Professor of Molecular Biology
Department of Biology
University of Padua
via Ugo Bassi 58/B,
Phone: +39 0498276281
Date and Place of Birth: 24th July 1952, Parma, Italy
Education and training
• 1971-1978: University of Milan, Italy, Department of Biology: University studies and post-graduate research.
• 1978-1984: University of Warwick (UK), post-doctoral fellow in the group of Developmental Biology, initially with Prof. Hugh Woodland, then with Prof. Alan Colman.
1984: Research Scientist at the University of Padua
1998: Associate professor at the University of Padua
2004: Full professor at the University of Padua
My activity at the University of Padua is at the Department of Biology and at the Interdepartmental Biotechnology Centre (CRIBI) where since 1993 I am responsible for the Group of Genomics and Bioinformatics.
Main scientific interests and achievements
My scientific interests cover four main sectors: Genomics, Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology and Technological Developments.
My involvement in genomics started in 1989-1990, with the European Yeast Genome Project. We completed the sequencing of the yeast genome 1996. After that project I joined the Yeast International Consortium for Functional Genomics and participated to the effort of knocking down every individual yeast gene and to assess the resulting phenotypes. Since those early days, my involvement in genomics has been maintained with several other projects at international level, including the genomes of arabidopsis, grape and tomato. In 2005 my laboratory sequenced and published the genome of the extremophile bacterium Photobacterium profundum - the first genome entirely sequenced in Italy. That paper was followed by several other papers of my group, on genomic adaptation to extreme environments. Concurrently, several functional genomic studies of transcriptomics, proteomics and epigenetics were pursued in my laboratory on bacteria, plants and animals.
In bioinformatics my activities have been focused on the development of novel algorithms for the analysis of biological sequences of DNA and protein, in particular for sequence alignment, pattern discovery and genome assembly. Several bioinformatics tools have been developed over the years to facilitate the management and the analysis of “Next Generation Sequencing” (NGS) data.
My studies on muscle molecular biology started in 1993 with a project based on EST sequencing that led to the discovery of several genes such as ZASP, Ankrd2, Telethonin and FATZ that are all involved in the function and maintenance of the sarcomeric structure. The work on these genes continued for many years and led to several papers on their physiological and pathological implications, as well as their genetics in affected patients.
The development and implementation of innovative technologies is a central issue in Genomics and Bioinformatics. In this respect, part of my research group is working at the CRIBI Biotechnology Centre of the University of Padua where in 2001 we established the first Italian facility for DNA sequencing. Currently at CRIBI my group is actively working on the development and implementation of novel methods for genomic analyses.
Currently I am teaching Genomics (Master in Molecular Biology) and Bioinformatics (Master in Informatics).