Francesco Nannini

Francesco Nannini is a protein and antibody engineer specialised in the development, design, and characterisation of custom biological molecules. In 2013, he graduated from the University of Florence with a BSc in Medical Biotechnology and an MSc in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Following that, he relocated to London (UK), where he worked at Queen Mary University on a project to create a panel of diagnostic tests for fungal diseases. Then he joined Dr Martin Pule’s group at the University College London (UCL) Cancer Institute, where he worked on developing advanced T-cell treatments for haematological tumours in the form of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR). He received his PhD in Cancer Immunotherapy here, where he was able to research several areas of cutting-edge immunotherapy for cancer, including the development of a syngeneic mice model to mimic the human scenario of the benefits and adverse effects of CD19-directed CAR-T cell treatments for B-cell malignancies. Furthermore, he gained extensive knowledge and abilities in molecular biology together with developing, constructing, and characterising new antibodies. In 2021, he started a postdoctoral fellowship in the groups of Dr Claire Roddie and Prof Sergio Quezada at UCL, where he coordinated and advanced various research projects aimed at creating innovative CAR-T cell therapies to treat NK-cell cancers. He has also focused on developing and applying novel immunotherapy approaches for treating various types of solid tumours by engineering monoclonal antibodies as multivalent bi- and trispecific biomolecules. During his PhD and postdoc, he has worked on several partnerships with the biotechnology company Autolus Therapeutics. Francesco joined Prof Rino Rappuoli and Dr Claudia Sala’s team at Fondazione Toscana Life Sciences (TLS) in Siena in May 2023 to work on the ShiMabs project, which aims to accelerate the development of monoclonal antibodies and vaccines against different strains of Shigella.

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