Alessandra Operamolla

Alessandra Operamolla received a Ph.D. in Chemistry of Innovative Materials in 2009 from the University of Bari, under the supervision of Prof. Francesco Babudri. She was a post-doctoral fellow between 2009 and 2015 at the Chemistry Department, in the research group of Prof. Gianluca Farinola. She visited the Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cells (LIOS), Austria, in 2008 and 2010, where she worked under the supervision of Prof. N. S. Sariciftci. In 2010 she received an exchange grant from the European Science Foundation. After a brief period at the Pharmacy Department of the University of Bari, in 2016 she won a competitive grant financed by Regione Puglia and was appointed Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Chemistry Department, where she started independent research on cellulose nanomaterials. From December 2019 she moved to the Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry Department of the University of Pisa, where she was appointed Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry.
Prof. Operamolla is an Organic Chemist, whose research interests are focused on organometallic cross-coupling methodologies for the synthesis of organic semiconductors, both small molecules, and macromolecular materials. She has designed new multidentate thiols for self-assembling and molecular electronics. She has studied, independently and in collaboration with Italian companies, new strategies for the synthesis of thiophene-based materials for solar cells. After that, she moved her interest to organic-biologic hybrids for the chemical manipulations of photosynthesis.
Presently, she leads the NanoLeaves group, focusing on the functionalization of nanocrystalline cellulose for several technological applications, and is interested in the application of Nature-derived biopolymers as innovative materials.

Rosarita D’Orsi

Rosarita D’Orsi is a post-doc researcher in Organic Chemistry since July 2021 at the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the University of Pisa.
She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2020 from the University of Salerno, under the supervision of Prof. Maria Funicello. In 2018 she spent some months as visiting fellow at the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry of the University of Wien, working on highly chemoselective difluoromethylative homologation of iso(thio)cyanates, under the supervision of Prof. Wolfgang Holzer and Prof. Vittorio Pace. In 2020/2021 she was a post-doc researcher in Organic Chemistry at the Department of Sciences of the University of Basilicata, where she worked on the synthesis of new potential HIV Protease inhibitors and SAR studies for drug delivery with microparticles. Her research interests were focused on  synthesis, characterization and application of derivatives of trans 2,3-diaryl-2,3-dihydrobenzofurans and differently substituted benzofurans and on the synthesis of antiviral and anticancer compounds. 

Presently, she works on the chemical and structural characterization of lignin residues and their chemical functionalization towards novel applications in the field of advanced materials. She is interested in the study of biomacromolecules, functionalization of nanocrystalline cellulose, and extraction and molecular characterization of lignin for the application of these biopolymers in materials science.

Laura Spagnuolo

Laura is a Ph.D. candidate of the Doctoral School in Chemistry and Materials Science. The aim of her project is to extract cellulose nanocrystals or nanofibres from waste lignocellulosic biomass and use the nanocrystals and nanofibres as a coating for textiles. The combination of the nanocrystals with other bio-based active molecules to enhance the protective properties of the coating is a goal of the project. The research activity will be carried out at the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the University of Pisa, Grenoble INP, and Pangaia- Grado Zero Srl.

Matteo Cei

Matteo is a Master’s student in Chemistry, carrying out his thesis work under the supervision of Prof. Alessandra Operamolla and Dr. Francesco Zinna, on photonic structures deriving from cellulose nanocrystals and organic or inorganic fluorophores.


Martina Tognoni

Martina Tognoni received her Bachelor’s diploma in Chemistry from the University of Pisa in March 2022 under the supervision of Alessandra Operamolla. Her work was focused on the study of enzyme immobilization on cellulose nanocrystals.

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