CRB- Biotechnology Research Center

The Biotechnology Research Centre is located within the Catholic University of the Sacro Cuore of Cremona. It was established in Cremona in 1988, as an experimentation and research unit associated to the Institute of Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture and it operates with the cooperation and the economic contribution of the Lombardy Region, the Province and the Municipality of Cremona and Chamber of Commerce of Cremona. It carries out its activities in the following areas:

  • the study of microorganisms involved in transformation processes;
  • the application of genetic engineering to improve the technological performance of bacteria and animals for milk production;
  • enzimology, probiotics, food microbiology and biosafety;
  • optimization of process technologies for the improvement of bio-energy production, proteins biomasses, biopolymers and food ingredients.

Dr. Franco Lucchini is the coordinator of the sub-project 4 within the Superpig project. He is researcher at the Faculty of Agriculture. Dr. Lucchini has developed extensive experience in the techniques of molecular biology that allows the preparation of recombinant DNA vectors as well as the analysis of the genotype and gene expression in transgenic animals, in embryological techniques and cell culture aimed at gene transfer, in management of experimental animals model (it is responsible for the animal model house at CRB).

For all those aspects related to animal husbandry and the physiology of the pig which are related to food production, the unit relies on the support of prof. Piergiacomo Sarra, Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture Science. Prof. Sarra has a solid experience in the processing of pig meat with particular regard to the relationship between the raw material and its transformation.  Prof. Sarra has also developed original studies on the relationship between farm animals, their welfare and the intestinal microbiota associated with them.

Dr. Lucchini research activity is also focusing on the genetic transfer techniques aimed at improving the management of livestock, and for this purpose in the early 90s he established  and lead the transgenesis laboratory in Cremona campus, developing techniques for DNA cloning and pronuclear microinjection that are the basis of the generation of genetically modified mouse models. He has participated in numerous research projects aimed at modification of genetic traits of interest in livestock (eg, milk proteins) and others of biomedical interest, collaborating with other research groups in the generation of mouse models for human diseases.

Dr Michela Lizier is aso involved in Superpig project. She has a degree in biotechnology and a PhD in molecular biotechnology, she is working as research fellow at the Department of Agriculture based in Cremona. Her research activity focuses on the expression of proteins with antibacterial activity in milk of transgenic animals and she is currently involved in projects related to the analysis of gene expression in swine using the technique of microarrays.

The research group also includes two technicians, Mr. Edmond. Atoe and Mr Mario Corradi, both having more than twenty years working experience at CRB. Mr Atoe is responsible for the overall management of the laboratory, the preparation of materials and their supply and he is also a qualified operator FELASA to work with experimental animals and he deals with the daily management and general organization of the hose facility. Mr. Corradi, however, has many years of experience in the field of laboratory analysis, dealing with the microbiological laboratory at the CRB.