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Arianna Gennari

Post Doc
Post Doc

Research Line

Polymers and Biomaterials


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


via Morego 30, 16163 Genova (Italy)
+39 010 2896 761
+39 010 71781 761


Arianna obtained in 2008 her bachelor degree in Chemical Sciences at the University of the Insubria (Como). She then moved for her master to Bologna where she graduated in Advanced Chemical Methodologies in 2009. Arianna was awarded her PhD in Industrial Chemistry from the Doctorate School in Chemical Sciences and Technologies of the University of Milan in January 2013. The main research subject was the chemistry of biopolymers (i.e. bioconjugation and cross-linking of hyaluronic acid) and peptide synthesis. During her PhD she also spend seven months as a guest of the Laboratory of Polymers and Biomaterials of the University of Manchester lead by Professor Nicola Tirelli, to investigate the effects of environmental factors and of reactants architecture on the outcome of Michael-type addition used for bioconjugation.

In February 2013 she moved back to Manchester appointed as Marie Curie associate researcher  within the context of Replixcel – Highly efficient new generation synthetic RNA-replicon based vaccine (EU Marie Curie funded project).

One year later she has started being involved in a new Collaborative Project,  UNIVAX - A “Universal” Influenza Vaccine through Synthetic, Dendritic Cell-Targeted, Self-Replicating RNA Vaccines. Her role is to prepare and assess the biological properties of new carriers for the formulation of vaccines. In particular, the research mainly focuses on the design and functionalisation of chitosan nanoparticles for the protection and delivery of nucleic acids to leucocytes and on the study of the cell-material interaction.

In September 2017 Arianna has joined the group of Polymers and Biomaterials at the IIT in Genova where she we will focus on the formulation and characterization of nanoparticles made of synthetic and natural polymers, as well as the design for a targeted delivery of their payloads.


Biomaterials Targeted Drug Delivery Responsive polymers


Collaborative Project UNIVAX - A “Universal” Influenza Vaccine through Synthetic, Dendritic Cell-Targeted, Self-Replicating RNA Vaccines (

The UniVax's overall goal is to develop the first synthetic replicating RNA vaccine against universal influenza (Flu).

While vaccination is the cornerstone of Flu prophylaxis, current inactivated vaccines provide only moderate protection requiring annual updating due to poor long-term immunity and antigenic drift.

UniVax will solve this restriction by generating multimeric, self-replicating, universal Flu RNA (RepRNA) vaccines delivered by synthetic, biocompatible, biodegradable carriers. It is targeted to DC receptors due to the essential role of these cells in efficient immune defence development. Co-formulation with novel mucosal adjuvants - also applicable for parenteral vaccination - potentiates development of humoral and cellular immune responses. 

UniVax core technologies are based on is synthetic RepRNA encoding multimeric Flu virus antigens. The multimeric approach derives from current knowledge on combining antigens important for inducing robust immune response. Our unique synergistic approach combines technologies and SME potential to protect RNA from nucleases and enhance delivery efficiency due to the UniVax consortium collective knowledge on polysaccharide, lipid and polyester biotechnologies.

UniVax will generate essential data on integrating innovative technologies for RepRNA, synthetic delivery, ligand-based targeting of DCs and mucosal adjuvanting. The prototype of synthetic RepRNA vaccines with innovative mucosal adjuvants will be evaluated pre-clinically and clinically, providing data on efficacy of vaccine delivery for breadth and duration of protection.



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