The Biophysics Institute’s mission is to pursue scientific investigation in the field of Life Sciences through methods and approaches that pertain to the Physics domain. 

IBF’s research studies fall within the areas of Human Health and the Environment, with special focus on the following themes: the molecular bases of neurological and neurodegenerative pathologies; communication mechanisms in cell membranes; molecular aggregation processes, the study of molecules relevant to drug design; plant bioenergetics and biochemistry; bacterial toxins; the design of photoactive systems/molecules for biotechnology applications; anthropic pollution problems.

The following IBF teams focus on phenomena that have an impact on Health research:

- Membrane communication within and between cells - Dr. Armando Carpaneto

- Molecular aggregation processes - Dr. Pier Luigi San Biagio

- Modelling of structure and dynamics in complex systems - Dr. Michele Migliore

- Protein structure and dynamics- Dr. Edi Gabellieri

- Molecular mechanisms of membrane permeability - Dr. Carla Marchetti

- Biological membranes, macromolecular complexes and biomolecular imaging - Dr. Mauro Dalla Serra

- X-ray crystallography and structure-based drug design - Dr. Mario Milani


Biophysical research studies into plant cells and microorganisms are also carried out with the aim of understanding the structure, function and thermodynamics of plant photochemistry as well as photoreceptive processes in microorganisms. The IBF teams who focus on these investigation domains are:

 - Plant bioenergetics and molecular biology - Dr. Giuseppe Zucchelli

- Biodevices and biomolecules - Dr. Paolo Gualtieri

Another team based in Pisa studies Biophysics and molecular biology in environmental processesDr. Elisabetta Morelli.
This work addresses environmental biophysics issues in order to further knowledge of biological processes and mechanisms that occur in ocean and other water environments and which have an impact on echosystems.