Follow us

Giuseppe GRASSO

Associate Professor of General and inorganic chemistry [CHIM/03]


Mass Spectrometry

Surface Plasmon Resonance

Bioinorganic Chemistry

Neurodegenerative diseases

Associate Professor in General and Inorganic Chemistry (03/B1). President of the Bachelor of Science in Chemistry.

Courses: General and Inorganic Chemistry (9 CFU) at the B.D. course in Biological Sciences and General and Inorganic Chemistry and laboratory (6 CFU) -Module 2 at the B.D. course in Chemistry

Main research topics:

  1. Metal dishomeostasis in Alzheimer's disease
  2. The role of Insulin-degrading enzyme in Alzheimer's disease
  3. The study of proteosome activity and its modulation Alzheimer's disease e Rett's syndrome
  4. Mass spectrometry applied to the characterisation of functionalised nanoparticles
  5. Bioinorganic Chemistry
  6. Mass Spectrometry and study of biomolecular interactions through Surface Plasmon Resonance

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7179-4835


He was born in 1977 in Catania and in 2000 obtained the “Laurea” in Chemistry in Catania (110/110 cum laude) from the University of Catania and in 2004 the PhD in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham (UK). After several post-docs in Italy and England, he finally got a permanent position at the University of Catania in 2010 where he is currently employed as an Associate Professor. He obtained the National Scientific Qualification for becoming a Full Professor in “Chemical Sciences and Inorganic Systems” (03/B1) and in Chemical Fundamentals in Technologies (03/B2). He has given several courses to PhD students (course: “ A bioinorganic approach to neurodegenerative diseases”), undergraduate students (courses: “General and Inorganic Chemistry” (9 CFU); Bioinorganic Chemistry (6 CFU)), master students (Modules: A.2.4 – Spectroscopy for Molecular diagnosis 2; A.3.6- Metal complexes as antitumoral drugs and their targets; course: “Microdestructive techniques and laser desorption techniques”).



Giuseppe Grasso has authored or co-authored more than 80 papers and he has an h-index of 29. He has attended more than 70 international conferences, presenting his work either as an oral communication or as an invited lecture.

He has been selected for the “Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program” 2015/2016 and spent 9 months at the University of Pennsylvania, working on “Apolipoprotein E, metals and Alzheimer's Disease: uncovering underlying unifying mechanism to explain pathogenesis”.

He has been participating to several funded project and he was the PI and national coordinator of a funded PRIN project Prot. 20157WZM8A, entitled: “Role of metal dyshomeostasis and ubiquitin-proteasome system derangement in brain pathologies: risk factors and neuroprotective strategies”.


Academic Year 2021/2022

Academic Year 2020/2021

Academic Year 2019/2020

Academic Year 2018/2019

Academic Year 2017/2018

Academic Year 2016/2017

The research of Dr. Grasso is focused on the study of molecular interactions between biomolecules involved in certain neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. In particular, some metalloproteases such as insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) involved with these diseases are studied and the possibility of modulating the enzymatic activity of these biomolecules for therapeutic purposes is investigated. The influence that metal ions such as copper or zinc and oxidative stress have on the biomolecular mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration is also studied using various analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry, surface plasmon resonance, NMR as well as biochemical methods.

Schematic sketch of the processes in which IDE appears to be involved as a regulator of cell homeostasis: (A) The twofold protective role of IDE in amyloidogenic aggregation: IDE can neutralize amyloidogenic peptides either by a proteolysis-independent “dead-end” chaperone-like activity on both Ab1–42 monomers and a-synuclein (a-Syn) oligomers, or by a degradation of a large number of amyloidogenic substrates, thus preventing further assembly of peptides into toxic aggregates. (B) A working hypothesis of the links between the UPS and IDE. The canonical conjugation pathway for Ub is carried out by a set of three enzymes. Along with ATP, E1 starts the ubiquitination process. Ub is first activated by E1 and subsequently transferred to E2. The E2 protein complexes with E3 which catalyzes the transfer of Ub to the protein. Multiple cycles of binding to charged E2 enzymes lead to the formation of Ub chains, which are recognized by the 26S proteasome, facilitating substrate degradation. IDE can tightly interact with components of the UPS system: IDE can form a complex with Ub, likely acting as E1 enzyme. Moreover, IDE can bind to the outer surface of 20S proteasome, modulating 20S activities and its binding to regulatory particle. (C) Up regulation of IDE in non-malignant and malignant cells under stressful conditions. In several human tumours, a down regulation of IDE expression has been associated with the apoptotic death of the cells. (D) A general scheme of the hypothetical effect of the fluctuation of IDE levels in the regulation of cell viability and homeostasis is depicted (from Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2017).

Novel Bioanalytical techniques are developed and applied to determine the diffusion coefficient of various molecules (ref.: Biosensors and Bioelectronics:X (2023))

Giuseppe Grasso has been elected President of the Bachelore of Science in Chemistry (11/2020-10/2024);

he is the coordinator and referent of the ERASMUS exchange between the Department of Chemical Sciences of the University of Catania and the following Universities:


He loves to travel and has lived several years abroad (4 years in UK and 9 months in USA). He is the author of the novel "Immortalizer. La Vita dalla Morte" Editor Leonida.