Dr Ivano Bertini was a scientist of global repute, specialising most recently in the structure-function relationship of metalloproteins using biophysical methods of analysis, notably NMR. Originally an inorganic chemist, Ivano was a forward thinker who saw the power of NMR technology to determine solution structures using paramagnetic methods and to investigate electron and nuclear relaxation, which he recently extended to in-cell NMR, a new frontier for biological analysis. To support his technological vision, Ivano established an internationally recognised centre of excellence in NMR in 1990, based at the University of Florence. This was followed by the Magnetic Resonance Centre (CERM) housing many high field NMR spectrometers on which he built a major NMR centre for the life sciences.
Ivano was one of the original members whose vision and determination brought the first of many EU-funded interdisciplinary structural biology consortia together. SPINE (Structural Proteomics in Europe, starting 2002) was the first of the large collaborative projects that consolidated a core group of scientists to initiate and develop European structural biology technologies through collaborative research. SPINE was followed by SPINE2-Complexes (in 2006) and Instruct (in 2007). Ivano was a key driver in realising these project objectives and he remained the major NMR member of Instruct until his death. Independently, he led many other programmes in the NMR field, also embracing software and genomic technologies.
Ivano was the recipient of numerous awards and was a member of the Academia Europaea and the Italian Accademia dei Lincei. His scientific stature and his personal strength and vitality will be sadly missed by his colleagues and friends in the structural biology community.