The Pharmaceutical Sciences curriculum aims to provide highly qualified professional figures in the field of human health, safe food and environment safety, skilled in developing researches in academies, pharmaceutical industries, hospitals and public or private research centers focused in drug discovery and development of compounds of biological interest, isolation and characterization of active principles from natural sources; analytical and toxicological quality controls in the alimentary and environment fields. Referring to the possible benefits that the professional figures of the so formed PhDs in pharmaceutical sciences, they will be able to provide research activities in the advanced technologies of the medicinal chemistry according to the society needs; to disseminate through their knowledge the capacity of developing advanced researches which furnishes a surplus value to the social products. Moreover they will spread culture and technological innovation.
State of the art
The research projects of PhD students and their tutors in pharmaceutical sciences, rise from the recent need of investigations on new chemical structures with biological interest together with a variety of different scientific skills. Pharmaceutical studies, in fact, aim to the design and discovery of new compounds which can be used as drugs, and to the optimization of analytical diagnostic methods for the application of such compounds in the pharmaceuticals and toxicological field. Thus, these kind of researches aim to the isolation and identification of active principles from natural sources; the syntheses of new molecules or new derivatives; the evaluation of their biological activities and the identification of the possible interactions with several different receptors including enzymes and DNA. The evaluation of quali-quantitative relationships between biological activity and structures of synthetic or natural compounds ant the studies of metabolic transformations.
- Syntheses, studies on reactivity and structure-activity relationships in nitrogen heterocyclic systems of pharmaceutical interest.
- Syntheses and structural characterization of analogues of compounds from natural sources of biological interest.
- Optimization of synthetic methods for radiopharmaceutical and quality control of their radiochemical purity.
- Extraction, purification and characterization of compounds of nutraceutical interest.
For the synthesis of compounds of pharmaceutical interest several innovative techniques are used such as microwave apparatus which allow to make reaction times shorter with improved yields of the final products , the use of recyclable ionic liquids (with improved effect in the enviroment), the use of the Syncore apparatus to make parallel syntheses which enormously allows saving working time. The most active synthesized derivatives from the previous mentioned research lines will be incorporated in micelles and/or lipid nanoparticles for further in vitro and in vivo biological assays. These new kind of formulations, in fact, allow an improved water solubility for lipophilic drugs with a scarce solubility in the aqueous medium, prevent from degradation unstable drugs, extension of the half life of the drug thus improving the therapeutic performance.
The research activities of the PhD students are analyzed and developed through collaborations with national and international research companies. The pharmaceutical science curriculum benefits of the following conventions:
- Institute for Experimental Oncology, Freiburg (Germania);
- University of Nottingham (UK);
- School of Pharmacy – University of Cardiff (UK);
- School of Pharmacy – University of London (UK);
- School of Pharmacy; Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori Milano;
- Semmelweis University – Budapest, Hungary;
- Pazmany Peter Catholic University – Budapest, Hungary;
- Université de Lyon, France
Moreover, it has been activated an European network of Doctorates in Pharmaceutical Sciences (European Paul Ehrlich Med Chem PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences) including Doctorates of twenty-five Universities belonging to fifteen different European Countries. Such collaborations has promoted and improved the cultural baggage and the training of PhD students with the aim of obtaining degree recognized anywhere in Europe. The website is the following: www.pehrlichmedchem.eu. Finally the researches made by students which acquire the PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences is well documented by several publications on international journals with high Impact Factor.
The Research Doctor in Medicinal Chemistry will be highly qualified to work in research laboratories of pharmaceutical companies, in hospital pharmacy, in public or private health structures that are active in the fields of drug design and synthesis; development of compounds of biological interest, analytical and toxicological control of synthetic and natural products, analytical quality controls in the alimentary and environmental fields. Some of our graduated PhD students, succeded in finding a job in the healthcare area in Europe.