Tell us about yourself: what is your educational and academic background?
I completed my Pharm. D. in 2014 at the University of Catania, my degree thesis was awarded the "Order of Pharmacists Catania Award Academic year 2012/2013". I then engaged a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Catania from 2015 to 2018, during this period I spent one year at the King’s College London (UK) in the research group of Prof. Robert Hider and Vincenzo Abbate, where I started my interest in chelating agents, peptides and radiochemistry. After one year of post-doc research at the University of Catania where I focused my research in drug design and computational chemistry, I moved to King’s College London where I was a post-doc research associate since September 2019. In May 2020 I was granted a Marie Curie post-doctoral Fellowship at King’s College London awarded by the European Commission on one of my projects, where my computational modelling capabilities and my drug design and synthetic capabilities were joined together for the development of novel radiotracers for my project named ICG68-PROG (https://www.icg68prog.com/ and https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/893784). Since February 2022 I am an RtdB at the Department of Drug and Health Sciences at the University of Catania.
Can you briefly introduce your research?
Drug design is defined as the inventive process of finding new medications based on the knowledge of a biological target. My research is focused on the drug design of novel radiopharmaceuticals for therapy and imaging purposes and on the study and optimization of organic reactions using supramolecular nanoreactors.
What are the most challenging features of your work?
In the radiopharmaceutical field having more potent and better-targeting drugs to optimize the radioactive dose for the patients and clinicians. In the supramolecular chemistry field obtaining the full control of a reaction in an eco-friendly fashion.
What are the most 'intriguous' and fulfilling aspects of your research?
The radiopharmaceutical field is exponentially growing and seeing huge interest by companies and hospitals for the application of my science is of course one fulfilling aspect. Controlling the course of a reaction is on the other hand one of the dreams of an organic chemistry.
THAT'S ME in few words! What are your outside hobbies?
Guitars, sport and good food!!!