Mathematical Modelling and

Synthetic Biology Lab


Ilaria Massaiu

Ilaria Massaiu

Ilaria Massaiu


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Born in Iglesias (CA), on March 8th, 1988

Main affiliation

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione

Università degli Studi di Pavia

Via Ferrata 5, I-27100 Pavia, Italy

Other affiliations

Centre for Health Technologies (CHT)

Università degli Studi di Pavia

Via Ferrata 5, I-27100 Pavia, Italy


Current Position

PhD Student, University of Pavia, Italy

Academic Degree


PhD in Bioengineering and Bioinformatics at the University of Pavia, Italy

Thesis: Computational and experimental methods for metabolic engineering: applications in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis.


Master Degree in Bioengineering  at the University of Pavia, Italy.

Thesis: Studio del silenziamento di geni target mediante sRNA in circuiti sintetici e pathway metabolici.


Bachelor Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cagliari, Italy.

Thesis: Analisi modellistica del processo di crioconservazione di sospensioni cellulari.


Honorary Appointment:

Gen-May 2017

 Visiting researcher, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark (DTU).


Research Interests:

  •  Synthetic Biology in bacteria:
    • Rational design and characterization of synthetic genetic circuits
    • Mathematical modelling of biological systems
  •  Metabolic Engineering:
    • Prediction and optimization of metabolic phenotype of microrganisms using genome-scale models
    • In-vivo analysis of growth and metabolic behavior of E. coli  and B. subtlis wild-type and mutant strains


 Academic Activities:




Co-supervisor of the thesis: "Strategie di ingegneria metabolica per ottimizzare la produzione di etanolo in Escherichia coli: studio in silico mediante modelli genome-scale e test in vivo tramite knockout genico" of Davide De Marchi, Biomedical Engineering Master's Degree.
              2015                                       Co-supervisor of the thesis: "Valutazione di metodi computazionali per la predizione di flussi metabolici mediante modelli genome-scale" of Simone Maestri, Biomedical Engineering Master's Degree.



  • Massaiu I, Pasotti L, Sonnenschein NRama ECavaletti MMagni PCalvio C and Herrgård M J. "Integration of enzymatic data in Bacillus subtilis genome-scale metabolic model improves phenotype predictions and enables in silico design of poly- γ-glutamic acid production strains". Microbial Cell Factories, 18:3 (2019).
  • Casanova M, Pasotti L, Zucca S, Politi N, Massaiu I, Calvio C, Cusella De Angelis MG, Magni P. "A BioBrick(TM)-compatible vector for allelic replacement using the xylE gene as selection marker". Biological Procedures Online (2016).
  • Massaiu I, Pasotti L, Casanova M, Politi N, Zucca S, Cusella De Angelis MG, Magni, P. (2015). Quantification of the gene silencing performances of rationally-designed synthetic small RNAs. Systems and synthetic biology9(3), 107-123 (2015).
  • Pasotti L, Zucca S, Casanova M, Politi N, Massaiu I, Mazzini G, ... & Magni P. (2015, August). "Methods for genetic optimization of biocatalysts for biofuel production from dairy waste through synthetic biology" IEE-EMBC (2015)

Google Scholar publication list