In 1969, under the guidance of Dr. Alessandro Checcucci, it was born as “CNR Laboratory for the study of the Physical Properties of Biomolecules and Cells”. In 1980 this Laboratory became the “Institute of Biophysics” and, since 2002, following the project of restructuring of the scientific network of the CNR, it belongs to a national level research Institute: the current Institute of Biophysics of the CNR (based in Genoa). The main research activities that characterize the Pisa section of the Institute of Biophysics are:
1. Biodevices and biomolecules: characterization of the photoreceptor proteins of algae from the biochemical, microspectroscopic and biological-molecular point of view, with subsequent gene expression in bacteria and synthetic systems.
2. Protein structure and dynamics: i) structural and dynamic characterization of proteins by means of spectroscopic techniques, in particular fluorescence and phosphorescence; ii) study, in extremophile microorganisms, of the photoreceptor proteins, of the phototransduction process and its modelling.
3. Biophysics and molecular biology in the study of environmental processes: i) study of the carbon cycle at sea: dynamics and optical properties of dissolved organic matter, to obtain information on the health status of marine ecosystems; ii) Analysis and validation of remote sensing data from altimeter radar, to monitor sea height; iii) identification of cellular and molecular biomarkers in plant organisms in response to exposure to environmental pollutants, including those deriving from modern nanotechnologies.
4. Mathematical models of biological systems: i) non linear dynamics and non linear time series analysis; ii) neural dynamics: theoretical and computational methods; iii) calcium dynamics; iv) DNA dynamics; v) cancer: dynamics of cell populations.