Statistical and Biological Physics

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Prof. Dr. Stefano Zapperi

Prof. Dr. Stefano Zapperi

Former visiting professor


Room: A304
Phone: +49 (0)89 2180-4603

Permanent address:
Department of Physics and Center for Complexity & Biosystems, University of Milan, Italy

Curriculum Vitae

Stefano Zapperi is currently visiting professor at LMU Munich and FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg thanks to
the Humboldt Research Award. He is professor of theoretical condensed matter physics at the University of Milano and coordinator of the Center for Complexity and Biosystems. He graduated in physics at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and received his Ph. D. in physics from Boston University. After a postdoctoral position at ESPCI in Paris, he became tenured researcher at INFM at the University Rome and then at the University Modena and Reggio Emilia. He became then senior researcher at CNR-IENI in Milano. He has been invited as visiting scientist or visiting professor in many institutions worldwide, including Cornell University, Aalto University, ENS, Boston College, Rice University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. Prof. Zapperi in an expert in the statistical physics of complex systems and has contributed to the fields of materials science, biophysics and systems biology. His most notable contributions include the theory of the Barkhausen noise in magnets, the statistical physics of plasticity and fracture, and recent work on the physics of cancer and protein aggregation. He published more than 200 scientific papers in the top scientific journals, including 4 in Nature, 3 in Science, 5 in PNAS and 32 in Phys. Rev. Lett. gathering more than 10000 citations (scholar). In 2017, he co-authored with Caterina La Porta a book on the Physics of Cancer. Prof. Zapperi is the recipient of numerous awards including the Marie Curie Excellence Award, the Humboldt Research Award, the Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. He was elected fellow of the American Physical Society and named Finland Distinguished Professor by the Academy of Finland. He is member of the editorial boards of JSTAT and Physical Biology.

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Selected Publications


C. A. M La Porta, S. Zapperi, The Physics of Cancer, Cambridge University Press, 2017 (ISBN: 9781107109599)

C. A. M. La Porta, S. Zapperi (editors) Cell migrations: causes and functions Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1146, Hardcover, 135 pages, Publisher: Springer International Publishing, November 5, 2019, ISBN 978-3-030-17592-4

Journal papers:

F. Csikor, C. Motz, D. Weygand, M. Zaiser and S. Zapperi, “Dislocation Avalanches, Strain Bursts, and the Problem of Plastic Forming at the Micrometer Scale”, Science 318, 251 (2007).

S. Papanikolaou, F. Bohn, R. L. Sommer, G. Durin, S. Zapperi, J. P. Sethna, “Universality beyond power laws and the average avalanche shape”, Nature Physics 7, 316 (2011).

S. Papanikolaou, D. M. Dimiduk, W. Choi, J. P. Sethna, M. D. Uchic, C. F. Woodward, and S. Zapperi, “ Quasi-periodic events in crystal plasticity and the self-organized avalanche oscillator” Nature 490, 517-521 (2012).

A. Vanossi, N. Manini, M. Urbakh, S. Zapperi, and E. Tosatti, “Modeling friction: from nano to meso scales”, Rev. Mod. Phys. 85, 529–552 (2013).

Z. Budrikis, G. Costantini, C. A. M. La Porta, S. Zapperi, "Protein accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum as a non-equilibrium phase transition" Nature Communications 5, 3620 (2014).

C. Negri, A. L. Sellerio, S. Zapperi, M. C. Miguel, “Deformation and failure of curved colloidal crystal shells”, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 112, 14545 (2015).

Z. Budrikis, D. Fernandez-Castellanos, S. Sandfeld, M. Zaiser, S. Zapperi, “Universal features of amorphpus plasticity”, Nature Communications 8, 15928 (2017).

F. Font-Clos, S. Zapperi, C. A. M. La Porta Topography of epithelial–mesenchymal plasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 115 (23), 5902-5907 (2018).

C. A. M. La Porta, M. C. Lionetti, S. Bonfanti, S. Milan, C. Ferrario, D. Rayneau-Kirkhope, M. Beretta, M. Hanifpour, U. Fascio, M. Ascagni, L. De Paola, Z. Budrikis, M. Schiavoni, E. Falletta, A. Caselli, O. Chepizhko, A. Tuissi, A. Vailati, S. Zapperi, Metamaterial architecture from a self-shaping carnivorous plant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 116 (38) 18777-18782 (2019).