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Giovanna Riccardi

Academic position:
Full Professor
giovanna.riccardi (at) unipv.it
Phone number:
+39 0382 985574 (office); +39 0382 985575 (lab)
+39 0382 528496
Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Lazzaro Spallanzani"


Molecular Microbiology
Molecular Microbiology
Molecular Microbiology


No exams

Curriculum vitae

Born May 2nd, 1952, Golferenzo, Pavia (Italy).
Nationality: Italian.
Marital status: married, one son.
Home address: via Simonetta 11, 27100 Pavia.
Tel: + 39 0382 470535

Office address


Department of Biology and Biotechnologies “Lazzaro Spallanzani
University of Pavia (Italy)
Via Ferrata, 1
27100 Pavia
Tel.: + 39 0382 985574
Fax: + 39 0382 528496
E-mail: giovanna.riccardi@unipv.it



1972- High School Diploma, Scientific Liceum “T. Taramelli” – Pavia.
1976 - Doctoral Degree cum laude in Biology (University of Pavia).



1977-1984 - Fellowships aimed to work in microbiology fields, at the Institute of Microbiology and Plant Physiology.
1979 - EMBO Short-Term fellowship to visit the University of Liverpool.
1984-1998 - Researcher at the Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Pavia.
1999-2002 - Associate Professor of Microbiology at the Department of Experimental, Environmental and Applied Biology, University of Genoa.
From October 2002 - Full Professor of Microbiology, at the Department of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Pavia.
From January 2010 - she is President of the SIMGBM (Italian Society of General Microbiology and Microbial Biotechnologies).
From August 2011 - she is member of the European Academy of Microbiology.



Courses taught: Microbiology and Molecular Microbiology for the degrees in Biology, Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Genetics, respectively.
2004 – In quality of President, she coordinates the ministerial commission for the qualification of biologists.
2005 - She collaborates to The Institute for Advanced Study (IUSS) of the University of Pavia.
From 2005 - She is member staff of PhD School in Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, IUSS Pavia.
2003-06 – She is involved in SOCRATES program for students’ and staff exchanges.
2006-07 - In quality of President, she coordinates the entrance examination for Biotechnology degree.
2007-08- Supervisor of a “Leonardo da Vinci” Programme.



Two main lines of research are actually pursuing:

1) Identification of targets for new drugs in Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Tuberculosis (TB) remains the leading cause of mortality due to a bacterial pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Moreover, M. tuberculosis strains that are resistant to an increasing number of second-line drugs used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB, XDR-TB, and TDR-TB) are becoming a threat to public health worldwide. Consequently, there is an urgent necessity of new TB drugs. More precisely, our laboratory is aimed to find the target and the mechanism of action of new drugs.
Within the EC-VI framework cluster “New Medicines for Tuberculosis” we have identified the target of a new drug, belonging to the class of benzothiazinones, whose antitubercular activity has been well demonstrated in vitro, ex vivo, and in a mouse model of TB. The drug is now in preclinical-test.
The target has been patented (US 2011/0262361 A1) and the license sold to an International Pharmaceutical Company.
Recently, the new cluster “More Medicines for Tuberculosis” has been funded by EC-VII framework (2011-2015) and is aimed to find new and more antitubercular drugs. The PI is part of the Steering Committee.

2) Deciphering the role of RND efflux transporters in Burkholderia cenocepacia


Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 is representative of a highly problematic group of cystic fibrosis (CF) pathogens with the antimicrobial therapy being ineffective due to its high resistance to clinically relevant antimicrobial agents. RND (Resistance-Nodulation-Cell Division) efflux pumps are known to be among the mediators of multidrug resistance in Gram-negative bacteria. Since the significance of the 16 RND efflux systems present in B. cenocepacia (named RND-1 to -16) was only partially determined, the aim of this work was to analyze mutants of B. cenocepacia strain J2315 impaired in RND efflux systems, and assess their role in the efflux of toxic compounds. The data revealed that RND-4 made a significant contribution to the antibiotic resistance of B. cenocepacia.


Moreover, transcriptome analysis of mutants deleted individually in RND-4 and RND-9 (named D4 and D9), and a double-mutant in both efflux pumps (named D4-D9) showed that motility and chemotaxis-related genes appeared to be up-regulated in both D4 and D4-D9 strains. Overall, these results indicate that in B. cenocepacia RND pumps play a wider role than just in drug resistance, influencing additional phenotypic traits important for pathogenesis.



Prof. Giovanna Riccardi has expertise in the field of mycobacteria with important contributions to understanding innate and acquired drug resistance in mycobacteria.
Moreover, she matured an important experience within the drug-target discovery topic.
About five years ago she started studying drug resistance in CF pathogens and produced 7 peer–reviewedarticles on this topic. 



S. Cole (EPFL, Lausanne), D. Young (Imperial College, London), H. Takiff (IVIC, Caracas), E. Boettger (University of Zurich), C. Martin, J. Ainsa (Universidad de Zaragoza), K. Mikusova (University of Bratislava), V. Makarov (Bakh Institute of Biochemistry, Moscow), M. Valvano (University of Western Ontario), T. Coenye (University of Ghent), E. Mahenthiralingam (University of Cardiff).
PUBLICATIONS (Last 5 years)



Web of Science: 22


Google Scholar: 26


She is author of 79 peer-reviewed articles, two International Patent Applications (PCT/EP2008/001088; PCT/EP2008/009231) and several national and international communications.

  1. Neres J, Pojer F, Molteni E, Chiarelli L, Dhar N, Boy-Röttger S, Buroni S, Fullam E, Degiacomi G, Lucarelli AP, Read RJ, Zanoni G, De Rossi E, Pasca MR, Riccardi G, Mattevi A, Dyson PJ, Cole ST, Binda C. 2012. Structural basis for benzothiazinone-mediated killing of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Science Translational medicine. In press. IF=7.801
  2. Trefzer C, Skovierová H, Buroni S, Bobovská A, Nenci S, Molteni E, Pojer F, Pasca MR, Makarov V, Cole ST, Riccardi G, Mikušová K, Johnsson K. 2012. Benzothiazinones are suicide inhibitors of mycobacterial decapre-nylphosphoryl-ß-D-ribofuranose 2’-oxidase (DprE1). JACS In Press. IF: 9.023
  3. de Jesus Lopes Ribeiro AL, Degiacomi G, Ewann F, Buroni S, Incandela ML, Kim J, Contreras-Dominguez M, Park YS, Han SJ, Chiarelli LR, Brodin P, Valentini G, Rizzi M, Riccardi G, Pasca MR. 2011. Analogous mechanisms of resistance to benzothiazinones and dinitrobenzamides in Mycobacterium smegmatis. PLoS ONE  6:e26675. IF: 4.351
  4. Cole ST, Riccardi G. 2011. New tuberculosis drugs on the horizon. Curr Opin Microbiol. 14:570-576. IF: 8.248
  5. Bazzini S, Udine C, Sass A, Pasca MR, Longo F, Emiliani G, Fondi M, Perrin E, Decorosi F, Viti C, Giovannetti L, Leoni L, Fani R, Riccardi G, Mahenthiralingam E, Buroni S. 2011. Deciphering the role of RND efflux transporters in Burkholderia cenocepacia. PLoS ONE  6:e18902. IF: 4.351
  6. Coenye T, Van Acker H, Peeters E, Sass A, Buroni S, Riccardi G, Mahenthiralingam E. Molecular mechanisms of chlorhexidine tolerance in Burkholderia cepacia biofilms. AAC 2011. 55:1912-1919. IF: 4.819
  7. Manina G, Bellinzoni M, Pasca MR, Neres J, Milano A, de Jesus Lopes Ribeiro AL, Buroni S, Skovierová H, Dianišková P, Mikušová K, Marák J, Makarov V, Giganti D, Haouz A, Lucarelli AP, Degiacomi G, Piazza A, Chiarelli LR, De Rossi E, Salina E, Cole ST, Alzari PM, Riccardi G. Biological and structural characterization of the Mycobacterium smegmatis nitroreductase NfnB, and its role in benzothiazinone resistance. Mol Microbiol. 2010 Jul 6. IF: 5.361
  8. Manina G, Pasca MR, Buroni S, De Rossi E, Riccardi G. Decaprenylphosphoryl-β-D-ribose 2’-epimerase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a magic target. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2010. 17:3099-108.IF: 5.291
  9. Christophe T, Jackson M, Kyoung Jeon H, Fenistein D, ContrerasDominguez M, Kim J, Genovesio A, Carralot JP, Ewann F, Hye Kim E, Yeon Lee S, Kang S, Jung Seo M, Jung Park E, Skovierova H, Pham H, Riccardi G, Nam J, Marsollier L, Kempf M, Joly-Guillon ML, Oh T, Kyung Shin W, No Z, Nehrbass U, Brosch R, Cole ST, Brodin P. High content screening identifies decaprenyl-phosphoribose 2’ epimerase as a target for intracellular inhibitors. Plos Pathogens. 2009. 5:e1000645. IF: 9.202
  10. *Makarov V, Manina G, Mikusova K, Möllmann U, Ryabova O, Saint-Joanis B, Dhar N, Pasca MR, Buroni S, Lucarelli AP, Milano A, De Rossi E, Belanova M, Bobovska A, Dianiskova P, Kordulakova J, Sala C, Fullam E, Schneider P, McKinney JD, Brodin P, Christophe T, Waddell S, Butcher P, Albrethsen J, Rosenkrands I, Brosch R, Nandi V, Bharath S, Gaonkar S, Shandil RK, Balasubramanian V, Balganesh T, Tyagi S, Grosset J, Riccardi G, Cole ST. Benzothiazinones kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis by blocking arabinan synthesis. Science.  2009. 324:801-4. IF: 30.268
*This article has been cited as one of the key paper published in 2009 (see: Nature Medicines 15: 1349).
  1. Buroni S, Riccardi G, Pasca MR. 2012. Fighting against resistant strains: the case of benzothiazinones and dinitrobenzamides. Chapter for the book: “Mycobacterium tuberculosis/Book 2”. InTech Press.
  2. Pasca MR, Riccardi G, Buroni S. 2012. Mycobacterium tuberculosis efflux pumps: an update. Chapter 8 for the book: “Microbial Efflux Pumps: Current Research”. Horizon Scientific Press Ltd. In press.
  3. de Jesus Lopes Ribeiro AL, Pasca MR,  Riccardi G. New medicines against tuberculosis. Chapter for the book: “Tuberculosis: Risk Factors, Drug Resistance and Treatment”. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. In press.
  4. Bazzini S, Udine C, Pasca MR, Riccardi G. 2012. Molecular basis for antibiotic resistance in the genus Burkholderia. Chapter for the book:  “Burkholderia: From Genomes to Function” Horizon Scientific Press. Manuscript in preparation.
International patents
  1. Riccardi G, Manina G, Pasca MR (2008) “An effective new drug target for the treatment of tuberculosis” (PCT/EP2008/001088) (Acquired by Sentinel Diagnostics).
  2. Riccardi G, Manina G, Pasca MR (2008) “Nitroreductase NfnB from Mycobacterium smegmatis” (PCT/EP2008/009231).


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