Loriano Ballarin (Venezia, 1959) is associate professor of Zoology at the Department of Biology, University of Padova. He got his master degree in Biological Sciences in 1982 at the University of Pisa and the Licence in Biology at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. After some research experiences abroad (University of Zuerich, Switzerland; Glaxo, Ware, UK) and in Italy (Glaxo S.p.A., Verona), he got his PhD in Evolutionary Biology at the university of Padova, in 1989. In the period 1991-1999, he was researcher of Comparative Anatomy at the Department of Biology, University of Padova.
His main research interests include: i) the study of allorecognition, leading to fusion of rejection of contacting colonies in the ascidian capacità Botryllus schlosseri; ii) the study, in ascidians and other marine invertebrates, of the role of circulating cells in immune ruolo responses. In addition, the peculiar phylogenetic position of ascidians, as members of tunicates, recognised as the sister group of vertebrates, allows a comparative and evolutionary approach to the study of immune responses. Recently, the research was mainly focussed on the molecular mechanisms allowing the recognition of nonself in ascidians and on signal transduction pathways involved in immune responses: they led to the identification of proteins of interest and the corresponding genes . Using ascidians as model organisms, studies also contributed to the elucidation of the cellular mechanisms of toxicity of various antifouling compounds used in the Lagoon of Venice to prevent the growth of encrusting organisms in submerged structures.
His scientific activity is testified by more than 120 papers on international, peer-reviewed scientific journals and more than 15 contributions, in the form of chapters, to scientific books, as author or co-author. He has been invited to international and national conferences. He has been and is referee for international journals and research institutions; he is member of the editorial board of "Invertebrate Survival Journal" and collaborates with various national and international research institutions. From february 2010 to february 2016 he was president of the Italian Association of Developmental and Comparative (SIICS).