Torna alla pagina principale dell'università


Back to department main page


Bioorganic Chemistry and Bio-Crystallography laboratory (B2Cl)





laboratory and safety

Bioorganic Chemistry and Bio-Crystallography laboratory (B2Cl)

My book on urease

Bachelor Thesis

Who am I?


My name is Stefano Benini, I am assistant professor in Organic Chemistry (SSD CHIM06) in the Faculty of Science and Technology. (open day 2014:


As Free University of Bolzano is trilingual and the courses are held in: Italian, German and English I needed to certificate my level of knowledge of these languages. At the moment I have a C1 in English and a B2 in German (but I am planning to improve it to C1 We will see whether I will ever make it or not!!). I am mother tongue Italian.


I passed the habilitation to Associate Professor in 2013 but I have not been promoted yet…


My research focuses on the study of the pathogenicity factors of Erwinia amylovora the agent of Fire Blight in apple and pear. Moreover I have a long standing collaboration with Professor Stefano Ciurli (Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, University of Bologna) to study urease and other metalloproteins.


I have a background education in Agricultural Science with a Master Degree (Laurea) obtained at the University of Bologna. After a period of research in protein crystallography carried out at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Hamburg Germany from 1996 to 2000, in 2001 I was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry at the University of York with a thesis on: Structure and Function Relationships of Urease and Cytochrome c-553 from Bacillus pasteurii. My PhD supervisors were Professor Wojciech Rypniewski and Professor Keith S. Wilson.


You can search for the protein structures I have solved that are publicly available in the Protein Data Bank (PDB).

As an example of the kind of information you can get with X-ray crystallography here are some nice pictures:


Description: Cys322BME.jpgDescription: figure1biglabelDescription: Figure2Description: c553_ribbonDescription: heme_frontviewDescription: heme_sideview




A lecture about the power of protein X-ray crystallography can be found here:


Royal Institution Lecture by Professor Stephen Curry


Two short videos on more practical aspects could be found here:




Places where I have been doing research before:


2007-2009 AstraZeneca Alderly Park, Macclesfield, United Kingdom (poster: Structural Sciences at AstraZeneca)


2002-2007 York Structural Biology Laboratory (YSBL) (University of York) (poster: the last structure I solved before leaving YSBL!)


2000-2002 International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) / Elettra synchrotron Trieste, Italy


1996-2000 European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Hamburg Germany


1992-1996 Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory, University of Bologna


My main hobby is playing the clarinet. I began in December 1999 on my own and then in October 2000 in Trieste I learned the basis from maestro Paolo Spincich and joined the Complesso Bandistico Arcobaleno (2001-2002). After moving to the UK I played with the University of York Concert Band in 2003, the York Concert Band in 2004-2006 (York, UK), in 2007 with the KEMS Concert band (Macclesfield, UK). In 2009 I moved back to Italy and joined the corpo musicale M. Mascagni. From January 2010 I joined a group called “Music in Progress” conducted by Rossella Simonazzi, playing music ranging from classic to jazz and contemporary etc.,. Since 2012 I am back with the corpo musicale M. Mascagni. Here is a photo of me, Valentino, Giorgia and Mario while playing the clarinet with the band at the Flicorno d’Oro 2014.




Click on this link to see interesting photos of la Crème de la crème!


Last but not least is this link about “why living in York ruins your life” forever… yes because if have to leave York after having lived there you will feel homesick for the rest of your life! (Four incredible years did the job for me!)



No  discrimination