Academic position: Full Professor
Phone number: +39 0382 985525 (office): +39 0382 985535 (lab)
Fax: +39 0382 528496
Department: Department of Biology and Biotechnology “Lazzaro Spallanzani”
Structural Biology and Pharmacology
Proteins at Work: Understanding the Chemical Secrets of Life
The main task for many proteins inside living cells is to catalyse (accelerate) chemical reactions. Proteins having such a catalytic function are called enzymes. A common theme to most of my research projects has been the investigation of medically relevant enzymes with interesting chemical properties, such as complex multifunctional systems and proteins performing unusual functions. The core of the research activity is represented by X-ray crystallography, which is the main technique to study the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules. This is, however, complemented by other approaches such as site-directed mutagenesis, analysis of enzyme kinetics and computational chemistry. The picture shows a recent result from our lab; the elucidation of the structure of a complex of three proteins that are involved in the regulation of gene expression.