Invitation to a Public Lecture on ‘From North Sea to Antarctica: discovering a world of new compounds’

Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy of Science of South Africa invite you to a public lecture by visiting scientist, Dr Donatella de Pascale, Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council in Naples entitled ‘From North Sea to Antarctica: discovering a world of new compounds’.

Abstract: The increasing alarm of multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria in the last 20 years, led scientific community to the exploitation of novel source of antimicrobial compounds. Several studies by Kong et al. demonstrated the incredible potential of marine organisms as producers of unknown molecules with novel scaffolds, which might be useful for drug discovery and many biotechnological processes.

The Antarctic environment, as well as having incredibly low temperatures, possesses other diverse traits that may have helped to shape the unique way in which Antarctic bacteria have evolved. In this talk, a biodiscovery pipeline aiming at the identification of novel anti-microbial compounds, starting from the isolation of bacteria from Antarctic organisms and other marine source will be described. About the speaker: Dr. Donatella de Pascale graduated in Biological Science in 1992 at the University of Naples with summa cum laude, and got her PhD in Biotechnology in 2000 at the Second University of Naples. She is a Researcher and Principal Investigator at the Institute of Protein Biochemistry, in that city and has been Visiting Scientist at the Institute of Microbiology at the Chinese Academy of Science and at the University of Tromso.

She participated in the FP7 PharmaSea Project and she is the Coordinator of H2020-MSCA-ITN: MarPipe and of H2020 – MSCA-RISE: Ocean Medicines and Coordinator of many projects of Italian Program for Antarctic Research (PNRA).

Her research activity is mostly focused on natural products from marine sources in particular on new antimicrobials targeted towards MDR. She has published more than 50 papers on peer reviewed journal. She is Expert for the EU Commission since 2013 and she was recently elected in the Euro Marine Steering Committee.  

Date:     Wednesday 13 September 2017

Time:    17h00 (Tea will be served from 16h30)

Place:    South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Auditorium, Observatory Road, Observatory* PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN FRONT OF DRIVEWAYS 

*Directions to SAAO Auditorium : From the N2, turn off to the M57 – Liesbeek Parkway; turning in the direction of Cape Town and continue until the traffic lights with Hartleyvale (hockey and football) on your left. Turn right at traffic lights into Observatory Road, pass the River Club; the S A Astronomical Observatory is next on the left. Once through the security gates bear left following the SALT signs to the auditorium i.e. last building on the left (white with stoep & ramp).