Francesco Papi

Post Doc
Postdoctoral researcher

Research Lines

Electron Crystallography




Piazza S. Silvestro, 12, 56127 Pisa, ITALY
+39 050 509495


11/2014 – 02/2018
Philosophiæ Doctor (PhD) Degree in Chemical Sciences, University of Florence, Florence (Italy). Supervisor: Prof. Carla Bazzicalupi.
Thesis title: Structural investigations on the adducts formed by natural and synthetic compounds with non-canonical DNA foldings.

10/2012 – 07/2014
Master’s Degree in Chemical Sciences, University of Florence, Florence (Italy), final mark 110/110 cum laude.
Thesis title: Investigations of the structural features of the adducts formed by semi-synthetic analogues of the natural alkaloid Berberine and non canonical foldings of DNA.

10/2008 – 04/2012
Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Sciences, University of Florence, Florence (Italy), final mark 110/110 cum laude.
Thesis title: Structural analysis of the adducts formed by the natural alkaloid Coptisine and DNA.


Macromolecular crystallography electron crystallography protein DNA X-ray crystallography molecular modelling spectroscopy


Electron crystallography on protein nanocrystals

Selected Publications

Marta Ferraroni, Carla Bazzicalupi, Francesco Papi, Gaetano Fiorillo, Luis Miguel Guamán Ortiz, Alessio Nocentini, Anna Ivana Scovassi, Paolo Lombardi, Paola Gratteri, "Solution and solid state analysis of binding of 13-substituted Berberine analogues to human telomeric G-quadruplexes", Chem. Asian J. 2016, 11(7), 1107–1115. DOI: 10.1002/asia.201600116.

Marta Ferraroni, Carla Bazzicalupi, Francesco Papi, Paola Gratteri, "Double helices forming unusual binding motifs: the case of the natural alkaloids Coptisine and Chelerythrine", chapter in “G-Quadruplex Structures, Formation and Role in Biology” pp. 81–102, Nova Publishers, NY (2016). ISBN: 9781634855129.

Carla Bazzicalupi, Marta Ferraroni, Francesco Papi, Lara Massai, Benoît Bertrand, Luigi Messori, Paola Gratteri, Angela Casini, "Determinants for Tight and Selective Binding of a Medicinal Dicarbene Gold(I) Complex to a Telomeric DNA G-Quadruplex: a joint ESI MS and XRD Investigation", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55(13), 4256–4259. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201511999.

Julia Wirmer-Bartoschek, Lars Erik Bendel, Hendrik R.A. Jonker, Tassilo Grün, Francesco Papi, Carla Bazzicalupi, Luigi Messori, Paola Gratteri, Harald Schwalbe, "Solution NMR Structure of a Ligand/Hybrid-2-G-Quadruplex Complex Reveals Rearrangements that Affect Ligand Binding", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56(25), 7102–7106. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201702135.

Francesco Papi, Carla Bazzicalupi, Marta Ferraroni, Lara Massai, Benoît Bertrand, Paola Gratteri, Donato Colangelo, Luigi Messori, "[Au(9-methylcaffein-8- ylidene)2]+/DNA Tel23 System: Solution, Computational, and Biological Studies", Chem. Eur. J. 2017, 23(55), 13784–13791. DOI:10.1002/chem.201702854.

Francesco Papi, Marta Ferraroni, Riccardo Rigo, Silvia Da Ros, Carla Bazzicalupi, Claudia Sissi, Paola Gratteri, "Role of the benzodioxole group in the interactions between the natural alkaloids Chelerythrine and Coptisine and the human telomeric G -quadruplex DNA. A multiapproach investigation.", J. Nat. Prod. 2017, 80(12), 3128–3135. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.7b00350.


Research fellow: "Structural investigation on the adducts formed by natural and synthetic compounds and non canonical foldings of DNA", "Studio strutturale e modellistico delle interazioni di derivati naturali e sintetici e folding non canonici di acidi nucleici" (01/11/2014 - 31/10/2015, extended to 31/10/2016).

CNI is back in operation!

From today 4th of May CNI has started its way to go back to normal operation. Following the recommended safety procedures for COVID-19, the researchers started their activities in the TEM, Raman spectroscopy, 2D materials growth and characterization laboratories. Soon chemical synthesis and nanoteranostic will follow. The number of researchers that enter the lab every day is still limited but as the things will go better it will growth to normal condition. We hope also that soon PhD students and master student can join us prosecuting their thesis projects.