Biochemical and Biotechnological Sciences (Coordinator Prof. C. Emiliani)

Research outlines:

Biochemical and molecular biology approaches for investigating physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying cancer, infectious and neurodegenerative diseases; identification of risks and protective factors for the prevention of chronic degenerative diseases related to aging; innovative bio-based materials and biocatalysis for sustainable development in the context of circular economy and green chemistry.

Reasearch Group Members:

Sandra Buratta (Researcher)

Manlio Di Cristina (Associate Professor)

Roberto Fabiani (Associate Professor)

Ermanno Federici (Researcher)

Paolo Gorello (Ric. TDB)

Sabata Martino (Associate Professor)

Roberto Maria Pellegrino (Technician)

Serena Porcellati (Researcher)

Patrizia Rosignoli (Associate Professor)

Brunella Tancini (Researcher)

Lorena Urbanelli (Associate Professor)

Biotechnology Translational research: from bench to biomedical applications

- Biochemical and molecular characterization of native and recombinant lysosomal enzymes produced by stem cells and gene therapy technology for the development of therapeutic strategies for the lysosomal metabolic storage diseases, in particular GM2-Gangliosidosis, Metachromatic Leukodystrophy, and Krabbe disease.

- Development of biochemical assays (GCP, IS09001:2015) for monitoring the expression of target proteins in treaded and healthy biological samples (e.g. cerebrospinal fluid).

- Identification of molecular pathways (e.g. microRNAs expression; mechanotransduction signaling; autophagy) associated with the progression of neurodegenerative diseases involving cellular storage materials, for developing diagnostic tools and innovative therapeutic strategies.

- Development of stem cell - biomaterials systems for identifying molecular pathways dictating phenotypical reprogramming of stem cells for selected biomedical applications.

- In silico Protein and RNA Modeling: folding prediction; in silico mutagenesis; interaction modeling with a target molecule; molecular docking and molecular dynamics.

- Multivariate analysis and Machine Learning approaches for the study of the metabolic pathways in health and disease.

Translational research and identification of new genetic markers

- Molecular characterization of new genetic markers in patients affected by hemoglobinopathies, cancer, hereditary hemocromatosis and other blood diseases.

- DNA sequencing with Sanger and NGS methods.

Enzyme Immobilization on innovative materials

- Development of therapeutic strategies based on the use of immobilized enzymes for the therapy of lysosomal storage diseases.

- Conversion of agri-food waste in valuable products for agriculture and animal breeding.

- Isolation of bio-active molecules from agri-food wastes and/or by-products for nutraceutical and food industry

Extracellular Vesicles (EVs): from intracellular trafficking to nanomedicine

- Biochemical and biophysical characterization of EVs isolated by in vitro cell models and biological fluids (plasma, serum, saliva, urine).

- EV-mediated cell signalling and biological effects exerted by EVs on target cells.

- Study of molecular content of EVs released under autophagic-lysosomal impairment conditions.

- EV labeling using recombinant fluorescent constructs (EGFP-CD63 e mCherry-CD63).

Metabolomic and phospholipidomic analyses

- Comprehensive metabolomic and phospholipidomic profiling of biological fluids, tissues, cells and Extracellular Vesicles by LC/MS-MS (Mass Spectrometer Agilent 6530 Accurate Q-TOF combined with UPLC 1290 Infinity).

- Study of lipid-mediated signaling pathways and gene/proteins expression of phospholipid-related enzymes in physiological and pathological conditions.

Identification and characterization of autophagic pathway in Toxoplasma gondii

- In silico identification of genes encoding proteins potentially involved in the formation and regulation of T. gondii autophagosomes. Tagging with fluorescent markers (GFP or mCherry) of the genes identified by bioinformatics analysis using CRISPR/Cas9 technology and analysis of the sub-cellular localization of the tagged proteins by fluorescence microscopy.

- Generation of T. gondii knock-out cell lines in which the genes involved in the autophagic process have been deleted; phenotype analysis

- Identification of compounds capable to specifically block the autophagic process of T. gondii in order to induce the degeneration of T. gondii cysts typical of the chronic phase of the disease.

Prevention of chronic-degenerative diseases

- Study of Mediterranean diet components, environmental pollutants and genetic susceptibility effects on the molecular mechanisms (e.g. DNA damage, gene expression, oxidative stress, apoptosis, proliferation, inflammation) responsible for the onset of chronic-degenerative disease.

Study of interactions between environment, lifestyle, genetics and human health

- Identification of biomarkers of exposition and effect (DNA damage, oxidative stress, inflammation, proliferation, apoptosis).

- Isolation and identification of bioactive compounds from foods and agri-food wastes and characterisation of their chemopreventive functions by an in vitro digestion model to avoid test on animal models.

- Meta-analysis studies on association between chronic degenerative diseases and diet.

Applied and environmental microbiology

- Implementation of cultural and molecular-based approaches to investigate microbial diversity and functions in natural and built environment (e.g., soil, water, air), in biotechnological processes (e.g., bioremediation and disinfection) and in human health (e.g., Legionella, SARS-CoV).


The Environmental Chemistry and Technology (ECT) group at the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Perugia

Coordinator: Prof. David Cappelletti,


Dr. Stefano Crocchianti, RU
Dr. Roberta Selvaggi, PTA
Dr. Bartolomeo Sebastiani, PTA
Dr. Chiara Petroselli, Post Doc
Dr. Federica Bruschi, Ph.D. student
Dr. Paola Gravina, Ph.D. student
Dr. Eleonora Marchetti, fellowship
Dr. Beatrice Moroni, fellowship

The scientific activity of the ECT group is focused on various aspects of environmental chemistry, which includes atmospheric chemistry and physics, atmospheric aerosols, chemistry of water and snow, applications of analytical chemistry to the characterization of environmental samples and the search of novel bio-indicators.

Unit: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Coordinator D. Cappelletti)
Chemistry and physics of atmospheric gases and aerosols; monitoring of atmospheric aerosols at urban and remote sites; indoor air pollution; Polar research;

Unit: Computational modelling of processes in the atmosphere (Coordinator S. Crocchianti)
Development and optimization of Lagrangian and Eulerian transport models; Source apportionment models;

Unit: Application of advanced analytical methods (Coordinator R. Selvaggi)
Monitoring, diagnostic and chemical characterisation of samples from various environmental matrices, including: mineral water, river and lake water, snow, particulate matter, soil, fossile and biomass derived fuels, food.

Research activities

1. Climatology of aerosol in the Arctic

Since 2011 the group is leading the aerosol vertical profiles activities at the Italian Arctic Base of Ny Alesund (Svalbard Islands). A long term dataset is available for analysis and modeling. Aerosol vertical profiles have been recorded also in various Italian cities (2009-2010, Milan, Terni, Merano).


2015 - AGAP: Atmospheric Gondola for Aerosol Profiling – Principal Investigator – supportato dall’ Italian Arctic Data Center (CNR).

Relevant publications

Lisa J. Beck, Nina Sarnela, Heikki Junninen, Clara J. M. Hoppe, Olga Garmash, Federico Bianchi, Matthieu Riva, Clemence Rose, Otso Perakyla, Daniela Wimmer, Oskari Kausiala, Tuija Jokinen, Lauri Ahonen, Jyri Mikkila, Jani Hakala, Xu‐Cheng He, Jenni Kontkanen, Klara K. E. Wolf, David Cappelletti, Mauro Mazzola, Rita Traversi, Chiara Petroselli, Angelo P. Viola, Vito Vitale, Robert Lange, Andreas Massling, Jakob K. Nøjgaard, Radovan Krejci, Linn Karlsson, Paul Zieger, Sehyun Jang, Kitack Lee, Ville Vakkari, Janne Lampilahti, Roseline C. Thakur, Katri Leino, Juha Kangasluoma, Ella‐Maria Duplissy, Erkki Siivola, Marjan Marbouti, Yee Jun Tham, Alfonso Saiz‐Lopez, Tuukka Petaja, Mikael Ehn, Douglas R. Worsnop, Henrik Skov, Markku Kulmala, Veli‐Matti Kerminen, Mikko Sipila, Differing mechanisms of new particle formation at two Arctic sites. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2020GL091334 (2021).

Rinaldi, M., Hiranuma, N., Santachiara, G., Mazzola, M., Mansour, K., Paglione, M., Rodriguez, C. A., Traversi, R., Becagli, S., Cappelletti, D., and Belosi, F. Ice-nucleating particle concentration measurements from Ny- ̊Alesund during the Arctic spring–summer in 2018, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21, 14725–14748 (2021).

B. Moroni, C. Ritter, S. Crocchianti, K. Markowicz, M. Mazzola, S. Becagli, R. Traversi, R. Krejci, P. Tunved, and D. Cappelletti, Individual particle characteristics, optical properties and evolution of an ex- treme long-range transported biomass burning event in the European Arctic (Ny- ̊Alesund, Svalbard Islands), Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125, e2019JD031535 (2020).

Ferrero, L., Cappelletti, D., Busetto, M., Mazzola, M., Lupi, A., Lanconelli, C., Becagli, S., Traversi, R., Caiazzo, L., Giardi, F., Moroni, B., Crocchianti, S., Fierz, M., Mocnik, G., Sangiorgi, G., Perrone, M. G., Maturilli, M., Vitale, V., Udisti, R., and Bolzacchini, E., Vertical profiles of aerosol and black carbon in the Arctic: a seasonal phenomenology along 2 years (2011-2012) of field campaigns, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16, 12601--12629 (2016).

2. Atmosphere-Criosphere interaction

Deposition of contaminants on the snow and ice surface over the main glaciological apparatus in Svalbard islands and Italian appenines.


2020-2022: SMIVIA – Snow-coverage Modeling, Inversion and Validation using multi-mission multi-frequency Interferometric SAR in central Apennine (bando ASI, DC-UOT-2019-017).
2019: BC-HOR - Spatial Distributions of Black Carbon and Mineral Dust in Air and Snow Surface Layers on the Hornsund Glaciers, Principal investigator, INTERACT EU project, Funded by H2020 (Grant Agreement No. 730938).
2018-2020: BC-3D – Spatial Distribution of Black Carbon and Mineral Dust in Air and Snow Surface Layers upon Svalbard Glaciers – Principal Investigator – project. N. 283466, finanziato dal Norwegian Research Council, con il programma Svalbard Strategic Grant (SSG, 2018).
2017-2021: SIDDARTA – Source Identification of (mineral) Dust to AntaRcTicA - Local unit Coordinator, finanziato dal MIUR con il programma PNRA 2016.
2013-2014: Coupling of climatic system components and physical, chemical and biological processes at the interface in the Arctic – Local Unit Coordinator - Progetto Bilaterale finanziato dal MAE - PGR00168 (2013-2014) - Italia-Korea.

Relevant publications

Bertò, M., Cappelletti, D., Barbaro, E., Varin, C., Gallet, J.-C., Markowicz, K., Rozwadowska, A., Mazzola, M., Crocchianti, S., Poto, L., Laj, P., Barbante, C., and Spolaor, A., Variability of Black Carbon mass concentration in surface snow at Svalbard, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21, 12479–12493 (2021).

Francois Burgay, Elena Barbaro, David Cappelletti, Clara Turetta, Jean-Charles Gallet, Elisabeth Isaksson, Barbara Stenni, Giuliano Dreossi, Federico Scoto, Carlo Barbante, Andrea Spolaor First discrete iron(II) records from Dome C (Antarctica) and the Holtedahlfonna glacier (Sval- bard), Chemosphere, 267, 129335 (2021).

Spolaor, A., Varin, C., Pedeli, X., Christille, J.M., Kirchgeorg, T., Giardi, F., Cappelletti, D., Turetta, C., Cairns, W.R.L., Gambaro, A., Bernagozzi, A., Gallet, J.C., Bj ̈orkman, M.P., Barbaro, E. Source, timing and dynamics of ionic species mobility in the Svalbard annual snowpack, Science of The Total Environment 751, 141640 (2021).

Spolaor, A., Barbaro, E., Cappelletti, D., Turetta, C., Mazzola, M., Giardi, F., Bj ̈orkman, M. P., Lucchetta, F., Dallo, F., Pfaffhuber, K. A., Angot, H., Dommergue, A., Maturilli, M., Saiz-Lopez, A., Barbante, C., and Cairns, W. R. L. Diurnal cycle of iodine, bromine, and mercury concentrations in Svalbard surface snow, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19 13325–13339 (2019).

3. Long term aerosol measurements at the Regional Background site of Monte Martano

The site of Monte Martano (MM) has been set up in the 2009 by a joint research project of the University of Perugia and ARPA Umbria, funded by the Umbria Region and in part supported by a grant of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Perugia. Since 2013 the monitoring site is part of the Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS, network of the World Metrological Organization (WMO) for the observation of the Saharan dust advections. Since 2017 we joined the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) network (EMEP Regional Site n. IT00019R). There are various activities at the site, which include the characterization of Saharan dust intrusions and the use plant leaves as passive sampling for air pollutants.


2008-2015: Air quality: Source apportionment of particulate matter in urban environment in Umbria – Principal Investigator – Finanziato da ARPA Umbria (Principal Investigator).
2009-2010: Aerosol vertical profile by tethered balloon over the cities of Terni, Milano and Merano, Principal Investigator – Finanziato da Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Terni e Narni and EURAC (Bolzano).
2009: Realization of a high altitude air quality monitoring station for the study of transnational pollutants transport, Principal Investigator – Finanziato da Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia.
2008-2012: Chemical and morphological characterization of particulate matter in Umbria, finanziato dalla Regione Umbria (PI).

Relevant publications

Chiara Petroselli, Elena Montalbani, Gianandrea La Porta, Stefano Crocchianti, Beatrice Moroni, Chiara Casagrande, Elisa Ceci, Roberta Selvaggi, Bartolomeo Sebastiani, Isabella Gandolfi, Andrea Franzetti, Ermanno Federici, David Cappelletti, Characterization of long-range transported bioaerosols in the Central Mediterranean,  Science of The Total Environment, 763, 143010 (2021).

B. Moroni, S. Castellini, S. Crocchianti, A. Piazzalunga, P. Fermo, F. Scardazza, D. Cappelletti Ground-based measurements of long-range trans- ported aerosol at the rural regional background site of Monte Martano (Central Italy), Atmospheric Research, 155 23–36 (2015).

C. Petroselli, S. Crocchianti, B. Moroni, S. Castellini, R. Selvaggi, S. Nava, G. Calzolai, F. Lucarelli, D. Cappelletti Disentangling the major source areas for an intense aerosol advection in the Central Mediterranean on the basis of Potential Source Contribution Function modeling of chemical and size distribution measurements, Atmospheric Research 204 67-77 (2018).

L. Ferrero, M. Castelli, B. S. Ferrini, M. Moscatelli, M. G. Perrone, G. Sangiorgi, G. Rovelli, L. D’Angelo, B. Moroni, F. Scardazza, G. Mocnik, E. Bolzacchini, M. Petitta, and D. Cappelletti Impact of black carbon aerosol over Italian basin valleys: high resolution measurements along vertical profiles, radiative forcing and heating rate, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14, 9641-9664 (2014).

4. Atmospheric dispersion and pollutants forecast.

Lagrangian and Eulerian models are run daily to forecast Saharan dust intrusions at the MM site. This activity is conducted in collaboration with the SDS-WAS center at the Barcelona. Moreover, pollution forecasts (O3, NOx, PM) are conducted daily in collaboration with ARPA Umbria with the CHIMERE model. Long term campaign for pollutants dispersion in urban context by mobile measurements platforms.


2012-2015: PMETRO: Particulate matter monitoring in real time by means of a mobile station. Principal Investigator - finanziato da ARPA Umbria, Regione dell’Umbria and Comune di Perugia.
2005: Structure and dynamics of species of atmospheric interest of relevance for Greenhouse effect and global warming, Principal Investigator – Finanziato da Galileo Project, Italian-France Coordinated action.

Relevant publications

Crocchianti, S., Del Sarto, S., Ranalli, M.G., Moroni, B., Castellini, S., Petroselli, C., Cappelletti, D, Spatiotemporal correlation of urban pollutants by long-term measurements on a mobile observation platform, Environmental Pollution, 268, Article number 115645 (2021).

Tositti, L., Moroni, B., Dinelli, E., Morozzi, P., Brattich, E., Sebastiani, B., Petroselli, C., Crocchianti, S., Selvaggi, R., Goretti, E., Cappelletti, D. Deposition processes over complex topographies: Experimen- tal data meets atmospheric modeling, Science of The Total Environment 744, 140974 (2020)

S. Sandrini, S. Fuzzi, A. Piazzalunga, P. Prati, P. Bonasoni, F. Cavalli, M. C. Bove, M. Calvello, D. Cappelletti, C. Colombi, D. Contini, G. de Gennaro, A. Di Gilio, P. Fermo, L. Ferrero, V. Gianelle, Michele Giugliano, P. Ielpo, G. Lonati, A. Marinoni, D. Massab\'o, U. Molteni, B. Moroni, G. Pavese, C. Perrino, M. G. Perrone, M. R. Perrone, J.-Ph. Putaud, T. Sargolini, R. Vecchi, S. Gilardoni, Spatial and seasonal variability of carbonaceous aerosol across Italy, Atmospheric Environment, 99, 587-598 (2014).

B. Moroni, D. Cappelletti, F. Marmottini, F. Scardazza, L. Ferrero, E. Bolzacchini, Integrated single particle-bulk chemical approach for the characterization of local and long range sources of particulate pollutants, Atmospheric Environment, 50, 267--277 (2012).

5. Search of novel bioindicators

The ECT group has a strong collaboration with the Ecology group of the DCBB in developing novel bioindicators. The latters include chironomids, bees, butterflies and some mammalian predators. The work is mainly focused on the determination of trace compounds in the tissues of the potential bio-indicators with advanced analytical methodologies.


2014-2015: Biodiversity and biomagnification in lepidoptra: effects of atmospheric deposition and soil nature – Principal Investigator – finanziato da ARPA Umbria

Relevant publications

E. Goretti, M. Pallottini, R. Rossi, G. La Porta, T. Gardi, B.T. Cenci Goga, A.C. Elia, M. Galletti, B. Moroni, C. Petroselli, R. Selvaggi, D. Cappelletti, Heavy metal bioaccumulation in honey bee matrix, an indicator to assess the contamination level in terrestrial environments, Environmental Pollution, 256, 113388 (2020).

E. Goretti, M. Pallottini, M. I. Ricciarini, R. Selvaggi, D. Cappelletti Heavy metals bioaccumulation in selected tissues of red swamp crayfish: an easy tool for monitoring environmental contamination levels, Science of the Total Environment 559 339-346 (2016)

6. Atmosphere-plant-bacteria interactions

The ECT group has a long standing collaboration with the microbiology group of the DCBB in the study of the interaction of atmospheric pollutants that may be deposited on the plant leaves and defining the role of bacterial population leaving on the plants themselves. Sampling and characterization of pollutants adsorbed on the plant leaves is the main contribution of the ECT group at the project.


2022-2023: ECOROADS – Innovative barriErs for mitigation of noise and Chemical pOllution from ROADS, PON 2014-2020, (cod. ARS01_00752) Perugia unit coordinator.
2016: SINERGIA - Fillobiorisanamento: utilizzo delle interazioni piante-batteri come strumento innovativo per il trattamento biologico di inquinanti volatili per la sicurezza negli impianti produttivi - Local Unit Coordinator – finanziato da INAIL con il programma BRIC.

Relevant publications

Andrea Franzetti, Isabella Gandolfi, Giuseppina Bestetti, Emilio Padoa Schioppa, Claudia Canedoli, Diego Brambilla, David Cappelletti, Bartolomeo Sebastiani, Ermanno Federici, Maddalena Papacchini, Roberto Ambrosini, Plant-microorganisms interaction promotes removal of air pollutants in Milan (Italy) urban area, Journal of Hazardous Materials, 384, 121021 (2020).

E. Federici, C. Petroselli, E. Montalbani, C. Casagrande, E. Ceci, B. Moroni, G. La Porta, S. Castellini, R. Selvaggi, B. Sebastiani, S. Crocchianti, I. Gandolfi, A. Franzetti, D. Cappelletti Airborne bacteria and persistent organic pollutants associated with an intense Saharan dust event in the Central Mediterranean, Science of the Total Environment 645 401-410 (2018).

Research area: L’attività di ricerca del Dr. Catacuzzeno è focalizzata sui canali ionici, proteine di membrana che permettono il passaggio degli ioni in entrata e in uscita dalla cellula. La sua ricerca si sviluppa su due principali filoni: 1) Studio delle conseguenze fisiopatologiche della loro attività; 2) Studio della relazione struttura-funzione dei canali ionici. Gli studi sono principalmente condotti mediante la tecnica del patch-clamp per la registrazione delle correnti ioniche che attraversano i canali e del potenziale ai lati della membrana, e attraverso programmazione nel linguaggio C/C++ per la costruzione di modelli teorici.


Specific research objectives

Studio delle conseguenze fisiopatologiche dell’attività dei canali ionici

Un obiettivo di ricerca del Dr. Catacuzzeno è lo studio del ruolo dei canali ionici nella fisiopatologia del glioblastoma, tumore cerebrale ad alta invasività. Più specificamente, le cellule di glioblastoma esprimono canali ionici diversi, per tipologia ed espressione, da quelli normalmente espressi dalle cellule cerebrali normali. Sulla base di questa evidenza, si è cercato di capire se questa diversità abbia un ruolo nell’aggressività di questo tumore. Si è in effetti scoperto che la presenza di questi canali è importante nella migrazione cellulare, processo alla base della capacità di questi tumori di invadere zone cerebrali sane, rendendo la loro rimozione chirurgica inefficace e spesso impraticabile. Si è inoltre scoperto che numerosi agenti e condizioni tipici del microambiente tumorale (come le proteine sieriche che riescono a entrare a contatto del tumore, e un ambiente povero di ossigeno) regolano il comportamento aggressivo delle cellule tumorali andando ad alterare l’attività di questi canali. Alcune pubblicazioni relative a questo filone di ricerca possono essere trovate al seguente link:!AjWngFROhqXvgeoTSSB4FiDJ7R0wAw?e=Zxp4lH


Studio della relazione struttura-funzione dei canali ionici

Da circa 20 anni è possibile ottenere la struttura atomica dei canali ionici, applicando tecniche di cristallografia e più recentemente di crio-microscopia elettronica. E’ possibile quindi studiare in dettaglio in che modo la struttura dei canali ionici assolve alle due principali funzioni di queste proteine: il gating, cioè la capacità di aprirsi e chiudersi, spesso in risposta a stimoli chimico-fisici, e la permeazione selettiva, cioè la capacità di far passare alcuni tipi di ioni con grande efficienza, escludendone altri. Sulla base di tali premesse, un’attività di ricerca condotta dal Dr. Catacuzzeno è quella di costruire modelli teorici che spieghino i meccanismi fisici alla base del comportamento dei canali ionici partendo dalla loro struttura e applicando le leggi dell’elettrodinamica. A tal fine il Dr. Catacuzzeno utilizza le strutture cristallografiche dei canali ionici e vi applica la Dinamica Molecolare, predicendo il movimento degli atomi della proteina e degli ioni permeanti. Inoltre si utilizzano anche modelli a carattere più macroscopico (teorie di elettrodiffusione) al fine di ottenere predizioni del comportamento dei canali testabili sperimentalmente. Alcune pubblicazioni relative a questo filone di ricerca possono essere trovate al seguente link:!AjWngFROhqXvgeoUInSSqsk0KAksDw?e=UErIga


Research area: Chemical and physical behaviour of materials in specific environments. Structure and composition of heterogeneous materials in artworks for the diagnosis of their state of conservation. Origin and mechanisms of materials’ degradation phenomena. Micro-spectroscopy for the study of the in-depth distribution of organic and inorganic materials in cross sections. Protection and consolidation of porous materials. Materials and execution techniques in contemporary art. Protocols for the assessment of the state of conservation of artworks in case of emergency.
Considerable efforts are devoted to develop new methodologies and portable instrumentation for non-contact analyses to be carried out in-situ, without any sampling or movement of the artwork, within MOLAB programs.
Laboratory experiments include the exploitation of synchrotron radiation and of other laboratory techniques, as micro-FT-IR, micro-Raman, XRF, XRD,UV-VIS-NIR absorption and emission spectroscopies, GC-MS, ICP-AES, LA-ICP-MS, SEM, AFM, and NMR relaxation.

Theoretical calculations are also used to model structural, electronic, and spectroscopic properties of materials for spectral assignments.

The research group participates in the activities of the SMAArt (Scientific Methodologies applied to Archaeology and Art) Center of Excellence, currently involved in the European project IPERION-HS (Integrated Platform for the European Research Infrastructure-Heritage Science) and in the activities of E-RIHS (European-Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science).

Scientific categories: Comparative Biology and Cytology (BIO/06), Genetics (BIO/18), Microbiology (BIO/19)

Our research activities aim to investigate the molecular, cellular and developmental diversity of organisms at different levels of evolutionary complexity: microorganisms, plants, animals and humans. The relationships among individuals and/or populations, and among them and the environment, are described by means of modern genomic techniques and cellular/morphometric tools. This multidisciplinary approach allows for a much needed and exhaustive description of natural biodiversity, potentially placing the Bio-Molecular Diversity & Evolutionary Biology group in the forefront of both basic and applied research.

Specific Research Objectives

Applied and environmental microbiology (E. Federici)

Implementation of cultural and molecular-based approaches to investigate bacterial diversity and functions in the environment (e.g., soil, water, particulate matter, host), in biotechnological processes (e.g., bioremediation and disinfection) and in human health (e.g., Legionella infections).

Conservation genetics and molecular ecology (L. Lucentini)

Mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenetic, phylogeography and DNA variations patterns evaluations to clarify evolution, dispersal patterns and taxonomic relationships of wild populations and domesticated stocks with theoretical and applied scopes, as pursue forensic and conservation genetics purposes. Application of integrative taxonomy to wild and domesticated stocks.

Cellular and molecular biology vs environment (I. Di Rosa, A. Fagotti)

Biological responses of animal models to different types of stress, various levels of biological organization (sub-organismal, individual and population). Measurement of biomarkers under natural and controlled conditions.

Population genetics and molecular evolution (H. Lancioni)

Genetic analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence variation with the aim of better defining origins, evolution and dispersal patterns of human and livestock populations. Definition of the role played by the human and animal genome variation in association studies and in forensic surveys.

Research Projects

Espressione e localizzazione di biomarker predittivi dello sviluppo di asma in bambini affetti da rinite allergica (Responsabile Scientifico: Dott.ssa LIVIA LUCENTINI)

Sviluppo di modelli su scala di laboratorio per la validazione di molecole biocide per la sanificazione dell’acqua (Responsabile Scientifico: Dott. ERMANNO FEDERICI)