Once again, Italian research makes important progress. And once again to achieve a significant goal is a woman. Antonella Fioravanti is the most promising young scientist of the year for the Belgian Academy. She was responsible for a discovery on anthrax. And at a time when there is talk of the need to speed up the discoveries on Covid, to get to a vaccine as soon as possible, this all-Italian study is undoubtedly an important result.
Antonella Fioravanti and her study
The researcher is from Prato and she was awarded for her research on anthrax. And it would be the first time that a recognition like this has been awarded to a foreigner by the Belgian Royal Academy. Antonella Fioravanti is a microbiologist at the Vrje Universiteit in Brussels. The prize is the Eos Pipet 2020 for having developed a technique that strips the anthrax bacterium of its protein armor, through blade antibodies, synchrotron light and a lot of imagination.
Antonella obtained her master’s degree in biology at the University of Florence in 2010 with honors and then continued her studies in France and Belgium, where she is now a researcher. “I congratulate Antonella – underlined Monica Barni, vice president of the Tuscany Region and councilor for Culture and University. But I would also like to tell her that her story as a young scholar is not only a precious testimony to the value of education, but also a beautiful spot to make people understand what the best Europe is, as her curriculum with her studies in Florence, in Lille, in Paris, in Brussels tell. “
Antonella Fioravanti’s revolutionary discovery
The research of the Italian scientist lasted four years. “I feel like a scientist and a European citizen – she underlined in an interview a few months ago -. I graduated in Italy, I perfected myself in France and I carried out my research in Belgium. I am convinced that this is the right way to do research: moving, you learn, you bring and you take, talking to the world opens your mind”. And her determination proved her right. “There are three types of contagion – explained Fioravanti, speaking of the research –: cutaneous, the most common, via the respiratory tract and by ingestion. Bacillus has been present since prehistoric times and is very resistant and when it is exposed to the environment it turns into a spore becoming even stronger. It can even wait up to 300 years before attacking life forms.”
Research on anthrax
Antonella Fioravanti recreated an armor in the laboratory and then found a way to destroy it, with a “nanobody”, a piece of antibody taken from lamas. This discovery has been patented and according to the scholar the mechanism of action of these new antibiotics can also be used to combat other types of bacteria that cause different diseases. Anthrax is a white powder which, if inhaled, quickly enters the bloodstream and can lead to fatal sepsis in a few days. With her research Antonella Fioravanti has made an important contribution to science. Which earned her award. An all-Italian pride.