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Pharmaceutical Biochemistry Group  

Academic staff: Prof. Giulio Vistoli, Prof. Alessandro Pedretti, Prof. Laura Fumagalli

Research collaborators: Dr. Angelica Mazzolari (Fixed-Term research fellow A), Dr. Sarah Mazzotta (post-Doc), Sara Adobati (young research fellow), Silvia Gervasoni (phD student), Angelica Artasensi (phD student).

The “Pharmaceutical Biochemistry Group” is made up of the “Molecular Modelling & Drug Design Unit” and of the “Synthetic & Bioorganic Chemistry Unit”. Thanks to the presence of these 2 units, the group competences allow implementing both computational chemistry and chemical synthesis activities.


Molecular Modelling & Drug Design Unit (Mars and Venus Labs)


The group scientific activity focuses on the development and application of computational approaches applied to pharmaceutical chemistry in its broadest sense. Among the procedures performed there are homology modeling, virtual screening techniques, ADME predictions, and the study of the chemical-physical profile of new molecules. All the procedures considered have been developed using for each issue the most appropriate approach. Where necessary, new computational methodologies have been developed based on the planned objectives of the study.
The scientific activity of the Molecular Modelling laboratory can be summarized, in its entirety, in the following way:

Homology modeling of proteins and study of their interactive properties by using docking and molecular dynamic simulations;
Predictions of the xenobiotic metabolism by developing dedicated databases and the implementation of AI methods;
Study of the chemical-physical profile of new molecules through the employment of the property space concept
Development of the VEGA ZZ suite of programs implementing specific tools that can be used for cheminformatics applications and virtual screening campaigns


Synthetic & Bioorganic Chemistry Unit (JupiterLAB-Unimi-)


The competencies and research activities of this group concern the design, synthesis, and characterization of new bioactive-molecules. The unit works both in the medicinal chemistry and in the chemical biology field. When appropriate, the stereoisomeric aspect is examined in-depth.
The above-listed competencies are implemented in the development of the following research lines:

The dual ligands of the enzymes DPPIV and CAII as potential therapeutics for Type 2 Diabetes;
Antimicrobials (Italian and European patents);
Development of methods for enantioseparation;
Design and synthesis of probes used in personalized medicine and in the basic research field ;
Synthesis and characterization of impurities.

The synthetic methodologies applied in the research field are developed within a green chemistry approach, to limit the environmental impact, especially in terms of industrial applications.

For all the projects and research lines listed above the group benefits from several collaborations with qualified private and public institutions: The Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, The University of Iowa, The University of Lausanne, The University of Cambridge, The University of Hamburg, and the Public Universities of Milan, Florence, Camerino, Bologna, and Catania.

ERC panels
PE5_18 Medicinal chemistry
PE6_13 Bioinformatics, bio-inspired computing, and natural computing
PE5_11 Biological chemistry and chemical biology
LS2_11 Bioinformatics and computational biology
LS7_2 Medical technologies and tools (including genetic tools and biomarkers) for prevention, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of diseases
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