Researcher of [CHIM/06]
Office: Cittadella Universitaria, V.le A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania. Edificio 1 - Corpo A - Primo piano
Phone: +39 095 738 5041
Web Site:
Office Hours: from | Monday from 11:00 to 13:00 | Wednesday from 12:00 to 13:00 | Friday from 11:00 to 13:00 A causa della possibile sovrapposizione con impegni istituzionali e non, è consigliabile inviare una mail di preavviso

Researcher of Organic Chemistry (CHIM/06)

Courses: Organic Chemistry I and Laboratory (Mod. 2) at the B.D. course of Chemistry (M-Z)

               Structural Characterization of Organic Compounds and Laboratory at the M.D. course of Chemical Sciences, Curriculum Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry

Main research topics:

A. Extraction, purification, spectroscopic characterization (MS, NMR) of compounds from natural matrices (medicinal and fruit plants, biomass, tannins, etc.)

B. Study of antioxidant activity and inhibition of metabolic enzymes of natural and synthetic compounds or extracts enriched in polyphenols of natural origin.

C. Chemical and enzymatic modification of bioactive natural compounds. Biomimetic and enzyme-mediated synthesis. Study of structure-activity relations and optimization of biological properties.

D. Characterization by mass spectrometry of molecules and macromolecules of natural origin with particular regard to the agro-food sector.

E. Proteins structural characterization by proteomics approaches

F. Metabolomic analysis by NMR


ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6212-5154


Vera Muccilli graduated in Industrial Chemistry in 2002 from University of Catania with summa cum laude. In 2006 she obtained a PhD in Chemical Sciences from the same University with a thesis on the application of mass spectrometry to the characterization cereal proteins. During the PhD course she worked for some months in Centro Nacional de Biotenologìa, Unidad de Analisis Estructural de Proteinas, Campus de la UAM, Cantoblanco, Madrid-ES focusing her research on the quantification of gluten proteins in celiac foods. In 2006 the Italian Chemical Society - Mass Spectrometry Division awarded her as young researcher in mass spectrometry. She has collaborated with Consorzio di Ricerca G.P. Ballatore, Raddusa (Catania), CREA-ACM Acireale, (Catania) and with Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria-Policlinico Vittorio Emanuele Catania. In 2008, 2011, 2012 she was lecturer of the II level Master in “Methodologies in Mass Spectrometry and Applications” and in 2014 she was lecturer of mass spectrometric application for a training course organized by the University of Palermo. Between 2011-2013 she was research fellow at the University of Catania with a project on proteomic investigation of cereal allergens. In June 2015 she received her Postgraduate Specialization Degree in Clinical Biochemistry from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Catania. Since January 2015 she has been Researcher of Organic Chemistry (fixed term contract) at the University of Catania. Her scientific production is documented by papers published in peer-reviewed international journals and communications presented at national and international conferences.

V. Muccilli's recent publications:


  • V. Patamia, D. Gentile, R. Fiorenza, V. Muccilli, P.G. Mineo, S. Scirè, A. Rescifina, “Nanosponges based on self-assembled starfish-shaped cucurbit[6]urils functionalized with imidazolium arms”. Chemical Communications, 57, 3664-3667 (2021).
  • N. Cardullo, V. Muccilli, L. Pulvirenti, C. Tringali “Natural Isoflavones and Semisynthetic Derivatives as Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitors” Journal of Natural Products, 84, 3, 654–665


  • N. Cardullo, V. Muccilli, V. Cunsolo, C. Tringali. "Mass Spectrometry and 1H-NMR Study of Schinopsis lorentzii (Quebracho) Tannins as a Source of Hypoglycemic and Antioxidant Principles" Molecules, 25, 3257, (2020)
  • V. Muccilli, A. Vitale, L. Sheng, A. Gentile, N. Cardullo, C. Tringali, C. Oliveri, R. La Rosa, M. Di Guardo, S. La Malfa, Z. Deng, G. Distefano. "Substantial Equivalence of Transgenic Lemon Fruit Showing Postharvest Fungal Pathogens Resistance". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 68, 12, 3806-3816, (2020)
  • M. Labuschagne, S. Masci, S. Tundo, V. Muccilli, R. Saletti, A. van Biljon. "Proteomic Analysis of Proteins Responsive to Drought and Low Temperature Stress in a Hard Red Spring Wheat Cultivar". Molecules, 25, 1366, (2020)
  • N. Cardullo, V. Barresi, V. Muccilli, G. Spampinato, M. D'Amico, D. F. Condorelli, C. Tringali. "Synthesis of Bisphenol Neolignans Inspired by Honokiol as Antiproliferative Agents". Molecules,  25, 733 (2020)
  • N. Cardullo, V. Muccilli, L. Pulvirenti, A. Cornu, L. Pouységu, D. Deffieux, S. Quideau, C. Tringali. “C-glucosidic ellagitannins and galloylated glucoses as potential functional food ingredients with anti-diabetic properties: a study of α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibition”. Food Chemistry, 313, 126099 (2020) in press
  • A. Di Francesco, R. Saletti, V. Cunsolo, B. Svensson, V. Muccilli, P. De Vita, S. Foti. “Qualitative proteomic comparison of metabolic and CM-like protein fractions in old and modern wheat Italian genotypes by a shotgun approach”. Journal of Proteomics, 211, 104730 (2020) in press


  • N. Cardullo, G. Catinella, G. Floresta, V. Muccilli, S. Rosselli, A. Rescifina, M. Bruno, C. Tringali. “Synthesis of Rosmarinic Acid Amide as Antioxidative and Hypoglycemic Agents”. Journal of Natural Products. 82, 573-582  (2019)
  • M. Spinaci, D. Bucci, V. Muccilli, N. Cardullo, C. Nerozzi, G. Galeati. “A polyphenol-rich extract from an oenological oak-derived tannin influences in vitro maturation of porcine oocytes” Theriogenology 129, 82 – 89 (2019)
  • A. Di Francesco, R. Saletti, V. Cunsolo, B. Svensson, V. Muccilli, P. De Vita, S. Foti. “Dataset of the metabolic and CM-like protein fractions in old and modern wheat Italian genotypes”. Data in Brief, 27, 104730 (2019)


  • M. Spinaci, V. Muccilli, D. Bucci, N. Cardullo, B. Gadani, C. Tringali, C. Tamanini, G. Galeati. “Biological effects of polyphenol-rich extract and fractions from an oenological oak-derived tannin on in vitro swine sperm capacitation and fertilizing ability” Theriogenology 1: 284-290 (2018)
  • A. Criscione, V. Cunsolo, S. Tumino, A. Di Francesco, S. Bordonaro, V. Muccilli, R. Saletti, D. Marletta. “Polymorphism at donkey β-lactoglobulin II locus: identification and characterization of a new genetic variant with a very low expression”. Amino Acids, 50: 735-746 (2018).
  • M. Messina, C. Meli, F. Raudino, A. Pittala, A. Arena, R. Barone, F Giuffrida, R Iacobacci, V. Muccilli, G. Sorge, A. Fiumara. “Expanded Newborn Screening Using Tandem MassSpectrometry: Seven Years of Experience in Eastern Sicily”. International Journal of Neonatal Screening. 4 (2), 12 (2018)
  • S. Di Micco, L. Pulvirenti, I. Bruno, S. Terracciano, A. Russo, M. C. Vaccaro, D. Ruggiero, V. Muccilli, N. Cardullo, C. Tringali, R. Riccio, G. Bifulco. “Identification by Inverse Virtual Screening of magnolol-based scaffold as new tankyrase-2 inhibitors”. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 26: 3953-3957 (2018).
  • N. Cardullo, V. Muccilli, R. Saletti, S. Giovando, C. Tringali. A mass spectrometry and 1H NMR study of hypoglycemic and antioxidant principles from a Castanea sativa tannin employed in oenology” Food Chemistry. 268: 585-293 (2018).



  • V. Muccilli, N. Cardullo, C. Spatafora, V. Cunsolo, C. Tringali. “α-Glucosidase inhibition and antioxidant activity of an oenological commercial tannin. Extraction, fractionation and analysis by HPLC/ESI-MS/MS and (1)H NMR”. Food Chemistry. 215: 50-60 (2017).
  • V. Cunsolo, E. Fasoli, A. Di Francesco, R. Saletti, V. Muccilli, S. Gallina, P.G. Righetti, S. Foti. “Polyphemus, Odysseus and the ovine milk proteome”. Journal of Proteomics, 152: 58-74 (2017).
  • L. Pulvirenti, V. Muccilli, N. Cardullo, C. Spatafora, C. Tringali. “Chemoenzymatic Synthesis and α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity of Dimeric Neolignans Inspired by Magnolol”. Journal of Natural Products, 80: 1648-1657 (2017)
  • M. D. Garcìa Molina, V. Muccilli, R. Saletti, S. Foti, S. Masci, F. Barro. “Comparative proteomic analysis of two transgenic low-gliadin wheat lines and non-transgenic wheat control” Journal of Proteomics, 165:102-112 (2017)
  •  A. Baschieri, L. Pulvirenti, V. Muccilli, C. Tringali, R. Amorati. “Chain-breaking antioxidant activity of hydroxylated and methoxylated magnolol derivatives: the role of H-bonds” Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 15:6177-6184 (2017)
  • V. Cunsolo, R. Saletti, V. Muccilli, S. Gallina, A. Di Francesco, S. Foti. “Proteins and bioactive peptides from donkey milk: The molecular basis for its reduced allergenic properties”. Food Research International, 99 :41-57 (2017).


  • S. Gallina, V. Cunsolo, R. Saletti, V. Muccilli, A. Di Francesco, S. Foti, A.M. Lorenzten, P. Roepstorff. “Sequence characterization and glycosylation sites identification of donkey milk lactoferrin by multiple enzyme digestions and mass spectrometry”. Amino Acids, 48: 1569-1580 (2016)
  • L. Gazza, G. Gazzelloni, F. Taddei, A. Latini, V. Muccilli, M. Alfieri, S. Conti, R. Redaelli, NE Pogna. “The starch-bound alpha-amylase/trypsin-inhibitors in Avena”. Molecular Genetics And Genomics, 291: 2043-2054 (2016).
  • S. Gallina, R. Saletti, V. Cunsolo, V. Muccilli, S. Foti, P. Roepstorff, Rasmussen MI. “Site-specific glycosylation of donkey milk lactoferrin investigated by high-resolution mass spectrometry”. Amino Acids, 48: 2799-2808 (2016).


Academic Year  

Research activity

Dr. Vera Muccilli is carrying out her research within the programs developed by the Chemistry of Bioactive Natural Products Group.  The research has recently been focused on natural polyphenols, notably because of their antioxidant properties, based on Radical Scavenging, that is, the ability to inhibit or slow down the reactions of radical reactive species. Reactive radicals are harmful to cells and are believed to contribute to the ageing process and degenerative diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Vera Muccilli's research has two different goals:

a) The study of natural polyphenols, and in particular tannins, used as food additives in oenology, therefore totally devoid of toxicity. Recently published research shows for the first time that in addition to antioxidant properties these tannins have the ability to inhibit α-glucosidase, an enzyme involved in glucose uptake. These molecules may therefore have a preventative property against diabetes and as result could potentially be used in dietary supplements, non-prescription drugs (OTCs, over the counter) or cosmetics.

b) The organic synthesis starting from simple natural compounds, by means of enzymes (such as laccase or lipase) in order to obtain new naturally-occurring polyphenols with pharmacological properties. Thus, magnolol-like compounds, present in magnolia extracts with promising biological properties, have recently been prepared: some of these synthesized compounds show a potent anti-diabetic property (inhibition of α-glucosidase) while others have strong antioxidant ones. The studies are continuing, with the aim of obtaining new polyphenols with both anti-diabetic and antitumor properties.

National grant: PRIN 2017:STOLEN MOLECULES - Stealing natural products from the depot and reselling them as new drug candidates (2017A95NCJ_003)

-Topic Editor and Guest Editor di Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049; CODEN: MOLEFW)

-Guest editor of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158; CODEN: FOODBV)

-Associate Editor of Journal of Integrated Omics (ISSN 2182-0287)

-Member of the Scientific Committee of International Summer School on Natural Products (ISSNP) 

-Reviewer of Antibiotics, Arabian Journal of Chemistry, Food Chemistry, Food & Function, Foods, Frontiers, Genes, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Journal of Food Biochemistry, Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, Journal of Food Science, Journal of Plant Physiology, Journal of Proteome Research, Journal of Proteomics, Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Molecules,  Natural Products Research, Phytochemicals, Plants, Plant Molecular Biology Reports, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry.

-Component of the Steering Committee of the Italian Chemical Society-Sicily Section (2016-2018)