An Amgen Scholar Experience

Cibio Seminar

31 October 2019
Versione stampabile

Date&Time: 31 October 2019 - h. 2:00 pm
Location: Via Sommarive 9 - Polo Ferrari 2 (Povo, TN) - Room B102


  • Nicolò Battisti

Institut Pateur – Amgen Scholars Program – Europe. Paris (France)


The Amgen Scholar European Program is an initiative promoted by Amgen Foundation that allows European undergraduate students attending scientific degrees to spend two months in one of the five research institutions/universities throughout Europe hosting this program (ETH Zürich, Karolinska Institute, Institut Pasteur, LMU München and University of Cambridge). During this talk I will report my experience as an Amgen Scholar working at the Institut Pasteur in Paris on a project called “Death by a thousand cuts: experimentally testing the theory”. This project aimed at testing experimentally a theory that has been exploiting in the generations of novel live attenuated vaccines against RNA viruses. Specifically, one approach based on this theory involves the rational replacement of multiple synonymous changes in the viral genome, which leads to a decrease in the mutational robustness of the virus, i.e. the capacity to buffer the effects of mutations generating attenuated phenotypes. The approach is based on the assumption that no single nucleotide change is dominant and rather it is the overall contribution of the multiple codon replacements that leads to the phenotype. As a consequence, the risk of reversion to pathogenic phenotypes is believed to be very low, a fundamental trait for live attenuated vaccines.

By using Coxsackievirus B3 as viral model, in the Viral Population and Pathogenesis Lab headed by Marco Vignuzzi, we tried to investigate if each of these single changes contributes equally or not to the “new” phenotype.

Additionally, some aspects of the enrollment procedures, duties and rights of being an Amgen Scholar will be presented during the speech.