of Dr. Giovanni Finazzi

Giovanni Finazzi

Light, Photosynthesis & Metabolism (LP&M) Team Leader
PhD, CNRS Research Director

17 avenue des Martyrs, 38 054 Grenoble cedex 09, France
Phone: 04 38 78 41 84
Fax: 04 38 78 50 91

Grenoble / DSV, Center : BIG / PCV / LPM


Giovanni Finazzi got his PhD in biophyisics at the University of Milano (Italy). After a post doc at the Institut de Biologie Physico Chimique (IBPC) of Paris on algal photosynthesis with Pr. Pierre Joliot and Dr. Francis André Wollman, he joined the Italian Research Council as a junior research scientist with Pr. Giorgio Forti. There, he started studies on the mechanisms of light utilization in plants and microalgae, which he continued at the French CNRS (IBPC of Paris) and at the CEA of Grenoble. He is currently Research Director 1st grade at the CNRS in the Laboratory of Plant and Cell Physiology of Grenoble.

He has been the president of the French Society of Photosynthesis from 2008 to 2013 and the director of the French Research Network on Photosynthesis (GDR photosynthèse). He is a member of the French society of bioenergetis and French representative at the EBEC.

He has published more than 100 scientific articles, thanks to collaborations with academic labs worldwide.

His main interest is understanding the function and the regulation of the photosynthetic machinery in vivo. During his career, he has focused on the modulation of photosynthetic electron flow and carbon assimilation, the mechanisms of light acclimation, on the regulation of ion homeostasis in the chloroplast and on the dynamics of energetic interactions between the chloroplast and the mitochondria in plants and green algae. More recently, he started studies on microalgal biomass optimization for biofuel applications, thanks to partnerships with biotech companies in France and other European countries


  • 20015-Present
    Team leader: light, photosynthesis and metabolism group
  • 2009-Present
    Research Director CNRS
    UMR 5168, CEA Grenoble, France
  • 2001-2008
    Researcher CNRS
    UMR 7141 Institut de Biologie Physico Chimique, Paris
  • 1997-2001
    Junior researcher
    Instituto di Biofisica CNR, Milano, Italy


  • 1996-1997
    Post Doc
    at the Institut de Biologie Physico Chimique, Paris, with Prof. Pierre Joliot and Dr Francis André Wollman.
  • 1996
    at the University of Milan, Italy. PhD Director: Prof. Giorgio Forti.
  • 1991
    “laurea” thesis (Master 2)
    in Biological sciences, University of Milan, Italy. Supervisor: Prof. Giorgio Forti.

Teaching and management

Direct supervision of 18 students and post docs.
Several national and international grants, of which the following are ongoing:

  • Total-CEA collaborative project on microalge engineering (2016-2018).
  • HFSP project “Photosynthetic light utilisation and ion fluxes: Making the link”. Period: 2015-2018.

Significant publications

More than 30 invited seminars and conferences since 2010.

Highlighted publications since 2010:

Decelle J., Stryhanyuk H., Gallet B., Veronesi G., Schmidt M., Balzano S., Marro S., Uwizeye C., Jouneau P. H., Lupette J., Jouhet J., Marechal E., Schwab Y., Schieber N. L., Tucoulou R., Richnow H., Finazzi G. and Musat N. (2019). Algal Remodeling in a Ubiquitous Planktonic Photosymbiosis. Current Biology: 18;29(6):968-978

Flori S., Jouneau P. H., Bailleul B., Gallet B., Estrozi L. F., Moriscot C., Bastien O., Eicke S., Schober A., Rio Bartulos C., Maréchal E., Kroth P. G., Petroutsos D., Zeeman S., Breyton C., Schoehn G., Falconet D. and Finazzi G. (2017). Plastid thylakoid architecture optimises photosynthesis in diatoms. Nature Communications 8: 15885

Petroutsos D, Tokutsu R, Maruyama S, Flori S, Greiner A, Magneschi L, Cusant L, Kottke T, Mittag M, Hegemann P, Finazzi G and Minagawa J
A blue-light photoreceptor mediates the feedback regulation of photosynthesis.
Nature, 2016, 537(7621): 563-566

Bailleul B, Berne N, Murik O, Petroutsos D, Prihoda J, Tanaka A, Villanova V, Bligny R, Flori S, Falconet D, Krieger-Liszkay A, Santabarbara S, Rappaport F, Joliot P, Tirichine L, Falkowski PG, Cardol P, Bowler C and Finazzi G*
Energetic coupling between plastids and mitochondria drives CO assimilation in diatoms.
Nature, 2015, 524(7565): 366-369

Nagy G, Unnep R, Zsiros O, Tokutsu R, Takizawa K, Porcar L, Moyet L, Petroutsos D, Garab G, Finazzi G* and Minagawa J
Chloroplast remodeling during state transitions in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as revealed by non-invasive techniques in vivo.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2014, 111(13): 5042-5047

Carraretto L, Formentin E, Teardo E, Checchetto V, Tomizioli M, Morosinotto T, Giacometti GM, Finazzi G* and Szabo I
A thylakoid-located two-pore K+ channel controls photosynthetic light utilization in plants
Science, 2013, 342(6154): 114-118

Allorent G, Tokutsu R, Roach T, Peers G, Cardol P, Girard-Bascou J, Seigneurin-Berny D, Petroutsos D, Kuntz M, Breyton C, Franck F, Wollman FA, Niyogi KK, Krieger-Liszkay A, Minagawa J and Finazzi G
A dual strategy to cope with high light in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
Plant Cell, 2013, 25(2): 545-557

Checchetto V, Segalla A, Allorent G, La Rocca N, Leanza L, Giacometti GM, Uozumi N, Finazzi G, Bergantino E and Szabo I
Thylakoid potassium channel is required for efficient photosynthesis in cyanobacteria.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109(27): 11043-11048

Terashima M, Petroutsos D, Hudig M, Tolstygina I, Trompelt K, Gabelein P, Fufezan C, Kudla J, Weinl S, Finazzi G and Hippler M
Calcium-dependent regulation of cyclic photosynthetic electron transfer by a CAS, ANR1, and PGRL1 complex.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109(43): 17717-17722

Reiland S, Finazzi G, Endler A, Willig A, Baerenfaller K, Grossmann J, Gerrits B, Rutishauser D, Gruissem W, Rochaix JD and Baginsky S Comparative phosphoproteome profiling reveals a function of the STN8 kinase in fine-tuning of cyclic electron flow (CEF).
Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2011, 108(31): 12955-12960

Bailleul B, Rogato A, de Martino A, Coesel S, Cardol P, Bowler C, Falciatore A* and Finazzi G*
An atypical member of the light-harvesting complex stress-related protein family modulates diatom responses to light.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010, 107(42): 18214-18219

Joliot PA and Finazzi G
Proton equilibration in the chloroplast modulates multiphasic kinetics of nonphotochemical quenching of fluorescence in plants.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 2010, 107: 12728-12733

*corresponding author