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Biophysical Chemistry and Systems Biology of Vision

Research in my lab is mostly dedicated to the biochemical and biophysical characterization of the early steps in vertebrate vision, especially the molecular aspects underlying the phototrasduction cascade in rod and cone photoreceptors. We employ in vitro and in silico techniques to achieve both the experimental and theoretical characterization of protein-protein and protein-ion interactions involved in the physiological processes. Our approach includes systems biology analyses to unravel the biochemical mechanisms behind complex cell behaviors in photoreceptors during normal and disease-associated conditions.

Among the specific topics, we are especially interested in:

  • understanding the dynamics of calcium homeostasis deregulation in retinal dystrophies, in collaboration with other European laboratories;
  • understanding the physiological implications of the supramolecular organization of signalling proteins in rod outer segments;
  • develop and share comprehensive kinetic models of rods and cones in normal and altered conditions;
  • explore the possibility to use nanodevices as protein carriers for effective protein therapy

Group Leader

Daniele Dell'Orco
[more information]


University of Verona

Department of Life Sciences and Reproduction
Section of Biological Chemistry
Strada le Grazie 8
37134 Verona

Phone: +39-045-802-7637
Fax: +39 045-802-7170




  • Classical biochemical techniques;
  • spectroscopic techniques (absorption, fluorescence, circular dichroism);
  • dynamic light scattering;
  • calorimetric techniques;
  • surface plasmon resonance;
  • computational modelling and molecular simulations;
  • bioinformatics;
  • kinetic and mathematical modeling

Scientific Cooperations

  • Cooperation 1
    Prof. Karl-Wilhelm Koch, University of Oldenburg
  • Cooperation 2
    Dr. Lorenzo Cangiano, University of Pisa
  • Cooperation 3
    Prof. Sara Linse, University of Lund

Current Research Projects

  • Project 1
    Physiological effects of the supramoleucal organization of rhodopsin and transducin in vertebrate discs
  • Project 2
    Interaction between nanodevices (nanoparticles and nanovesicles) and neuronal calcium sensors involved in phototransduction
  • Project 3
    Effects of point mutations related to retinal dystrophy on the regulation of Ca2+ and cGMP homeostasis
  • Project 4
    Development of network-level kinetic model of cones
  • Project 5
    Surface-plasmon resonance-based detection of neuronal calcium sensor dynamics

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