- Vivi Padova
- Il Bo
1970 Degree in Biological Sciences, University of Padova (Italy)
1976-1978 Post-doctoral fellow in bioenergetics at the Dept. of Biochemistry of the University of Oxford, U.K. (c/o Prof. G.K. Radda)
1986-1988 Post-doctoral fellow in mitochondrial electrophysiology at the Abteilung Membrane Biophysik of the Max-Planck Institut für biophysikalische Chemie, Göttingen, Germany (c/o Prof. E. Neher and W. Stühmer)
1971-1987 Research Fellow of the Italian Research Council (CNR), in the Unit for the Study of Mitochondrial Physiology, Dept. of Biological Chemistry, University of Padova
1988-1993 Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy, University of Padova
1994-present Chair, Professor of Medical Chemistry in the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Padova
Originally, the work of Dr. Sorgato has dealt mainly within the field of energy transduction processes and intracellular channels (Sorgato, M.C., Keller, B.U. and Stühmer, W. (1987) “ Patch-clamping of the inner mitochondrial membrane reveals a voltage-dependent ion channel”. Nature 330, 498-500). Her recognized contribution to these fields resulted in invitations to speak at major symposia, and to write reviews that have appeared in leading journals (Ferguson, S.J. and Sorgato, M.C. (1982) “Proton electrochemical gradients and energy-transduction processes”. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 51, 185-217; Sorgato, M.C. and Moran, O. (1993) "Channels in mitochondrial membranes: knowns, unknowns and prospects for the future". CRC Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 18, 127-171). Her most significant contribution to these areas of research has been the application of the patch clamp technique to the mitochondrion. The result of this work has opened new perspectives in the physiology of the inner membrane of mitochondria, particularly in the now very popular area of mitochondrial channels, as well as on the in situ single channel analysis of other cellular organelles.
At the end of the ‘90s, she has moved her research interests to the field of the prion protein and diseases. The availability of large amounts of the full length mature prion protein, generated in bacteria and purified in a structured form, has led to the choice of Dr. Sorgato as the co-ordinator of a major EU project (1998-2001) on the structural pathogenic transition of the prion protein. Although her laboratory has examined the issue of soil contamination by prions, which resulted in the development of a method to detect prions directly in soil samples, the main interest of Dr. Sorgato in the field has always been focused on the elusive physiology of the prion protein. In this framework, her laboratory was the first to adopt imaging techniques to follow the metabolism of the protein (fused with fluorescent probes) in live cells, and to analyze if and how the protein modulates Ca2+ movements in specific cell domains. Another aspect of her work worth mentioning – she envisaged it as a bridge over the gap between isolated cell and whole animal approaches - is the application of a strategy that considers the in vivo use of skeletal muscles, and the use of intact muscle organs, i.e. perfused hearts, in which to verify the role of the protein in cell differentiation, and in protecting cells against oxidative stress injury.
Sorgato, M. C., and Bertoli, A. (2004). Mitochondrial Channels. In Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry (Lennarz, W. J. & Lane, D. M., eds.), Vol. 2, pp. 689-692. Elsevier, New York
Sorgato, M. C., and Bertoli, A. (2013). Mitochondrial Channels. In Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry (Lennarz, W. J. & Lane, D. M., eds.), Vol. 3, pp. 127-131. Waltham, MA: Academic Press