The biophysics activities in Trento were founded in 1992 by Gianfranco Menestrina, an unforgotten international leading biophysicist, who created a CNR Biophysics Group interested in bacterial and animal protein toxins, particularly pore-forming toxins (PFT). These are key weapons widely distributed among all the living organisms and involved in attack or defense mechanisms.
In 2002 the Biophysics Group in Trento became Unit of the newly constituted CNR Institute of Biophysics.
In recent years, the Unit has grown in terms of people and has expanded its scientific interests and technological goals. In addition to the core and seminal study of toxins’ biophysics, new cutting-edge research fields on macromolecular complexes, sensory photobiophysics, and structural and functional imaging are carried out in several biological models, from single molecules to living cells and organisms. All these research lines, in spite of their specificity, focus on the structure-function relationships in macromolecular complexes. This common aim is rooted and carried out by means of inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches, which represent building blocks of the modern biophysics.
The Unit is currently under the responsibility of Mauro Della Serra.
The Unit is hosted at the Bruno Kessler Foundation.