Marino Zerial

  • Director, Directorate

Marino Zerial graduated in biology at the University of Trieste (Italy) in 1982 with a thesis on lysosomal storage disorders. He conducted post-doctoral experiences at the Institut Jacques Monod (Paris, France) and at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL (Heidelberg, Germany). He became group leader at the EMBL in 1989 and Max Planck Director as well as co-founder of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, MPI-CBG, (Dresden, Germany) in 1998. In addition, he is Honorary Professor at the Medical Faculty, Technische Universität Dresden (Germany).

Marino Zerial has made key contributions towards the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of endocytosis. His work on Rab GTPases as master regulators of organelle biogenesis and membrane fusion has established key principles which are textbook knowledge. He has been working on various translational projects, including the role of endocytosis in bacterial infection, development of image-based high content screenings, delivery of macromolecule therapeutics and studies of human liver diseases.

Marino Zerial was awarded several international research prizes, such as the 1994 FEBS Anniversary Prize, the Chiara D’Onofrio Prize (1999), the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (2006), and the Fritz Lipmann Honorary Lecture, Award of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2019). He was elected EMBO Member in 1996 and Member of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in 2019. Furthermore, he has recently been elected International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2021).