Alessandro Senes received is undergraduate degree (Laurea cum laude) from the University of Sassari, Sardinia, Italy with a thesis on the analysis of glycosaminoglycans polisaccharides by HPLC (advisors G.M. Cherchi and M. Formato). He obtained his Ph.D. from the Dept. of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, working in the laboratory of Don Engelman. As a graduate student he identified motifs that are important for the folding of membrane proteins using statistical sequence analysis, structural analysis and biophysical techniques (coadvisor Mark Gerstein). He learned molecular modeling at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab (advisors Bruce Tidor and Bob Sauer), and later joined the laboratory of Bill DeGrado at the University of Pennsylvania where he developed computational tools for the design of membrane proteins, and created an artificial membrane protein that can transfer electrons across a lipid bilayer.

Alessandro joined the faculty at the Biochemistry Department of UW-Madison in 2008. He was promoted to Associate with tenure in 2014 and to full professor in 2020. His laboratory continues to follow his long-time interest in the structure and function of integral membrane proteins, applying and developing computational and biophysical techniques for their study. The two main projects in the lab include understanding membrane protein association motifs and determining the structural organization of the bacterial divisome (the cell division machinery).

Alessandro is the director of the Biophysics PhD program and the Molecular Biophysics NIH Training Grant.

Alessandro’s primary teaching assignment is Biochem 551 “Biochemical Methods”, an undergraduate course that integrates classroom teaching, an experimental laboratory and a research seminar section to teach modern biochemical techniques. He is also involved in several graduate level seminar courses, including “Membrane protein structure and function” (Biochem 924), the IPiB seminar (Biochem 729) and the Biophysics seminar (CHEM 872).

Alessandro is married to Carey McAndrews, a Professor in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture” at UW-Madison. In his spare time Alessandro enjoys motorcycling, soccer, sprinting, cooking, and Linux.