Alessandra Picchiotti

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Notkestrasse 85 (building 61 – room O1.106)
22607 Hamburg


Research Scientist

During my PhD research at the Max Plank Institute MPSD, I designed, built, and operated a closed-loop pump-driven wire-guided flow jet with micro-fluidic system for sample handling. In parallel, I conducted extensive biochemistry laboratory work and developed expertise in machines and techniques including spectrophotometers, electrophoresis gel, analytical instruments, crystallization techniques, and other biotechnology standards. Moreover I maintained and operated a non-collinear optical parametric amplification setup, an achromatic second harmonic generation setup, and a box-car geometry two-dimensional photon-echo spectroscopy setup in the 240-300 nm wavelength range. All of this to aim at collecting and analysing non-linear spectroscopic data on DNA, my primary interest, to shine light into photodimerization and photodamage of DNA molecules, the first step that leads to cancer.
During my junior scientists years, at the Extreme Light Infrastructure research center in Prague, I worked as a scientist to build and operate multiple time-resolved femtosecond optical setups in the visible and near-IR range using femtosecond lasers, adaptative optics, grating based detectors, and other standards in femtosecond technology. The complicated experimental data obtained by such setups required me to developing analytical software (in MatLab). In the role of user support scientist, I developed GUIs and analytical tools, and accrued substantial experience in managing external user projects from idea development up to data interpretation.
Now, in Prof. Rohringer’s group, I want to combine the wide range of experiences I acquired so far, to experimentally measure stimulated Raman scattering in the x-ray range (stimulated RIXS) on big molecules, and eventually DNA.

Academic Career

since 2020
Postdoctoral Researcher
Hamburg university – CUI
Supervisor: Nina Rohringer
Junior Researcher
ELI-Beamlines project - Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague,
The Czech Republic
Supervisors: Dr. Jakob Andreasson, Prof. Janos Hajdu
PhD in Physics
Coherent two-dimensional electronic broad-band UV-spectroscopy of DNA and its nucleobases
Supervisors: Prof. R. J. Dwayne Miller, Prof. Arwen Pearson
Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie
Graduate School: International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and
Structural Dynamics - participated with scholarship
Master’s Degree in Physics
A study on thermodynamics of surface confined biomolecular transformations
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Brescia, Facoltà di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali
Scholarship 2007-2009 - Istituto per lo Studio Universitario
Bachelor’s Degree in Physics
Models of surface tension in Fluid Mechanics
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Brescia, Facoltà di Scienze Matematiche, Fisiche e Naturali
Scholarship 2003-2007 - Confartigianato-Lombardia
Diploma scientifico
Liceo Scientifico Annibale Calini, Brescia