Stefano Pagliara: "Understanding the regulation of membranes in life and disease"

Stefano Pagliara will be visiting the Kavli INsD to give a talk entitled "Understanding the regulation of membranes in life and disease".

Time: 11:30

Room: Phase 2 Ground Floor Seminar Room 20-138


Stefano Pagliara is an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter, where he leads a research group in the Living Systems Institute. He received his Master's degree and PhD in Physics from the University of Salento, where he also applied his knowledge to biological problems such as biomineralization. After completing his postdoctoral research on membrane transport at the University of Cambridge, Stefano obtained a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in 2013 to investigate antibiotic accumulation in individual bacteria. He then moved to the University of Exeter in 2014 as a Senior Lecturer, where his group focuses on understanding the heterogeneity of individual cells within a population using novel microfluidic and imaging tools. Their research aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying heterogeneity in unicellular organisms, survival to antimicrobials, inter-species interactions, and how ageing affects clonal microbial populations.


The talk will be hosted by Kavli INsD Professor Achillefs Kapanidis. The abstract of Stefano's talk is as follows:


Membranes are the boundaries that define cells. How metabolites and toxic compounds cross membranes is therefore a key factor for understanding and perturbing cell functioning.

In this talk I will show how using single-cell microfluidics microscopy, omics analysis and Bayesian inference, permits unravelling the mechanisms allowing individual bacteria to tune their molecular uptake capabilities and resist antibiotic treatment.[1]

I will then illustrate the role played by membrane transporters in the interactions between bacteria and their viruses and how can these interactions be chemically tilted by using antibiotic drugs.[2]

Finally, I will briefly present data proving that archaeal membrane lipids are more permeable to metabolites compared to bacterial membrane lipids, suggesting an origin of primitive cellular life from an archaeal lipid world.[3]


[1] Łapińska et al., eLife, 11:e74062 (2022)
[2] Attrill et al., PLoS Biology 19, e3001406 (2021)
[3] Łapińska et al., PLoS Biology in press (2023)