Italian Forum on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioeconomy, IFIB 2013, from biotechology new resources for industry. Naples, Italy, October 22-23.

  

2012

(POSTER) Martín-Quirós A, Nevola L, Eckelt K, Camarero N, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Llobet A, Giralt E, Gorostiza P (2012). Photocontrol of endocytosis through engineered inhibitory peptides. In: Gordon Research Conference on Lysosomes & Endocytosis. Proctor Academy, Aldover, NH, USA

  

(POSTER) Martín-Quirós A, Nevola L, Eckelt K, Camarero N, GRAVAGNUOLO AM, Llobet A, Giralt E, Gorostiza P (2012). Photocontrol of endocytosis through engineered inhibitory peptides. In:5th IBEC Symposium on Bioengineering and Nanomedicine. Barcelona, Spain, June 11.

 

 

Scientific Membership

 

2017 - present. Member of the Controlled Release Society (CRS) Italy Local Chapter

 

2016 - present Ordinary Member of the European Association on Material Surfaces Science & Technology (EMASST)

 

2015 – present. Reviewer for Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Elsevier 

 

 

Awards and honors

 

2014 - Front cover in ANALYTICAL BIOCHEMISTRY (doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2013.11.021)

 

2011 - Received Mention for the MSc career from the University of Naples “Federico II”.

 

2008 - Received Mention for the BSc career at the University of Naples “Federico II”.

 

2008 - Deserved a part-time job at the President’s Office of the Faculty of Biotechnological Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, for proficient results as BSc student.

 

2005 - Ranked 2nd among 738 students, in the entrance test of the Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Naples “Federico II”

 

2004 - Ranked 29th in the Italian national competition of Natural Sciences” for High School students (graduatoria nazionale anno 2004, categoria triennio) http://www.anisn.it/olimpiadi_archivio_graduatorie.php

 

 

 Organization of conferences and meetings

 

2018 - Event assistant for the National Graphene Institute @ UK-China Conference: Grand Challenges and Solutions in 2D Materials Science and Technologies – National Graphene Institute. Manchester, United Kingdom, January 24-26

 

2015 - Event assistant for the American Society of Microbiology @ Microbiology: Quo vadis? Naples, Italy, May 11.

 

2015 - Organizing and Scientific committee (also chaired a session on industrial biotechnology and career opportunities) for the PhD School in Biotechnology of the University of Naples “Federico II” @BIOtecnologie Industriali: UNIone tra uniVERsità e impreSE, BIO-UNIVERSE 2015, 1st edition. Naples, Italy, January 30.

 

 

Outreach activities

 

2018 – September the 28th. The “European Researchers’ Night” is a Europe wide initiative, in which thousands of researchers all across Europe meet the public and share their work in a social setting. Activity: Science Uncovered Manchester: is a spectacular night showcasing Manchester’s finest researchers and their work for an adult audience. Location: Manchester Museum, UK. Research Station: 2D or not 2D.

 

2018 – July the 20th-23rd. “Bluedot” is a festival, aiming to attract non-scientific public to be more interested in science and technology, mixed with art work and music events for a weekend at the grounds of a deep space observatory. Activity: “The Star Field”, which is a science marketplace where people discuss the latest discoveries with scientists in a series of tents and stalls packed with scientific displays, games and interactive experiments. Location: Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield, UK. Research Station: 2D or not 2D.

 

2018 – March the 13th. British Science Week. British Science Week, run by the British Science Association is a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, featuring entertaining and engaging events and activities across the UK for people of all ages. Activity: Science Fair for pupils (205 pupils from 11 schools). Location: The University of Manchester, Sackville Street Building Great Hall. Research Station: Graphene, the material of the future.

 

2017 – September the 29th. European Researchers’ Night. The European Researcher’s Night is a Europe wide initiative, in which thousands of researchers all across Europe meet the public and share their work in a social setting. Activity: Science Uncovered Manchester: is a spectacular night showcasing Manchester’s finest researchers and their work for an adult audience. Location: Manchester Museum. Research Station: Graphene and other atomically-thin nanomaterials.

 

 

Education

 

2015 PhD in Biotechnology

Doctoral School in Biotechnology, University of Naples “Federico II”

Thesis: Hydrophobins from Pleurotus ostreatus in Biotechnological Industry

 

2011 MSc Degree in Molecular and Industrial Biotechnology

Faculty of Biotechnological Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy

110 Cum Laude and Mention.

Thesis: Femtosecond UV Laser Protein-protein Cross-linking: a Novel Strategy for Functional and Structural Proteomics

 

2008 BSc Degree in Biomolecular and Industrial Biotechnology

Faculty of Biotechnological Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy

110 Cum Laude and Mention.

Thesis: Protein Crosslinking by Ultrashort Ultraviolet Laser

 

 

Post-doctoral Research activity

 

2017 – Present / The University of Manchester - UK

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Research: 2D Sheets for Cancer Immunotherapy. The aim of this multidisciplinary project is to confer biologically responsive/targeted properties to graphene and 2D materials, via selective chemical functionalization and bioconjugation reactions, i.e. molecular engineering of graphene oxide.

Supervisor: Prof. Nicola Tirelli – Laboratory of Biopolymers and Biomaterials - Division of Pharmacy and Optometry - School of Health Sciences - Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Project: 2D Materials for Next Generation Healthcare Technologies’ (2D-Health). Principal Investigator: Prof. Kostas Kostarelos

 

2015 – 2017 / University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Research: surface biofunctionalization of (nano)materials using self-assembling fungal proteins for biomedical and industrial applications.

Supervisor: Prof. Paola Giardina - Industrial, Molecular and Environmental Biotechnology Group (BiMA). Department of Chemical Sciences.

Supported by Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR): a) Operative National Programme Research and Competitiveness 2007–2013, Project BioPoliS, Principal Investigator: Prof. Vincenza Faraco; b)  P.O.R. Campania FERS 2007/2013, Project Bio Industrial Processes (BIP), Principal Investigator: Prof. Giovanni Sannia.

 

 

Acknowledgments in publications

 

Piscitelli A, Pennacchio A, Cicatiello P, Politi J, De Stefano L, Giardina P. (2017). Rapid and ultrasensitive detection of active thrombin based on the Vmh2 hydrophobin fused to a Green Fluorescent Protein. BIOSENSORS AND BIOELECTRONICS, vol 87; pp 816-822, doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2016.09.052

 

Piscitelli A, Pennacchio A, Longobardi A, Velotta R, Giardina P. (2017). Vmh2 Hydrophobin as a Tool for the Development of ‘‘Self-Immobilizing’’ Enzymes for Biosensing. BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOENGINEERING, vol 114; pp 46-52, doi: 10.1002/bit.26049

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