Michele Morgante is Full Professor of genetics at the University of Udine, Rector’s Delegate for research and technology transfer, and Scientific Director of the Institute of Applied Genomics, a private non-profit research centre he helped establish in 2006. After completing his studies at the University of Padua, he spent two years as a post-doc with the DuPont genomics group in Wilmington, USA, where he concentrated on analyses and applications concerning microsatellite regions in plant genomes. Subsequently he became a researcher at the Plant Production Department at the University of Udine. After a few years he returned to DuPont Genomics Research as Senior Scientist. Here he led a research group studying the organization of the maize genome and building a complete physical map of this genome.
He returned to Italy and Udine at the end of 2002, where much of his time and energy was devoted to establishing and subsequently running the Institute of Applied Genomics (Istituto di Genomica Applicata – IGA), founded in 2006 by the University of Udine and Friuli Innovazione. This research institute currently has a staff of over 30 people working on genomics and bio-informatics, and Michele Morgante is its scientific director (http://www.appliedgenomics.org). After sequencing the genome of the vine, IGA also sequenced the genome of the peach and of several citrus fruits, and has established itself as one of the main international centres of genome analysis. IGA was the first institute in Italy to use the Illumina dye sequencing technique as early as 2008, and is currently far and away the leading institute in Italy in the use of this technology, providing services and support to a great many laboratories in Italy and in Europe.
Michele Morgante was awarded the 2005 Medal for Physical and Natural Science of the National Academy of the Sciences (also known as Accademia dei XL) and is a Member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and of the Academia Europaea.