Professor Cesare Montecucco
Professor of General Pathology
• Bacterial and animal neurotoxins
• Nerve degeneration and regeneration
• Biology and pathology of the neuromuscular junction
FEMS Expert: Professor Cesare Montecucco
Born in Trento, Italy, Professor Cesare Montecucco coordinates the Laboratory of Neurotoxins, Neuroparalysis and Neuroregeneration in Padova. He has also carried out research in the Universities of Cambridge, Utrecht, and Costa Rica, the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the EMBL in Heidelberg.
He has studied the molecular and cellular pathogenesis of diseases caused by toxin producing pathogenic bacteria (anthrax, botulism, tetanus, Helicobacter pylori) and by poisonous snakes and insects. Major discoveries wereinclude: a) the identification and characterization of the metalloprotease activity of the neurotoxins responsible for tetanus and botulism, b) the identification of their proteins targets (SNAREs) including sites of cleavage and mechanism of specific recognition, c) the metalloprotease activity and target of the anthrax lethal factor, d) the mechanism of action of two major virulence factors of H. pylori: VacA and NapA, e) the mechanism of action of the snake presynaptic PLA2 neurotoxins, f) the presence of thioredoxin on synaptic vesicles and g) discovery of the first botulinum like non Clostridial toxin.
Member of several scientific boards and academies, he has received several scientific prizes including the Harvard Medical School Shipley Prize for Medicine in 1993, the Feltrinelli Prize for Medicine in 2004, the Redi Award in 2009 and the Ehrlich Prize for Medicine in 2011.