Alessandro D'URSO

Associate Professor of General and inorganic chemistry [CHIM/03]
Office: Cittadella Universitaria, V.le A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania. Edificio 1 corpo B piano 1 Stanza 18 (B1/18)
Phone: +39 095 738 5071
Fax: +39 095 580138
Web Site:
Office Hours: Monday from 10:00 to 12:00 | Monday from 16:00 to 18:00 | Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 to 12:00 | Wednesday from 16:00 to 18:00 | Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 12:00

Associate Professor of Inorganic Chemistry (CHIM/03)

Courses: General and Inorganic Chemistry (8 CFU) at the B.D. of Environmental and Natural Sciences;  General and Inorganic Chemistry II and Laboratory (6 CFU) at the B.D. of Chemistry; Other Activity (Profesional Lab.) at the B.D. of Chemistry (1 CFU) and at the B.D. of Industrial Chemistry (1 CFU).

Main research topics:

  1. Interactions of water-soluble porphyrins with biomolecules: Interaction between porphyrins and biomolecules is a very studied topic owing to the clinical use of these macrocycles in the cure of cancer by photodynamic therapy. Porphyrins are ideal chiroptical reporters because; i) their absorption is far from the region where bases and aminoacids absorbs light and ii) they are not chiral, then even a small induced CD signal is already an useful indication of the DNA structure. In particular, I am studing the interaction of porphyrins with different non-canonical nucleic acid conformations (Z-DNA and G-quadruplex) and proteins (Proteasome).
  2. Template-aided non-covalent syntheses of (chiral and achiral) supramolecular systems: Multi-metalloporphyrin systems have been extensively investigated for their numerous applications as supramolecular devices (e.g. as antennasystems). We induce self-aggregation of water-soluble porphyrins leading to species having a well-defined and tunable stoichiometry. An extension of this work led to an unprecedented, simple non-covalent synthesis (in aqueous solution) of multi-porphyrin complexes for which it is possible to manipulate both the stoichiometry and the sequence. This type of noncovalent synthesis presents the same “accuracy” of thecovalent approach, and a 100% yield, but it is not as time-consuming as the latter method


ORCID ID: 0000-0002-0255-1792

ResearcherID: N-9304-2015 



Prof.. Alessandro D’Urso is Associate Professor in Inorganic Chemistry at the Chemical Science Department in Catania University. He got a PhD in Chemistry in 2010 from the Chemical Science Department of Catania University under the supervision of Prof. Roberto Purrello with project “Hierarchy in the self-assembly of supramolecular multicomponent systems”. His scientific activity starts in 2006 when he won a scholarship with Consorzio Interuniversitario di Ricerca in Chimica dei Metalli dei Sistemi Biologici, with research project “Spectroscopic study of Z-DNA/anionic porphyrin interactions”. During the PhD in 2009 he spent 5 months as visiting scholar at the University of Wyoming Chemistry Department, with supervisor professor Milan Balaz, working on project: “chiroptical sensors for Z form of DNA”. In 2010 he was invited as research assistant at Doane College Chemistry Department, as supervisor of students of professor Andrea Holmes.

From 2010 to 2012 he was a Post Doc at Department of Chemistry, University of Catania, with Professor Roberto Purrello as supervisor. Then in 2011 he spent tree week at the Barcelona University, working on porphyrins aggregation processes, in the Professor J. Ribò laboratory, supporting by Italy-Spain EU action (cod. IT09A7FBFG). In 2012 he was as Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Columbia University, Chemistry Department in the lab of Prof Koji Nakanishi and Prof. Nina Berova working on vibrational dichroism.

From 2012 to 2016 he was a Research at Chemical Science Department in Catania University

From 2016 to 2019 he was Assistant Professor at Chemical Science Department in Catania University

He is author of more than 60 papers published in international journals and has more than 1000 citations with H-index of 20.

He is guest editor of several special issues:

o   Special issue “Self-Aggregation in Supramolecular Systems” in the Journal “Molecules”

o   Special issue “Covalent and non-covalent interactions of porphyrins with nucleotides” in the “Journal of Porphyrins and Phathalocyanines”

o   Special issue “Molecules for Biotechnologies” in the Journal “Molecules”

In 2017 he got national grant PRIN 2017 (2017YJMPZN) as local coordinator of the Catania Research Unit: “Mussel-inspired functional biopolymers for underwater adhesion, surface/interface derivatization and nanostructure/composite self-assembly (MUSSEL)"

In 2012 he got national grant FIRB 2012 (RBFR12WB3W), as Principal investigator: "Spectroscopic and Structural Characterization of Proteasoma Inhibitors”.

Admitted to supporting of Bando CHANCE 2018 by Piano della Ricerca 2016-2018 Linea di Intervento 1;

Admitted to Finanziamento delle attività base di ricerca 2017 (FFABR), supported by MIUR;

In 2010 he was selected as one of 45 runners-up of the Reaxys PhD Prize on over 300 applications and from 2012 he belong to the Guidance team of the Reaxys Club.

In 2013 he joined a board of directors of Young Group of Italian Chemical Society as vicecoordinator, representing the division of Chemistry of Biological Systems.

He was selected as one of 10 finalist of European Young Chemist Award 2016; He won the SPP/JPP Young Investigator Award 2016, for the scientific contribution of the porphyrin field; He received the Best Poster Award at 14th International Conference on Chiroptical Spectroscopy, Nashville, USA 2013; He was supported by Reaxys Prize Club Travel Bursary Award 2013 consisting on 1200$ to attend to the conferences.

He was selected as ”IUPAC Young Observer” 2021 to represent Italy at next virtual IUPAC General Assembly, from 13 to 20 august 2021 Montreal, Canada

A. D'Urso's publication list of the last 5 years


  1. M. Gaeta, R. Randazzo, V. Villari, N. Micali, A. Pezzella, R. Purrello, M. d'Ischia*, A. D'Urso“En route to a chiral melanin: the dynamic “from-imprinted-to-template” supramolecular role of porphyrin heteroaggregates during the oxidative polymerization of L-DOPA.” FRONTIERS IN CHEMISTRY 2020 DOI: 10.3389/fchem.2020.616961.
  2. A.M. Santoro, A. D’Urso, A. Cunsolo, D. Milardi, R. Purrello, D. Sbardella, G.R. Tundo, D. Diana, R. Fattorusso, A. Di Dato, A. Paladino, M. Persico, M. Coletta, C. Fattorusso “Cooperative Binding of the Cationic Porphyrin Tris-T4 Enhances Catalytic Activity of 20S Proteasome Unveiling a Complex Distribution of Functional States” INT. J. MOL. SCI. 2020, 21, 7190-7216. DOI: 10.3390/ijms21197190.
  3. M. Gaeta, S. Farini, C.M.A. Gangemi, R. Purrello, A. D’Urso“Interactions of mono spermine porphyrin derivative with DNAs”CHIRALITY 2020, 1–7. DOI:10.1002chir.23272.
  4. M. Gaeta, G. Sanfilippo, A. Fraix, G. Sortino, M. Barcellona, G. Oliveri Conti, M.E. Fragalà, M. Ferrante, R. Purrello, A. D’Urso“Photodegradation of Antibiotics by Noncovalent Porphyrin-Functionalized TiO2 in Water for the Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Risk Management” INT. J. MOL. SCI. 2020, 21, 3775. DOI:10.3390/ijms21113775.
  5. M. Salmeri, G. Ognibene, L. Saitta, C. Lombardo, C. Genovese, M. Barcellona, A. D’Urso, L. Spitaleri, I. Blanco, G. Cicala, A. Gulino and M.E. Fragalà “Optimization of ZnO Nanorods Growth on Polyetheresulfone Electrospun Mats to Promote Antibacterial Properties”  MOLECULES 2020, 25, 1696. DOI:10.3390/molecules25071696.
  6. C.M.A. Gangemi, S. Alaimo, A. Pulvirenti, S. García-Viñuales, D. Milardi, A.P. Falanga, M.E. Fragalà, G. Oliviero, G. Piccialli, N. Borbone, A. Ferro*, A. D’Urso*, C.M. Croce, R. Purrello*“Endogenous and artificial miRNAs explore a rich variety of conformations: a potential relationship between secondary structure and biological functionality” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2020, 10, 453-464. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-57289-8.
  7. M. Gaeta, G. Sortino, R. Randazzo, I. Pisagatti, A. Notti, M.E. Fragalà, M.F. Parisi, A. D'Urso*, R. Purrello* "Long-Range chiral Inductio by a Fully Non-covalent Approach in Supramolecular Porphyrin-Calixarene Assemblies" CHEM. EUR. J. 2020. 26, 3515-3518. DOI: 10.1002/chem.202000126


  1. M. Balaz, Y.A. Joh, K. Varga, N. Berova, R. Purrello, A. D’UrsoStructure and Electronic Circular Dichroism of Chiral Porphyrins and Chiral Porphyrin Dimers.” Handbook of Porphyrin Science; Academic Press: K. M. Kadish, K. M. Smith, R. Guilard, Eds. 2019, Vol. 45 cap 217 pp 205-284; DOI: 10.1142/9789811201813_0003; ISBN: 978-981-120-181-3
  2. F. Caroleo, S. Nardis, G. Petrella, M. Bischetti, D.O. Cicero, D. Genovese, L. Mummolo, L. Prodi, R. Randazzo, A. D’Urso, R. Paolesse “5,10,15-Tris(4-sulfonatophenyl)corrole Synthesis” EUR. J. ORG. CHEM. 2019, 38, 6525-6533. DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201901155                       
  3. C.M.A. Gangemi, M. Iudici, L. Spitaleri, R. Randazzo, M. Gaeta, A. D’Urso, A. Gulino, R. Purrello, M.E. Fragalà “Polyethersulfone Mats Functionalized with Porphyrin for Removal of Para-nitroaniline from Aqueous Solution” MOLECULES 2019, 24, 33-44. DOI:10.3390/molecules24183344
  4. R. Randazzo, M. Gaeta, C.M.A. Gangemi, M.E. Fragalà, R. Purrello,* A. D’Urso* “Chiral Recognition of L- and D- Amino Acid by Porphyrin Supramolecular Aggregates” MOLECULES 2019, 24, 84-94. DOI: 10.3390/molecules24010084        


  1. N.C. Sabharwal, J. Chen, J. Hyun Lee, C.M.A. Gangemi, A. D'urso,* L. Yatsunik* “Interactions Between Spermine-Derivatized Tentacle Porphyrins and The Human Telomeric DNA G-Quadruplex” INT. J. MOL. SCI., 2018, 19, 3686-3704. DOI:10.3390/ijms19113686M.
  2. Gaeta, D. Raciti, R. Randazzo, C.M.A. Gangemi, A. Raudino, A. D’Urso,* M.E. Fragalà,* R. Purrello* “Chirality enhancement of porphyrin supramolecular assembly driven by template pre-organization effect” ANGEW CHEM INT ED, 2018, 57, 10656-10660. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201806192  
  3. L. Dordevic, F. Arcudi, A. D’Urso, M. Cacioppo, N. Micali, T. Bürgi, R. Purrello, M. Prato “Chiral Carbon Nanodots: Conveying Chirality from Molecular to Nanoscale Level” NAT. COMMUN. 2018, 9:3442 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05561-2                                                                            
  4. G. Ognibene, C. M. A. Gangemi, A. D’Urso, R. Purrello, G. Cicala, M. E. Fragalà “Combined Approach to Remove and Fast Detect Heavy Metals in Water Based on PES-TiO2Electrospun Mats and Porphyrin Chemosensors” ACS Omega 2018, 3, 7182-7190. DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.8b00284
  5. C. M.A. Gangemi, B. D’Agostino, R. Randazzo, M. Gaeta, M. E. Fragalà, R. Purrello, A. D’Urso“Interaction of spermine derivative porphyrin with DNAs” J. PORPH. PHTHALO. 2018, 22: 1–7. DOI: 10.1142/S1088424618500645                 
  6. C. M. A. Gangemi, G. Ognibene, R. Randazzo, A. D’Urso, R. Purrello, Maria Elena Fragalà “Easy sensing of lead and zinc in water using smart glass based on cationic porphyrin layers” NEW JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY 2018, DOI: 10.1039/c8nj00736e


  1. A. Di Dato, A. Cunsolo, M. Persico, A.M. Santoro, A. D’Urso, D. Milardi, R. Purrello, M. Stefanelli, R. Paolesse, G.R. Tundo, D. Sbardella, C. Fattorusso, M. Coletta “Electrostatic Map Of Proteasome α-Rings Encodes The Design of Allosteric Porphyrin-Based Inhibitors Able To Affect 20S Conformation By Cooperative Binding” SCIENTIFIC REPORT 2017 DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-17008-7
  2. M. Gaeta, R. Randazzo, D.A. Cristaldi, A. D’Urso,* R. Purrello,* M.E. Fragalà* “ZnTPPS demetalation: Role of polyelectrolytes on aggregation after protonation in acid” J. PORPH. PHTHALO. 2017, 21: 426- 430. DOI: 10.1142/S1088424617500432.
  3. C.M.A. Gangemia, A. D'Urso, G.A. Tomasellia, N. Berova, R. Purrello “A novel porphyrin-based molecular probe ZnTCPPSpm4 with catalytic, stabilizing and chiroptical diagnostic power towards DNA B-Z transition” J. INORG. BIOCHEM. 2017, 173, 141-143. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2017.05.008
  4. A. D’Urso,* N. Marino, M. Gaeta, M. S. Rizzo, D. A. Cristaldi, M. E. Fragalà., S. Pappalardo, G. Gattuso, A. Notti,* M. F. Parisi,* I. Pisagatti, and Roberto Purrello “Porphyrin stacks as an efficient molecular glue to induce chirality in hetero-component calixarene-porphyrin assemblies” NEW JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY 2017 41, 8078-8083. DOI: 10.1039/c7nj00890b
  5. A. D'Urso,* R. Randazzo, V. Rizzo, C. M. A. Gangemi, V. Romanucci, A. Zarrelli, G. Tomaselli, D. Milardi, N. Borbone, R. Purrello, G. Piccialli, Giovanni Di Fabio, Giorgia Oliviero* “Stabilization vs Destabilization of G-quadruplex Superstructures: the role of Porphyrin Derivative having Spermine arms.” PHYS. CHEM. CHEM. PHYS., 2017, 19, 17404-17410. DOI: 10.1039/C7CP02816D.


  1. A. Di Mauro, R. Randazzo, S. F. Spanò, G. Compagnini, M. Gaeta, L. D’Urso, R. Paolesse, G. Pomarico, C. Di Natale, V. Villari, N. Micali*, M. E. Fragalà*, A. D’Urso*, R. Purrello* “Vortexes tune chirality of graphene oxide and its non-covalent hosts” CHEM. COMMUN. 2016, 52, 13094-13096. DOI: 10.1039/c6cc05177d. BACK COVER
  2. M. Gaeta, I.P. Oliveri, M.E. Fragalà, S. Failla, A. D'Urso,* S. Di Bella,* R. Purrello* “Chirality of self-assembled achiral porphyrins induced by chiral Zn(II) Schiff-base complexes and maintained after spontaneous dissociation of the template: a new case of chiral memory” CHEM. COMMUN., 2016, 52, 8518-8521. DOI: 10.1039/C6CC04018GF. INSIDE FRONT COVER
  3. R. Randazzo, A. Savoldelli, D.A. Cristaldi, A. Cunsolo, M. Gaeta, M.E. Fragalà, S. Nardis, A. D’Urso* R. Paolesse*, R. Purrello* “Spectroscopic characterization of water soluble phosphonato corrole: the effect of H-bounds on the self-assembled species” J. PORPH. PHTHALO. 2016, 20: 1272–1276. DOI: 10.1142/S1088424616501066.
  4. Mandoj, A. D’Urso, S. Nardis, D. Monti, M. Stefanelli, C. M. A. Gangemi, R. Randazzo, F. R. Fronczek, K. M. Smith and R. Paolesse “The interaction of a b-fused isoindoline–porphyrin conjugate with nucleic acids” NEW JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY, 2016, 40, 5662-5665. DOI: 10.1039/c5nj03201f.
  5. D. A. Cristaldi, R. Capuano, A. D’Urso, R. Randazzo, R. Paolesse, C. Di Natale, R. Purrello, M. E. Fragalà “Spontaneous Deposition of Porphyrin-based Layers on Polylysinated Substrates: Role of the Central Metal on Layer Structural and Sensing Properties” J. PHYS. CHEM. C, 2016, 120, 724−730. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b10280
  6. A. M. Santoro, A. Cunsolo, A. D'Urso, D. Sbardella, G. R. Tundo, C. Ciaccio, M. Coletta, D. Diana, R. Fattorusso, M. Persico, A. Di Dato, C. Fattorusso, D. Milardi, R. Purrello “Cationic porphyrins are tunable gatekeepers of the 20S proteasome” CHEM. SCI. 2016, 7, 1286–1297 DOI: 10.1039/c5sc03312h
  7. A. D’Urso, G. Brancatelli, N. Hickey, E. Farnetti, R. De Zorzi, C. Bonaccorso, R. Purrello, S. Geremia “Interactions of a water-soluble calix[4]arene with spermine: solution and solid state characterization” SUPRAMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY, 2016, 28, 499-505 DOI: 10.1080/10610278.2015.1125900


  1. A. Pietropaolo,* A. D’Urso,* R. Purrello and N. Berova “Effect of different Z-inducers on the stabilization of Z portion in BZ DNA sequence. Correlation between experimental and simulation data” CHIRALITY, 2015, 27, 773–778 DOI: 10.1002/chir.22502
  2. C. M. A. Gangemi, R. Randazzo, M. E. Fragalà, G. A. Tomaselli, F. P. Ballistreri, A. Pappalardo, R. M. Toscano, G. Trusso Sfrazzetto, R. Purrello* and A. D’Urso“Hierarchically controlled protonation/aggregation of a porphyrin–spermine derivative” NEW J. CHEM., 2015, 39, 6722–6725 DOI: 10.1039/c5nj01264c
  3. G. Forte, A. D'Urso, F. P. Ballistreri, R. M. Toscano, G. A. Tomaselli, G. Trusso Sfrazzetto, A. Pappalardo “Enantiomeric Recognition of -Amino Acid Derivatives by Chiral Uranyl-Salen Receptors” TETRAHEDRON LETTERS, 2015, 56, 2922–2926
  4. R. Randazzo, A. Di Mauro, A. DUrso,* G. C. Messina, G. Compagnini, V. Villari, N. Micali, R. Purrello,* and M. E. Fragala* “Hierarchical Effect behind the Supramolecular Chirality of Silver(I)−Cysteine Coordination Polymers” J. PHYS. CHEM. B, 2015, 119, 48984904 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.5b00847
  5. F. Egidi, R. Russo, I. Carnimeo, A. D'Urso, G. Mancini, and C. Cappelli “The Electronic Circular Dichroism of Nicotine in Aqueous Solution: a Test Case for Continuum and Explicit-Continuum Solvation Approaches” J. PHYS. CHEM. A, 2015, 119, 53965404 DOI: 10.1021/jp510542x
  6. A. Di Mauro, F. Mirabella, A. D'Urso, R. Randazzo, R. Purrello, M. E. Fragalà “Spontaneous deposition of Polylysine on surfaces: role of the secondary structure to optimize noncovalent coating strategies” JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE 2015, 270-276 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2014.09.049
  7. A. D’Urso, A. G. Petrovic, M. E. Fragalà, M. A. Tamargo, G. A. Ellestad, R. Purrello, N. Berova “Exploring nucleic acid conformations by employment of porphyrins non-covalent and covalent probes and chiroptical analysis” Chapter in “DNA in Supramolecular Chemistry and Nanotechnology” 2015, Eds. Dr Eugen Stulz and Dr Guido H. Clever, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Academic Year  

Insegnamenti tenuti presso altri dipartimenti nell'anno accademico 2021/2022

    Corso di laurea in Scienze ambientali e naturali - 1 Year

My research activity started with experiments on porphyrins self-assembly in aqueous solution, continuing the previous works of Prof. Purrello on induction and memorization of chirality on porphyrin aggregates using polymeric chiral templates, to design on-off switch of chiral memory. In particular exploiting inertness and self-catalytic growth of porphyrin hetero-aggregates (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130, 10476-10477, 2008) and substituting the four permanent charges in the periphery of the cationic porphyrins with four inducible charges (by protonation) we were able to disassembly and reassembly the aggregates allowing for cyclically erasing and rewriting the chiral memory of the imprinted aggregates (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 129, 8062-8063, 2007). We have shown that also inorganic chiral complexes (in our case the ruthenium(II) complexes) can cast chirality in porphyrin aggregates and this pave to way to hybrid organic-inorganic supramolecular complexes in which in addition to chirality it is possible transfer energy or electrons (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 47, 9879-9882, 2008). Also these complexes retain memory of the chirality imprinted from the inorganic mold and, also in this case, chirality can be cyclically switched on and off.

This approach using polymeric chiral template did not allow to control some important properties such as molecular stoichiometry and sequence. I obtained this result using as template calixarenes. Extending our investigations on these systems using bis-calixarenes I demonstrated that it is, indeed, possible to choose between aggregates grown in the x,y or x,y,z dimensions. Also in this case, we have the perfect control of sequence and stoichiometry and we can assemble 33 molecular “pieces” in about 10 hours, with a yield higher than 90% (Chemistry-A European Journal, 16, 10439-10446, 2010). In that work we found that a calixarene-mediated porphyrin–porphyrin electronic communication is occurring. This finding allowed us, to succeed in accomplishing the final goal by getting the control over the chirality of the porphyrin assemblies, both by a pure covalent and a mixed covalent/noncovalent approach (Chem. Comm., 48, 4046-4048, 2012). Now we are working with tris-calixarene in order to increase the complexity of these systems and to get the control on other interesting properties.

My research activity is mainly focused on “Interactions of water-soluble porphyrinoids with biomolecules”. Interaction between porphyrinoids and biomolecules is a very studied topic owing to the clinical use of these macrocycles in the cure of cancer by photodynamic therapy. Among the all biomolecules we decide to study the interaction of porphyrinoids with proteasome and nucleic acids.

Recently inhibition of proteasome (major cytosolic proteolytic system in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, with critical functions in cell cycle control, apoptosis, inflammation, transcription, signal transduction, protein quality control, and many other biological processes) has become a new promising strategy in cancer therapeutics. For this reason I investigated porphyrinoids as inhibitors of proteasome with the central idea that it would be more convenient to use one single molecule having different biological targets but all converging toward the cure of tumors, instead of using a cocktail of active molecules. Encouraged by the promising results obtained using tetra cationic porphyrin 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-Nmethylpyridyl) porphine (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 134, 10451−10457, 2012), I got a grant of 800 000 € and continued to investigate more in deeply the inhibition mechanism using other porphyrin derivatives.

Another interesting use of porphyrinoids is as chiroptical reporters of conformations. These molecules are ideal chiroptical reporters because; i) their absorption is far from the region where bases and aminoacids absorbs light and ii) they are not chiral, then even a small induced Circular Dichroism signal is already an useful indication of the DNA structure. Exploiting Circular Dichroism and several other spectroscopic techniques, I characterized the binding modes of tri-cationic corroles on single and double helix of homopolymer nucleic acids (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 135, 8632−8638, 2013). In particular, inspired by the pioneering work of Prof. Purrello (Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 44, 4006-4009, 2005) demonstrating that the Zn(II) derivative of the tetra cationic 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-Nmethylpyridyl) porphine is an excellent (specific and sensitive) sensor for the rare left-handed Z conformation of DNA, we investigated the efficiency of the probe to recognize the Z-structure of short DNA sequence (Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 397, 329–332, 2010) and even when it is embedded between two long sequences of B-DNA (Chemistry - An Asian Journal, 6, 3104-3109, 2011). Moreover I demonstrated the central role of the coordinating metal of the porphyrin in the recognition of Z-DNA, in fact using tetra anionic Ni(II) derivative 5,10,15,20-tetrakis(4-sulphonatephenyl) porphine we are able to detect by circular dichroism spectroscopy the Z-DNA conformation and distinguish the non-condensed from the condensed form (Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 110, 18–20, 2012). By exploiting the supramolecular properties of DNA (such as: spontaneous self-assembly of oligonucleotides with complementary sequences, well-known and characteristic secondary structures) I designed and realized a versatile supramolecular reversible information storing system working as AND logic gates (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131, 2046-2047, 2009).

Recently we synthetized and characterized a new Zn(II) porphyrin derivative bearing four spermine arms in the meso position (New J. Chem. 39, 6722, 2015), with the aim to design a single molecules able to induce, stabilize and detect the Z-DNA. Even I am exploiting the properties of naked porphyrin derivative bearing four spermine arms, to induce by non-covalent interaction, the formation of superstructures of short aptamers adopting G-quadruplex conformation.

Reviewer activity:

·       He is reviewer for several international JournalNew Journal of Chemistry (RSC)Dalton Transaction (RSC), Chemical Communication (RSC), RSC Advances (RSC)Chemical Science (RSC), Journal of Porphyrins and Phtalocyanines (World Scientific), The Journal of Physical Chemistry (ACS), Analytical Methods (ACS), Molecules (MDPI), Marine Drugs (MDPI), Chemistry (MDPI), Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (Elsevier)Dyes and Pigments (Elsevier), Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (Elsevier), Nature Communication (Nature Research), Scientific Reports (Nature Research), Chemistry Europeans Journal (Wiley), Chemistry-an Asian Journal (Whiley), Chirality (Wiley).

·       He was external evaluator for two PhD thesis: 1) dott.ssa Beatrice Berionni Berna del dottorato in Scienze Chimiche A.A. 16/17 Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata; 2) dott.ssa Maria Marzano del dottorato in Biotecnologie 32°ciclo Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II.

·       Reviewer for University of Cypro for the Internal Research Funding Programme 2020.

·       Reviewer of book proposal for RSC and Elsevier.

·  Member of organizing/scientific committees of several national and international conferences, workshop and symposium: 

BioMet 2013

o Workshops Y-RICh 2013 del gruppo Giovani della Società Chimica Italiana,

Reaxys Inspired Chemistry Conference 2014,

o Workshops Y-RICh 2014 del gruppo Giovani della Società Chimica Italiana,

oCongresso Nazionale della Divisione di Chimica dei Sistemi Biologici 2015 della Società Chimica Italiana

15th Sigma-Aldrich Young Chemists Symposium 2015 (International conference)

Symposium 16 - Covalent and Noncovalent Assembly of Porphyrins on DNA al 9th International Conference on Porphyrins and Phathalocyanines (ICPP-9) nel 2016

Chiritaly 2016

Congresso Nazionale della Divisione di Chimica dei Sistemi Biologici 2016 della Società Chimica Italiana

o Workshops Y-RICh 2016 del gruppo Giovani della Società Chimica Italiana,

16th Merck Young Chemists Symposium 2016 (International conference).

o Workshops Y-RICh 2017 del gruppo Giovani della Società Chimica Italiana,

17th Merck Young Chemists Symposium 2017 (International conference).

Symposium 19 - Porphyrin Assemblies on Bioinspired Templates al 10th International Conference on Porphyrins and Phathalocyanines (ICPP-10) 2018

o Workshops Y-RICh 2018 del gruppo Giovani della Società Chimica Italiana.

18th Merck Elsevier Young Chemists Symposium 2018 (International conference).

Congresso Nazionale della Divisione di Chimica dei Sistemi Biologici 2018 della Società Chimica Italiana

o Scuola nazionale di chimica bioinorganica per dottorandi 2019.

o Congresso Nazionale della Divisione di Chimica dei Sistemi Biologici 2019 della Società Chimica Italiana.

o Symposium 21 - on Porphyrins and biomolecules: a long-lasting frinedship at 11th International Conference on Porphyrins and Phathalocyanines (ICPP-11) 2021.

·  Membership and roles in national and international scientific societies:

o   2016-2018 vice coordinator of the Young group of Italian Chemical Society

o   2013-2016 Board member of the Young group of Italian Chemical Society, as young representative of the Division “Chemistry of Biological Systems".

o   2015-2020 Board member of the Division “Chemistry of Biological Systems" of Italian Chemical Society.

o   2010-now member of Reaxys Club. Since 2012 join the Reaxys Guidance Team to improve the Reaxys database of the Elsevier. Up to now I was involved in several ventures of the Reaxys: preparation of Reaxys Chemistry Search Challenge; commitee of Reaxys PhD Prize 2019

o   Member of Society of Porphyrins and Phathalocyanines.