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Vincenzo Torraca, MSc


Vincenzo Torraca obtained his BSc in Computational and Molecular biology at Salerno University, where he investigated the genetic and molecular diversity of different strains of Origanum vulgare and assayed the ability of genomic DNA to catalyze organic reactions (Salerno University, Italy). In 2011, he obtained his MSc in Biology at Salerno University, after having carried out an Erasmus internship at Leiden University, the Netherlands. In the group of Dr. M.J. Schaaf, he investigated the function of an alternative splicing isoform of the glucocorticoid receptor, using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) model. In 2012, he joined the group of Prof. Dr. A.H. Meijer (Leiden University) as a PhD candidate, funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Initial Training Network FishForPharma.

During his PhD he obtained extensive training on the zebrafish in vivo model for infectious diseases and specifically analysed in-depth the function of host chemokine signaling during infection with Mycobacterium marinum. In 2016, he was awarded with an individual Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellowship to join the group of Dr. S. Mostowy (Imperial College London, UK), where he is using the zebrafish-M. marinum host-pathogen model to study the function of cytoskeleton dynamics during mycobacterial infections.

  • Real Time Observation of Neutrophil White Blood Cell Recruitment to Bacterial Infection In Vivo

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an emerging vertebrate model organism to study infection. The transparent larva comprises a fully functional innate immune system and enables live imaging of fluorescent immune cells in transgenic animals. Zebrafish infection models have been developed for both the human bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri and the natural fish bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium marinum. Importantly, whilst S. flexneri causes acute infection and is typically used as an inflammatory paradigm, M. marinum causes a chronic disease similar to tuberculosis in humans. Here, we use real time fluorescence microscopy to image transgenic zebrafish larvae with neutrophils (granulocyte white blood cells) expressing the green fluorescent protein eGFP.
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