<figcaption> Credit: © 2007 PAOLO CAPPELLI</figcaption>
Credit: © 2007 PAOLO CAPPELLI

On weekends, Fabrizio Chiti can be found behind the wheel of his RV, exploring the Italian countryside with his wife and daughter. A decade ago, as an undergraduate at the University of Florence, Chiti never imagined he would be doing science in his home country, let alone in the same department where he became fascinated by proteins. "I was told there were no chances for me," Chiti says. "The opportunities and funding for science were not very good in Florence at that period."

A young Chiti heeded the warning and left for the University of Oxford in 1996 to do his doctoral work with Chris Dobson. Chiti spent three years researching the folding properties of muscle acylphosphatase. Before Chiti's graduation, however, Dobson's interests shifted to protein aggregation, and Chiti was reluctant to follow. "I was deeply involved in protein folding," Chiti says. Dobson wanted his...

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