Dr. Paola Fucini
CIC bioGUNE, Structural Biology Department
Structural studies on co-translational protein folding and sorting
Paola Fucini obtained her PhD degree from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München, for a thesis conducted at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, in Martinsried (Germany), under the supervision of Prof. Angelika Noegel and Tad Holak. With this first study she started her career in structural biology becoming interested in tackling the fascinating process of protein folding. During her postdoctoral studies, as a Research Associate in the group of Prof. Chris Dobson and Carol Robinson, first at the Oxford Center for Molecular Science (University of Oxford) and later in the Chemical Laboratory at Cambridge University, she developed an in vitro transcription/translation system for the preparation of nascent chain ribosomal complexes, suitable for Mass Spectrometry, NMR and Cryo-EM analysis. The system allowed pioneering studies on co-translational protein folding which she later pursued as an independent Group Leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics, AG Ribosomen, in Berlin. There, after acquiring further expertise in ribosome X-ray crystallography, she started to develop three main research lines, namely (i) the mode of action of antibiotics and translational factor, (ii) the process of co-translational protein folding and sorting, (iii) ribosome biogenesis. These studies, consolidated as Professor in X-ray Crystallography for RNA and Protein complexes at the Cluster of Excellence for Macromolecular Complexes at the University of Frankfurt, are currently continued as Ikerbasque Research Professor in the ideal environment offered by the Centro de Investigación Cooperativa en Biociencias, CIC bioGUNE, en Derio, Bizkaia.