Elisa Garuglieri, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows

​Postdoctoral Fellow

Research Interests

Dr. Elisa Garuglieri is a member of Daniele Daffonchio’s Extreme Microbiology Laboratory at KAUST. In 2011 she graduated in BSc General Biology at the University of Florence (Italy) with a thesis on forensic and ancient DNA (in partnership with UNESCO World Heritage), under the supervision of Professor David Caramelli. In 2012 she concluded her MSc in Environmental Biology at the University of Florence, under the supervision of Professor Claudio Ciofi, with a thesis on Komodo dragon conservation by means of population genetic studies on monitor lizards (in partnership with UNESCO World Heritage). 

In 2017 she achieved the Ph.D. title at the University of Milan, with a thesis project (granted by Cariplo Foundation) on silver nanoparticles effects on human gut epithelium by means of a novel in vitro interactive gut model, of her invention, composed by both human cells and bacterial biofilm.

Before joining KAUST, she worked as a freelance life science consultant with the most valuable experiences in the world of contemporary art (Biennale di Venezia, 2017; Fuorisalone Milano & Luiss University 2018, Biennale di Salerno, 2018), private and public education (Milan Conservatory, 2018; IGCSE - Biology courses for high schools, 2019) and research (University of Milan, 2019; KAUST, 2019).

She is interested in symbiotic host-microbial interactions and emergent properties of metaorganism-like systems.

Selected Publications

  • Label Free Proteomic Approach to Study the Non-lethal Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on a Gut Bacterium 
    Domingo. G, Villa F., Vannini C., Garuglieri E., Onelli E., Cappitelli F. and Bracale M.
    Frontiers in Microbiology, (2019)
  • The martyrdom of the spectator: aesthetics and ecstasy in the "Imitatio Christi" 
    Bove G. and Garuglieri E. 
    Lexia, (2019)
  • Impacts of dietary silver nanoparticles and probiotic administration on the microbiota of an in-vitro gut model 
    Cattò C., Garuglieri E., Villa F., Borruso L., D. Erba, M.C. Casiraghi, F. Cappitelli, S. ...
    Environmental Pollution, (2018)
  • Effects of sub-lethal concentrations of silver nanoparticles on a simulated intestinal prokaryotic-eukaryotic inter... 
    Garuglieri E., Meroni E., Cattò C., Villa F., Cappitelli F., Erba D. 
    Frontiers in Microbiology, (2018)
  • Effects of subletal concentrations of silver nanoparticles on Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis in aerobic and... 
    Garuglieri E., Cattò C., Villa F., Zanchi R., Francesca C. 
    Biointerfaces, (2016)


  • ​Ph.D.; Microbiology, Università degli studi di Milano, Milan, Italy, 2017
  • MSc.; Biology (ecology), Università degli studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy, 2012
  • BSc.; General Biology, Università degli studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy, 2011

Professional Profile

  • ​2019-Present: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2019: Remote consultant for KAUST
  • 2019: Postdoctoral fellow, Milan, Università degli studi di Milano, Milan, Italy
  • 2018-2019: ICGSE Biology teacher, Gonzaga Institute, Milan, Italy
  • 2017-2020: Freelance life science consultant (recent works: contemporary art, bio-psychology) 
  • 2017-2018: Science teacher, Milan Conservatory secondary school G. Verdi, Milan, Italy
  • 2017: Life science consultant for Retrobalera Art Studio (Roberto Cuoghi) for Biennale di Venezia international Expo 2017, Italian Pavillion, Venice/Milan, Italy
  • 2013: Life science consultant for Mattioli Engineering, Florence, Italy


  • ​Biennale di Salerno 2018 - prize best "Sound Installation" with the project "Interattività sincronica" in partnership with with M° Gabriele Pineider

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​​Red Sea Research Center (RSRC)
  • Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE)

Research Interests Keywords

Intertidal microbiology Bacterial symbiosis in animals Biofilms Oxidative stress Metaorganism Evolutionary biology