Marinella Mazzanti was born in Vinci, Italy, quite a longtime after Leonardo. She obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Pisa in 1985 after spending a year in Columbia University (NY). She obtained a PhD from the University of Lausanne in 1990 under the guidance of Carlo Floriani. Her PhD work focused on Schiff base complexes of low valent vanadium, and small molecule activation. Shortly after she moved to the University of California, Berkely, where she worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the group of W. Armstrong before moving to the University of California, Davis, where she worked on cobalt and copper chemistry with Alan Balch. In 1994 she was awarded a two year Marie-Curie fellowship to join the group of Jean Claude Marchon where she worked on the design of metalloporphyrin catalysts at the French National Laboratory, CEA, in Grenoble.
In 1996 she was hired as a research scientist and team leader at the CEA Grenoble where she started her independent research. Her research activities were centered on f element coordination and supramolecular chemistry with application in the development of luminescent and magnetic probes, lanthanide/actinide separation in spent nuclear fuels, molecular magnetism, and small molecule activation.
In September 2014 she joined the EPFL and founded the Group of Coordination Chemistry. She will continue to develop the chemistry of f and d block metals with particular focus on redox reactivity, supramolecular chemistry and small molecule activation.
She is member of the Editorial Board of Dalton Transactions