Medicinal Chemistry - Synthesis of biologically active small molecules. Coordinator: Minarini

Design and synthesis of small molecules as potential drugs and/or pharmacological tools for the study of biological pathways in the context of chronic-degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

Research themes

Research Themes

The research activity of the group focuses on the design and synthesis of multifunctional ligands and electrophilic covalent probes in the study of targets and biological pathways involved in neurodegeneration and cancer. In particular, the research lines cover the development of:

  • antioxidant/antinflammatory molecules
  • Aβ peptide antiaggregating molecule
  • Protein-kinase GSK3-beta and Fyn inhibitors
  • NMDA receptor antagonists
  • Polyamine derivatives with anticancer activity
  • amino oxidase inhibitors

The group has a documented expertise in the structural modification of natural compounds, quinazoline derivatives and aromatic heterocycles, and in the synthesis of polyamine conjugated of bioactive molecules to improve the cellular and subcellular cellular delivery.

Lab Members

Anna Minarini, Full Professor (e-mail)

Michela Rosini,  Associate Professor (e-mail)

Filippo Basagni, Research Fellow (e-mail)

Elena Roggiolani, PhD Student

Internship projects

Every year the research group can guest 4 students for the preparation of the experimental thesis that takes place in about 6 months and, every three years, a position for the PhD program. The thesis work consists mainly in the synthesis, purification and characterization of organic molecules designed on the basis of ongoing research projects in the group.


Main publications

  • Basagni F, Ortega JA, Bertozzi SM, Armirotti A, Summa M, Bertorelli R, Bartolini M, Mellor IR, Bedeschi M, Bottegoni G, Lembo V, Minarini A, Cavalli A, Rosini M. (2023) Galantamine-memantine hybrids for Alzheimer's disease: The influence of linker rigidity in biological activity and pharmacokinetic properties. Eur. J. Med. Chem.;261:115803. 10.1016/j.ejmech.2023.115803
  • Nordio G, Piazzola F, Cozza G, Rossetto M, Cervelli M, Minarini A, Basagni F, Tassinari E, Dalla Via L, Milelli A, Di Paolo, ML. (2023) “From Monoamine Oxidase Inhibition to Antiproliferative Activity: New Biological Perspectives for Polyamine Analogs.” Molecules, 28, 6329. 10.3390/molecules28176329
  • Basagni F, Naldi M, Ginex T, Luque FJ, Fagiani F, Lanni C, Iurlo M, Marcaccio M, Minarini A, Bartolini M, Rosini M. (2022) “Inhibition of β-Amyloid Aggregation in Alzheimer's Disease: The Key Role of (Pro)electrophilic Warheads.” ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 13:1812-1818. 10.1021/acsmedchemlett.2c00410
  • Marotta G, Basagni F, Rosini M, Minarini A. (2022) “Role of Fyn Kinase Inhibitors in Switching Neuroinflammatory Pathways.” Curr. Med. Chem. 29: 4738-4755. 10.2174/0929867329666211221153719
  • Basagni F, Lanni C, Minarini A, Rosini M. (2019) “Lights and shadows of electrophile signaling: focus on the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway.” Fut. Med. Chem. 11: 707-721. 10.4155/fmc-2018-0423