Ernesto Fattorusso was born in Sorrento (Napoli) in 1937; he received his degree in Chemistry from the University of Naples in 1960 and got the Libera Docenza in Chemistry of Natural Products in 1967.
From 1960 to 1975 he served as assistant and lecturer at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the University of Naples and in 1975 he rose through the ranks of full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Faculty of Science.
During his tenure at this Faculty he was Coordinator of the Consiglio di Corso di laurea in Chimica. In 1980 he moved to the Faculty of Pharmacy, where he was elected Dean twice (1987-1990 and 1997-2000).
In the last decade he was Director of the Department of Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali and of the Centro Interdipartimentale di Analisi Strumentale. Currently, he is Coordinator of the National Research Project Natural Compounds ant Synthetic Analogues with Antitumor Activity.
He is member of the Editorial Board of:
- Marine Drugs
- Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines
- 2002 A. Quilico Award from Società Chimica Italiana
- 2004 Paul Scheuer Award from Akademie of Erfurt (Germany)
Prof. Fattorusso’s research, which has led to about 300 publications, has focused upon the following topics
- STRUCTURE AND BIOGENESIS OF MELANINS ANF PHAEMELANINS
- CHEMISTRY OF BIOACTIVE METABOLITES FROM MARINE ORGANISMS.
The second subject involves the isolation and structure elucidation of novel organic metabolites produced by marine invertebrates (mainly sponges and ascydians) and algae.
The structures of the new metabolites were elucidated primarily by spectroscopic analysis,multipulse 1D and 2D nmr experiments playing a pivotal role in the structure elucidation. This research, started at the end of the sixties, is still goin on.
The researchs on marine natural products deal with the isolation and structure determination of bioactive secondary metabolites of invertebrates (sponges, ascidians, anthozoans, bryozoans, soft corals, hydroids) and algae.
More than 300 new products belonging to the class of steroids, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, sesterterpenes, carotenoids, alkaloids and glycolipids have been isolated and their stereostructures have been determined on the basis of chemical and spectroscopic evidences. A number of the isolated metabolites showed to be biologically active (antibiotic, antifungal, cytotoxic, immunostimulating etc.).
Starting from 1992 Prof. Fattorusso worked on the biochemistry of invertebrates of the Lagoon of Venice within the scientific project Sistema lagunare veneziano.
He is currently interested in the chemistry of spongal glycolipids active on the immune system, cytotoxic metabolites from Mediterranean Ascidiae and endoperoxidic metabolites from porifera. A further research is centered on the biotoxins responsible of the periodic toxicity of mussels produced in the Adriatic sea. In particular okadaic acid, yessotoxin and PSP toxins have been detected for the first time in mussels collected in the main producing area of the Adriatic sea.
Very recently he undertook a survey on the biochemistry of the plans belonging to Euphorbiacee family with the aim to isolate diterpenes modulators of multidrug resistence.