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Permanent staff: Prof. Stefania Villa, Dr. Arianna Gelain
Research associates: Dr. Matteo Mori (post-doc fellow); Dr. Giulia Cazzaniga (PhD student)


The activity of the research group is focused on the following topics:

1. Design and synthesis of enzymatic inhibitors as antimycobacterial agents

Study of enzymes involved in iron acquisition processes (MbtI) and immune response evasion mechanisms (MptbB) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis using a structure-based approach. Inhibition of homologs of MbtI in non-tuberculous mycobacteria (M. abscessus and M. avium) through fragment-based drug design techniques.
Collaborations: Prof. Fiorella Meneghetti (XtaLab, University of Milan), Dr. Elena Pini (University of Milan), Prof. Laurent Chiarelli (University of Pavia), Prof. Tiziano Tuccinardi (University of Pisa), Dr. Marco Bellinzoni (Institut Pasteur, FR), CNR Trieste.

2. Design and synthesis of anticancer agents

• Development of peptidomimetics inhibiting GABARAP, a protein involved in the process of autophagy and autophagosome formation.
Collaborations: Prof. Giovanni Grazioso (Computer-Aided Drug Design Lab, University of Milan), Dr. Gabriella Roda (Laboratory of chemical-toxicological analysis, University of Milan).
• Design and synthesis of inhibitors of cytosolic proteins involved in signal transmission (STAT3).
Collaborations: Prof. Akira Asai (Shizuoka University, JP), Prof. Diego Colombo (University of Milan).

3. Synthesis of compounds inhibiting (bacterial and/or fungal) biofilm growth and their immobilization on materials

• Functionalization of inorganic nanoparticles for the preparation of novel materials inhibiting bacterial and fungal biofilm formation.
Collaborations: Prof. Francesca Cappitelli and Prof. Federica Villa (University of Milan), Dr. Paul Molino (University of Wollongong, AU).
• Synthesis of compounds inhibiting Wrba from E. coli for the prevention of biofilm development.
Collaborations: Prof. Giovanni Grazioso (Computer-Aided Drug Design Lab, University of Milan), Dr. Fabio Forlani (University of Milan).

ERC panels

PE5, Synthetic Chemistry and Materials (PE5_3, Surface modification; PE5_17, Organic chemistry; PE5_18, Medicinal chemistry).
LS6, Immunity, Infection and Immunotherapy (LS6_9, Antimicrobials, antimicrobial resistance; LS6_11, Innovative immunological tools and approaches, including therapies).
LS7, Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Human Diseases (LS7_3, Nanomedicine).
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