Welcome to the chitin site of Prof. Riccardo A.A. Muzzarelli

Updated 3 September 2013

Prof. Dr. Riccardo Muzzarelli

Professor Emeritus of Enzymology; Doctor of Chemistry; Ph.D. Applied Radiochemistry.

Concise Curriculum


Riccardo A.A. Muzzarelli is best known for his scientific endeavour in elucidating the chemical and biochemical characteristic properties of chitins and chitosans, and for his charisma that enabled him to bring together scientists of the diverse backgrounds, interested in disparate aspects of chitins in nature and technology. In fact, he acted as organizer and chairman of the 1st International Conference on Chitin and Chitosan, Boston, 1977, sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that generated the ongoing series of Conferences being held every 3 years.

The father and several ancestors of R.A.A. Muzzarelli were medical doctors, including Prof. Giulio Bizzozero, the world-wide known discoverer of the blood platelets. He received his Doctor of Chemistry degree from the University of Modena, Italy, and then specialized in Radioisotope Techniques at the Polytechnic School in Milan, Italy. After a post-doctoral training at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, USA, he was appointed Assistant Professor of General Chemistry at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. Back in Italy, he was Associate Professor of Quantitative Analytical Chemistry at the University of Bologna, to become full Professor of Enzymology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ancona. In the latter position he had additional duties as Director of the Centre for Innovative Biomaterials, Head of the Institute of Biochemistry, member of the Scientific Board of the Library, and member of the Administration Board of the University.

His activity as an inventor led him to have many contacts with the industrial world, and in particular he was a scientific consultant to Anic Chemicals, Milan, Italy; Enel Atomic Energy, Milan, Italy; Gentili Pharmaceuticals, Pisa, Italy; Lepetit Pharmaceuticals, Varese, Italy; Magneti Marelli, Milan, Italy; Merck, Darmstadt, Germany; Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, USA; Sandoz Chemicals, Milan, Italy; Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Basel, Switzerland; Sirc Dietary Foods, Milan, Italy; and some others, more recently.

He is currently one of the five Editors of the Elsevier journal “Carbohydrate Polymers”.