In remembrance of Anna Tramontano

Anna Tramontano was a leading figure in the field of bioinformatics. PHOTO: EMBL

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EMBL’s alumni community and the international research community mourn the passing of Anna Tramontano

By Gennaro Ciliberto, Giulia Piaggio and Valeria Poli

Anna Tramontano studied physics at the University of Naples Federico II, and started her research career at the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (IGB) of CNR where she focused much of her work on computational biology during her time with Antonio Cascino’s group. Following her time as a postdoc at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), she worked as a staff scientist in the Biocomputing Programme at EMBL in Heidelberg for several years.

In 1990, she returned to Italy and took on the role as Director of the Department of Chemistry and Computational Biology, at the Institute of Molecular Biology Research (IRBM) in Pomezia, which was headed by Riccardo Cortese. In 2001, Anna became Full Professor of Biochemistry at the Department of Biochemical Sciences, and then was later appointed the same role for the Department of Physics at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.

Anna held prestigious national and international positions and her career was resonant with awards and recognitions. She served as member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), EMBO, the Institute Pasteur-Fondazione Cenci Bolognetti, and was also among the organisers of a renowned international experiment called Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP). She served on numerous advisory boards of European and Italian research institutes, as well as editing prestigious scientific journals, where she won several prizes. All of these achievements highlight her strong personality. Anna was not only a devoted scientist but also an exemplary civil servant, devoting her time and energy to public service to science.

Anna was a leading researcher in the field of bioinformatics, whose original contribution to research has been extraordinary – in particular to the study of protein folding and the prediction of protein-protein interaction. But above all, Anna has been a guide and a role model for many generations of young researchers, known for always combining her passion for science with openness to dialogue. Anna, a true friend to many of us, leaves a huge void. Her smile, sharp wit and immense intelligence will always be fondly remembered.

With much love from your friends at EMBL.


Funds in Anna’s name

For those who wish to contribute, two donation funds have been established in Anna’s name.

Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC)

Set up by her students to support important projects in cancer research. This fund is already in operation.

Student Council Internship Initiative

Set up by the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) to fund travel for disadvantaged students to laboratories. This fund is currently being established.

More tributes to Anna from the EMBL community

Obituary: Anna Tramontano
A tribute to Anna Tramontano