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Staff Listing 

Franco Falcone

Associate Professor in Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Science

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Biography

Dr Franco Falcone received a Degree in Biochemistry (Dipl.-Biochem.) from the University of Tübingen in 1991, and a Degree in Biology (Dipl.-Biol.), also from the University of Tübingen in 1993.

He then moved further North to work with Dr Helmut Haas and received a PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in Immunology from the University of Lübeck in 1996. The PhD thesis received two scientific awards (Best Doctoral Thesis of the Year 2006). After working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Research Centre Borstel, Germany, he obtained a Fellowship from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) which took him to Edinburgh University (Prof. R. M. Maizels, Prof. A. G. Rossi and Prof. J. E. Allen). He worked as a Scientific Manager of the Association of Clinical Research Centers in Münster, Germany (2001-2003), before returning to a research career with a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship which took him to Nottingham, where he has been working since.

Teaching Summary

Dr Franco H. Falcone is lead and convener of the 3rd year module B33VPI: Viral and Parasitic Infection which encompasses Virology (HIV, Hepatitis, Influenza), protozoan (malaria, giardiasis,… read more

Research Summary

Our laboratory has several lines of research interests. I have been involved in human basophil research for the past two decades. I have worked on optimizing protocols for the purification of this… read more

Recent Publications

Current members:

Postdoctoral members

Dr Nora Francini (EPSRC Fellow, co-supervised with Dr K Robinson)

PhD students

  • Mohammed Alissa (Postgraduate Student)
  • Fatou Gai (Postgraduate Student, funded by the Islamic Development Bank, co-supervised with Prof M Doenhoff)
  • Abdulaziz Alouffi (Postgraduate Student, Saudi Government funded)
  • Eman Ali (Postgraduate Student, Vice Chancellor's Scholarship for Research Excellence (International) funded)
  • Waleed Alharbi (Postgraduate Student),
  • Nafal Al-Barwary (Postgraduate Student, funded by the Government of Kurdistan)
  • Aymen Salih Muhammad (Postgraduate Student)
  • Fahad Almughem (Postgraduate Student)
  • Zainab Fathi (Postgraduate Student)
  • Vasiliki Paraskevopoulou (Postgraduate Student)

MSc/MRes students

  • Rachel Hampson
  • Lauren Sheldon

ERASMUS Plus students

  • Veronica Garcia (ErasmusPLUS student)
  • Irene Romero (Erasmus PLUS student)

Past members

Postdoctoral scientists

Shaun Morroll (2003-2006)

Driton Vllasaliu (2011-2012), Co-supervised with Snow Stolnik and Martin Garnett), now Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln, UK

Visiting Scientists

Fernanda Ludolf-Ribeiro, Rene Rachou Research Center/CPqRR -- Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil (2011) lab visit funded by Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds and ESCMID/ISID)

PhD students

  • Naim Hage (PhD student, EPSRC AstraZeneca Doctoral Training Centre in Targeted Therapeutics funded, now Associate Consultant at Quintiles in London)
  • Daniel Wan (BBSRC-funded PhD-student, now postdoc at the Allergy and Immunology Institute in La Jolla, California)
  • Walla Al-Elwani (PhD student)
  • Muhammad Zeeshan Danish
  • Andrew J Hall (PhD student, now Development Scientist (Cell Bioprocess) at GE Healthcare)
  • Ishwinder Kaur (PhD student, now Research Fellow at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham)
  • Gerard Byrne (PhD student, now Senior scientist at Merck Sharp & Dohme)
  • Jennie Lord (PhD student, now National Centre Manager at the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food)
  • Shaun Morroll (2003-2006; Wellcome Trust-funded Postdoctoral research Associate)

MSc/MRes students

Aisha Sahi (2015), Lucy Clasper (2014), Nafsika Sismanoglou (2014), Eman Ali (2013), Victoria Stavrou (2013), Sam Sherratt (2013), Tom Chesterton (2013), Daniel Alanine (2012), Emanuele Mura (2012), Owen Stretton (2011), Mark Sven James-Bhasin (2011), Paul Cato(2010), Ian Garner (2011), Henrike Moeller (2011), Xianxian Zou (2009), Chris Todd (2007), Sharon Turner (2006), Kerstin Papenfuss (2006).

Project students

to be completed

Dr Franco H. Falcone is lead and convener of the 3rd year module B33VPI: Viral and Parasitic Infection which encompasses Virology (HIV, Hepatitis, Influenza), protozoan (malaria, giardiasis, trichomoniasis) as well as metazoan infections (helminthiasis) and exoparasites.

He has been previously involved in teaching Pharmaceutical Microbiology (B32CO2 and B32C08) as well as Sterile Production (B33F06, B33E11).

He also runs regular workshops on PCR, Western Blotting, general lab skills and research ethics for postgraduate students.

Current Research

Our laboratory has several lines of research interests. I have been involved in human basophil research for the past two decades. I have worked on optimizing protocols for the purification of this very rare leukocyte, and studied mechanisms of alternative (non-classical) basophil activation, some of which are IgE-dependent, but do not dependent on IgE specificity. I am interested in understanding the role of basophils in innate immunity, immunity to parasites and allergy. More recently, I have been involved as a collaborator in the development of a diagnostic device which combines the analytical power of protein arrays with the biological specificity and sensitivity of live basophils. For this line of work we have generated our own humanised RBL reporter system (NFAT-DsRed) which is available for non-commercial reasons via an MTA.

Another line of research, which is more recent and goes back to 2003, involves the study of human chitinases and the sensing of chitin by the innate immune system. We are also interested in elucidating the roles of chitinases in humans and their interplay with pathogen-derived chitin.

More recently we have developed an interest in understanding and exploiting the adhesion mechanisms of Salmonella and Helicobacter to intestinal and gastric epithelium, respectively. Most recently we have published the three dimensional structure of BabA, the best studied adhesin of Helicobacter pylori.

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

  • Member of the British Society for Immunology (BSI)
  • Member of the German Society for Parasitology (DGP)
  • Member of the European Histamine Research Society (EHRS)
  • Founding member of the European Mast Cell and Basophil Research Network (EMBRN)
  • Member of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI)

School of Pharmacy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

For all enquiries please visit:
www.nottingham.ac.uk/enquiry