Core Group

Action Participants - Core Group

Prof. Barbara Klajnert-Maculewicz (

Action chair, GH scientific representative, MC member
Working Groups 2 and 3
Department of General Biophysics
University of Lodz
Lodz, Poland

Prof. Barbara Klajnert-Maculewicz's group concentrates on using different nanosystems (especially dendrimers) as drug carriers in cancer therapies. We are studying complexes with photosensitizers used in photodynamic therapy, complexes with nucleotide analogues, and conjugates with anticancer drugs and monoclonal antibody. We possess cell culture laboratory with access to flow cytometer and confocal microscope, and biophysical laboratory equipped with spectrofluorimeters, CD spectrometer, zeta-sizer).

Prof. Sabrina Pricl (

Action vice-chair, Action dissemination manager, MC member
Working Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4
Molecular Biology and Nanotechnology Lab (MolBNL@UniTS)
Department of Engineering and Architecture
University of Trieste
Trieste, Italy

Prof. Pricl's group is active in the discovery of new cancer nanomedicines from computer-assisted design to their in vitro activity. The MolBNL@UniTS Lab has access to local and natoonal/international supercomputers for the in silico studies, synchrotron radiation facility for structural studies, different spectroscopic, spectrophotometric and other analytica instruments for nanomedicine characterization, including CD-based stopped flow apparatus and isothermal titration calorimetry for kinetic and thermodynamic measurements. Different  naive and durg resistant cell lines are also avaialbe for in vitro efficacy of nanomedicines.

Prof. Maria Francesca Ottaviani (

STSM coordinator, MC member
Working Group 2
Laboratory of Physical Chemistry, Department of Pure and Applied Sciences (DiSPeA)
University of Urbino Carlo Bo'
Urbino, Italy

Prof. Ottaviani's group is characterizing new drugs and drug carriers, mainly dendrimers and surfactant aggregates (like micelles, liposomes, and microemulsions) and their interactions with cell lines, mostly cancer lines compared to healthy lines. Physico-chemical characterization of the bio-relevant molecules and their interactions is mainly performed by an in-situ technique, namely the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, by means of selected spin probes and spin labels. A computer aided analysis of the results provided unique and specific structural and dynamical information.

Prof. Rana Sanyal (

Working Group 1 leader, MC member
Working Groups 1, 3 and 4
Department of Chemistry, Center for Life Sciences and Technologies
Bogazici University
Bebek/Istanbul, Turkey Sanyal’s group is synthesizing nanomedicines for targeting cancer. The laboratory activity includes synthesis of polymers and nanoparticles, characterization, in vitro and in vivo studies. A list of currently available facilities at Prof. Sanyal’s lab can be found at and

Dr. Tomáš Strašák (

Working Group 1 vice-leader, MC substitute member
Working Group 1
Department of Bioorganic Compounds and Nanocomposites
Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the Czech Academy of Science
Prague, Czech Republic

Dr. Strašák’s lab is working on rational design of dendrimers and complex macromolecular and supramolecular systems based on dendritic compounds. The products of our research are finding applications in gene therapy or in targeted transport of drugs including chemotherapeutics and their conjugates with saccharides, that we are currently developing. Our lab have access to several analytical tools including NMR, IR, UV-Vis, HRMS , DLS, etc.

Dr. Ivana Vinković Vrček (

Working Group 2 leader, MC member
Working Groups 2, 3 and 4
Analytical Toxicology and Mineral Metabolism Unit
Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health
Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Vinković Vrček’s group is focused on nanosafety and risk/benefit ratio assessment of nano-enabled medicines and medical devices. Their research activities cover all aspects of Safe-by-Design approach: from design, synthesis and chemico-physical characterization to in vitro/in vivo evaluation.

Dr. Evgeny K. Apartsin (

Working Group 2 vice-leader
NCC MC observer

Working Groups 1 and 2
Laboratory of RNA Chemistry
Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine
Novosibirsk, Russia

Dr. Apartsin is involved into the development of new materials for the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids. In particular, he deals with dendrimer-based and liposome-based nucleic acid carriers (in close collaboration with other COST partners). The Laboratory of RNA Chemistry possess the necessary equipment and experience for the synthesis and purification of oligonucleotides, organic synthesis as well as physico-chemical studies.

Prof. Carlo V. Catapano (

Working Group 3 leader, MC member
Working Groups 3 and 4
Department of Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapeutics
Institute of Oncology Research (IOR) and Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)
Bellinzona, Switzerland

My group is investigating transcriptional, epigenetic and metabolic processes in human cancers and developing innovative therapeutic strategies based on small-molecules, oligonucleotides and small interfering RNAs. These processes underlie the tumor heterogeneity and phenotypic reprogramming associated with stemness, metastasis, tumor progression and treatment resistance. We have established protocols and in vitro/in vivo experimental models to study these aspects and testing delivery and efficacy of novel therapeutics.

Dr. Ulf Kahlert (

Working Group 3 vice-leader
Working Group 3

Clinic for Neurosurgery & German Cancer Consortium (DKTK)
University Hospital Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf, Germany

In one branch in my department, we aim to develop novel anti-cancer stem cell therapies for deadly diseases like glioblastoma (but not only) where currently no good treatment option is available. We have developed several advances experimental researches, particular  in vitro stem-cell focused tumor models. We have a collection of patient-derived systems (primary short-term avatars of our patients, chronic spheroidal-grown cell lines ) as well as iPSC-based in vitro models with for molecular subtypes of tumors as well as reporter cancer cell lines to sensitively inform on stem cell capacity based on pathway activation. Those tools, combined with high resolution metabolic and methylomic profiling enables us to identify actionable candidates that may serve as druggable targets to eradicate tumors. Moreover, focusing on low grad brain tumors, we are working on a fluorescence-peptide-mediated approach of theranostics using clinical applied treatment of photodynamic therapy.

Dr. Maria Eugenia Riveiro (

Working Group 4 leader, MC member
Working Groups 3 and 4
Early Drug Development Group, SAS (E2DG)
Paris, France

E2DG is specialized in the early development of novel leads and targets in oncology. In the last 20 years, we worked in the evaluation of over 15 different oncology leads (at least 8 first-in-man), covering both small molecules, monoclonal antibodies or novel technologies as nanomedicines in oncology. Currently, as E2DG’s Chief Scientific Officer, I support our collaborators to optimize and accelerate their R&D programs, from lead optimization to Phase I clinical trials in oncology. In addition, I am specialized in molecular pharmacology assessments, PK/ADME and CMC regulatory compliance and intellectual property rights in biotechnology companies.

Dr. Enrico Catalano (

Working Group 4 vice-leader
Working Groups 2, 3 and 4

Italian Institute of Technology
Centro di ricerca dedicato alla Medicina Personalizzata, Preventiva e Predittiva (il CMP3VdA)

Aosta (Italy)

Dr. Catalano's research focuses on dual tumor targeting therapy on breast cancer cells based on drug-bioconjugated iron-oxide nanoparticles. His research wants to achieve a smart nanomedicine platform of targeted drug delivery for cancer treatments based on magnetic properties of iron-oxide nanoparticles that overcomes multiple biological barriers for cancer drug delivery to target accurately the cancer site with magnetic nanoparticles under the influence of an external magnetic field.  The aim of his research is to produce a dual targeted drug delivery system and magnetic hyperthermia for more effective treatment of breast cancer by using functionalized iron-oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) loaded with drugs/targeting moieties which will able to be localized in target tissues and internalized within the desired cells by application of an external magnetic field. The framework of the project aims to implement in vitro experiments for an extremely innovative multi-therapeutic strategy that combines targeted drug delivery of chemotherapeutics, the use of SPIONs properties of hyperthermia to target in vitro breast cancer drug-resistant and not drug-resistant cell lines.



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