Dr. Lucia Banci
Lucia Banci is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Florence. Lucia Banci has a high international reputation for her original contributions and breakthroughs in Structural Biology and in biological NMR. She is recognized as a world class leader in the characterization of functional processes in a cellular context with atomic resolution. She has addressed and unraveled many aspects of the biology of metal ions in biological systems, from their homeostasis processes to the trafficking and metal incoroporation to the final receiving proteins. She developed a molecular systems biology approach which integrates structural, interaction and dynamical information with the thermodynamic properties of the processes, so as to have a unified picture of the processes responsible of metal ion trafficking, with particular focus on copper and on the biogenesis of iron-sulfur cluster proteins.
Over the recent years Lucia Banci exploited the extensive knowledge of structural biology approaches through NMR expertise to develop an absolutely innovative approach to vaccine design, which she first named «Structural Vaccinology» based on the knowledge of the structure of the pathogen antigens and of the interaction pattern with antibodies, to design structure-based vaccines. With this approch she provided an essential contribution to the developement of a vaccine against meningococcus B pathogen, which is characterized by several variants, each exhibiting different epitopes on a very effective antigen. The knowledge of the structural properties allowed the design of a chimera antigen which has complete protectivity againgst all the variants.
She is one of the funders and now Director of CERM.
She is member of EMBO, of AcademiaNet and is the Italian delegate in the Council of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).
She has been awarded the IUPAC Award "Distinguished Women in Chemistry" (2015) and the "Fiorino d'Oro della Città di Firenze" Gold Medal of the City of Florence.
Selected publications over the last 10 years
Nuttle X, Giannuzzi G, Duyzend MH, Schraiber JG, Narvaiza I, Camponeschi F, Ciofi-Baffoni S, Sudmant PH, Penn O, Chiatante G, Malig M, Huddleston J, Benner C, Stessman HAF, Marchetto MCN, Denman L, Harshman L, Baker C, Raja A, Penewit K, Tang WJ, Ventura M, Antonacci F, Akey JM, Amemiya CT, Banci L, Gage FH, Reymond A and Eichler EE. Emergence of a Homo sapiens-specific gene family and the evolution of autism risk at chromosome 16p11.2. Nature 536: 205-209, 2016.
Barbieri L, Luchinat E and Banci L. Characterization of proteins by in cell NMR spectroscopy in cultures mammalians cells in their physiological environment. Nature Protocols 11: 1101-1111, 2016.
Banci L, Ciofi-Baffoni S, Gajda K, Muzzioli R, Peruzzini R and Winkelmann J. N-terminal domains mediate [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer from glutaredoxin-3 to anamorsin. Nat Chem Biol 11: 772-778, 2015.
Banci L, Camponeschi F, Ciofi-Baffoni S and Muzzioli R. Elucidating the molecular function of human BOLA2 in GRX3-Dependent anamorsin maturation pathway. J Am Chem Soc 137: 16133-16134, 2015.
Banci L, Brancaccio D, Ciofi-Baffoni S, Del Conte R, Gadepalli R, Mikolajczyk M, Neri S, Piccioli M and Winkelmann J. [2Fe-2S] cluster transfer in iron-sulfur protein biogenesis, Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.U.S.A, 111, 6203-6208, 2014.
Luchinat E, Barbieri L, Rubino J.T, Kozyreva T, Cantini F & Banci L. In-cell NMR reveals potential precursor of toxic species from SOD1 fALS mutants. Nature Commun. 5, 5502, 2014.
Banci L, Barbieri L, Bertini I, Luchinat E, Secci E, Zhao Y & Aricescu A.R. Atomic-resolution monitoring of protein maturation in live human cells by NMR. Nature Chem. Biol. 9, 297-299, 2013.
Scarselli M, Aricò B*, Brunelli B, Savino S, Di Marcello F, Palumbo E, Veggi D, Ciucchi L, Cartocci E, Bottomley M.J, Malito E, Lo Surdo P, Comanducci M, Giuliani M.M, Cantini F, Dragonetti S, Colaprico A, Doro F, Giannetti P, Pallaoro M, Brogioni B, Tontini M, Hilleringmann M, Nardi-Dei V, Banci L, Pizza M. & Rappuoli R. Rational design of a meningococcal antigen inducing broad protective immunity. Science Transl Med. 3, 91ra62, 2011.
Banci L, Bertini I, Ciofi-Baffoni S, Kozyreva T, Zovo K & Palumaa P. Affinity gradients drive copper to cellular destinations. Nature 465, 645-648, 2010.
Banci L, Bertini I, Cantini F, Felli IC, Gonnelli L, Hadjiliadis N, Pierattelli R, Rosato A and Voulgaris P. The Atx1-Ccc2 complex is a metal-mediated protein-protein interaction. Nat Chem Biol 2: 367-368, 2006.
Andreini C, Banci L, Bertini I and Rosato A. Zinc through the three domains of life. J Proteome Res 5: 3173-3178, 2006.