Benedetto Marelli is a 2018 and 2021 principal investigator at the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is a Paul M Cook Career Development Associate Professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering.
Benedetto's research group develops materials-based innovations for precision agriculture, food security and food safety. The Marelli lab has developed new technologies to minimise food waste, enable agriculture in marginal lands, rapidly detect food contamination and precisely deliver payloads in plants. One of Benedetto's J-WAFS-funded projects, 'Printed silk-based colorimetric sensors for food spoilage prevention and supply chain authentication' developed a Velcro-like food wrap made from silk that uses micro-needles to pierce food and detect when it is spoiled.
In 2021, he also received J-WAFS Seed Grant funding for his research project 'Precise fish vaccine injection using silk-based biomaterials', which aimed to develop a new technology to enhance the efficacy of vaccines in aquaculture. He is the co-founder of Mori, a startup that uses silk as edible coating to extend the shelf-life of perishable food, and has has received several awards, including from the presidential early career awards for scientists and engineers (PECASE) and the National Science Foundation faculty early career development programme (CAREER). He took a bachelor's and master's degree in biomedical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano and a doctorate in materials engineering from McGill University.