Pathogens and Disease Poster Prize: Francis Cavallo
The FEMS Conference on Microbiology (#FCOM22) took place on the 30th June until the 2nd July in Belgrade, Serbia. With 450 posters on display the Pathogens and Disease editorial board selected Francis poster on bacterial resistance to predation by Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus as the best poster.
Read our interview with Francis about his research below:
What is your current position, and what was your scientific journey to get there?
My research focused on understanding antibiotic resistance, with particular focus on bacterial predators and their uses. My academic career started with a Bachelor’s in Biotechnology from the small Italian University of Potenza, followed by a Master’s at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. I recently completed my education by earning my Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Groningen.”
Could you describe the research your poster covered?
My poster investigated possible factors that determine bacterial resistance to predation by Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus, a bacterial predator which preys upon other Gram-negative bacteria. The study investigated the involvement of core Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of Escherichia coli prey. In the present context of rising antibiotic resistance to conventional chemical antibiotics, the natural ‘antibiotic’ characteristics and molecules from organisms such as B. bacteriovorus could be exploited for the research of new and alternative antimicrobial molecules.”
What do you hope to focus your research on in the future?
I would like to keep investigating the mechanisms that allow bacteria to acquire resistance. In my opinion antibiotic research needs to shift from purely chemical solutions to more biological ones. Taking advantage of ‘alive’ antibiotics that evolve and adapt to the prey that they target constitutes a cutting edge in favor of natural antibiotics.”
We use income from the FEMS Journals to fund grants, awards, and projects, and to support our knowledge sharing events and initiatives. Consider publishing your research with our journals to help the global microbiology community.
FEMS Microbes is excited to present its latest thematic issue, focusing on bacterial-viral co-infections. Host and microbial factors are critically important for influencing the severity and outcome of infection. Interactions between microbes is an understudied yet important aspect to this process.