Alessandro Costa obtained his PhD at Imperial College London, studying the structure of the archaeal replicative helicase motor in the research group of Silvia Onesti.
He spent one year in the laboratory of Stephen D. Bell at Oxford, working on the Biochemistry of DNA replication initiation in archaea and then joined the University of California, Berkeley as an EMBO postdoctoral fellow to work with James Berger.
At Berkeley, Alessandro used three-dimensional electron microscopy to solve the structure of the eukaryotic replicative helicase, the 11-member Cdc45-Mcm2-7-GINS complex.
In spring 2012, Alessandro moved to London to establish his own research group at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute Clare Hall laboratories, which then became part of the Francis Crick Institute.
His research at the Crick focuses on the architecture and function of the eukaryotic DNA replication machinery.