Francesco Mutti is the group leader of HIMS-Biocat. He was born in Bergamo and obtained a Master’s degree with summa cum laude in industrial chemistry in 2004 at the University of Milan (Italy). After a one year experience in the R&D laboratories of two chemical industries, he was granted a doctoral fellowship by the Italian Minister of Research and University (MIUR) to study the catalytic activities and the reaction mechanisms of metal-dependent oxidoreductases such as laccases, tyrosinases and a novel oxygenase by using biomimetic models and fungal enzymes (2005-2008, Department of Chemistry; PhD promotors Prof. M. Gullotti and Prof. W. Kroutil). After completion of the PhD in December 2008, Francesco’s research was funded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie post-doctoral fellowship (2009) during which he performed studies on multi-step chemo-enzymatic redox processes at the Department of Organic & Bioorganic Chemistry at the KF University of Graz, Austria (group of Prof. W. Kroutil and Prof. K. Faber). Later, again at the KF University of Graz as a post-doctoral member of the AmBioCas project (EU FP7), he extended his research studies to include biocatalytic synthesis of amines using ω-transaminases and the redox self-sufficient amination of alcohols. In 2013, Francesco moved to the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) at the School of Chemistry of The University of Manchester (group of Prof. Nicholas J. Turner), where he started his studies on the engineering and application of amine dehydrogenases as a member of the European consortium BioNexGen (EU FP7). In 2014, Francesco was granted a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant that allowed him to start an independent research programme as Research Fellow at the MIB. During this time, he continued his research on the asymmetric enzymatic hydrogen-borrowing amination of alcohols. In July 2015, he moved to the Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to take a position as the Head of the Biocatalysis group. He is currently associate professor of biocatalysis at the University of Amsterdam.
Francesco has been the recipient of prestigious European grants (Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship, ERC Starting Grant), national Dutch grants (NWO Sector Plan on Physics and Chemistry, NWO Echo, TKI Chemie), UvA funding (RPA Sust. Chem.) and international funding (CSC). He was also a post-doctoral member of a number of EU-FP7 projects (AmBioCas, N° 245144; BioNexGen, N° 266025; CHEM21, N° 115360; RevCat, N° 035866).
He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC, UK), the Flow Chemistry Society, the Netherlands Biotechnology Society (NBV), the Holland Research School of Molecular Chemistry (HRSMC), and he is honorary member of the Argentinian Chemical Society of organic chemistry and honorary Research Fellow at The University of Manchester (UK). He also serves as a board member of the Netherlands Institute for Catalysis Research (NIOK).
Francesco has published about 50 research papers in peer-reviewed international journals (including top science and chemistry journals such as Science, Nature Catalysis, Nature Communications, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, ACS Catalysis, Green Chemistry, etc.), 11 book chapters and 5 world patents.
He was recipient of the “Italian Chemical Society Award 2005” (Italian Chemical Society) and the “University Research Award of Industry 2008” (Austrian Society of Enterprises). In 2017, he was included in the Top-100 list of Italian scientists under the age of 40 from all science fields including physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, and social sciences and humanities (Italian Institute of Culture, Brussels–Belgium). In 2018, he was included in “ChemBioTalents’ emerging scientists list” by ChemBioChem journal’s board members.