Prof. Flavia Marinelli

Prof. Flavia Marinelli
Photographer: Michal Roche-Ben Ami

Flavia Marinelli is Full Professor of Fermentation Chemistry and Microbial Biotechnology and Coordinator of the Bachelor and Master in Biotechnology at University of Insubria, Varese in Italy. Her main research interests are genetics, production, mode of action and resistance of antimicrobial peptides, glycopeptides, and proteins from homologous and heterologous bacteria. In 1996 she graduated from the Biological Sciences at the University of Rome majoring in Industrial Microbiology and Fermentation Chemistry. Marinelli completed her PhD in Chemistry (1997-1990) at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa working on the biochemistry of secondary metabolism enzymes. After completing her post-doc at the Freiburg University in Germany, in 1991 she joined Lepetit Research Center of Marion Merrell Dow at Gerenzano, near Varese. There she focused on the genetics and physiology of industrially relevant microorganisms producing antibiotics. At this Center, first for Marion Merrel Dow and then for Hoechst, she become Director of the Pilot Fermentation Plant and of the Microbiology Laboratories devoted to the isolation, taxonomy, physiology and genetic improvement of actinomycetes, fungi, cyanobacteria and myxobacteria.


In 2000, she was one of the founders and shareholders of the first Italian biotec company Biosearch Italia which was listed on Nasdaq. She was then appointed to the Board of Directors of the new company. At the end of 2014, after 13 years with pharmaceutical companies, she was appointed as Associate Professor of Fermentation Chemistry and Biotechnology at Insubria University, where she started up a new research group in microbial biotechnology and fermentation. Until now she has published 89 peer-reviewed papers indexed on Scopus. She holds 4 patents on natural products and has contributed to national and international congresses with more than 150 oral communications, poster, seminars and conferences. In the 2014 she edited the Springer Book Antimicrobials New and Old Molecules in the Fight Against Multi-resistant Bacteria. Since 2007 she has been nominated in the Faculty Team of the International School of Molecular Applied Microbiology organized by the John Inns Center (Norwich, UK) in collaboration with the Rudjer Boskovic Institute (Zagreb, Croatia). Since 2016 she has been Erasmus Visiting Professor at the Department of Biotechnology, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, Czech Republic.

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