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Alessandra Zarantonello: Activation of the classical pathway and its inhibition with a novel nanobody targeting the proconvertase

PhD defence, Friday 3 April 2020. Alessandra Zarantonello.

2020.04.03 | Lisbeth Heilesen

Alessandra Zarantonello

During her studies, Alessandra Zarantonello researched the proteins of the classical pathway of the complement system. Complement is important as it is part of innate immunity, constituting our first line of defence against pathogens and also playing a pivotal role in homeostasis and synaptic pruning.

Alessandra Zarantonello studied how the initiating C1 complex of the cascade could be activated and reconstituted, and how the cascade could be inhibited at complement factor C4b level with a nanobody inhibitor. Classical pathway inhibition is desirable for conditions where the pathway is aberrantly upregulated, as in ischemia reperfusion injury, rheumatoid arthritis and schizophrenia.

The new research findings are a contribution toward the mechanistical understanding of the classical pathway and provide functional characterization of its targeted inhibition.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday, 3 April 2020 at 12:15
Place: The defence will be held online. To receive a link to the event, please send an e-mail to PhD partner Maia Høyer Monod (maiamon@au.dk).

Title of PhD thesis: Investigating the Classical Pathway of the Complement System: Activation and Inhibition
Contact information: Alessandra Zarantonello, e-mail: azara@mbg.au.dk, tel.: +45 81920920
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Christine Gaboriaud, Institut de Biologie Structurale, Université Grenoble Alpes, France
Professor Søren Werner Karlskov Hansen, Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Professor Knud Erik Larsen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University (chair)
Main supervisor:
Professor Gregers Rom Andersen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Co-supervisors:
Professor Steffen Thiel, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University
Doctor Nick Stub Laursen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
Due to the coronavirus situation, Aarhus University is physically closed at the moment. Therefore, the PhD thesis will not be available for reading at the Graduate School offices. Instead, interested parties may send an e-mail to gradschool.scitech@au.dk to receive a copy by e-mail.

PhD defense