I completed my Chemistry degree in Argentina in 1997. After experiencing both the academic and industry sector I started my PhD in medicinal chemistry at the Open University. After its completion, in 2005 I relocated to USA, to specialise in biophysical studies of drug-DNA interactions, working in the Brown Cancer Center. Back to UK in 2008, I moved into another area of Medicinal Chemistry, this time ADMETox, working in pharmacology, toxicology, bioanalysis and transporters while being an Associate lecturer at MMU. In 2013, I became a Lecturer at the University of Salford, in where I developed my own group in the areas of organic and analytical chemistry, aptamers and toxicology. In 2018 I joined the School of Pharmacy at Keele University as Sr Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences, my research group currently focuses on studying the microbiota, design of small molecules as anticancer agents, and design of aptamers for biosensing and therapeutics.
Research and scholarship
My research interest can be summarised as health, and for this I have different branches all interconnected, allowing my projects to be multi-disciplinary.
- Therapeutics: in my group we synthesise small molecules with biological properties, looking at anticancer and antimicrobial agents. Nature has given us the best medicines so far, so part of the therapeutics branch looks at extracts of natural products, ranging from roots & leaves, to amphibians, slugs and bacteria; in this we purify, test and characterise any new molecule. Aptamers are large molecules made of nucleic acids that find and bind their targets selectively and effectively. We have developed a modified aptamer (manuscript in preparation) that is allowing us to study the roles of histones in cancer therapy.
- DNA studies: we have been studying the interaction of small molecules with Quadruplex DNA, and analysing the formation upon different ions.
- Toxicology and pre-clinical testing: synthesising small molecules with biological activity is exciting and rewarding but analysis of their ADMETox activities are essential, in my group we study the pharmacological aspect of these compounds. Using analytical techniques (HPLC, LCMSMS, ICP, and Fluorescence microscopy) we also monitor the toxicology of new compounds but the materials around us, like e-cigarettes, cosmetics, natural compounds and a lot more.
- Green chemistry: we believe that chemistry can be clean and sustainable, for this I encourage synthesis using alternative methods such as microwave, sonication and the use of biotechnology whenever possible.
- Microbiome: this is a new area I am developing in the School of Pharmacy, we are building a gut model to study the equilibria between our intestines and our flora to improve our health and understand diseases.
My teaching covers aspects of pharmacology, immunology, medicinal chemistry, sustainability and toxicology. I am also interested in outreach activities to disseminate science (STEM).