MEET THE DIBIO SCIENTIST SERIES : Guido Zampieri
Scadenza: 02.11.2022 14:35
Pubblicato il: 01.02.2023 13:00
Guido is a post-doctoral fellow at DiBio.
Can you summarize in few words your research?
I am specialised in computational systems biology and bioinformatics, and in my work I try to combine concepts and tools from different disciplines in new ways to build better computational models of biological systems. While in my PhD I applied this modus operandi on human disease, I since then progressively transitioned more and more to microorganisms. At the moment, my main interest is the metabolism of microbial communities, which I approach with a combination of mathematical models, metagenomics, and biochemical data.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your work?
One of the main challenges is the relative novelty of a quantitative approach to molecular biology (at least in some respects and compared to other fields). This means that many tools must be designed from scratch, while others can be inspired from other fields but not without new problems specific to biological systems. At the same time, it is important to keep a dynamic mindset to cope with the fast-paced progress in the field. On the flip side, there is much more exciting work to be done and when the models finally explain the data at hand it is a moment of pure joy.
Tell us your story: what brings you to DiBio?
My background is in physics, which I studied here in Padova, and I first arrived at DiBio for the PhD in Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics. After that, I spent a few years in England consolidating my research interests – even though from the perspective of a computer science lab. With the gained experience, I decided to come back and apply that to microbial communities rather than isolated organisms, delving into the world of metagenomics.
What’s your favourite “toy” for research – and what can it do?
As a computational biologist, I like playing with the command line, which I see more as a playground than a toy, as it gives you access to many different “toys”. From managing personal organisation to testing the effect of a gene knock-out on a cell, everything passes through the command line. Even though it might seem like a black box at first, it gives a lot of freedom when playing by the rules.
What are your interests outside science?
Among my greatest passions is travelling: this not only includes visiting new places but also getting to know other cultures, personal stories, and witnessing other ways of living, ultimately getting broader perspectives.