2023-present. Lecturer in Biochemistry, University of Hull.
2023-present. Visiting Research Fellow, The University of Manchester.
2021-2023. Research Fellow, The University of Manchester.
2018-2021. Postdoctoral Research Associate, The University of Manchester.
2017-2018. Postdoctoral Research Associate, The University of York.
2016-2017. Postdoctoral Research Associate, Rice University.
2010-2016. Postgraduate Research Student, Rice University.
2008-2010. Undergraduate Researcher, Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires.
2006-2008. Undergraduate Researcher, IBYME, CONICET.
My unique background comprises cell biology, specifically how subcellular compartments are made, with making high-value chemicals with microbes. I am now combining these fields of expertise to create synthetic organelles for biomanufacturing and other applications in biotechnology.
As an undergraduate student, my passion for biology took me to work and produce a BSc thesis on producing valuable sterols with the microorganisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Tetrahymena thermophila at the Department of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (now Nanobiotech) in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the University of Buenos Aires (Poklepovich, Rinaldi, et al. 2012 Steroids).
I then obtained my PhD with Prof Bonnie Bartel, member of the US National Academy of Sciences, at Rice University, Houston TX, USA. Here, I tackled an ambitious genetic screen to isolate and identify 35 novel alleles in 15 genes associated with plant peroxisomes and lipid bodies, including finding a new role for a predicted pectin methylesterase in lipid body mobilisation (Rinaldi et al., 2016 Genetics). I also published on the first partial loss-of-function alleles of the conserved PEX1 gene (Rinaldi et al., 2017 Plant Phys) and contributed to the first description of peroxisome-specific autophagy in plants (Farmer, Rinaldi et al., 2013 Plant Cell).
During my postdoctoral experience at the University of York under the supervision of Prof Ian Graham FRS, I reconstituted the biosynthetic pathway of the antimalarial artemisinin in tobacco leaves under the Artemisia project. I also contributed to a publication on the antimalarial action of Artemisia annua plant preparations (Czechowski*, Rinaldi* et al., 2019 Front Plant Sci, *authors contributed equally) that was cited by the World Health Organization (The use of non-pharmaceutical forms of Artemisia, 2019).
At the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at The University of Manchester, I worked under the supervision of Prof Nigel Scrutton FRS on the Waste-to-Wealth project making high-value chemicals from paper waste in collaboration with Indian partners towards sustainable chemical manufacturing (Rinaldi et al., 2022 Front Bioeng Biotechnol). I then became a Research Fellow at Future Biomanufacturing Research Hub, further addressing two key challenges in Engineering Biology for biomanufacturing: converting abundant cellulosic material into an accessible carbon source through microbial digestion, and engineering stable strains that produce high-value chemicals to high titres. Here I learned that high-value chemical titres reach a maximum, and my experience suggests that chemical toxicity and lack of compartmentalisation in microbes limit titres (Rinaldi et al., 2022 Nat Prod Rev).
I have thus trained my skills in molecular and cell biology, protein biochemistry, genetics, plant biology, biotechnology, and fermentation science, among others. I have thus also gathered a wide network of academic collaborators and industrial partners in Europe, the US, Argentina, India and around the world. As a Lecturer, I will leverage my valuable skills, insights, and networks to create synthetic organelles to address unmet needs in biotechnology with academic and industrial impact.