PhD student profile, Valeria Tava

PhD Student: Valeria Tava (ORCID n. 0000-0003-4068-7559)

Valeria Tava (cycle 36)


Supervisor: Matias Pasquali, DeFENS

Dean: Prof. Diego Mora

Research area: Agri-Environment

Research topic: Mitigate the impact of threats on the production, quality, and safety of food products

Project Synopsis

The aim of my PhD project is to characterise fungal species which usually are pathogen in agriculture but that showed the ability to infect also human patients.

Understanding the diversity of these species and the mechanisms that lead to cross kingdom pathogenicity will be achieved by integrating omics approaches to characterise fungal diversity and infection mechanisms with in vivo pathophysiological observations in different hosts.

My thesis aims to contribute to the study of cross fungal Kingdom pathogens with a focus on Fusarium pathogens that can be transmitted from food to humans to better inform on this novel risk posed by food consumption


Project keywords

Fusarium; food pathogens; pest; fungicide



Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS)

Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milano

email address:



Greetje Vande Velde, Biomedical MRI-ON I Herestraat 49, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven (BE)

Matthias Brock, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Nottingham University, Nottingham
NG7 2RD (UK)

Maria Carmela Esposto, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli studi di Milano, via Pascal 36, 20133 Milano (IT)

Anna Cristina Maria Prigitano, Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli studi di Milano, via Pascal 36, 20133 Milano (IT)



Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano

Project sponsor: Collaboration with COST ACTION 16610



Communications to congresses (Poster exhibition):

Tava V., Degradi L., Saracchi M., Prigitano A., Kunova A., Esposto M. , Cortesi P., Pasquali M. (2021). Fusarium musae, agent of crown rot disease of banana infects plants and humans. 26° SIPaV virtual congress September 15-17 2021

Matias Pasquali, Valeria Tava, Anna Prigitano, Luca Degradi, Marco Saracchi, Andrea Kunova, Maria Carmela Esposto, Paolo Cortesi, Matthias Brock, Greetje VandeVelde. (2021). Can an infected banana be the source of a fungal disease for humans? COST ACTION FINAL MEETING 2021.

Valeria Tava, Anna Cristina Maria Prigitano, Marco Saracchi, Maria Carmela Esposto, Matias Pasquali (2021). Susceptibility to azoles of F. musae, agent of crown rot disease of banana. APS annual meeting – plant health 2021 online.

Valeria Tava, Eliane Vanhoffelen, Agustin Reséndiz Sharpe, Hanne Hendrix, Rob Lavigne, Katrien Lagrou, Matias Pasquali, Greetje Vande Velde. (2021). Galleria mellonella as a model host to study the virulence of Fusarium musae strains obtained from plants and humans. Galleria mellonella workshop 2021 online.

Valeria Tava, Luca Degradi, Andrea Kunova, Marco Saracchi, Paolo Cortesi, Matias Pasquali (2021). The complete genome of Fusarium musae. Europen fusarium seminar 2021 online.



Valeria Tava, Anna Prigitano, Paolo Cortesi, Maria Carmela Esposto and Matias Pasquali (2021). Fusarium musae from Diseased Bananas and Human Patients: Susceptibility to Fungicides Used in Clinical and Agricultural Settings. MDPI – Journal of Fungi, Sept 2021.

Degradi L., Tava V., Kunova A., Cortesi P., Saracchi M., Pasquali M. (2021). Telomere to telomere genome assembly of Fusarium musae F31, causal agent of crown rot disease of banana. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Aug 2021.



Master’s degree in “Biotechnology for the Bioeconomy”, Facoltà di Scienze agrarie e alimentari, Università degli Studi di Milano – 2020.

Bachelor’s degree in “Scienze biologiche”, Facoltà di Scienze e tecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano – 2018.

Erasmus+ at KU Leuven, Biomedical MRI-ON I Herestraat 49, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven (BE)


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