- Position:Post-doctoral researcher
Dr. Francesca Margherita Quattrocchio studied Biology at the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) and graduated in 1983. After a fellowship of the Italian National Research Council in Milan (Italy) to study the promoter structure and regulation of maize reserve protein genes, she obtained a short-term EMBO fellowship. Thereafter, she received a Marie Curie fellowship and joined the Genetics research group at VU University Amsterdam. In that period, she used petunia as a model system to analyze the behavior of maize promoters in transgenics.
In 1990, Quattrochio started her PhD project on regulatory genes controlling pigment biosynthesis in petunia petals. Soon after obtaining her PhD, her interests moved to the control of pH homeostasis in the vacuole: the cellular compartment where the pigments are stored. She revealed an entirely new mechanism by which plant cells hyper-acidify internal compartments and regulate ions traffic. Recently, research on the differentiation of these same cells on the surface of the petals lead to the discovery of a new pathway of protein sorting to the vacuole, including the genesis of a novel cellular compartment named the vacuolino. Since 2001, Quattrocchio has a permanent position as post-doctoral researcher in the Genetics research group at VU University.