Giselda Bucca

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Personal profile

Research interests

My main research interest is to apply genomics techniques to the study of genetic regulatory mechanisms in bacteria and eukaryotic organisms, such as humans. I have a particular interest in stress responses in bacteria and we are presently characterizing the response at the molecular level to 'cold shock' in Streptomyces coelicolor, the model streptomycete. This project is opening a window onto the extent of translational regulation that operates over and above the well-studied transcriptional regulation operating in this bacterium. As post-trascriptional/translational regulation plays a prominent and so far under explored role in stress responses in bacteria we want to deepen our understanding of the RNA-binding proteins and RNAs involved in controlling these translational regulatory mechanisms. 

As part of the Brighton Genomics core facility we are involved in diverse collaborative projects across our School and the Brighton & Sussex Medical School (BSMS). We have two external collaborative research projects with (1) Prof. Sue Lanham-New at the University of Surrey on the effect on human gene expression of Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3 supplementation, which has just been published in Frontiers in Immunology (doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.790444) and (ii) a collaboration with Dr Rocio Martinez Nunez and Dr Mark Zuckenberg at KCL/KCH, London on sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from swabs of COVID positive patients at KCH (as part of the national COG-UK consortium)

Supervisory Interests

I am currently supervising a PhD student on the study of the cold-shock response in Streptomyces coelicolor. We are using a range of genomics techniques from transcriptomics, ribosome profiling and LC-MS analysis of RNA-binding proteins (in collaboration with Dr Nicolas Stewart who is a co-supervisor of the PhD research project).  I have extensive experience with global gene expression analysis in bacterial and mammalian systems (including human blood and solid tissues) using DNA microarray technology (Agilent platform) and  Next Generation Sequencing using the Illumina platform. I am interested in the study of gene regulation at the genome scale and, as part of the Brighton Genomics core facility, I get involved in diverse interdisciplinary research projects, collaborating with several academics across our School and BSMS.


Scholarly biography

I started my career in Italy where I completed my PhD on the heat shock response in Streptomyces bacteria. In 1989 I moved to Manchester (UK) as a Postdoc working at UMIST (now part of the University of Manchester) in the laboratory directed by Prof Colin Smith. I was promoted to Research Fellow in 1997 and in 2003 I obtained a permanent position as a Research Fellow/Laboratory manager at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford. Together with Prof. Colin Smith we established a Functional Genomics Facility at the University of Surrey where we established a successful interdiscliplinary collaboration with sleep researchers. At the same time we were the worldwide provider of Streptomyces DNA microarrays which were printed in our Core Facility. We hosted many international visitors that came to our lab to learn about Genomics techniques applied to Streptomyces (transcriptomics and Chip-on chip). In 2016 both myself and Prof Colin Smith were appointed at the University of Brighton to establish a Core Genomics Facility. I was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow for a short term contract in order to help establish the new facility and in 2017 I was appointed as a Genomics Experimental Officer on a permanent contract. In October 2021 I was promoted to Research Fellow and continue my role in supporting the experimental side of activities at Brighton Genomics, together with Dr Andy Hesketh who is the Bioinformatician supporting the facility. We have established a number of research collaborations within our University and at BSMS and continue our external collaborations with nutritional scientists at the University of Surrey and immunologists at KCL/KCH (as part of COG-UK consortium).

In 2019 I was presented with the title of 'Commendatore OMRI' for promoting Anglo-Italian relationships by the Italian UK Ambassador at the Italian Embassy in London .


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