PhD student profile, Simona Pizzi

PhD Student:  Simona Pizzi (ORCID n. 0000-0001-9110-7994)

Simona Pizzi

Supervisor: Prof. Ileana Vigentini

Dean: Prof. Diego Mora

Research area: Food Science and Nutrition

Research topic

Innovative technological and microbial approaches for the sustainable development of the alcoholic beverage industry

Project Synopsis

Vitis vinifera is susceptible to infections caused by pathogenic fungi. This PhD project focuses on its biological control using selected microorganisms to limit the use of chemicals in both land and wine. The aim is to exploit epiphytic and endophytic species with metabolic traits (e.g. natural secretion of bio-functional molecules) able to counteract the pathogen growth in plant and post-harvest (i.e. table and dried) grapes. In particular, terpenes are interesting molecules for their antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-insecticide, and antioxidant properties. The specific objectives of this PhD are to examine the potential of plant-associated yeats as biocontrol agents able to release terpenes (or other interesting compounds) with a pesticide or antifungal effect. A comparative genomic approach and a genome editing pipeline will generate terpene high-producing strains allowing to study the interaction mechanisms of yeast-host-environment. The impact of biocontrolled grapes will be considered in wine production especially for minimal intervention winemaking approaches.


Project keywords

Bio-control, yeast, wine, terpenes



Università degli Studi di Milano

Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS)

Via Mangiagalli 25, 20133 Milan



Dott. Daniela Fracassetti (DeFENS, University of Milan, Italy)

Prof. Gustavo Cordero-Bueso, University of Cadiz, Spain

Dr. David Maghradze, Agrarian University of Georgia, Georgia

Dr. Gabriella De Lorenzis, Dr. Silvia Toffolatti and Prof. Marcello Iriti, University of Milan, Italy



Fellowship sponsor: Università degli Studi di Milano



Merlino, V.M.; Fracassetti, D.; Di Canito, A.; Pizzi, S.; Borra, D.; Giuggioli, N.R.; Vigentini, I. Is the Consumer Ready for Innovative Fruit Wines? Perception and Acceptability of Young Consumers. Foods 2021, 10, 1545.

Massaglia, S., Merlino, V.M.; Fracassetti, D.; Di Canito, A.; Pizzi, S.; Vigentini, I. Is the Consumer Ready for Innovative Fruit Wines? Poster for Macrowine Virtual, 23 – 30th June 2021



SEED4Innovation – Scouting Program. Deadline: 10th October 2020 Project’s title: “Method for the industrial scale production of kiwi-based wine (KiWine)”. Role: Member of the research unit of UMIL

Image2_SP Image1_SP


Leave a Comment (or Reply)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *