Roberto PURRELLO

Professor of [CHIM/03]
Office: Cittadella Universitaria, V.le A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania. Edificio 1 corpo B piano 1 Stanza 18 (B1/18)
Email: rpurrello@unict.it
Phone: +39 095 738 5095
Office Hours: Monday from 10:00 to 13:00 | Friday from 10:00 to 13:00 A causa della possibile sovrapposizione con impegni istituzionali e non, è consigliabile inviare una mail di preavviso.


Roberto Purrello was born in Catania on April 12, 1956. In 1979 he graduated in Chemistry at the University of Catania (with 110/110 cum laude) and began his training as a researcher in the field of Bioinorganic Chemistry. In 1983 he became a University Researcher, and in 1988, thanks to an annual CNR scholarship, he joined the group of Prof. Thomas G. Spiro in Princeton (Princeton University, USA). In 1999 Princeton University offered a position as Research Assistant that allowed him to consolidate and deepen the research in progress. In this period, he became interested in rare structures of nucleic acids and proteins and began to study the chemistry of porphyrins in aqueous solution.  

In 1991 he wins the national competition for Associate Professor and returns to Italy, and starts a collaboration with Prof. R.F. Pasternack (Swarthmore College, PA, USA) pioneer of porphyrin chemistry in aqueous solution.

In 2000 he was Visiting Professor for six months at the University of Davis (Davis, CA, USA) where he taught two Chemistry courses (highly appreciated by students) and began a collaboration with Prof. M. G. Vicente with whom he published the first, counterintuitive evidence that anionic porphyrins interact with DNA.

In the same year he won the competition for Full Professor.

In these years, in addition to the study of porphyrin-DNA interactions, he also began to be interested in the aggregation processes of porphyrins in aqueous solution with the aim of opening new paths to non-covalent synthesis of complex species in a benign solvent like water. In the same period, he begins to study some fundamental aspects of the origins of life and, in particular, the amplification of supramolecular asymmetries. The originality of these research themes has opened up unusual research scenarios whose international impact is evidenced by the participation in various COST projects. Since 2003 he has been collaborating with Prof. Nina Berova (Columbia University) for the study of rare DNA conformations.

In 2005 he was awarded the "Lady Davis Fellowship" by the Technion (Israel). From 2011 to 2015 he was President of the "Division of Chemistry of Biological Systems" of the Italian Chemical Society. In 2012 he was member of the Panel of Evaluators, GEV, of ANVUR for Area 03 (VQR 2004-2011) and of the ASN commission 2012-13. He held the role of Coordinator of the XXVIII cycle of the Doctorate in Chemical Sciences and from 2014 to 2020 he has been Director of the Department of Chemical Sciences. Since 2015 he is the representative of the Area 03 Full Professors at National Council of Italian Universities (CUN); a Ministry council.

He has published more than 120 publications (citation >  4000) and an h index of 41. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal "Chirality" (Wiley), and referee of several international journals (Nature Communications, Nature Materials, JACS, Angewandte Chemie , Chem. Communications, Chemistry, etc.).

                 •       EDUCATION

1979                Laurea in Chemistry, full marks and honor

                        Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania

•       CURRENT POSITIONS

2000 -              Full Professor, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania

2014 -              Member of National Council of University – Area 03

 

•       PREVIOUS POSITIONS IN ITALY AND ABROAD

 

1991- 2000      Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania

2014 - 2020     Chair of the Department of Chemical Sciences, Catania

2014 - 2020     Member of the Academic Senate

2000                Visiting fellow, Department of Chemistry, Davis University, CA, USA

1988 - 1989     Visiting Scholar, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

1989 - 1990     Research Assistant, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

1983 - 1991     Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania

•       FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS

2005                “Lady Davis” Professorship, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

1988 - 89          Scholarship received from CNR, Italy

•       INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

2019 - 2020     President of Scuola Superiore di Catania

2014 - 2020     Chairman, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania

2015 -              Member of the National University Council (CUN)

2015 - 2020     Member of the Academic Senate

2011 - 2013     Member GEV of the Council of Experts for the Evaluation of Quality of Research in the Italian University system (VQR)

2012-2014      Component of the commission for national certification for associate and full professor (ASN)

2012 - 2014     Coordinator of the Doctorate in Chemistry, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania

2011 - 2014     President of the Division of “Chemistry of Biological Systems” of the Italian Society of Chemistry

2010 - 2012     Vice-chairman, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Catania

2007 - 2011     Vice-President of the Division of “Chemistry of Biological Systems” of the Italian Society of Chemistry

•       COMMISSIONS OF TRUST

Reviewer for Nature, Nature Chemistry, Angewandte Chemie, Journal of the American Chemical Society, et al.

2010 -             Editorial Board, Chirality

1990 -             Reviewer for the Italian Ministry

2012 -           Reviewer for the Czech Ministry

2012 - 2014     Member of the National Committee for Scientific evaluation (ASN)

•       ORGANISATION OF SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS

2002–2007      Member of the COST action D27 (Prebiotic Chemistry and Early Evolution)

2007-               Co-organizer and member of the scientific committee of annual meeting of the Division of “Chemistry of Biological Systems” of the Italian Society of Chemistry.

2008-2012       Member of the COST action CM0703 (System Chemistry)

2010 –             Member of the International Scientific Committee of the “International Conferences on Chiroptical Spectroscopy”

2010                Organizer of the COST Meeting of the action CM0703

2010                Co-organizer (Prof. Nina Berova, Columbia University, NY, USA), at ICPP-6 (International Conference of Porphyrins and Phtalocyanines) of a Symposium titled “Porphyrins and Nucleic Acids”

2012                Co-organizer (together with Prof. Nina Berova, Columbia University, NY, USA), at ICPP-7 of a Symposium titled “Porphyrins and phtalocyanines in Chiral Molecular and Supramolecular Systems”

2013                Coorganizer of the First Italian Meeting on Porphyrinoids, Roma 1-3 July 2013

2014                Co-organizer (together with Prof. Nina Berova, Columbia University, NY, USA), at ICPP-8 of a Symposium titled “Chirality and Biomimetic Systems”

2014                Co-organizer of the First Italian Meeting on Chirality “ChirItaly”, Pisa 18-20 June 2014

2016                Co-organizer (together with Prof. Nina Berova, Columbia University, NY, USA), at ICPP-9 of a Symposium titled “Chirality and Biomimetic Systems”

 

Bibliometrics

Total number of citations: 4500

h index: 41

 

 

Academic Year  

Invited Presentations 2010-2012

2010    ICPP-6, New Mexico, USA

2010    International Symposium on Chirality (Sapporo, Japan)

2011    9th Symposium on Chemical Approaches on Chirality (Tokyo, Japan)

2011    Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa), celebration of International Year of Chemistry

2012    Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa) “Frontiers of Chemistry”

2012    ICPP-7 (Jeju Island, South Korea)

2012    Accademia dei Lincei (Roma) 

 

Organisation of International conferences

2012   Co-organizer (together with Prof. Nina Berova, Columbia University, NY, USA), at ICPP-7 of a Symposium titled “Porphyrins and Phtalocyanines in Chiral Molecular and Supramolecular Systems”

2010   Co-organizer (together with Prof. Nina Berova, Columbia University, NY, USA), at ICPP-6 of a Symposium titled “Interactions of porphyrins with nucleic acids”

2010 –   Member of the International Scientific Committee of the “International Conferences on Chiroptical Spectroscopy”