We are delighted to welcome Antonella Ciancetta to the School of Pharmacy after being awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship! This is an extremely prestigious and competitive award, named after the double Nobel Prize winning Polish-French scientist, famed for her work on radioactivity. The fellowship supports the best and most promising scholars at all stages of their careers, irrespective of nationality.
Antonella is a molecular modeller with a background in medicinal chemistry who was trained at universities in Italy, Germany and Sweden. She holds a Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology and a PhD in Drug Sciences. Since 2012, she has been involved in breakthrough academic research in Italy and the USA. While at the University of Padova, Italy, she developed novel computer algorithms to speed up structure-based drug discovery. Her work at the National Institutes of Health, USA, resulted in the rational design of drug candidates for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain, epilepsy, and kidney sterile inflammation.
Here at the School of Pharmacy, Antonella will be working with Dr. Irina Tikhonova on a project, which aims to develop a first cost-effective and rapid computational methodology for the discovery of G protein coupled-receptor allosteric drugs. Allosteric drugs are more selective and less toxic than orthosteric drugs. However, the discovery of allosteric drugs is challenging and to date has largely been achieved through cost-intensive and time-consuming high-throughput screening. The outcome of the action will foster the development of novel health technologies for the discovery of safer drugs to treat inflammation, metabolic and neurological disorders, viral infections and cancer.
The School of Pharmacy would like to congratulate Antonella on securing this highly esteemed fellowship, and we are very much looking forward to working with Antonella on this exciting project!