Loving one’s work, unfortunately the privilege of a few, represents the best, most concrete approximation of happiness on Earth...

Primo Levi

Claudia Bonfio

Group Leader


I was born in Siena, a beautiful medieval city in Tuscany, mostly known for the wine produced in the surroundings. I completed my BSc and MSc studies in Chemistry and my PhD in Biomolecular Sciences in late 2017, working on the origin and catalytic activity of ancient proteins. Later, as a Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow, I joined the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, where I looked into the chemical origin of modern cells. After a short stay at the University of Cambridge as an 1851 Research Fellow, exploring prebiotic membrane signalling, ISIS welcomed me to start my research group. We are currently working on the design and development of functional primitive cells capable of Darwinian evolution.


Maiia Aleksandrova

PhD Student

prebiotic lipid synthesis

Sergiu Bicic

MSc Student

peptide-membrane interactions

Fidan Rahmatova

MSc Student

lipid-nucleotide conjugates

Jordan Wasnaire

Erasmus+ Student

primitive cells


Sergiu Bicic, MSc student (University of Strasbourg), 2022

Fidan Rahmatova, MSc student (University of Strasbourg), 2022

Jordan Wasnaire, Erasmus+ student (KU Leuven), 2022