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Barbara Menin has 10 years experience as post-doc in molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry. She obtained a master’s degree in Plant Biotechnology (2007) and, subsequently, a PhD (2011) in Plant Genetics at the University of Turin. During her PhD she spent six months of Erasmus fellowship at the University of Wageningen (NL) and, as a post doc scientist, she spent one year at the University of Nancy (FR).

Her research activities were focused on the in vitro and in vivo functional characterization of genes involved in secondary metabolites pathways and the assessment of genetic transformation protocols aimed at use of microorganisms and plants as platforms for the production of recombinant proteins of nutraceutical interest.  She also carried out  the chemical, metagenomic and transcriptomic characterization of microalgae for nutrient recovery from waste and the assessment of the evolution of microalgae/bacteria consortia during wastewater treatment.

She was actively involved in several National and EU-funded research projects focused on the exploitation of agri-food waste in a logic of biorefinery and on industrial wastewater treatment by means of microalgae.

In 2012 she joined Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTP) working on the biodiversity of plant pathogens. In 2014 she worked within the Biorefill Project (Cariplo) in collaboration with the PTP and University of Milano Bicocca, where she performed the NGS genomic and transcriptomic analysis of different microalgae species and carried out a short internship at the University of Almería (ES) to set up protocols for the genetic transformation of microalgae in order to increase their lipid contents. In 2017 she won a post doc fellow at the Biophysics Institute of Italy's National Research Council (IBF-CNR) of Milan to work on metabolic engineering of cyanobacterial strains for astaxanthin production and enhancement of their light-harvesting capacity.

Since 2019 she joined as researcher the Center for Sustainable Future Technologies (CSFT@PoliTo Torino) of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) located in Turin, to supervise and coordinate the Systems and Synthetic Biology research line.

Main current research topics:

  • Development of photo-autotrophic microbial cell factories for CO2 capture and valorization into high-value compounds and platform chemicals.
  • Agri-food waste valorization through biotechnological processes within a circular economy perspective.
  •  Investigation of biochemical aspects related to H2 storage.

She is currently scientific co-coordinator of the EU project ENGICOIN: Engineered microbial factories for CO2 exploitation in an integrated waste treatment Platform (H2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 760994).