Via Mangiagalli 25, 20133, Milano, Italy


Chem Is Try

Our research interests range from medicinal chemistry to chemical biology, with the unifying goal of developing small molecule to understand and manipulate biological systems relevant to diseases.
As chemists, we are passionate about sustainability. We have a special interest in developing green chemistry methodologies and sustainable processes.

Medicinal Chemistry Projects

α7 and α9α10 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Ligands

Among other functions, peripheral a7 and a9a10 nicotinic receptors are involved in tumour promotion and progression. Aiming at developing novel antitumoral agents, we are carrying out a SAR campaign starting from an in-house a7 and a9a10 antagonist with good antiglioblastoma activity as lead compound.

α4β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Ligands

Nicotine causes nicotine addiction by activating the α4β2 nicotinic receptors in the brain. Thanks to our MedChem long-lasting expertise on this subtype, we are currently developing novel α4β2 partial agonist, to fight nicotine addiction and as cognition enhancers.

In details we perform:

  • Computer-aided ligand design
  • Synthesis and characterization of small molecules as ligands or probes.
  • Biological characterization (external collaboration)
  • SAR interpretation
  • Molecular modelling and docking

Chemical Biology Projects


Our brand-new interdipartimental project about photo-activable control of HCN channels has just been funded. Irradiation of photo-responsive molecules allows to activate them with high spatiotemporal control, granting a fine-tuning of the biological activity.


We are excited to walk toward the new (for us) field of chemical biology! Fluorescence, light and proteins we’re coming!


…to be continued…


Green Chemistry and Circular Economy

Renewable polymeric catalysts and green solvents

Many advances in the field of polymeric catalysts have opened huge opportunities in chemistry. Aiming at unlocking new synthetic strategies, our research group is interested in the development of new sustainable polymeric catalysts. Furthermore, we develop and optimize eco-friendly protocols to produce widely used building blocks, such as amino acid benzyl esters, or to perform very useful and routinely used reactions, like reductive amination, replacing the use of banned solvents with green solvents and conditions.

Waste resources exploitation 

Turning waste into high value material: this is the future for European industries.
In recent years, Fondazione Cariplo funded our project regarding the extraction of  fatty acids from lanolin and their convertion into functionalized α -hydroxy acids, an important and high value component of cosmetics. In 2023 we won a PRIN call for the application of the same principles to spent coffee grounds. Stay tuned!


Stereotechnologies applied to bioactive molecules

Chirality and medicinal chemistry often go hand-in-hand. Many theorical and technical questions about chirality await for an answer or for innovative solutions. Our research group in the last 20 years has developed strong theorical and pratical expertises in this field and we are currently very interested in studying the intimate nature of enantiomeric and diasteromeric systems, in investigating and interpreting their different biological activities and in finding new innovative solutions to resolve these problems.