From Elementary Chemical Processes to Complex Biological Structures for the Benefit of Life and Human Health

Aula Magna – Università degli Studi di FirenzePiazza San Marco, 49.30 am
Six speakers of excellence, including three Nobel Laureates, will present the multifaceted topic:“From Elementary Chemical Processes to Complex Biological Structures for the Benefit of Life and Human Health”The Florentine event is held to honour the delegates of about 30 scientific Unions and is open to researchers, teachers and students interested in atomic and molecular sciences and their applications with a benefit for the humanity. The event is organized by the Italian representatives to the International Unions of Crystallography, IUCr (Carlo Mealli), Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, ), Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, IUBMB (Emilia Chiancone) and Pure and Applied Chemistry, IUPAC (Mario Malinconico). It has the sponsorship also of other Institutions. Bursaries to participate to the event will be offered to young researchers. Pre-registation is recommended. A visit to Quartieri Monumentali of Palazzo Vecchio (Residence of Medici Family) is offered by the City Council of Florence to all the registered participants on Thuesday September 22nd at 16:30 pm.The six speakers are all renowned international authorities in their fields:Reiko Kuroda (Japan), member of the Science Council of Japan and Vice-President of ICSU. She is an expert in chiral chemical structures and their implications for molecular and developmental biology. Due to her well recognized knowledge of structural biology, she has been a key-note speaker in the recent IUCr world congresses.Sine Larsen is the President of the IUCr, and Director of the MAX IV laboratory, the Swedish synchrotron in Lund. Formerly she was Director of Research at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France. She is a structural chemist and structural biologist with a deep knowhow on the use of crystallographic methods at large scale facilities like synchrotrons in the study of new materials like complex biological molecules, nanoparticles aimed to improve the quality of human life.Yan Tseh Lee (Taiwan), Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1986 and president-elect of ICSU. Prof. Lee has provided seminal contributions in spectroscopic studies of chemical through crossed molecular beams. The knowledge of the elementary processes is the basis to explore the complex biological environment.Andrea Mattevi is an Italian biologist (University of Pavia), who investigates medically relevant enzymes with interesting chemical properties and unusual catalytic functions. He complements the X-ray crystallographic studies with molecular biology methodologies, analysis of enzyme kinetics and computational chemistry. He has applied these approaches to the development of new pharmaceuticals to be used in neurodegenerative diseases.Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (UK), Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 2009, has provided a great impulse to understand how the factory of proteins (ribosome) works. The mechanism of DNA translation into proteins represents a major breakthrough in life and health sciences, which is the key topic of the symposium.Kurt Wüthrich (Switzerland), Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 2002, is a pioneer in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance methodologies for molecular structure determination from solutions, including those of macromolecules with biological relevance. His presence will offer a direct comparison between X-ray diffraction and NMR spectroscopy to determine structures, hence their functionality in the chemical processes.Besides its high scientific relevance, the event is aimed to advertise the role and activities of ICSU as well as those of the associated unions. The organizers hope to highlight the benefits of science to the Italian national and international scientific community, but the event is also opened to the general public and the press. The presence of young participants is highly encouraged.The congress venue is located just in the heart of historic Florence and close to the most famous churches and museums of Florence.