I completed my Chemistry degree in Argentina in 1997. After experiencing both the academic and industry sectors, I started my PhD in medicinal chemistry at the Open University in Milton Keynes. After its completion in 2005, I relocated to USA to specialise in biophysical studies of drug-DNA interactions, working in the Brown Cancer Center with Prof Brad Chaires. Back to UK in 2008, I worked in pre-clinical testing, also known as ADMETox, in Peakdale Molecular and Cyprotex, while being an Associate lecturer at MMU. In 2013, I became a Lecturer in Biochemistry at the University of Salford, in where I developed my research group in the areas of organic and analytical chemistry, aptamers and toxicology as well as delivering teaching content in organic chemistry, biochemistry, immunology and biomedicine. In 2018 I joined the School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering at Keele University as a Sr Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences. My research group currently focuses on studying the microbiota and 3D gut systems, design of anticancer agents (small and large molecules), studies into inflammation, toxicology, cancer and ageing.

Research and scholarship

My research interest relies in the area of health, and for this I have different branches all interconnected, allowing my projects to be multi-disciplinary. Small molecules: 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. Large molecules: 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 we also monitor the toxicology of new compounds but the materials around us, like e-cigarettes, cosmetics, natural compounds and a lot more. Microbiome: in a collaboration with Dr Sharon Moore at the University of Wolverhampton and Dr Athar Aziz at University of Salford, we are building a gut model to study the equilibria between our intestines and our flora to improve our health and understand diseases.


I currently teach in the disciplines of pharmacy, bioengineering and pharmaceutical sciences, leading 4 modules in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. My teaching covers aspects of pharmacology, immunology, analytical chemistry, toxicology and pre-clinical testing. I am also interested in outreach activities to disseminate science (STEM).


Recent publications:

  • Omonga N, Zia Z, Ghanbour H, Ragazzon-Smith A, Foster H, Hadfield and Ragazzon. 2021. Facile synthesis and biological evaluation of chrysin derivatives. Journal of Chemical Research
  • Barnes NG, Ahmed Mal Ullah AA, Ragazzon PA, Charafi N, Hadfield JA. 2021. Syntheses of Combretastatin A-4 and Related Stilbenes by Using Aqueous Conditions. CHEMISTRYSELECT, 7082-7086, vol. 6(28).
  • Al-Sudani B, Ragazzon-Smith AH, Aziz A, Alansari R, Ferry N, Krstic-Demonacos M, Ragazzon PA. 2020. Circular and linear: a tale of aptamer selection for the activation of SIRT1 to induce death in cancer cells. RSC ADVANCES, 45008-45018, vol. 10(73). 


  • Novel therapies for cancer treatment : Designing high affinity and selectivity ligands against SIRT1 Al-Sudani, B & Demonacos, M K & Ragazzon, P 2015, 'Novel therapies for cancer treatment : designing high affinity and selectivity ligands against SIRT1 ', EuroMedLab Paris Paris, France.


  • BBC Food: Truth or Scare, April 2018, discussion about antimicrobials from natural products.
  • Radio Key 103, United Kingdom, January 2017, discussion about e-cigarettes.
  • BBCRadio Manchester, United Kingdom, January 2017, discussion about e-cigarettes.

School address:
School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Hornbeam Building
Keele University

Research centre address:
School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering
Guy Hilton Research Centre
Thornburrow Drive
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 674988

Jack Ashley building accessibility

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Keele Centre for Medicines Optimisation (KCMO)
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