At the end of 2020, Francesco Simone Ruggeri has joined as Assistant Professor the chair groups of Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry of Wageningen University.
He holds a PhD in biophysics obtained in 2015 at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, where he acquired a strong expertise on scanning probe microscopy and single molecule methods. He has also acquired deep expertise in scanning probe microscopy, surface science, spectroscopy, data analysis, image processing and single particle characterisation.
Before his appointment in Wageningen, he has completed his independent Junior Research Fellowship at the Darwin College and his post-doctoral research at the Department of Chemistry & Centre for Misfolding disease at University of Cambridge (UK).
In his previous research, he has developed and applied of single molecule biophysical approaches, such as infrared nanospectroscopy, in combination with microfluidics, to study the chemical and structural properties of biological systems that are challenging to access using conventional bulk biophysical methods (Nature Nanotechnology, 2020; ACS Nano, 2020; Nucleic Acid Research, 2019; Nature Communications, 2019 & 2018 & 2017; PNAS, 2018; Nature Chemistry, 2018; Cell, 2018). Furthermore, he has first demonstrated the application of peak-force tapping mode and of infrared nanospectroscopy (AFM-IR) to correlate the nanomechanical, chemical and structural properties of biological samples at the nanoscale in air and liquid environment.
As major advance in the field of microscopy and spectroscopy, he has also demonstrated that infrared nanospectroscopy is capable to acquire the chemical fingerprint and secondary structure of biological samples in native liquid environments (ACS Nano, 2018) and at the single biomolecule scale (Nature Communications, 2020).
Overall, Dr. Ruggeri´s approach has brought new insights into the formation and structural characterization of misfolding of proteins and their correlation with the onset of neurodegenerative disorders.
The objective of his present and future research is the development and application of novel Physical methods at the interface with Chemistry and Biology. He will continuously push the boundaries of the nanoscale microscopy and spectroscopy to shed light on the molecular processes underlying life, cell function and disease, as well as study advanced functional surfaces and biomaterials.