Elettra Personal Web Page

Paola Storici

Senior Research Scientist in Structural Biology

Head of Protein Facility

Higher Education

PhD in Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, University of Trieste

Master Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology, University of Trieste

Previous Professional Experience

  • 2009: Scientific Consultant at the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Trieste
  • 2008: Scientific Consultant for Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. - Milano, IT
  • 2001-2008: 'Nerviano Medical Sciences, Milano, Italy (2004-2008), Pfizer (2002-2004), Pharmacia (2001-2002),
    • R&D Oncology - Department of Biotechnology
      • ''Head of Biochemistry Lab (2006-2008)"
      • "Senior Research Scientist (2001-2006) - Core Team Leader''
  • 1997 - 2000: Postdoctoral fellow in Tilman Schirmer's group - Department of Structural Biology, BIOZENTRUM, Basel CH
  • 1996 - 1997 Postdoctoral fellow in Hans Jansonius's group - Department of Structural Biology, BIOZENTRUM, Basel CH
  • 1995 - 1996 Trainee in Protein Crystallography at the University of Pavia, IT


  • Supervisor of Master degree students (University of Trieste, University of Udine and University of Milano), and PhD students (University of Trieste, University of Bologna, and University of Trento).
  • Training for Students of the HERCULES European School 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste.
  • Organized one-year course of "Specialization of Biotechnology for Drug Discovery in Oncology ": (1344 hours) held in the
    Department of Life Sciences (University of Trieste) (law 297/99, art. 10), (2008-2009).
  • Methods in Protein Crystallography for students of Medicinal Chemistry of the University of Trieste.
  • Teaching assistant in Protein Crystallization, Crystallography, and Modeling for Biology students of the University of Basel.
  • Tutor of Biochemistry for Students of Medicine of the University of Trieste.
  • Teaching lessons of Methods in Molecular Biology for students of Medicinal Chemistry of the University of Trieste.

Research Projects

My research projects rise from my fascination for understanding protein functions and malfunctions and my interest
for drug discovery. In my group, we combine both interests by studying proteins that are potential drug targets for the
treatment of life-threatening diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration. The protein families we are studying most
are kinases and deubiquitinases and we are interested in mechanism of signal transduction and autophagy. Moreover, I'm leading the activities of Elettra Protein Facility that offers specialized support for internal or external users in producing and characterizing proteins.

The EXSCALATE4CoV project

Since the beginning of 2020 we have been involved in research on SARS-CoV2 for the discovery and development of drugs to cure Covid-19. In march 2020 we entered the EXSCALATE4CoV (E4C) project (http://www.exscalate4cov.eu) which was funded through the EUís H2020-SC1-PHE-CORONA-VIRUS-2020 emergency call (Grant 101003551). The project collects 18 European public institutions and a private company (DOMPE SpA) in the leading role and brings together high-end computational facilities, drug discovery, and BSL-3 high-throughput screening resources.

Our team at Elettra has been focusing on the viral proteases Mpro and PLpro, dedicating to the protein production, crystallization, and x-ray structure determination in complex with small molecules derived from virtual and biochemical screenings.

Graphical abstract from Costanzi et al., Structural and Biochemical Analysis of the Dual Inhibition of MG-132 against SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease (Mpro/3CLpro) and Human Cathepsin-L, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(21), 11779; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111779.

The Protein Facility

We offer specialized expertise in protein expression and purification to support academic and industrial R&D groups in
obtaining their desired proteins validated for functional and structural characterization. Our workflow goes from the gene to the protein with high efficiency using a focused High-Throughput approach.
We use bacteria, insect cells, and mammalian cells to express soluble proteins. We work on a collaborative basis to support
Fundamental Research Projects or Proprietary Research Projects. Our activity is always Tailored-sized and Open-minded. We are versatile and act as facilitators working in close synergy with the Elettra beamlines' scientists.

Below is a graphical summary of different applications of our produced proteins, the prominent protein families we have been producing recently, and the type of users we generally support.


last update December 28, 2021, at 12:10 PM by Paola Storici