Padua University, Italy

Full Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Secretariat: Via 8 Febbraio 2 -  35122 Padova (Italy)
phone.:+39 049 827 3001 - fax: +39 049 827 3009

Prof. Rosario Rizzuto, MD PhD

Rosario RIZZUTO, MD Ph.D., is Professor of General Pathology. He was Director of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and member of the University Senate of the University of Padua (Italy). He became Lecturer in Padua in 1992, then Professor in Ferrara in 1998 (where he was Director of the Emilia Romagna Genetics and Biotechnology network, Dean of the Pharmacy School and member of the University Senate). In 2008, he returned to the University of Padua, as Professor of the Medical Faculty. He elected as the University's Rector on October 1st, 2015.

His research interests have centered on the study of cellular signaling, with a particular focus on intracellular calcium homeostasis. He developed an innovative methodology, organelle targeting of recombinant luminescent (aequorin, luciferase) and fluorescent (GFP) proteins, that allowed novel insight in the fields of calcium signaling, cellular metabolism, and organelle morphology.

New concepts were acquired, which include the participation of mitochondria in cellular Ca2+ homeostasis and their role in translating calcium signals in effects, as diverse as stimulation of metabolism and induction of cell death, the occurrence of tight signaling interactions between the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, the identification of the Golgi apparatus as an agonist-sensitive Ca2+ store. Furthermore, the significant Ca2+ rises occurring under the plasma membrane upon cell stimulation, to cite a few.

In 2011, Prof. Rizzuto identified the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), the only fundamental component of the cellular calcium signaling machinery yet to be discovered. This result opened the molecular era of mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis that combines molecular insight into the structure/function relationship of MCU and its regulators. Furthermore, the possibility of manipulating mitochondrial Ca2+ handling in cultured cells and animal models, with the goal of clarifying its role in the physiological regulation of tissues and the pathogenesis of the most prevalent human diseases (neurodegenerative disorders, ischemic heart disease, and cancer).

Prof. Rizzuto published 280 papers in international peer-reviewed journals.

According to Google scholar, H-index is 106, with more than 39.000 total citations. According to Scopus, H-index is 90, with more than 29.000 total citations.

EU (ERC Ideas), charities (AIRC, Telethon), state agencies (FIRB, Health Ministry), bank foundations (Cariparo, Cariplo) funded the work of Prof. Rizzuto. He is the member of the Academia Europaea and EMBO, and also acts as a reviewer for high IF journals (Nature, Science, Cell, etc.) and international funding agencies. He received the Chiara D’Onofrio prize, the Biotec award, the Theodor Bucher medal and the Antonio Feltrinelli Prize.