Tell us about yourself: what is your educational and academic background?
I received my M.S. in Pharmacy (March 2013) at the Department of Drug and Health Sciences (University of Catania) and in the same year I obtained the licence to act as a pharmacist. I earned my PhD in Neuroscience (February 2017) at the Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, School of Medicine (University of Catania). I spent part of my PhD at the UCL School of Pharmacy, London (UK) under the supervision of Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu where I approached to drug delivery systems intended for gene therapy. I gained a collaboration agreement as academic tutor at the Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, School of Medicine (University of Catania). I held a teaching assignment on “Modern Drug Delivery Systems” as part of a II level Master in “Formazione di ricercatori per la specifica preparazione nel settore delle tecnologie avanzate in Drug delivery” at the Departiment of Chemistry (University of Catania).
I has been supervisor of several students and co-tutor of experimental thesis in Pharmaceutical Technology. I worked as Post-Doc in the Laboratory of Drug Delivery Technology at the Department of Drug and Health Sciences (University of Catania) up to December 2021. Since January 2022 I started working as Researcher and Assistant Professor (RTDa) (CHIM/09) at the Department of Drug and Health Sciences, University of Catania, Italy.
Can you briefly introduce your research?
My research activity is focused on the design and optimization by Quality by Design approach of innovative nanotechnological platforms for the controlled release of diagnostic and/or therapeutic agent and their physico-chemical and technological characterization. In particular, my research activity is mainly centered to drug delivery to the Central Nervous System by intranasal administration (Nose-to-Brain delivery) to bypass the Blood-Brain-Barrier.
What are the most challenging features of your work?
One of the main issue and challenge of nanosized drug delivery systems is stability to long-term storage and this point is very crucial fo industrial scale-up. The most challenging feature is then, improve the translation from basic research to applicable clinical product.
What are the most 'intriguous' and fulfilling aspects of your research?
Design innovative nanocarrier that allow to “re-use” known drug that cannot be applied pharmacologically overcoming pharmacokinetic issue, reducing adverse effects and in general, exploring alternative strategies to improve issues related to conventional therapeutic approaches. An exciting aspect is dealing with something new and not yet explored combining science with creativity!
THAT'S ME in few words! What are your outside hobbies?
Determined; Patient; Ambitious; I have different interests, among which baking cakes deserves a prominent position!