Professor Lucia Banci

Lucia Banci, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Florence and Director of CERM, has a high international reputation for her original contributions and breakthroughs in Structural Biology and in biological NMR. She is recognized as a world-class leader in the characterization of functional processes in a cellular context with atomic resolution. She has addressed and unraveled many aspects of the biology of metal ions in biological systems, from their homeostasis processes to the trafficking and metal incorporation to the final receiving proteins. She developed a molecular systems biology approach which integrates structural, interaction and dynamical information with the thermodynamic properties of the processes, so to have a unified picture of the processes responsible of metal ion trafficking.

Over the recent years, she developed an absolutely innovative approach to vaccine design, which she first named «Structural Vaccinology» based on the knowledge of the structure of the pathogen antigens and of the interaction pattern with antibodies, to design structure-based vaccines. With this approach, she provided an essential contribution to the development of a vaccine against meningococcus B which elicits complete protective immunity. 

In cell NMR is her most recent line of research. This innovative approach allows for the detection of human individual proteins with atomic level resolution in living human cells, thus realizing the bridge between cellular studies and structural characterization.

Lucia Banci has published more than 360 research articles on peer reviewed journals and has solved above 150 protein structures. (h-Index (Google Scholar) = 69)

She is member of EMBO, of Academia Net and is the Italian delegate in the Council of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

She has been awarded the IUPAC Award "Distinguished Women in Chemistry" (2015) and the "Fiorino d'Oro della Città di Firenze" Gold Medal of the City of Florence. 

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