Professore di I fascia
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Full professor in Applied Physics, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma.

Co-author of 98 papers on international, peer-reviewed journals, 3 books, 8 book chapters and more than 150 communications to national and international meetings.

Bibliometric data (from Scopus, as of January 17, 2019):

- Documents: 103

- Sum of the Times Cited: 2221

- H-index: 27





1992: graduated with honors in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Parma, Italy; thesis on “Allosteric regulation of the multifunctional enzyme tryptophan synthase”.

1997-1998: Fellow, Italian National Institute for the Physics of Matter (INFM). Research on “Folding of O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase by tryptophan and coenzyme steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence”.

1998: Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Pathology, University of Modena, Italy; thesis on “Oxygen binding to hemoglobin in the T quaternary state”.

1999-2000: Post-doctoral fellow, Laboratory of Chemical Physics, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

2000-2001: Research contract with the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Parma. Research activity on “Mechanisms of protein folding-unfolding processes: structural, dynamic and functional characterization of pyridoxal 5’-phosphate-dependent enzymes and heme proteins”.





2001-2006: Assistant professor in Applied Physics, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma.

2006 - present: Full Professor, Applied Physics, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma.

2017-present: Coordinator of the Neurosciences Unit, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma.

2001-2003: Member of the PhD Program in Biochemical Sciences, University of Turin and University of Parma.

2004-2015: Member of the PhD program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Parma.

2015- present: Member of the PhD Program in Sciences for Drugs, Biomolecules and Bioactive Products, University of Parma.

2010-present: Member of SITEIA (Interdepartmental center for food safety technology innovation), University of Parma.

2011-present: Member of Biopharmanet-Tec laboratory (Interdepartmental center for the innovation of health products).

2016-present: Member and Management Committee Substitute of the COST Action CM1306 (Understanding Movement and Mechanism in Molecular Machines).

2016-present: Member of the COST Action BM1405 (NGP-net: Non-globular Proteins in Molecular Physiopathology).

2016-present: Member of the National Committee for Scientific Habilitation (ASN), Sector 02/D1 – Applied Physics.

2017-present: Neurosciences Unit coordinator, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma.





1997-1998: Fellowship from the Italian National Institute for the Physics of Matter (INFM).

1998: National Prize for PhD Candidates by the Italian Society of Differentiation and Cellular Biology.

1999-2000: Long-term fellowship by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

2000: Supplemental Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow Award of the NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.

2003: Prize of Italian Society of Physics for best presentation at the 89th National Meeting in the Biophysics and Medical Physics Section.





American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Italian National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems.

Italian Physics Society.

CNISM (National Inter-university Consortium for the Physics of Matter).





- Reviewer for national funding agencies, international academic institutions and international journals (PLOS One, Acta Crystallographica D, European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochimica et Biochimica Acta – Proteins and Proteomics, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, Protein and Peptide Letters, Journal of Functional Biomaterials, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, etc.).

- Co-editor, with Stefano Bruno (University of Parma) of a thematic issue of Current Organic Chemistry on “Organic polymeric matrices for the three-dimensional immobilization of proteins: a biochemical and biophysical perspective“ (2015).

- Guest Editor, with Cristiano Viappiani (University of Parma, Italy) and F. Javier Luque (University of Barcelona, Spain), of a Special Issue of Biochimica and Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics on "Protein Dynamics, experimental and computational approaches" (2011).

- Co-editor, with Andrea Mozzarelli (University of Parma) of the book “Chemistry and Biochemistry of Oxygen Therapeutics: from Transfusion to Artificial Blood”, John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. (2011).

- Session chairman and member of the organizing committee of the international conference “ICC04 - The Fourth International Conference on Cofactors”, Parma, August 25-28, 2014.

- Session chairman for the international conference "XVIIth International Conference on Oxygen Binding and Sensing Proteins", Parma, August 29 - September 1, 2012.

- Member of the organizing committee of the international conference “XII International Symposium on Blood Substitutes”, Parma, August 25-28, 2009.

- Vice-chairman and member of the organizing committee of the international conference "New Challenges in Protein Science", Parma, June 4-6, 2008.

- Member of the organizing committee of the International Conference “International Visions on Blood Substitutes. Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers: from Chemistry to Clinic”, Parma, September 10-20, 2006.

- Member of the scientific and organizing committees of the International Courses “From structural genomics to drug discovery”, Parma, September 27-28, 2002 and September 27-28, 2004.

- Member of the organizing committee of the International Course “From structural biology to drug discovery”, Parma, September 29, 2000.





Protein stability, function and dynamics in solution, in the crystalline state and in nanoporous silica gels (proteins depending on pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, PLP, as a cofactor; hemoglobin; GFPs; uricolytic enzymes; transcription factors). Protein-protein interactions of PLP-dependent enzymes (e.g: interactions of the bacterial O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase cysK with cysE and/or bacterial toxins involved in contact-dependent growth inhibition); protein-DNA interactions of PLP-binding transcription factors belonging to the MocR subfamily of GntR regulators.

Proteins of interest are purified from human sources (Hb) or produced by recombinant methods in bacterial systems. Structural, dynamic and functional properties are investigated by spectroscopic techniques (time-resolved and steady-state fluorescence, absorption, circular dichroism), mass spectrometry, STD-NMR, single crystal polarized absorption microspectrophotometry, kinetic techniques (stopped flow, laser flash photolysis).

A special effort is devoted to exploit in the biomedical field the acquired knowledge on protein structure and regulatory mechanisms, e.g.:

- contributing to the development and screening of enzyme inhibitors potentially useful as enhancers of the efficacy of antibacterial drugs;

- testing the potential application of chemically or genetically modified Hbs for oxygen transport in vivo;

- conjugating enzymes with biocompatible polymers to increase protein bioavailability in view of an enzyme replacement therapy for hyperuricemia-related diseases.

Of particular relevance to the current application is the expertise in handling proteins in anaerobic conditions, and the almost 30 years experience in characterizing stability, catalytic mechanism and allosteric regulation of several PLP-depending proteins, including tryptophan synthase, O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase, tyrosine phenol-lyase, tryptophan indole-lyase, serine racemase, the GabR transcription factor.





2015-present: 5 research contracts with pharmaceutical companies for expression, purification and structural/functional characterization of surfactant proteins or drug target proteins (ca. 140.000 Euros).

2016-2018 – Member of the POR-FES Project “Drugdelivery”.

2010-2012 - Unit Coordinator for the PRIN Project 2008JZ4MLB “Development of fluorescent proteins for optical nanoscopy oriented to the study of cellular dynamics".

2007-2009 - Unit Coordinator for the PRIN Project 2006025255 “Conformational substates and folding-unfolding pathways in green fluorescent protein: an experimental and theoretical study towards discrete states in proteins”.

Since 1996, team member for more than a dozen national and international funded projects, including PRIN and FIRB projects, a POR/FESR project on pulmonary delivery of proteins with pharmaceutical action (“PulmoMed”, 2016-2018), a three-year grant (2014-2016) by Telethon Foundation to work on “Development of an uricolytic treatment for HPRT-deficiency in animal models”, a European Union project within the VI Framework Program on “EuroBlood Substitutes” (2004-2007).


Any time, after telephone or email appointement.

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2023/2024

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2022/2023

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2021/2022

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2020/2021

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2019/2020

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2018/2019

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2017/2018

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2016/2017

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2015/2016

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2014/2015

Anno accademico di erogazione: 2013/2014

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Laboratorio di Biofisica e Fisica Medica, Via Volturno 39, 43125 Parma. Phone: +39-0521-903721.

Laboratori di Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare, Parco Area delle Scienze 23/A, 43124 Parma. Phone: +39-0521-905502.