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Maurizio Molinari


Maurizio Molinari earned a PhD in Biochemistry at the ETH-Zurich in 1995. In 1996-1997, he was a post-doc in the laboratory of Cesare Montecucco at the Dept. of Biomedicine, University of Padua, Italy. Between 1998 and 2000, he returned at the ETH-Zurich in the laboratory of Ari Helenius. Since October 2000, he is group leader at the IRB in Bellinzona. The studies performed by Molinari’s group at the IRB contributed to the knowledge of mechanisms devised by cells for the production of functional polypeptides and for efficient disposal of folding-defective proteins. Amongst the scientific contributions of Molinari’s group, there is i) a novel passive vaccination strategy using an immunoisolated allogeneic implant capable of expressing, processing, and secreting single chain antibodies against the Abeta peptide that was successfully used in a model for Alzheimer’s disease; ii) the characterization of the intracellular timer based on sequential processing of protein-bound oligosaccharides that decides the time allocated to newly synthesized proteins to complete the folding program before onset of proteasomal degradation; iii) the description of novel autophagy-like mechanisms ensuring recovery from endoplasmic reticulum stress (recovER-phagy) and removal from cells of toxic protein aggregates (ER-to-lysosomes-associated degradation) as hallmarks of several rare diseases caused by intracellular production of faulty gene products. Maurizio Molinari received the Friedrich-Miescher Award 2006. Since 2008, he is Adjunct Professor at the ETH-Lausanne, in 2012 he has been nominated commissary for chemistry and biology teaching at the High Schools in Cantone Ticino and from 2013 to 2017 he has been member of the Research Committee at the Università della Svizzera italiana. Since 2017 gives courses on medicine and scientific research at the Università della Terza Età. He actively participated to the creation of the Rare Diseases Platform recently established in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland (

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