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Gianpiero Garau

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

GIANPIERO GARAU, PhD. Brief Curriculum vitae.

ACADEMIC BACKGROUND: After fellow studies in Protein Chemistry at the Science Park of Århus (DK), Dr Garau obtained the PhD in Chemical Sciences (2003); previously, Degree in Pharm Chemistry and Technology at the University of Trieste (Italy).
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Postdoc (2003-2006) at the Jean-Pierre Ebel Structural Biology Institute (IBS) of the Scientific Campus of Grenoble (France), which includes the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut Laue-Langevin for neutron science (ILL), and the European Molecular Biology Lab (EMBL). Postdoc (2008) at the San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park of Milan (Italy). Assistant Specialist (2009) at the Dept of Pharmacology, University of California - Irvine (USA). Team leader (2010-2015) of the group of Structural Biophysics at the Dept of Drug Discovery of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Genoa (Italy). Since 2016, he is leader of the BIOSTRUCTUREs LAB at the Center IIT@NEST of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa.

Dr Garau is author and co-author of more than fifty publications in high-quality journals, including JACS, PNAS, Nature Neuroscience and Structure (Cell), a book chapter (X-ray Structures and Mechanisms of Metallo-Beta-Lactamases), and received several research highlights with international collaborators. His work has been presented in many international congresses as oral communications and abstracts. Main Bragging Rights include 5 years of activity (2016-2020) as Expert Evaluator of Marie Curie European Research Actions, 2 Marie Curie EU fellow grants, 1 Marie Curie EU as project supervisor.

The research in my lab is at the interface of chemistry and biology to investigate the molecular basis of diseases and discover innovative therapeutic approaches. Primary RESEARCH TOOLS include approaches of structural biophysics, biotechnology and computation. Among these, we apply mainly protein design & engineering, directed enzyme evolution, bioassays, x-ray diffraction & electron crystallography, single particle cryo-electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, surface plasmon resonance, microcalorimetry, supported by advanced in silico methods (HPC Franklin).

I carry on two main research lines:

Protein Design Technology, with applications that range from design of bioactive 3D (nano-)biomaterials to cascade biocatalysis in sustainable technology, from bioelectronics to biomolecular medicine. This process is strongly driven by specific technological needs.

Metabolic and Eating Disorders, with applications that aim to quantify experimentally the ability of foods to induce intense desire, pleasure and well-beaing over time, lower stress and improve mood. The application of this technology allows the food industry to: (i) create analytical-predictive tools for the decision-making process of food production on the well-being basis; (ii) select among similar products, those that induce greater desire, pleasure and well-being.