First Year

Michela Bosetti

Michela Bosetti

After a PhD in Molecular Medicine, in 2001 she was enrolled as research leader group and assistant Professor in Human Anatomy at the School of Pharmacy (UPO) and from 2015 she was appointed Associate Professor. Her research interests include the development and evaluation of novel biomaterials and tissue regeneration of bone and cartilage.

Armando Genazzani

Armando Genazzani

For complete biography, see the Key Staff page
Carla Distasi

Carla Distasi

After a PhD in Physiological Sciences, she performed research at Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire – CNRS – Gif−sur−Yvette – France, at the Département de Physiologie – Centre Médical Universitaire – Geneve – Switzerland and at the Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell’Uomo – University of Torino – Italy. Currently, she is Associate Professor in Physiology and head of the Laboratory of Cellular Physiology and Biophysics (UPO). Her research interests include ionic channels, growth factors (bFGF), neurotransmitters, hormones and calcium signals.

Letizia Fracchia

Letizia Fracchia

In 2004 she received the title of PhD in Environmental Science at the Department of Science and Advanced Technologies (UPO). Currently, she is Assistant Professor of General Microbiology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). Her main research interests include biosurfactant-based coatings for the inhibition of microbial adhesion and multi-species biofilms on materials for medical use, the lipoaspirate as an antimicrobial and bioactive scaffold in wound healing, activity of cosmetic products preservatives on skin microbiota and the study of the antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity of Guayule resin.

Chiara Porta

Chiara Porta

She received her PhD in Biotechnology applied at the Medical Sciences, at the University of Milan in 2003. In 2002 she visited the Laboratorie d’Oncologie Virale, directed by Dr Mounirà Chelbi-Alix, at the Institute André Lwoff, CNRS, Villejuif, France. She worked as Post-Doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology directed by Professor Sica at Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, at Istituto Clinico Humanitas and at UPO. Since 2011, she is Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). Her research has been mainly focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the functional link between inflammation and cancer.

Federico Ruffinatti

Federico Ruffinatti

He received his master’s degree in Physics in 2008 and a PhD in Neurosciences 2014 at University of Turin. He currently works as postdoc researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (DSF, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara), studying calcium and electrical signals in brain cells. On the theoretical ground his main scientific activities range from bioinformatics and computational neurosciences to the analysis of biological signal coding, while on the experimental side he is involved in the design and validation of new technological platforms for intracellular calcium and membrane voltage imaging.

Sarah Cargnin

Sarah Cargnin

She received her degree in Pharmacy in 2011 and her PhD in Pharmaceutical and Food Biotechnologies in 2016 at UPO. At present, she is a post-Doc in Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Novara. Her main research interest focuses on pharmacogenetics, systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

Francesco Barone Adesi

Francesco Barone Adesi

After a PhD in Environmental Medicine at University of Bari, Italy, in 2012 he received a post-graduate degree in Medical Statistics at the University of Milan, Italy. He was a Post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA and a Lecturer in Epidemiology, St. George’s, University of London, UK. Currently, he is associate professor of public health (UPO). His main research interests include pharmacoepidemiology, evaluation of public health interventions, with a special interest to interventions aimed to the promotion of healthy aging trough life-style modifications, occupational and environmental epidemiology, statistical methods for epidemiology and public health, systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Mariagrazia Grilli

Mariagrazia Grilli

After an MD and a PhD in Experimental Medicine, University of Brescia, Italy, she spent more than four years as Visiting Scientist at the NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA. In 1997 she became Principal Scientist and then in 2000 Section Head, Cellular and Molecular Biology, at the Schering Plough Research Institute, San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park, in Milan, Italy. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). Her main current research interests include: i) the role of adult neurogenesis and the cross-communication between neural stem cells and non-neuronal cells in the adult neurogenic niche in the physiopathology of neuropsychiatric disorders; ii) hippocampal and hypothalamic adult neural stem cells as targets of psychoactive drugs; iii) the contribution of neural stem cell abnormalities to cognitive impairment associated with Down Syndrome; iv) the role of NF-kB mediated signalling in the modulation of adult neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

Giovanni Appendino

Giovanni Appendino

He obtained his degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Turin. Currently, he is Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at UPO. He has been awarded the Rhone Poulenc-Rorer Prize and Brucker Prize of the Phytochemical Society of Europe and the Quilico Medal of the Italian Chemical Society, and has acted as local coordinator of 5 EU grants centering on natural products. He is at present the Editor-in-chief of the international journal Fitoterapia. He is chief scientific advisor of Indena, a world’s leading company dedicated to the identification, development and production of active principles derived from plants, for use in the pharmaceutical, health food and cosmetics industries.

Alberto Minassi

Alberto Minassi

He obtained his PhD in Science of Bioactive Compounds in 2004 and he was a visiting scientist at Endocannabinoid Research Group – CNR – Pozzuoli (Italy) and at the laboratory of Prof. Clayden – University of Manchester (UK). He is currently Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). His research interests include the chemistry of natural products and the development of novel synthetic methodologies in the synthesis of natural compounds.

Menico Rizzi

Menico Rizzi

He received a PhD in Molecular Biotechnologies at University Cattolica “Sacro Cuore”. He was visiting scientist/professor at the University of York (UK), University of Kyoto (JP) and at the Japanese National Institute for infectious disease (Tokyo, JP). He is currently full professor of Biochemistry at UPO. He is member of the scientific committee of several National and International Congresses including FEBS and FASEB meetings and lecturer in International PhD Schools supported by UNESCO. Past President of the “Protein Chemistry” division of the Italian Society of Biochemistry and expert member for biological sciences of the Italian National Agency for the evaluation of University and research (ANVUR). Prof. Rizzi joined the International non-proprietary names program of the World Health Organization at the beginning of 2016. He is an expert in structural biology and enzymology and coordinates a group investigating proteins of medical interest, with a particular focus on poverty-linked diseases.

Silvia Morel

Silvia Morel

After a PhD in Chemistry of Drugs and a Post-Doc at the University of Turin, she became Assistant Professor at the Department of Drug Science and Technology (University of Turin). At present, she is Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). Her interests include biocompatible colloidal systems, semi-solid preparations for pharmaceutical and cosmetic use and Italian and European legislation on medicinal and healthy products.

Gian Cesare Tron

Gian Cesare Tron

He received his PhD in Organic Chemistry in 2001 at the Università di Torino (Italy) and, at present, he is an Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at UPO. He spent sabbatical leaves in the laboratory of Prof. Jieping Zhu (Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles – Gif-surYvette, France), Varinder K. Aggarwal (School of Chemistry – Bristol, UK) and Valery Fokin (The Scripps Institute – La Yolla, USA). In 2007 he was awarded the Farmindustria Prize for his achievements in medicinal chemistry. His research interests concern the discovery of new multicomponent reactions and their application in the field of medicinal chemistry.

Tracey Pirali

Tracey Pirali

For complete biography, see the Key Staff page
Alberto Massarotti

Alberto Massarotti

During his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, in 2007 he spent six months in the laboratory of Prof. Roberto Pellicciari (Dipartimento di Chimica e Tecnologia del Farmaco, Perugia, Italy), working on 3D QSAR of bile acids as agonist of farnesoid X receptor. He then spent one year in the laboratory of Dr. Andrea Brancale (Cardiff University), where he was involved in the development of new methodologies in de novo drug design. He received his doctoral degree in 2009. After a post-doc period, he became Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). His research interests include computer-aided drug design, especially in the fields of cystic fibrosis and tubulin inhibitors.

Ubaldina Galli

Ubaldina Galli

After a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Turin and an experience as chemistry laboratory technician, she became Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO).  Her research interests include the design and synthesis of novel antitumoral agents, especially in the field of nicotinamide phosphoribosyl transferase, PI3Ks and tubulin.

Federica Pollastro

Federica Pollastro

She received her PhD, sponsored by Indena S.p.a. (Milano- Italy), in Science of Bioactive Substances at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). At present, she is Researcher at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO), where she is lecturer of the course Medicinal Plants and Phytochemistry and of the Laboratory of herbalist preparation and coordinates a phytochemical lab group. Her research interests include phytochemistry, isolation and purification of natural compounds, with a focus on Burseraceae plant family, Cannabis sativa and sesquiterpenic lactones.

Paola Lucchini

Paola Lucchini

She received her Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at UPO in 1999 and since 2001 she has worked as chemistry laboratory technician at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). She tutors many different laboratories for students, ranging from analytics to pharmaceutical technology.

Erika Del Grosso

Erika Del Grosso

She received her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Turin in 2003 and at present she is Assistant Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO), where she is lecturer in lecturer in Pharmaceutical Analysis and Analytical Chemistry. Her research interests include the study of the activity, inhibition and enzyme kinetics via LC-MS, the structure-metabolism relationships of drugs via LC-MS, the development of quali/quantitative analytical methods for the characterization of complex mixtures and/or the metabolic products of drugs via LC-UV and LC-MS,  the characterization and determination via LC-MS of the degradation products of molecules of pharmaceutical interest, and the development and validation of analytical methods used in ongoing studies of stability of active ingredients and their formulations (LC-UV and LC-MS).

Silvio Aprile

Silvio Aprile

He received his PhD in Science of Bioactive Compounds at UPO in 2008 and in the same year he visited the laboratory of “Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacovigilance” Department at the University Hospital of Limoges (FR).  At present, he is post-Doctoral researcher and lecturer in Pharmaceutical Analysis at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UPO). His research interests focus on chemical stability and ADME properties evaluation of drugs and bioactive substances: in vitro/vivo drug metabolism, development and validation of HPLC-UV/MS analytical and bioanalytical methods for the determination of active pharmaceutical ingredients, their degradation products and metabolites.

Second Year – Option A

Antonio Ferrer Montiel

Antonio Ferrer Montiel

For complete biography, see the Key Staff page

Asia Fernández Carvajal

Asia Fernández Carvajal

For complete biography, see the Key Staff page

Gregorio Fernández Ballester

Gregorio Fernández Ballester

Gregorio Fernández obtained his degree in Chemistry in 1987. His research work has focused mainly on the study of the conformation of soluble and membrane proteins, and their conformational changes associated after interaction with effectors or other proteins. He has specialized in the computational design of proteins, and in the development of methodologies to predict “in silico” the protein-protein interactions at the level of soluble interaction domains, being able to extend these predictions to the complete genome of specific species. These techniques have been used successfully to improve the affinity and specificity of already known ligands, or to discover new effectors to regulate protein function. He is founder of a spin-off biotechnological company (Antalgenics SL), focused on the discovery of active molecules for dermocosmetic and biomedical applications. At present, he is a Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the responsible for the Degree in Biotechnology, as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Experimental Sciences at Miguel Hernandez University.

Isabel Devesa

Isabel Devesa

Pharmacist and PhD in Pharmacology University of Valencia (2005). From 2015, Chief Scientist Officer at AntalGenis SL, a company centred in the development of novel therapies for skin diseases and related disorders. Her professional and scientific skills focused and developed in drug development, immunology, chronic inflammation, neurobiology, and pain field. As Marie-Curie postdoctoral researcher (2005-2006) at the preclinical Research Department of Bioxell SpA, (Italy), she contributed to the development of new therapies to treat psoriasis and arthritic pain. As researcher at preclinical department at Newron Pharmaceuticals SpA, Italy (2007-2009), research line centred in the preclinical development of novel molecules to treat chronic painful diseases. Her scientific experience and knowledge in immunology wasdeveloped at Experimental Rheumatology and Advanced Therapeutics Laboratory, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands (2006-2007, 2002-2004). Finally, she specialized in sensory neurobiology at Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (2009-2015). Here, she focused understanding the molecular mechanism involved in the inflammatory sensitization processes, and discovery novel molecules as potential novel analgesics.

Enrique Barrajón-Catalán

Enrique Barrajón-Catalán

Enrique Barrajón-Catalán obtained his degree in Biochemistry in 1999 and in Pharmacy in 2011. At present, he is professor in Pharmacy Faculty of Universidad Miguel Hernández (Spain) and participates in the Master on Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Master on Clinic Pharmacokinetics and Individual Posology and in the PhD Program on Molecular and Cellular Biology of this university. His research is focused in biological activity of natural compounds, with special interest on cosmetic, antimicrobial, antiobesity and anticancer activities. He has agreements of collaboration and contracts with companies for the evaluation of the efficacy, quality, safety and development of new bioactive compounds. He is founder of Ilice Effitech S.L. a biotechnology Spin-off recently created and focused in the new developments for cosmetics industries.

Vicente Micol

Vicente Micol

Vicente Micol (1963, Lérida, Spain) is the head of the research group “Development and Design of Bioactive Molecules” at the Instituto de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación en Biotecnología Sanitaria de Elche” (IDiBE) of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH). He obtained his PhD at the University of Murcia (Spain) on biomembranes and made his postdoctoral research at the Division of Biology of CALTECH (Pasadena, CA) in mitochondrial diseases. Currently he is Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the UMH. His research group is focused on the biological activity and mechanism-of-action of polyphenols and their application to alleviate human chronic diseases such as cancer, obesity and non-communicable diseases using cell and animal models and human trials. The group has also an intense activity on technology transfer and services to companies belonging to areas such as food market, functional beverages, nutraceuticals and dermocosmetics. Founding member of several spin-off and technology-based companies, two of them focused on nutraceuticals (Nutracitrus and Mitra SolTech) and another one on efficacy assays for cosmetics (Ilice Effitech).

María Herranz-Lopez

María Herranz-Lopez

María Herranz-Lopez obtained her degrees in Human Nutrition and Dietetics (2006) and Food Science and Technology (2008) with an extraordinary prize upon graduation. At present, she is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department and participates in the Master on Biotechnology and Bioengineering and in the PhD Program on Molecular and Cellular Biology of the IDiBE. She has close relationship with biotechnological companies, where she has obtained experience not only in applied research, but also in team development and supervision. She has been working in Mitra Sol. Technologies and participating in contracts and projects in others biotechnological companies such as MONTELOEDER and INVITROTECNIA for the evaluation of the efficacy, quality, safety and development of cosmetics and nutricosmetics. Recently, she is co-founder of Ilice Effitech, SL., a Spin-off company focused in R&D for cosmetics and functional ingredients.

Last modified: January 11, 2019