Università degli studi dell'Insubria


foto di Vianelli  Alberto


Ricercatore universitario
Numero telefonico
0332 42 1405
0332 42 1408

Born: May 23rd, 1961, Milano, Italy

Citizenship: Italian



1988 University of Milan: Degree (Tesi di Laurea) in Biological Sciences (110/110 Magna cum Laude) having presented a thesis on "Quantum Efficiency of Photosystem I and its regulation by protein phosphorylation"


Attended Advanced Courses

1992 European Photochemistry Association Summer School on "Photoinduced Energy and Electron Transfer in Supramolecular species: Artificial Models and Biological Systems". Rimini, FO, Italy

1993 ESF Advanced Summer School “Spectroscopic Methods in Energy Converting Membranes”. Lectures and Practical Demonstrations for training Junior Scientists. Szeged, Hungary

1994 N.A.T.O. Advanced Study Institute "Light as Energy Source and Information Carrier in Plant Photophysiology". Volterra, PI, Italy


Present and past positions


2015-present University researcher, Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences, University of Insubria. Historico-Philosophical inquiries on the development of the research traditions in biology centered respectively on metabolism/bionergetics and on reproduction/heredity and on the implications of such an apparent dualism on the defintion(s) of life and on life's origins and astrobiology investigations. Studies on communication practices within the scientific community and their impact on public awareness of science.


2009-present University researcher, Department of Theoretical and Applied Sciences, University of Insubria. Study of the phenomenon of overlapping genes in viruses using a bioinformatic-statistical approach: identification, analysis and possible evolutionary significance (in collaboration with Drs. Robert Belshaw, University of Plymouth and David Karlin, independent researcher, formerly associated with the University of Oxford, and Prof. Angelo Pavesi, University of Parma)


1997-2008 University researcher, Department of Structural and Functional Biology, University of Insubria. Comparative studies on antenna structure and function in green photosynthetic bacteria Chloroflexus aurantiacus and Chlorobaculum tepidum (in collaboration with prof.D. Carbonera, Padua and Prof. P.Gerola, University of Insubria). Influence of oxidizing conditions on excitation energy transfer and light acclimation in the green bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus.


2000/6 CNR (National Research Council) Short-term research fellow, Department of Physics, Graduate School of Sciences, Nagoya University, Japan, Laboratory of Photobioenergetics headed by prof.Shigeru Itoh.


1999/12 - 2000/4-5 Research fellow, National Institute of Basic Biology, Okazaki, Japan, Laboratory of prof.S. Itoh. Study of excitation energy transfer in green bacterial photosynthetic apparatus by means of steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy.


1996-1998/11 University researcher, Department of Structural and Functional Biology, University of Milan, Varese Campus. Studies on Light acclimation in the green photosynthetic bacterium Chlorobaculum tepidum(in collaboration with prof.P. Gerola, Varese). Electron Magnetic Resonance of chlorosomes from Chlorobaculum tepidum (prof.Donatella Carbonera, Padua). Isolation and characterization of mutants hypersensitive to excess visible light in Arabidopsis thaliana (prof.C. Soave, Milan).


1992/11 Research fellow, Biological Research Center, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szeged, Hungary, Laboratory of Membrane Energization, prof. G.Garab. Characterization of light-induced circular dichroism changes in aggregated light-harvesting chlorophyll protein II from higher plants.


1990/7-1995 University researcher, Department of Biology "Luigi Gorini", University of Milan. Regulation of photosystem II activity by protons gradient in thylakoid membranes (prof.G. Forti). Light-induced fluorescence emission changes in thylakoids, isolated photosystem II membranes, core and reaction center, light-harvesting complexes (prof.R.C.Jennings). Screening for mutants affected in sensitivity to photoinhibition and photooxidation in Arabidopsis thaliana (in collaboration with prof.C. Soave). 


1990/8-1991-3 Sabbatical leave, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, Laboratory of prof.E.B.Goldberg. Cloning, expression, purification and characterization of gp3 protein from bacteriophage T4


1990/3-1991/3 Research affiliate, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA, Laboratory of prof.A.M. Torriani. Regulation of inorganic phosphate transport in E.coli.


1988/11-1990/6 Research associate, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, Laboratory of prof.Edward B.Goldberg. Cloning, expression, purification and characterization of gp2 protein from bacteriophage T4.



He has regularly presented his research in occasion of national and international workshops and congresses, and he has been invited speaker at the following conferences:

2001 Workshop on "Phyllotaxis and Biological Oscillations", Graduate School in Nonlinear Science, Danish Technical University, Lyngby, Denmark 

2002 Seminar on "Biological evolution and the great problems in biology: Self-organization phenomena in biological systems", Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Italy

2002 European Science Foundation Workshop on Green and Heliobacteria, Passau, Germany


He has been invited, during his research stay in Japan (1999-2000), to give seminars on his work on comparative aspects of photosynthesis in green sulfur and non-sulfur bacteria in several universities: Ritsumeikan, Tokyo Metropolitan, Kanagawa, Waseda, Nagoya.


He is member of the History of Science Society (HSS) and of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB).