World Food Forum
Rosangela Marchelli

"Research on food must be based on solid scientific knowledge and methodological soundness."


Rosangela Marchelli

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Full professor University of Parma (now retired), Member of the NDA Panel EFSA

Born in Vigevano (PV), graduated (Laurea) in Chemistry at the University of Pavia. After two years (1967-69) in Canada as post-doctoral fellow at the National Research Council, Halifax, Nova Scotia, she joined the University of Parma, where she developed her entire academic career: lecturer, associated professor (1982), full professor of Organic Chemistry (1986).

She spent several periods of time abroad  for research purposes: visiting professor at the Dalhousie University (Halifax, N.S. Canada), visiting scientist at the Weizman Institute (Rehovot, Israel) and as NATO_fellow at UCLA , University of California (Davis, Ca, USA). She has been acting as Head of the Post-Graduate School  in “Food Chemistry and Technology” and Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Parma from 1995 to 2010. During the same years she acted as the Delegate of the Italian Chemistry Society at the Federation of the European Chemistry Societies, now EUCHEMS (European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences), in the Food Chemistry Division. For many years she has been the Head of a research group of Bioorganic Chemistry at the Department of Organic and Industrial Chemistry of the University of Parma.  Since 2006 to present, she is member of the Panel on Nutrition, Dietetic products and Food Allergy (NDA) of EFSA (European Food Safety Authority, Parma), member of the WG on Novel Foods and Chair of the WG on Food Allergy.

Prof. Marchelli developed her researches  in the field of Organic Chemistry, first in the field of isolation and biosynthesis of natural substances, then in the study of mechanisms and methods of chiral discrimination, in particular of D,L-amino acids. A parallel line of research concerned Food Chemistry, in particular the development of methods for assessing authenticity of foods, methods of detection of GMO, of mycotoxins and food allergens. The latest development of her research is related to the synthesis and properties of chiral peptide nucleic acids (PNA), which turned out to be particularly specific for the recognition of DNA and RNA. PNAs were used as very selective probes for food diagnostics (GMO and food allergens) and biomedical diagnostics as well as promising drugs targeting either DNA or microRNAs.

In 2010 prof Marchelli received  the Research Award by the Division of Organic Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society (SCI).  Since novembre 2011 she is retired.