Dr. Alessia Buscaino

Alessia likes Chromatin, Genome Organisation and Fungal Organisms.

Alessia graduated at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 2000. She conducted her PhD research in the laboratory of Dr Asifa Akhtar at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-Germany) research institute. During her PhD, her interest in epigenetics and chromatin modifications flourished while investigating mechanisms of Dosage Compensation in Drosophila melanogaster.
In 2005, Alessia was awarded an EMBO long-term post-doctoral fellowship to conduct research in the laboratory of Professor Robin Allshire (WTCCB-Edinburgh). During her post-doc she investigated how heterochromatin assembles on large blocks of DNA repeats in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.
In 2013, she obtained an EMBO short-term Fellowship to investigate the chromatin status of Candida albicans repetitive DNA elements in Judith Berman's laboratory (TAU University- Tel-Aviv, Israel).
Alessia joined the University of Kent in 2013 as a Lecturer in Fungal Epigenetics. In 2016, Alessia was promoted to Senior Lecturer. The main focus of the lab is to understand how chromatin structure regulate genome instability in fungal organisms of the CTG-clade.

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1704-3168

Alessia is a Core Member of the BBSRC Committee C. 

Post-Doctoral Researcher, Ph.D. student and Research Master applications from UK, EU, US & Overseas are always considered. Various funding sources can be explored.  Post-Doc fellowships: EMBO, FEBS, HFSP, Newton, Marie Curie, Wellcome Trust. Please send your CV and summary of your research interests to: a.buscaino@kent.ac.uk


Lab members

Marzia Rizzo-PhD Student

Marzia obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from University of Messina, Italy, in 2015, thereafter she moved to Sweden and she graduated from Stockholm University, where she obtained a Master’s degree in Biology. During her Master’s degree she conducted a laboratory internship at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, where she investigated whether HPV-detection can be help in identification of benign neck cysts. In addition to this, she conducted another laboratory internship at Stockholm University where she investigated on the mechanisms of glioma cells resistance to radiation.

Marzia joined Dr. Alessia Buscaino group to pursuing a PhD in Microbiology, focusing on genome instability and stress- adaptation in Candida albicans, the most common human fungal pathogen.

Samuel Vega Estevez - PhD Student



2009-2013, University of Leon (Spain) BSc Biotechnology.

2013-2015, University of Oviedo (Spain) MSc Biotechnology of Environment and Health

2017-Present, University of Kent, PhD Genetics.


Research Project.


Biofuels have become important because of the depletion of fossil fuel energy sources. Lignocellulic biomass is generated in large amounts as waste following agricultural, and forestry processing operations. Lignocellulose is a heteropolymer composed mainly of pentose and hexose sugars. Due to its high sugar content lignocellulose is an ideal substrate for bioethanol production. However, whereas the traditional yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can efficiently ferment hexose sugars, it cannot ferment pentose sugars, such as xylose. Pichia stipitis is a yeast with the highest capacity for xylose fermentation of any known microorganism. Different P. stipitis isolates vary in their ability to ferment ethanol but the genetic basis underlying this improved ethanol production is largely unknown. Therefore, very little is known of P. stipitis genomic diversity and its contribution to ethanol production.


The main aim of the project is investigating whether and how genomic plasticity contributes to P. stipitis biology, focusing on ethanol production from pentose sugars. 

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