Marco Crisma

Marco Crisma

CNR Senior Researcher

Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, Padova Unit, CNR

via Marzolo 1

35131 Padova, Italy

Phone: (+39) 049 827 5294



Marco Crisma is currently a Senior Researcher (Primo Ricercatore) of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) at the Padova Unit of the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry (ICB), hosted by the Department of Chemistry of the University of Padova.

In 1980 he earned his University degree (“Laurea”) in Chemistry at the University of Padova (thesis title: Synthesis and conformational investigations of peptides from Ca,a-dimethylglycine; Supervisor: Prof. C. Toniolo).

After fulfilling his military duties in the Alpine Troops (1980-1981), he spent one year between 1981 and 1982 in the U.S.A. as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the lab of G.D. Fasman, Graduate Department of Biochemistry, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, where he carried out investigations on the interactions between DNA and cationic peptides, and conformational studies on peptides by circular dichroism.

Back to Italy, after a few months spent teaching chemistry in high school, during 1983-1984 he worked as a chemist in the laboratory of the Italian branch of Quaker Chemical Company, Inc., active in the field of chemical products for the steel industry, including lubricants and emulsifiables for hot and cold rolling, corrosion preventives, and fire resistant hydraulic fluids. The lab activities included product development, quality control, and technical assistance to the customers, which were at that time most of the principal steel mills in Italy and in south-eastern Europe.

             In 1985 he gained the position of Researcher of CNR at the Biopolymer Research Centre (Padova), position that he held up to 2001, when he won the rank of Senior Researcher. In 2002, as the result of the reshaping of CNR Institutes and Research Centres, the former Biopolymer Research Centre became the Padova Unit of the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry, where he is still active as Senior Researcher.

In the field of peptides based on non-coded amino acids, the main focus of his activity moved over the years from the synthesis to the conformational analysis in solution (in particular by infrared absorption), and eventually to X-ray crystallography.

             He attended courses on NMR (GDRM, Siena, 1988), crystallography (Italian Association of Crystallography, Perugia, 1986 and 1994), and a FEBS Advanced Course on "FT-IR of Biomolecules" (Bilbao, Spain, 1989).

             He spent short periods as Visiting Scientist at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium (1994), and at the University of Zaragoza, Spain (1999).

             He served as contract lecturer for various courses of chemistry at the University of Padova from 1988 to 1998. In 1989 he taught on “FT-IR spectroscopy in the study of biopolymers” at the Doctorate School in Chemistry of the University of Padova. He has also been among the teachers of the 2004 Summer School promoted by the Italian Association of Crystallography in Trieste, discussing “Problems in crystallization, structure solution and refinement of low-medium size structures”.

             Within CNR, he has been member of the Institute Council of ICB from 2002 to 2009, and principal investigator of the following research projects: “Bioactive peptides: synthesis and properties” (2005-2006); “Membrane-active peptides for the development of diagnostics and drugs” (2007-2010); “Peptides and peptidomimetics for health” (since 2011).

He is a member of the International Union of Crystallography, the European Peptide Society, the Italian Chemical Society, and the Italian Association of Crystallography.

He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Open Organic Chemistry Journal (Bentham), and serves as a referee for journals such as Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Chem. Commun, Org. Lett., ChemMedChem, Biopolymers,  J. Pept. Sci., Amino Acids, and others.

Marco Crisma has coauthored over 330 publications in ISI-ranked, peer reviewed journals.



Bio Organic Chemistry group

Science is a wonderful thing

if one does not have to earn one’s living at it

Albert Einstein