Associate Professor Renato Morona

Associate Professor Renato Morona
 Position Associate Professor
 Org Unit School of Biological Sciences
 Telephone +61 8 8313 4151
 Location Floor/Room 4 ,  Molecular Life Sciences ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Renato retired in February 2021 and has an appointment as Associate Professor (Honorary). Renato was appointed as an academic staff member of the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science (now Biological Science) in April 2003. He was responsible for the co-ordination of the Infection and Immunity A level 3 course. Renato has extensive experience in bacterial molecular biology and genetics, and has conducted research in the many areas, including: enteric pathogens, bacterial cell surfaces and molecules (pili, outer membrane proteins, lipopolysaccharides), bacterial pathogenesis, vaccines, and biotechnological applications.


  • Qualifications

    B.Sc. (Adelaide), B.Sc. (Hons) (Adelaide), PhD (Adelaide) (1982)


  • Research Interests

    Bacterial pathogens are the cause of significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Efforts to develop new and novel therapies focus on identification of new drug targets, and understanding the mechanisms and molecules that lead to pathogenesis and disease. The pathogen that is the focus of my research is Shigella flexneri, the causative agent of bacillary dysentery. Bacterial cell surface molecules are important mediators of interaction between bacteria and hosts, and their structure, function and biogenesis are of particular interest.

    Research is focused on several specific areas:

    • Structure and function of the S. flexneri IcsA protein.

    • Biosynthesis of S. flexneri lipopolysaccharide O antigen and Entrrobacterial Common Antigen
    • Structure and function of Polysaccharide Co-polymerase proteins


  • Research Funding


  • Publications

    • Tocilj, A., Munger, C., Proteau, A., Morona, R., Purins, L., Ajamina, E., Wagner, J., Papadopoulos, M., Van Den Bosch, L., Rubinstein, J.L., Féthière, J., Matte, A., and Cygler, M. (2008) Bacterial polysaccharide co-polymerases share a common framework for control of polymer length. Nature Struct. Mol. Biol. 15:130-138.
    • Purins, L., Van Den Bosch, L., and Richardson, V., and Morona, R., (2008) Coiled-coil regions play a role in the function of the Shigella flexneri O-antigen chain length regulator WzzpHS2. Microbiology 154:1104-1116.
    • May, K.M. and Morona, R. (2008) Mutagenesis of the Shigella flexneri autotransporter IcsA reveals novel functional regions involved in IcsA biogenesis and recruitment of host neural Wiscott-Aldrich syndrome protein. J Bacteriol. 190:4666-4676.
    • Attridge, S.R, Wallerström G, Li, B.L., Morona, R., and Holmgren J. (2009) Differential immunogenicity of Vibrio cholerae O139 variants expressing different combinations of naturally occurring and atypical forms of the serogroup polysaccharide. Vaccine 27:1055-1061.
    • Morona, R., Purins, L., Tocilj, A., Matte, A., and Cygler M. (2009) Sequence-structure relationships in polysaccharide co-polymerase (PCP) proteins. Trends Biochem Sci. 34:78-84.
  • Professional Interests

    • Member, Australian Society for Microbiology
    • Member, American Society for Microbiology
    • Co-organiser of BacPath 2009, 2017
    • Invited Research Grant Reviewer for National and International Research Councils and Funding Schemes
    • Reviewer for International Journals
    • Invited Speaker at National and International Research Meetings
  • Media Expertise

    CategoriesMedicine & Medical Research
    Expertisemicrobiology; bacteria; disease; molecular biology; lipopolysaccharides; outer memrbane proteins; virulence; bacterial pathogenesis; shigella; dysentery; salmonella;
    After hours(08) 8370 5258

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Entry last updated: Friday, 24 Jun 2022

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