The Genoa location of the Institute of Biophysics has been active since 1969 as the Institute of Cybernetics and Biophysics, on the initiative of Antonio Borsellino and Guido Palmieri.
One of the main research topics of the institute is the study of the channels, transporters and receptors involved in ion transport through biological membranes, in order to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for the regulation of numerous cellular functions, such as cellular homoeostasis and communication between cells, with particular attention to neuroscience. Much of the research in our laboratories concerns the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for the functional defects found in hereditary diseases caused by mutations in the DNA encoding transport systems, and the molecular pharmacology aimed at the correction of such defects.
The main inquiring techniques are electrophysiology, microscopy, including intracellular ion measurements and image analysis, recombinant DNA techniques and heterologous expression, biochemistry, spectroscopy, structural biology methods, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Particular importance also has the formulation of computer models of complex systems.