Dr Malvina Pizzuto


Dr Malvina Pizzuto

she, her


Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Visiting Academic
Inflammasome Lab



After her studies in biomolecular chemistry at the University of Florence and Bologna in Italy, Malvina Pizzuto completed her PhD in Immunology at the Free University of Brussels, in Belgium. Her PhD research, for which she received the Belgian Solvay Thesis Award, yielded insight into how non-microbial lipids regulate Toll-like receptor signalling, contributing to the design of new anti-inflammatory molecules, non-immunogenic transfection agents for gene therapy and immunogenic transfection agents for adjuvant-free vaccines. During her first postdoctoral position with Prof Pablo Pelegrín (Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia, Spain), Malvina studied how cardiolipins modulate the caspase-11 non-canonical inflammasome. Malvina continues these studies in the Inflammasome Lab, now focusing on how endogenous mitochondrial cardiolipin regulates inflammatory responses and inflammatory diseases. Her research is partially funded by a Fellowship from the National Fund for Scientific Research of Belgium.


"Le sole risposte utili sono quelle che propongono nuove domande."

The only useful answers are the ones that raise new questions.

Vittorio Foa




Email: m.pizzuto@uq.edu.au

Office Telephone: +61 7 3346 2076


Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Google Scholar










2020 Young Scientist Program Travel fellowship IUPAB-SBBq-SBBf

2019 Juan de la Cierva Formación Postdoctoral Fellowship, Spain

2018 Poster Prize at Toll 2018, Portugal

2018 National Fund for Scientific Research of Belgium Postdoctoral Fellowship, Belgium

2017 WBI-World excellence Postdoctoral Fellowship, Belgium

2016 1st classified Three Minute Thesis competition People's Choice Award, Free University of Brussels, Belgium

2018 Solvay Thesis Award 2017, Belgium

2017 Wiener-Anspach Foundation short term stay predoctoral fellowship, Belgium/UK

2015 De Brouckère-Solvay travel fellowship, Belgium

2013 Fund for Research Training in Industry and Agriculture-National Fund for Scientific Research of Belgium Doctoral Fellowship, Belgium

2012 Erasmus Exchange Program Fellowship, European Union




2017 PhD in Biomolecular Chemistry and Immunology, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

2017 Visiting PhD student University of Cambridge, UK

2013 Master in Biomolecular Chemistry, University of Bologna, Italy

2011 Bachelor in Chemistry, University of Florence, Italy


Chan AH, Burgener SS, Vezyrgiannis K, Wang X, Acklam J, Von Pein JB, Pizzuto M, Labzin LI, Boucher D, Schroder K (2023).
Caspase-4 dimerisation and D289 auto- processing elicit an interleukin-1β-converting enzyme. Life Science Alliance 6(10):e202301908. Pubmed



Pizzuto M, Pelegrin P, Ruysschaert J-M (2022).
Lipid-protein interactions regulating the canonical and the non-canonical NLRP3 inflammasome. Progress in Lipid Research Jul 25;87:101182. Pubmed


Pizzuto M, Molina-Lopez C, Hurtado-Navarro L, Soubhye J, Gelbcke M, Rodriguez-Lopez S, Ruysschaert J-M, Pelegrin P (2022).
Ornithine lipid activates both TLR4 and the non-canonical NLRP3 inflammasome pathway. bioRxiv 2022.01.28.477396. bioRxiv


Pizzuto M, Pelegrin P (2020).
Cardiolipin in Immune Signaling and Cell Death. Trends in Cell Biology Nov;30(11):892-903. Pubmed


Pizzuto M, Lonez C, Baroja-Mazo A, Martínez-Banaclocha H, Tourlomousis P, Gangloff M, Pelegrín P, Ruysschaert J-M, Gay NJ, Bryant C (2019).
Saturation of acyl chains converts cardiolipin from an antagonist to an activator of Toll-like receptor-4. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences Sep;76(18):3667-3678. Pubmed


Alancón-Villa C1, Pizzuto M1, Pelgrín P (2019).
Purinergic receptors and the inflammatory response mediated by lipids. Current Opinion in Pharmacology Aug;47:90-96. Pubmed

1Equal contribution


Siri M, Fernandez Ruocco M-J, Achilli E, Pizzuto M, Delgado J-F, Ruysschaert J-M, Grasselli M, del V. Alonso S (2019).
Effect of structure in ionized albumin - based nanoparticle: Characterisation, Emodin interaction, and in vitro cytotoxicity. Materials Science and Engineering: C Oct;103:109813. Pubmed


Pizzuto M, Bigey P, Lachagès A-M, Ruysschaert J-M, Escriou V, Lonez C (2018).
Cationic lipids as one-component vaccine adjuvants: A promising alternative to alum. Journal of Controlled Release Oct 10;287:67-77. Pubmed


Herrera MG1, Pizzuto M1, Lonez C, Rott K, Hütten A, Sewald N, Ruysschaert J-M, Dodero VI (2018).
Large supramolecular structures of 33-mer gliadin peptide activate toll-like receptors in macrophages. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine Jun;14(4):1417-1427. Pubmed

1Equal contribution


Pizzuto M1, Gangloff M1, Scherman D, Gay NJ, Escriou V, Ruysschaert J-M, Lonez C (2017).
Toll-like receptor 2 promiscuity is responsible for the immunostimulatory activity of nucleic acid nanocarriers. Journal of Controlled Release Feb 10;247:182-193. Pubmed

1Equal contribution


Lonez C, Irvine KL, Pizzuto M, Schmidt B, Gay NJ, Ruysschaert JM, Gangloff M, Bryant C (2015).
Critical residues involved in Toll-like receptor 4 activation by cationic lipid nanocarriers are not located at the lipopolysaccharide-binding interface. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences Oct;72(20):3971-82. Pubmed