Dr Claudio Avignone Rossa FRSB
I obtained my BSc degree in Chemistry (1987), followed by a Licentiate Degree in Biochemical Sciences (1989) and a PhD in Biochemical Sciences (1994) from the University of La Plata (Argentina). I was appointed Associate Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Quilmes (Argentina) in 1994, and Research Fellow at the Microbial Physiology Group at the University of Amsterdam from 1995 to 1999. I was appointed Lecturer in Microbial Physiology at the University of Surrey (2000), Senior Lecturer in Microbial Systems Biology (2006) and Reader in Systems Microbiology (2012).
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Examination Officer Level 6
- Academic Integrity Officer
- Admissions Tutor MSc Medical Microbiology
Affiliations and memberships
In the media
My research interests are in the field of Quantitative Microbial Physiology, Metabolic Modelling and Metabolic Engineering, with the goal of rationally improving the capability of microorganisms for the production of compounds of medical and industrial interest.
- In silico analysis of metabolic networks for the prediction of metabolic capabilities
- Metabolic modelling and quantitative physiology of microorganisms for the production of bioactive molecules
- Metabolic Engineering of microorganisms for the improvement of biosynthetic activities.
The projects combine genomic data, metabolic network modeling, metabolic flux analysis and fermentation technology to design better strategies for antibiotic production, either by the targeted manipulation of specific metabolic pathways or by the modification of the production bioprocess.
Part of my research is directed to the study of the mechanisms involved in the development and evolution of microbial consortia involved in natural or artificial biological processes. In particular, I am interested in the use of electrogenic microbial communities in bioelectrochemical systems: Microbial fuel cells (MFCs), where micro-organisms in the anodic compartment of a fuel cell produce electricity from organic materials, and Microbial Electrosynthesis Cells (MECs), where an electric current is applied to the system to steer microbial metabolism towards the production of molecules of interest.
Within this area of research, I am interested in the utilisation of microbial communities for the treatment and conversion of agriwaste and wastewater, and the development of clean bioprocesses.
Current grants and funding
- Synthetic Biology for Biotechnology and Bioenergy. International Partnering Award BBSRC. PI.
- Metabolic analysis of the solventogenic bacterium Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum. BBSRC iCASE. PI
- Constructing a microbial community for increasing wheat crop yield using system approaches. BBSRC iCASE.Co-I
- Metabolic analysis to characterise and optimize an industrial enzyme production process. BBSRC iCASE. PI
- A bioelectrochemical system for waste degradation and energy recovery from coffee waste. Newton Fund and University of Antioquia, Colombia. PI
- Metabolic Modelling Meets Anaerobic Digestion (M3AD), BBSRC NIBB ADNet. PI.
- Bio-ESPRESSO. Bio-Electrochemical Systems for PRoduct and Energy Salvage from Spent cOffee - EPSRC University of Surrey GCRF initiative. PI.
- Electroautotrophic bacteria as chassis for electrofermentation of C1 gas. BBSRC NIBB C1Net. PI
Biomedical Microbial Products (BMS3060)
Systems Biology (BMS3072)
Microbial Communities and Interactions (BMS2044)
Introduction to the Microbial World (BMS1035)
Paper of the year 2018 - The article by Toro Navarro et al has been awarded the Paper of the Year Award by the journal Biosystems and Bioprocess Engineering (Springer)
Quantitative microbial physiology
- Toro Navarro et al (2018). An enhanced genome-scale metabolic reconstruction of Streptomyces clavuligerus identifies novel strain improvement strategies. Bioproc. Biosys. Eng. 41:657–669. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-018-1900-9
- Pinilla et al (2018). Streptomyces clavuligerus strain selection for clavulanic acid biosynthesis: a study based on culture composition effects and statistical analysis. Dyna 85:111-118. doi: 10.15446/dyna.v85n205.69560.
- Menendez-Bravo et al (2017) Identification of FadAB Complexes Involved in Fatty Acid β-Oxidation in Streptomyces coelicolor and Construction of a Triacylglycerol Overproducing strain. Front. Microbiol. 8:1428. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01428
- Kim et al (2016) Properties of alternative microbial hosts used in Synthetic Biology: Towards the design of a modular chassis. Essays Biochem 60, 303–313
- Avignone Rossa et al (2013) Systems Biology of antibiotic production in Streptomyces. In: Dubitzky, Wolkenhauer, Cho, Yokota (Eds). Encyclopedia of Systems Biology. Springer, Heidelberg. ISBN 978-1-4419-9862-0
- Gevorgyan et al (2011). SurreyFBA: a command line tool and graphics user interface for constraint-based modeling of genome-scale metabolic reaction networks. Bioinformatics 27(3), 433 – 434.
- Sroka et al (2011). Acorn: a grid computing system for constraint based modeling and visualization of the genome scale metabolic reaction networks via a web interface. BMC Bioinformatics. 12, 196.
- Ahmed et al (2011). Metabolomic Profiling Can Differentiate Between Bactericidal Effects of Free and Polymer Bound Halogen. J Appl Polym Sci, 119, 709 – 718.
- Efthimiou et al (2008). A novel finding that Streptomyces clavuligerus can produce the antibiotic clavulanic acid using olive oil as a sole carbon source. J Appl Microbiol, 105, 2058-2064.
- Khannapho et al (2008). Selection of objective function in genome scale flux balance analysis for process feed development in antibiotic production. Metabolic Eng 10, 227 – 233
Bioelectrochemical systems and Microbial Communities
- Naz et al. (2018). Investigation of the active biofilm communities on polypropylene filter media in a fixed biofilm reactor for wastewater treatment. J. Chem. Technol. Biotechnol. doi 10.1002/jctb.5686
- Hodgson et al (2016) Segregation of the Anodic Microbial Communities in a Microbial Fuel Cell Cascade. Front. Microbiol. 7, 699.
- Nez et al (2016). Effect of the Chemical Composition of Filter Media on the Microbial Community in Wastewater Biofilms at Different Temperatures. RSC Adv. 6, 104345 - 104353
- Grüning et al (2015). Low-potential respirators support electricity production in Microbial Fuel Cells. Microbial Ecol. 70, 266–273
- Stratford et al (2014). Anodic microbial community diversity as a predictor of the power output of microbial fuel cells. Biores. Technol. 156, 84–91.
- Beecroft et al (2012). Dynamic changes in the microbial community composition in microbial fuel cells fed with sucrose. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 93, 423 – 437.
- Kim et al (2011). Spatiotemporal development of the bacterial community in a tubular longitudinal microbial fuel cell. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 90, 1179 – 1191.
- Wu et al (2011). A role for microbial palladium nanoparticles in extracellular electron transfer. Angew Chem Int Ed 50, 427 – 430.
- Wu et al (2009). A one-compartment fructose/air biological fuel cell based on direct electron transfer. Biosens Bioelectron 25, 326 – 331
- Wu et al (2009). Direct electron transfer of glucose oxidase immobilized in an ionic liquid reconstituted cellulose-carbon nanotube matrix, Bioelectrochem 77, 64 – 68
- Zhao et al (2008). Factors affecting the performance of microbial fuel cells for sulfur pollutants removal. Biosens Bioelectr 24, 1931–1936
- Zhao et al (2008). Activated Carbon Cloth as Anode for Sulfate Removal in a Microbial Fuel Cell. Environ Sci Technol 42, 4971 – 4976