After the Master in Physics at the University of Perugia (Italy), Vania Calandrini moved to the University of Parma (Italy), where she got the PhD in Physics in 2003, working on the role of the hydrophobic interactions in protein folding as well as on the dynamical properties of aqueous solutions of hydrophobic molecules by quasielastic neutron scattering. In 2004 she was awarded the INFM prize for the best Italian PhD thesis on condensed/soft matter using neutron scattering.
From 2004 to 2011 she worked as postdoctoral researcher at several French laboratories, including the Laboratoire Léon Brillouin (CEA, Saclay), the Institut Laue–Langevin (Grenoble), the Center of Molecular Biophysics (Orléans) and the Center of Theoretical Physics (Marseille). During her stay in France, she mainly focused on the modeling of internal protein dynamics, by coupling statistical physics approaches, molecular dynamics simulations and experiments (neutron scattering and NMR relaxation spectroscopy). In 2007 she was awarded the “Angelo Della Riccia” research fellowship. In 2011 she obtained the Habilitation in Physics at the University of Orléans with a thesis on “Stochastic dynamics in molecular liquids and proteins”, and in 2012 the Qualification for University professor positions from the French National Council of Universities (Conseil National des Universités).
Later on, she moved to Forschungszentrum Jülich, where she worked on protein-drug interactions by using hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics simulations and by developing hybrid molecular mechanics/coarse grained schemes specifically tailored for G-Protein Coupled Receptors. Since 2021 she leads the research group "Multiscale Modeling and Simulations of Subneuronal Signaling" at the Institute for Advanced Simulations and Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Department of Computational Biomedicine (IAS-5 / INM-9). The group uses statistical physics approaches to develop multiscale schemes bridging atomistic and mesoscale models as well as hybrid all-atom/coarse grained models for simulations of subneuronal signaling processes.
Vania Calandrini is a member of the editorial board of Scientific Reports and fellow of the Integrative Structural Biology group at LINXS Institute of Advanced Neutron and X-ray Science (Lund, Sweden).