Renzo Vanna obtained a PhD degree in molecular medicine in 2012 by studying neuromelanin from the human brain using proteomic approaches. Then he joined the newly started Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Clinical Biophotonics (LABION) at IRCCS Fondazione Don Gnocchi hospital (Milan) where he began to focus his interests on biophotonic and Raman approaches. After a post-doc at Twente University (NL), under the supervision of Prof. Cees Otto, he came back to Italy to coordinate the EU ERA-NET project “NanoPlasmiRNA” aiming to detect miRNAs related to multiple sclerosis using nano-enhanced surface plasmon resonance imaging approaches.

In 2018, together with a young colleague, he co-founded the new Nanomedicine and Molecular Imaging Lab at IRCCS ICS Maugeri research hospital where he mainly coordinated a study on breast cancer microcalcification using Raman imaging approaches.

In 2019 Renzo Vanna obtained a permanent position at Institute for Photonics and Nanotechnologies (IFN-CNR), based in Milan, at the Physics Department of Politecnico di Milano.
Since 2023 he is “Primo ricercatore” (senior researcher) in the same institution.

Currently leading research activities based on the use of a home-built confocal Raman microscope built in 2022 and he has a key-role in bridging biophotonics tools and biomedical needs using spontaneous Raman microscopy, coherent Raman microscopy, photo-thermal microscopy and Brillouin spectroscopy.

Unit leader and/or WPs and tasks leader in three European projects ( “CRIMSON” (H2020 ICT-36) , “TROPHY” (Horizon EIC Pathfinder) and “CHARM” (Horizon EIC Transition)), started between 2020 and 2022, focused on the use of vibrational imaging approaches for diagnostic and biomedical applications.
Since 2023 is the co-PI of the project “OPTIMA” funded by the Italian ministry of university and research (PRIN call 2022)

Co-founder and co-developer of RamApp, a web-based free tool for the analysis of hyperspectral images.

Member of “Raman4Clinics”,  the International Society for Clinical Spectroscopy (CLIRSPEC), the Society of Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) and of the Coblenz Society.




Research Activity

Biomedical imaging and spectroscopy

Research Unit


Contact details

Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32
20133 Milano, Italy
+39 02 2399 6576