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Molecular Enzymology and Extremophiles


Our studies are focused on the understanding of the structure/function relationship of protein and enzymes and on the mechanism of the enzymatic hydrolysis and synthesis of glycosides. Our model systems are the enzymes from (hyper)thermophilic microorganisms, mainly Archaea, the extant organisms closest to the early forms of life on Earth.


Enzyme Discovery & Engineering

Discovery and engineering of hyperthermophilic carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) to understand substrate specificity, reaction mechanism and application in green chemistry, agro-food and plant polysaccharide degradation.

Metagenomic Analysis

Metagenomic analysis of hydrothermal environments for the identification of hyperthermophilic microorganisms, application of their genes and enzymes in biotechnology and to trace the origin and evolution of life on Earth.

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Translational Recoding

Gene expression in Archaea (translational recoding) to understand the early mechanisms of transfer of genetic information.


Production of engineered glycosidases (glycosynthases), which synthesise oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates for green chemistry and biotechnology.

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Pharmacological Chaperons

Identification of pharmacological chaperones for rescuing the activity of carbohydrate active enzymes involved in human orphan diseases.

Current Funded Projects

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Industrial Biotechnology Innovation and Synthetic Biology Accelerator

IBISBA is currently being developed in two projects: IBISBA 1.0 and PREP-IBISBA. Both receive funding from the EU’s H2020 research and innovation programme and are defined by independent contractual agreements (n° 730976 and 871118) with the European Commission.



Italian Space Agency

From the essential questions on understanding the universe and the origin of life to experimenting new technologies, today, more than ever, space looks like the place to start in order for human beings to broaden their horizons, grow their awareness and guarantee a better future on Earth.



Joint Research Unit - IBISBA Italian Node

IBISBA-IT is the Italian Node of the European Distributed Research Infrastructure IBISBA  in which it occupies a well-defined position within four specific areas: Synthetic Biology,  Green Chemistry, Sustainable Bioenergy, and Functional Food, strengthening Italian scientific research in the field of industrial biotechnology, providing support to national and local governments and promoting training activities.


Carbohydrate-Active enZYmes database

The Living Encyclopedia of Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes.

Industrial Biotechnology Innovation and Synthetic Biology Accelerator

European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructure

Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - Italian Space Agency

Italian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Società Italiana di Astrobiologia - Italian Society of Astrobiology

Microbial Life Under Extreme Conditions

Federation of European Microbiological Societies

International Congress on Extremophiles

Carbohydrate Bioengineering Meeting

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