Francesco Stellato

Francesco is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the INFN. He has worked for four years in the Center for Free Electron Laser science in DESY Hamburg developing techniques to make use of Free Electron Lasers (FELs) for the structural study of biological systems. Before moving to Germany, he had gotten his Ph.D. in Physics in the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” using X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy as a tool for structural studies of molecules involved in the pathogenesis of the Alzheimer’s disease. In his scientific career he worked on the application of synchrotron radiation techniques, including those recently developed specifically for FEL sources, to the structural study of biological systems including peptides, proteins, viruses, cell organelles and cells. He used several experimental techniques, namely X-ray diffraction, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, coherent X-ray imaging, small angle X-ray scattering and X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy both to develop methodologies to study biological systems (serial crystallography, time resolved x-ray scattering and diffraction measurements, x-ray absorption spectroscopy on diluted samples) and to address biologically relevant problems (amyloidogenesis related to Alzheimer’s disease and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy). He has also experience in classical and ab initio quantum mechanical simulations to study the same biological systems and to the better evaluatethe experimental results.