Mariagrazia Pizza#


Michael Huth
Email:mariagrazia.x.pizza 'at' gsk.com
Membership Number:4777
Membership type:ORDINARY
Main Country of Residence:ITALY
Section:BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Username:mpizza
Elected:2018
Homepage:


Present and Previous Positions
  • GSK VACCINES, Siena, Italy
    • October 2017 - to date Senior Scientific Director Bacterial Vaccines
    • January 2016 - September 2017 Discovery Project Leader
  • NOVARTIS VACCINES AND DIAGNOSTICS, Siena, Italy
    • April 2008 – December 2015 Senior Project Leader, Bacteriology
    • Responsible of projects aimed to the identification of vaccines against Meningococcus B, pathogenic E.coli, Non Typeable Haemophilus influenzae and pertussis
    • CHIRON VACCINES, Siena, Italy
    • Head of Molecular Immunology Function January 2005-April 2008
    • Project Leader, Meningococcus B Vaccine Since January 1999
    • In January 1999, appointed Project Leader to a project aimed at the development of a vaccine against Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B, based on the identification of new antigens by the “reverse vaccinology” approach. This project resulted in the development of a MenB vaccine, Bexsero, which has recently been licensed in more than 30 countries worldwide.
    • 1993 - 1998 Senior Scientist
    • Appointed senior scientist responsible for the design and generation of genetically detoxified derivatives of heat labile E. coli toxin (LT) and cholera toxin as new vaccine antigens and adjuvants. Non-toxic mutants, which still retained immunogenic and adjuvant properties were identified and one of them tested for its adjuvant properties in a phase I clinical trial.
  • SCLAVO VACCINES RESEARCH CENTER, Siena, Italy.
    • 1986 - 1992Researcher November
    • Appointed to a project aimed at the design and development of nontoxic derivatives of pertussis toxin by genetic engineering. This research led to the identification of the key amino acid residues important for enzymatic activity, and the discovery of a genetically detoxified pertussis toxin, PT9K/129G, devoid of toxicity but highly immunogenic, as ideal antigen for a new vaccine against pertussis. This new vaccine was introduced in Italy in 1993.
  • EUROPEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY LABORATORY (EMBL), Heidelberg, Germany.
    • 1985 - 1986 Fellow

Fields of Scholarship
  • Molecular biology
  • Genetic engineering
  • Genetic detoxification of toxins
  • Antigen identification and characterization
  • Vaccinology
  • Bacterial pathogenesis

Honours and Awards
  • 1992 European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA): Award for research on a genetically modified pertussis vaccine
  • 1999 Biotech Award for research on mucosal adjuvants
  • 2005 Galeno Award for Career Achievements
  • 2008 “Santa Caterina d’Oro” Award for scientific research
  • 2008 Novartis VIVA (Vision, Innovation, Value, Achievement) Award
  • 2014 Galeno award for a new vaccine against Meningococcus B
  • 2000 Elected as EMBO member
  • 2014 Elected as Member of the European Academy of Microbiology
  • 2014 Elected as Vice President of IUMS (International Union of Microbiology Societies)
  • 2015 Elected as Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology
  • 2018 Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester

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