MEET THE DIBIO SCIENTIST SERIES : Laura Treu
Pubblicato il: 17.02.2020 09:27
Laura is a young researcher (RTDa) at DiBio
Can you summarize in few words your research?
My main field of research is molecular microbiology applied to bioenergy. In recent years I have developed new methods of molecular biology and bioinformatics, analysing the phenotype, genome and transcriptome of numerous microorganisms and microbial communities. I have studied several environmental processes related to extremophiles (Antarctic archaea) and food microbes (wine yeasts and dairy bacteria) in the microbial ecology field. I developed microbial solutions for food production, implementing the use of microbes with probiotic potential. Recently, in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark, I am working on the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic characterization of microbial communities populating biogas reactors for bioenergy production, CO2 sequestration and waste recovery in a circular economy framework.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your work?
In all kind of jobs you can find pros and cons. In my experience I found very challenging to write successful grant requests and seeing my project proposals finally founded. However, all the pain and efforts are greatly rewarded when manuscripts are finally published and when student who I supervise or teach find their own way in research and in life.
Tell us your story: what brings you to DiBio?
In 2007 I obtained my M.Sc. Diploma in Evolutionary Biology doing my thesis at the Department of Biology. Since then, I obtained my PhD and I’ve been working for almost ten years in various national and international laboratories (Italy, Australia, Denmark) guided by strong motivation and love for research. In my scientific career I have increased my interpersonal skills and acquired interdisciplinary scientific competencies by being part of different research groups (from Agriculture to Engineering). Finally in 2018 I came back to where it all started: DiBio.
What’s your favourite “toy” for research – and what can it do?
Since my early days I was working in the lab as experimental biology but I had soon realized that I needed the help in exploring the microbiological unknown of a more powerful “toy”: Bioinformatics. The interpretation of biological data in fact is a hard task and with the aid of “pipes” and ad hoc “tool” it’s possible to understand and, possibly, repair “complex engines”.
What are your interests outside science?
After work I like taking care of my family and watching movie with them on the sofa. I like sci-fi and among my favourite writers I can enumerate Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov.