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Structure Department of Biology
Telephone 0498276324
Qualification Professore ordinario
Scientific sector BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY
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Office hours
Tuesday from 11:30 to 12:30 Vallisneri, VI.piano Sud L'orario riguarda solo l'anno accademico 2018/2019.
(updated on 28/04/2018 09:30)

Proposals for thesis
The study of ion channel function in relation to stress in plants and to tumor progression in animals. The used techniques comprise those of biochemistry, biophyisics, molecular biology, cell biology and in vivo experiments.

Curriculum Vitae
Affiliation: Dept. of Biology

Position: Full Professor at the Department of Biology of the University of Padova, Italy (

Education and academic career:

07/1988 M.Sc. in Biology and Chemistry - Eotvos Lorand University of Budapest, Hungary
1989-1994 Ph.D. student at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Padova
1992 Short-term EMBO fellow at Biozentrum, Basel, Switzerland
10/1994 Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathology, University of Padova, Italy
1995-1996: EMBO postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Physiology of the University of Tuebingen
1997-1998: Postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Padova
1998-2004: Assistant Professor in Biochemistry, at the Department of Biology of the University of Padova
Since 01/2005 Associate Professor in Biochemistry at the Department of Biology of the University of Padova
Since 01/2017 Full Professor in Biochemistry at the Department of Biology, Univ.Padova
Since 2012: Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports of NPG
Since 2013: Associate Member of the Iontrac International Training Network
2014: Co-Editor of a Special Issue of Cell Calcium
2014: Associate Member of the Institute of Neuroscience (CNR)
2015: Vice-Chair of a new Gordon Conference on Intracellular Ion Channels and Transporters, Bentley, USA
2016: Co-Chair of the International Biophysics School on Photosynthesis, Venice, Italy
2017: Chair Gordon Conference on Intracellular Ion Channels and Transporters, Vermont, USA

1995-1996: EMBO long-term fellowship
2000: CNR Young Investigator Grant
2002: selected as EMBO Young Investigator.
From 2005: selected and acting as expert evaluator for Marie-Curie fellowships of EEC.
2011: selected as member of Top Italian Scientists (H factor>30)
2014: habilitation for Full Professorship in Biochemistry and in Plant Physiology

International collaborations:
E. Gulbins (Essen, Germany), N. Uozumi (Tohuku, Japan), F. Lang (Tuebingen, Germany), KG. Chandy (Irvine, USA), H. Kalthoff (Kiel, Germany) G. Finazzi (Grenoble, France), R. Wagner (Osnabrueck, Germany), E. Szegezdi (Galway, Ireland), T. Shikanai (Kyoto, Japan), C. Spetea (Gothenburg, Sweden), C. Chang (Berkeley, USA).

Grants as coordinator:
National grants of the Italian Ministry (2007, 2009, 2011), Young Investigator Grant of the CNR (2000) EMBO Young Investigator Grant (2003), University of Padova Grants (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014), Italian Association for Cancer Research (2007, 2011, 2014, 2017). Human Frontiers Science Program (2015).

Co-author of 138 peer-reviewed papers. Total citation: 12437 (Google Scholar).
H factor: 50

Research areas
Considerable information is available in the rapidly developing field of ion channels about the molecular identification and biophysical characterization of ion channels in the plasma membrane, while relatively little is known about organellar channels, a topic of interest in the group. In particular, ion channels seem to regulate important processes in both energy-producing organelles: mitochondria and chloroplasts. For example, the molecular identification of a mitochondrial potassium channel led to the elucidation of its central role in apoptotic signalling in lymphocytes and to an efficient and selective killing of cancer cells in vivo, via pharmacological targeting of cancer cells expressing the channel. Likewise, recent discovery of identity of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter is expected to lead to further understanding of its role in various cellular processes. In plants, ion channels of both the chloroplast inner envelope and the thylakoid membranes are thought to participate in the regulation of photosynthesis, an essential physiological process. Genetic evidence supporting this hypothesis has recently been obtained in photosynthetic cyanobacteria and higher plants. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms which regulate photosynthesis might lead to practical benefits in the future. In summary, the aims of the running projects in the laboratory are to provide decisive information about the involvement of mitochondrial and chloroplasts ion channels in the regulation of bioenergetic and related processes by comparing activities in wild-type and mutant organisms, bearing deletions or mutations of genes encoding organellar channels

Selected publications

Leanza L, Romio M, Becker KA, Azzolini M, Trentin L, Managò A, Venturini E,
Zaccagnino A, Mattarei A, Carraretto L, Urbani A, Kadow S, Biasutto L, Martini V,
Severin F, Peruzzo R, Trimarco V, Egberts JH, Hauser C, Visentin A, Semenzato G,
Kalthoff H, Zoratti M, Gulbins E, Paradisi C, Szabo I. Direct Pharmacological
Targeting of a Mitochondrial Ion Channel Selectively Kills Tumor Cells In Vivo.
Cancer Cell. 2017 Apr 10;31(4):516-531

Teardo E, Carraretto L, Wagner S, Formentin E, Behera S, De Bortoli S, Larosa
V, Fuchs P, Lo Schiavo F, Raffaello A, Rizzuto R, Costa A, Schwarzländer M, Szabò
I. Physiological Characterization of a Plant Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter in
Vitro and in Vivo. Plant Physiol. 2017 Feb;173(2):1355-1370.

Herdean A, Teardo E, Nilsson AK, Pfeil BE, Johansson ON, Ünnep R, Nagy G,
Zsiros O, Dana S, Solymosi K, Garab G, Szabó I, Spetea C, Lundin B. A
voltage-dependent chloride channel fine-tunes photosynthesis in plants. Nat
Commun. 2016 May 24;7:11654

Wagner S, Behera S, De Bortoli S, Logan DC, Fuchs P, Carraretto L, Teardo E,
Cendron L, Nietzel T, Füßl M, Doccula FG, Navazio L, Fricker MD, Van Aken O,
Finkemeier I, Meyer AJ, Szabò I, Costa A, Schwarzländer M. The EF-Hand Ca2+
Binding Protein MICU Choreographs Mitochondrial Ca2+ Dynamics in Arabidopsis.
Plant Cell. 2015 Nov;27(11):3190-212.

Szabò I., Zoratti M. Mitochondrial channels: ion fluxes and more.
Physiol. Rev. 2014, 94(2): 519-608.

Carraretto L., Formentin E., Teardo E., Checchetto V., Tomizioli M., Morosinotto T., Giacometti G.M., Finazzi G., Szabò I.A thylakoid-located two-pore potassium channel controls photosynthetic light utilization in plants.
Science 2013, 342: 114-8.

Checchetto V., Segalla A., Allorent G., La Rocca N., Leanza L., Giacometti G.M., Uozumi N., Finazzi G., Bergantino E., Szabò I.A thylakoid potassium channel is required for efficient photosynthesis in cyanobacteria.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2012, 109: 11043-8.

Leanza L., Henry B., Sassi N., Zoratti M., Chandy K.G., Gulbins E., Szabò I.
Inhibitors of mitochondrial Kv1.3 channels induce Bax/Bak-independent death of cancer cells.
EMBO Molecular Medicine 2012, 4: 577-93.

De Stefani D., Raffaello A., Teardo E., Szabò I., Rizzuto R.
A forty-kilodalton protein of the inner membrane is the mitochondrial calcium uniporter.
Nature 2011, 476: 336-40.

Szabò I., Lepple-Wienhues A., Kaba K.N., Zoratti M., Gulbins E., Lang F.Tyrosine kinase dependent activation of a chloride channel in CD95-induced apoptosis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1998, 95: 6169-74.

Zoratti M., Szabò I.
The mitochondrial permeability transition.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1995, 1241: 139-76.

Lecturer's Publications (PDF): F96A23F33B8F4CEF828789DCACA1A770.pdf

List of taught course units in A.Y. 2019/20
Degree course code (?) Degree course track Course unit code Course unit name Credits Year Period Lang. Teacher in charge
»   SCP4067772 6 1st Year (2019/20) Second
»   SCP4067771 7 1st Year (2019/20) Second
SC2445 005PD SCP8085067 8 1st Year (2019/20) First
SC2445 006PD SCP8085067 8 2nd Year (2019/20) First