The LMB is thrilled to announce Matteo Allegretti as a new Group Leader in our Structural Studies Division, where his group will research the macromolecular basis of nucleus remodelling using cellular structural biology methods.
Specifically, Matteo’s research aims to determine how the shape of nuclei are remodelled during cellular differentiation processes or due to environmental cues. The shape of nuclei is elastic in nature and is determined by the interactions between numerous macromolecular complexes – such as the cytoskeleton and nuclear envelope proteins – which assemble and disassemble in reaction to physiological stimuli. Defects during this remodelling process have been directly linked to issues such as infertility, developmental disorders and the spread of cancerous cells. Thus, an increased understanding of this molecular process can ultimately help develop new therapeutic treatments for a range of diseases. To this end, Matteo’s group will examine the structural organisation and conformational adaptations of nuclei-shaping protein complexes.
To realize such project, Matteo’s group will also work to develop new imaging methodology using an interdisciplinary approach. This involves integrating electron microscopy, light microscopy, engineering and theoretical biophysics to build a variety of tools that will allow the group to understand and model how macromolecules reshape the nuclear envelope.
Following his undergraduate and master’s degrees obtained from Roma Tre University, Italy, Matteo completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Germany where he focused on single particle cryo-EM of macromolecular complexes – a method he used to solve the structure of a mitochondrial ATP synthase dimer at sub-nanometre resolution.
Since obtaining his PhD, Matteo has been a postdoctoral fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg where his research was focused on the in situ structural characterization of nuclear pore complexes impacted by genetic and environmental stressors, before returning to the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics to continue his research.
Matteo commented: “It is a real honour for me to join the Structural Studies Division of the LMB and the LMB as a whole institution, one of the best places in the world to perform academic research on macromolecular mechanisms. I am very excited to collaborate with many great colleagues whose research I have admired since I came into this scientific field. The beautiful challenge I see ahead of me is to integrate my ideas and expertise into this extraordinary environment, thus laying the foundations towards new, emerging discoveries. My lab goal will be to understand cellular biophysics looking at macromolecular behaviour directly inside the cell and I cannot imagine a better community where such challenge can be undertaken”