Isabella Panfoli attended the academic course of Architecture, at University of Genova, and achieved her Degree in Architecture cum Laude, her true interest has always been Science, since she was at school. Consistently she soon started to study Biological Sciences at the Faculty of Sciences at University of Genova. Once she got her Degree in Biological Sciences cum Laude, her interest for science was focused to visual transduction. She studied the molecular mechanism of vertebrate photo transduction, the role of G-proteins, Calmodulin, and Ca2 and finally the bioenergetics of ATP supply in the rod outer segments, as well as many other topics in biochemistry. In 2006, her proteomic, biochemical and imaging studies on rod outer segment disks allowed her to first hypothesize the existence of an extra-mitochondrial aerobic respiration and oxidative phosphorylation in rod outer segment disks, which she demonstrated to be a reality. This novel mechanism would be responsible for the ATP production for visual transduction.
Her interest focused also on myelin sheath, which displays the same expression of mitochondrial proteins belonging to the respiratory chain. She is now studying the common characteristics of the “mitochondrial inner membrane-like membranes”, that literature shows to be pervasive, and not restricted to the nervous system. The cellular membranes that express the mitochondrial super complex for aerobic respiration can supply with ATP the tissues that do not have mitochondria or that have a high-energy demand. Her main interest is science, and moreover its application to medicine, therefore has started also to attend the academic course of Medicine in 2010 widening her interests. Her cultural interests runs also to arts and music, in fact she plays piano and paints as an amateur.