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Professoressa Ordinaria





1985: High School final examination (Maturita’ Scientifica)
1990: B.S. degree summa cum laude at the University of Padova
1991-1992: Practical training post lauream
1992: state examination (Esame di Stato per l’Abilitazione alla Professione di Biologo)
1991-1995: Ph.D. in "Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathology" at the University of Padova
1998-2011: Assistant Professor in Biochemistry at the University of Padova
2011-to date: Associate Professor in Biochemistry at the University of Padova
2012-to date: National Qualification to Full Professor in Biochemistry
2016-to date: National Qualification to Full Professor in Biochemistry

1990: “Consorzio Padova Ricerche” Award to thesis projects (thesis title: Molecular analysis of nuclear-encoded genes of cytochrome c oxidase of Dictyostelium discoideum).
1996: “International Human frontier Science Program“ fellowship on the topic “Control mechanisms of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis”, on the RG-520/95 M contract of Prof. T. Pozzan.
1996-1998: "Telethon" fellowship on a project titled "Nuclear calpain in cell death with special attention to the development of muscolar distrophy", in collaboration with Prof. E. Carafoli.
2001: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei “Fondazione Dott. Giuseppe Borgia” Award to Biological Sciences.
2003: University of Padua and Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo “StartCup2003” First Award to Innovation.

Intracellular Ca2+ signalling; mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis and its role in aerobic metabolism; pathogenic mechanisms of mitochondrial diseases; functional analysis of Ca2+ transporting proteins in living cells, with a special attention to the plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPases; analysis of Ca2+ homeostasis in living cells carrying mutations in isoform 2 of the plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase causing hearing loss and in isoform 3 causing cerebellar ataxia; analysis of Ca2+ homeostasis in cell model for neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases. Study of the Parkinson disease-related proteins (alpha-synuclein, DJ-1, parkin and PINK1) in cell signaling, calcium homeostasis, mitochondrial function and ER/mitochondria interactions. Development of recombinant tools based on splitGFP to monitor organelles contact sites and sub-mitochondrial distribution of proteins of interest.

Dr. Brini teached Biochemistry and Inorganic Chemistry (from 1998 to 2007) at the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of the University of Padua.From 2008-2014 she teached Molecular Biology at the Veterinary Medicine Faculty of the University of Padua. From 2014 she teaches Biochemistry to the students of Biotechnology and Biology at the Sciences School. From 2000 to 2013 she participated to the Teaching Committee of Doctoral School of Veterinary Medicine and since 2014 to the Teaching Committee of Doctoral School of Biosciences and acts as Tutor for PhD students.


Office hours

  • at Complesso Pluridipartimentale Vallisneri, Via Ugo Bassi 58b, Padova VI piano nord stanza 55
    Tutti i giorni previo appuntamento



10 selected publications (2012-2018):

1. Calì,T., Ottolini, D., Negro, A., Brini,M. Alpha-synuclein controls mitochondrial calcium homeostasis by enhancing endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria interactions. J Biol. Chem. (2012), 287, 17914-17929.

2. Zanni G, Calì T, Kalscheuer VM, Ottolini D, Barresi S, Lebrun N, Montecchi-Palazzi L, Hu H, Chelly J, Bertini E, Brini M*, Carafoli E. A Mutation of Plasma Membrane Ca2+ ATPase Isoform 3 in a Family with X-Linked Congenital Cerebellar Ataxia impairs Ca2+ Homeostasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2012), 109, 14514-14519 *Co-Corresponding Author

3. Calì, T., Ottolini, D., Negro,A, Brini, M. Enhanced parkin levels favour ER-mitochondria crosstalk and guarantee Ca2+ transfer to sustain cell bioenergetics. Biochim Biophys Acta. Molecular Basis of Disease (2013), 1832, 495-508.

4. Ottolini, D., Calì, T.,Negro A., Brini, M. The Parkinson disease-related protein DJ-1 counteracts mitochondrial impairment induced by the tumour suppressor protein p53 by enhancing Endoplasmic Reticulum-mitochondria tethering. Hum Mol Gen (2013), 22, 2152-2168.

5. Brini,M., Calì,T., Ottolini D., Carafoli, E. Neuronal Calcium signaling: function and dysfunction. Cell Mol Life Sci. (2014) 71, 2787-2814.

6. Calì, T., Ottolini, D. ,Soriano, M.E., Brini , M. A new split-GFP-based probe reveals DJ-1 translocation into the mitochondrial matrix to sustain ATP synthesis upon nutrient deprivation. Hum Mol Genet. (2015) 24, 1045-1060.

7. Vicario, M.; Calì,T.; Cieri,D.; Vallese,F.; Bortolotto, R.; Lopreiato, R.; Zonta, F.; Nardella, M.; Micalizzi,A.; Lefeber, D.J.; Valente,E.M.; Bertini, E.; Zanotti, G.; Zanni, G.; Brini, M*.; Carafoli, E.*co-corresponding author A novel PMCA3 mutation in an ataxic patient with hypomorphic phosphomannomutase 2 (PMM2) heterozygote mutations: Biochemical characterization of the pump defect. Biochim Biophys Acta. Mol. Bas Dis (2017) 1863:3303-3312

8. Cieri, D.,Vicario, M.Giacomello,M. Vallese,F.,Filadi,R.,Wagner,T. Pozzan,T. Pizzo,P. Scorrano, L., Brini, M.* Calì, T. SPLICS: a split green fluorescent protein-based contact site sensor for narrow and wide heterotypic organelle juxtaposition. Cell Death Diff (2017), 2017 Dec 11. doi: 10.1038/s41418-017-0033-z. [Epub ahead of print]*co-corresponding author.

9. Betzer C, Lassen LB, Olsen A, Kofoed RH, Reimer L, Gregersen E, Zheng J, Calì T, Gai WP, Chen T, Moeller A, Brini M, Fu Y, Halliday G, Brudek T, Aznar S, Pakkenberg B, Andersen JP, Jensen PH. Alpha-synuclein aggregates activate calcium pump SERCA leading to calcium dysregulation. EMBO Rep. (2018) Mar 29. pii: e44617. doi: 10.15252/embr.201744617. [Epub ahead of print]

10.Vicario, M., Zanni G., Vallese, F., Santorelli, F., Grinzato, A., Cieri, D., Berto, P., Frizzarin,M., Lopreiato, R., Zonta, F., Ferro, S., Sandre, R., Marin, O., Ruzzene, M., Bertini, E., Zanotti,G., Brini,M*., Calì,T.,Carafoli, E. A V1143F mutation in the neuronal-enriched isoform 2 of the PMCA pump is linked with ataxia. Neurobiol Dis (2018) Apr 12. pii: S0969-9961(18)30117-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2018.04.009. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:29655659. ]*co-corresponding author

Research Area

Calcium homeostasis
Analysis of the transport mechanisms of calcium ions
Mitochondrial metabolism
Neurodegenerative diseases

Thesis proposals

Analysis of intracellular calcium signalling and mitochondria function in cell models expressing wt or mutant Parkinson disease- related proteins

Use of recombinant tools to monitor intracellular parameters

Development of new tools to investigate organelles contact sites