President FEN

Claudio Nicolini, born in Udine, after taking his Doctoral degree in Nuclear Physics at the University of Padua became in 1967 first Assistant Professor and subsequently Researcher-Collaborator at the National Institute of Nuclear Physics.

From 1968, except for a short period (1970-1971), in which he was Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Bari, Claudio Nicolini has been living for 16 years in the U.S.A. (the citizenship of which he still has) first as nuclear physicist at Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brookhaven National Laboratory. Then, starting from 1972 he moved to Medicine at the Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where after a period of intensive medical training and research he became a tenure-track Associate Professor of Pathology (1974) and, subsequently, at the age of 33 years Full Professor and Chairman of the Division of Biophysics at Temple University Health Sciences Center (1st January 1976). In 1984 he has been called for “chiara fama”, as “Eminent Scientist”, with a special law to the Chair of Biophysics of the University of Genova.

At present, alternating stages in USA (i.e., Stanford University, Nevada University), Japan (i.e., Erato Project -J.R.D.C. at Tsukuba and Tokyo) and Russia (i.e., Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow University), he directs the Nanoworld Institute of the University of Sassari and the University of Genova, after directing the Institute of Biophysics at the Medical School until 1999 and the Department of Biophysical M&O Sciences and Technologies of University of Genoa until 2002.He has been a member of the National Science and Technology Council upon appointment by the Italian Parlament between 1990 and 1998. Over the past several years his main scientific activities concerned molecular and cellular biophysics, cancer research, bioelectronics and nanotechnology, receiving several awards (e.g. American Cancer Society) and international prizes (San Valentino d’Oro). Editor of several international journals, among which “Cell Biophysics” (editor-in-chief until 1991).

Consultant of several International Organizations in USA and world-wide (NATO Scientific Affair Division, National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Frontiers Research (Japan), Russian Academy of Sciences, American Cancer Society); Director of twelve NATO-Advanced Study Institutes, Director from 1978 up to now of the International School of Biostructures of the Cultural Center “Ettore Majorana”; President of Scientific Committees of world-wide leading Industrial and International Research organizations (CIREF, Technobiochip); member of several national and international academies; from 1990 until 2002 founder and President of Polo Nazionale Bioelettronica – Scientific and Technological Park of Elba, from 1993 founder and President of Fondazione El.B.A..
From 1984 to 1987, he has been Advisor for Science and Technology of the Italian Prime Minister Craxi, and from 1988 to 1995 he was Vice President of the National Research Program on Bioelectronics (President is the Minister in office). Author of more than 425 publications in international scientific journals reviewed by the “Citation Index”, of more than 15 WPI patents, of 25 books, among which university text books, such as “Biophysics and Cancer” (Plenum, 1986), and “Biofisica e Tecnologie Biomediche” (Zanichelli, 1992) and monographs, such as “Bioscience at the Physical Science Frontier. A Nobel Symposium” (Human Press, 1986), “Il Cancro” (UTET, 1991), “Molecular Manifacturing” (Plenum Press,1996), “Molecular Bioelectronics” (World Publishing Co, 1996) and “Genome Structure and Functions” (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997), “Proteomics and Nanocrystallography” (Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003 with E. Pechkova), “Synchrotron Radiation and Nanobiotechnology” (Journal Synchrotron Radiation, 2005 with E. Pechkova).

His most significant contributions are in the areas of Biosciences, Biotechnologies e Nanotechnologies, with the exception in his early life as nuclear physicist, for the discovery with the Cambridge Group Padova-Mit-Harvard of the branching ratios of eta zero meson, which establishes its quantum numbers. Namely in the early part of his carrear as shown in the list of pubblications:

  • the discovery and clarification of the quaternary DNA structure in the human genome,until the identification of the structural subunit called fibrosome (and later on by other loop), associated to the single gene, suggesting first in 50.000 the maximum number of genes in human cells;
  • the discovery of histones enzymatic modifications and of non-histones, extractable at 0,35 M and of their role in the control of cell function and of nucleosome structure;
  • a new characterization of the cell cycle;
  • identification and characterization of non proliferating non proliferating G0 e Q cells;
  • the piomeering of cell laser microfluorimetry and image analysis in Biomedicine;
  • the pioneering of complex biomathematical models and pharmaco-enzymatic and pharmaco-kinetic applied to cancer treatment .

He later

  • discovered the differential scattering polarized circular light, with application to defense and medicine;
  • solved the 3D atomic structure of histone H1 in solution and human kinase CK2alpha in microcrystals;
  • developed a software for automatic sequential NMR assignement of amino-acids.

In most recent times he has been among the pioneers internationally of Bioelettronics and Nanotechnologies towards the biochip and the biocomputer through the development of:

  • nanocrystallography using synchrotron radiation
  • new sensors
  • new SPM
  • new materials
  • new biomolecolar devices
  • new LB e LS thin film technologies to obtain to heat-proof proteins, lipids, fatty acids, organic materials and conductive polymers.
  • microGISAXS of protein solution and crystal formation
  • DNA Chip of new conception named DNASER applied to gene and protein expression