Tell us about yourself: what is your educational and academic background?
I’m Debora Concetta Santonocito, an Associate Researcher at the Department of Drug and Health Sciences, University of Catania (Italy).
I’ve graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology at the University of Catania in 2016 with a final work concerning the “Evaluation of antioxidant and anticancer activity of compounds extracted from Crocus Sativus L. through lipid nanoparticles”.
At the same university I obtained a contract as research collaborator and I won a scholarship grant to work in a project related to “Optimization of the formulation process of lipid nanoparticles containing crocin and crocetin”.
Can you briefly introduce your research?
During my PhD course (2017-2020), I worked on the research project “Lipid Nanoparticles as Tools for the Administration of Active Natural Products Aimed to the Treatment of Nervous System Disorders”, under the supervision of Prof. C. Puglia at the Department of Drug and Health Sciences (University of Catania). Along this period, I acquired skills on preparation and characterization of different lipid nanocarriers and studied many strategies in order to formulate stable lipid nanoparticles loaded with natural compounds, suitable for parenteral/ocular administration, for the potential treatment of nervous system disorders. Moreover, I spent part of my PhD course (4 months) at the Departamento de Farmacia y Tecnología Farmacéutica-University of Santiago di Compostela (Spain), under the supervision of Prof. Carmen Alvarez Lorenzo. During the latter period, I learned many skills about toxicity and ophthalmology studies (HET-CAM test, Hemocompatibility assay, Corneal and sclera permeability assay).
Furthermore, I’m the author or co-author of several pubblications. My main scientific interests are focused on nanotechnology, eye and natural compouds.
What are the most 'intriguous' and fulfilling aspects of your research?
The most interesting and satisfying aspects of my research are the originality and development of innovative nanosystems for the drug delivery.
THAT'S ME in a few words! What are your outside hobbies?
I'm a sunny and very curious person, I love to experiment and discover new things; moreover, I'm a travel lover!