Claudia Crestini

Full Professor for General and Inorganic Chemistry

Her research interests deal with the development of catalytic, biomimetic and biocatalytic systems for the selective oxidation and functionalization natural polyphenols, in particular of lignins and tannins. She has focused her attention on the study of the mechanisms of action of oxidative enzymes on the development of enzyme systems and immobilized multyenzyme, on the synthesis of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts and planning and realization of biomimetic systems aimed at the oxidation of polyphenolic systems. Furthermore, the development of new analytical techniques designed to characterize the structure of lignin and polyphenols has also been a focal point of her work.
Recent efforts that have embarked form her past fundamental work have allowed for the development of innovative nanomaterials and hybrid nanomaterials from polyphenols such as nanoparticles, nanocapsules and nanofibers.
She is author of 14 patents, 2 books and more than 150 publications on international refereed journals, and over 100 scientific oral contributions at international conferences, meetings and focused thematic schools. Her papers have been cited over 5000 times and her h-index is 47 (Google scholar). 

Matteo Gigli

Assistant Professor (tenure track) for General and Inorganic Chemistry

His research interests are mainly devoted to the development of polymeric materials for sustainable applications, such as ion-exchange membranes for energy, biodegradable and bio-based polymers and composites for packaging, agriculture or biomedicine, shape-memory materials and thermoplastic elastomers, bio-based thermoplastics and thermosets of industrial interest.
Various are synthetic strategies and structure-properties relationships are studied to obtain materials with tailored features for the intended use.
He has been awarded in 2013 with the Future Leaders in Chemistry Prize by CAS, and in 2014 with the PhD Best Thesis Award by the Italian Association of Chemistry for Engineering (AICIng). He is author of 3 patents and 47 publications on peer-reviewed international journals. His h-index is 20 (Scopus).

Massimo Sgarzi

Tenure-track Assistant Professor in General and Inorganic Chemistry 

His research vision concerns the preparation of cost-effective and recyclable nanocomposites to be utilized in nanomedicine and water remediation. Ideal components of these nanocomposites are biopolymers, which are particularly interesting due to their low environmental impact and their high sustainability. The coupling of biopolymers with nanomaterials can create materials endowed with multifunctionality and a stimuli-responsive behaviour.

External members

Heiko Lange

Associate Professor in General and Inorganic Chemistry, University of Milano-Bicocca

His research includes the structural characterization of tannins and lignins by advanced analytical techniques, the chemical / biochemical / biotechnology-based modification of tannins and lignin oligomers for specific applications in high added-value copolymers, the development of tannin and lignin-based nanostructured functional particles for controlled and targeted drug delivery purposes and the development of nano- and microscale fibrous materials using exclusively natural polyphenols.
He is author of 10 patents & patent applications and over 50 publications on peer-reviewed international journals. His h-index is 25.

PhD Students

Nicolò Pajer

PhD in Chemistry - XXXV cycle

His research aims at the fractionation of lignin biomass and its valorization as precursor for the development of carbon nanofibers and greener tanning agents.

Valeria Gagliardi

PhD in Materials for Health, Environment and Energy – XXXVI cycle

Her research is focused on the oxidative upgrade of technical lignin by the development of innovative metal-catalyzed processes.

Paolo Guzzonato

PhD in Chemistry - XXXV cycle

His PhD research activity focuses on the development of coatings for the preservation and restoration of ancient manuscripts and on their non-invasive characterization.

Daniele Massari

PhD in Chemistry - XXXVIII cycle

His PhD research activity focuses on the development of lignin-based high performance sustainable coatings. His PhD project is performed in collaboration with ENI Versalis.


Sebastiano Alessi

His works deals with the preparation of lignin-based microcapsules for the release of active compounds.

Salvatore Caterino

His activity is devoted to the preparation and characterization of polyphenol-based inks according to medieval recipes.

Giacomo Polon

His research activity is focused on the preparation of hybrid nanostructures with antimicrobial activity.

His PhD research activity regarded the preparation of carbon dots from renewable resources for medical and photocatalytical applications. His current project is focused on the synthesis of lignin-based nanoparticles and capsules for the release of actives.

Visiting Students

Christina Pappa

Her research is focused on the development of innovative materials from technical lignins.

Open Positions

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate research opportunities are often available. Interested students should contact Prof. Crestini or Dr. Gigli.

PhD Students

Positions open every year in spring. Besides Chemistry, we accept students from many disciplines, including Materials Science, Science and Technologies for Cultural Heritage, and Science and Technology of Bio and Nanomaterials. If you are interested in biomass valorization, polyphenols chemistry, and sustainable polymers development, please contact us!

Postdoctoral Researchers

At present, we do not have funding to support postdoctoral fellowships. However, researchers with independent support are encouraged to inquire about possible projects. To apply, please email a cover letter stating research interests, up-to-date CV, and a list of two/three references.