Ask The Expert: Meet our partners Silvio Tosatto and Peter Tompa

By Ana Filipa Castro, Joana Saavedra, Sofia Figueiredo, Sára Varga – Members of the ESRs group

“You shouldn’t dream about becoming a great scientist, rather you should love what you are working on…” Peter Tompa.

Who is Silvio Tosatto?

Silvio Tosatto holds a degree in Computer Science & Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics. He is a full professor of Bioinformatics and Principal Investigator at the BioComputingLab at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Padova. Silvio Tosatto’s research covers several aspects of, what is generally termed, bioinformatics and computational biology. His lab is focused on the integrative framework of development of novel computational methods to predict protein structures and their applications to biologically relevant issues. He authored more than 200 publications and books and he is one of the core members of the PhasAGE consortium.

In this short interview, Silvio shared how his scientific career began, what led him to pursue the field of computational biology, with a special focus on the study of protein structure. He also shared how he manages to be successful in attracting European funding for his research group and how he manages to be involved in so many international projects, including PhasAGE.

Who is Peter Tompa?

Peter Tompa is a distinguished scientist and researcher. He received his PhD in biochemistry and enzymology from ELTE University in Budapest in 1991. Currently, he is a group leader at the VIB (Flanders Institute of Biotechnology) Structural Biology Research Center (SBRC) in Brussels. Throughout his career, Peter Tompa has made significant contributions to the field of structural biology, mostly contributing to the understanding of the properties and functions of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Tompa’s research sheds light on the fascinating world of IDPs and liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of proteins in cell physiology and disease, with a primary focus on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

This joyful conversational interview took place as part of the fourth Training School organized in Porto. During this interview, Peter shared with the participants of the Training School how he made his way through difficult times in science, and how he faced all the difficulties he encountered along the way. He also shared how loving science and paying attention to the moments of revelation led him to those “wow” moments during his career.

The videos were edited using, with royalty-free images and music.