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Gianfranco Donelli

Gianfranco Donelli

Director, Microbial Biofilm Laboratory
IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia


Professor Gianfranco Donelli obtained his master degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Rome "La Sapienza" in 1966 and since 1967 he has been a researcher at the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS-Istituto Superiore di Sanità ) in Rome, working on molecular biology and ultrastructure of phages and human intestinal viruses. In 1975 he was appointed Director of the Electron Microscopy Unit and in 1979 he was the winner of a public competition for the position of Research Director in molecular biology. In 1982 Professor Donelli founded the Laboratory of Ultrastructures of ISS that has been leaded by him till 1996. In those years his main research interests have concerned many aspects of cellular microbiology, with special reference to the mechanism of action and the pathogenetic role of toxins and other virulence factors of gastrointestinal bacteria. Concerning his teaching activity, Professor Donelli has been invited since 1977 to serve as visiting professor in the Universities of Ancona , Naples, Perugia, Rome and Urbino and in the year 1999, after the winning of a national public competition, he became full Professor of Microbiology. In the two last decades Professor Donelli has been appointed as Vice-President of the Advisory Committee for Biological and Medical Sciences of the Italian National Research Council (1994 - 1999) ; International Affairs Officer of the Italian Society of Microbiology and FEMS delegate (since 2002) ; President of the Society for Microbial Ecology and Disease (2006 - 2009); Vice-Chairperson of the Executive Committee of ESCMID Study Group for Biofilms (2009- 2013); Editor in Chief of Advances in Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Public Health (since 2015). Starting from 1999 the research activity of Professor Donelli has been mainly focused on biofilm-based healthcare-associated infections and the strategies to prevent and counteract the development of biofilms in the human body. Professor Donelli is author of over 270 full-length papers published on international scientific journals (H-index = 41) and since 2010 he has become Director of the Microbial Biofilm Laboratory at the Fondazione Santa Lucia research hospital in Rome.

Research Interest

Microbial biofilms in healthcare-associated infections and their resistance to antimicrobial drugs Strategies to prevent and counteract biofilm formation on biotic and abiotic surfaces Development of innovative antibacterial and antifungal coatings for medical devices Probiotics as antibiofilm agents.