NanoMedicine International Conference 2018

Conference Speakers

Conference Chairs

Prof. Francesco Nicotra

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

Francesco Nicotra is full professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Milano-Bicocca. He is member of the Government Board of the University and has been Dean of the Faculty of Science (2009-2012) and Head of the Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences (2002-2008). Prof. Nicotra has relevant international appointments, he has been elected President of the IUPAC division of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry. He is also the Italian representative in the International Carbohydrate Organization, and scientific evaluator for many international agencies including the European Community. The scientific interests concern organic chemistry at the interface with biomedicine, in particular nanodevices for therapy and diagnosis, biomaterials for regenerative medicine, molecular interaction studies and their applications in biomedicine. In 2011 he received the Award for innovation in research of the Italian Chemical Society and in 2012 the Berti Medal for the research in Carbohydrate Chemistry, and in 2015 the Medal Quilico of the Division of Organic Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society. The research interests are documented by 196 publications on international scientific journals, 17 chapter of books, 12 patents.


Keynote Speakers

Prof. Alexander M. Seifalian

The London BioScience Innovation Centre, United Kingdom

Alexander Seifalian, Professor of Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine worked at the Royal Free Hospital and University College London for over 26 years, during this time he spent a year at Harvard Medical School looking at caused of cardiovascular diseases and a year at Johns Hopkins Medical School looking at treatment of liver. He published more than 647 peer-reviewed research papers, and registered 14 UK and International patents. He is currently CEO of NanoRegMed Ltd, working on the commercialisation of his research. During his career Prof Seifalian has led and managed many large projects with successful outcomes in terms of commercialisation and translation to patients. In 2007 he was awarded the top prize in the field for the development of nanomaterials and technologies for cardiovascular implants by Medical Future Innovation, and in 2009 he received a Business Innovation Award from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). He was the European Life Science Awards’ Winner of Most Innovative New Product 2012 for the “synthetic trachea”. Prof Seifalian won the Nanosmat Prize in 2013 and in 2016 he received the Distinguish Research Award in recognition of his outstanding work in regenerative medicine from Heals Healthy Life Extension Society. His achievements include development of the world first synthetic trachea, lacrimal drainage conduit, and vascular bypass graft using nanocomposite materials, bioactive molecules and stem cell technology. He has over 15,000 media report from his achievement,include BBC, ITV, WSJ, CNN, and many more.Currently he is working on development and commercialisation of human organs using graphene based nanocomposite materials and stem cells technology.


Prof. Chris Whiteley

Department Biochemistry & Microbiology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa

Emeritus Professor Biochemistry; Rhodes University; Grahamstown; South Africa.

Honours Professor, Graduate Institute Applied Science; National Taiwan University Science & Technology.

Adjunct Professor in Enzymology, South China University Technology, Guangzhou.

Keynote lecturer in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, China, United states, United Kingdom.

Visiting Research Scientist, Department Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei.

Visiting Professor Biochemistry, Biomedical Technology & Veterans Hospital, Yang Ming University, Taipei.

Visiting Professor of Enzymology & Organic Synthesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.

Visiting Professor of Organic Synthesis, University British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO).

South African Neuroscience Society (SANS).

International Society Neurochemists (ISN).

South African Society BiochemistryMolecular Biology (SASBMB).

Executive Member of Royal Chemical Society (London), MRSC (C.Chem).

South African Chemical Institute, MSA. Chem. Inst.

Editorial Board: Journal of Enzyme Inhibition, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology, Enzyme Microbiol Technology, Biotechnology Letters.

Publications of 6 book chapters, 110 peer-reviewed papers on Biomedical Enzymology and Nanomaterials.


Prof. Massimo De Vittorio

Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

Prof Massimo De Vittorio is coordinator of the Center for Biomolecular Nanotechnologies (CBN) of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and responsible of the nanofabrication and MEMS front-end and back-end facilities and activities at CBN, where he coordinates a group of about 20 persons among researchers, postdocs, PhD students and technicians.

He is also full professor at Università del Salento (Dip. Ingegneria dell'Innovazione), where he is lecturer of the courses "Electronic and Photonic Devices" and "Nanotechnologies for Electronics", and co- founder of the nanodevice division at the national nanotechnology laboratory (NNL) of the CNR Nanoscience Institute at Università del Salento.

His research activity deals with the development of science and technology applied to nanophotonics, nanoelectronics and nano and micro electromechanical systems (NEMS/MEMS) for applications such as ICT, life-science, energy and robotics. Recently, his research is focused on the realization of piezoelectric MEMS for mechanical energy harvesting and for biomimetic microsystems to mimic natural senses and their mechanoreceptors and on nanofabrication of probes for neuronal activity recording and stimulation. All research activities are characterized by a strong interaction between design, smart material development, advanced nanofabrication processes and device testing. He has been invited professor at the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (France) and at the ATR research center (Japan). Author of about 210 papers, 70 proceedings of international conferences, 13 patents and several invited/keynote talks to international conferences, he is also associate editor of the Journal IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology and member of the editorial board of the Journal Microelectronic Engineering (Elsevier).


Prof. Francesca Granucci

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

Francesca Granucci obtained the PhD in Pharmacology and toxicology in 1996. She then performed the Post doc at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute – Boston. From 1997 to 2001 she worked as researcher at the Italian National Research in Milan and from 2001 to 2006 she worked as researcher at the University of Milano-Bicocca. In 2006 she obtained a position as Associate Professor and in 2016 as Full Professor at the University of Milano-Bicocca. She has pioneered systems biology approaches to study complex dynamic processes, such as host-pathogen interactions, the process of dendritic cell maturation and the role of dendritic cells in activating and controlling NK cell functions. More recently she focused her research activity on signalling events downstream of CD14/TLR4 within cells of the mammalian innate immune system and she identified some of the key functions played by the NFATc family of transcription factors activated in dendritic cells in response to PRR agonists.


Prof. Valentina Cauda

Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy

Valentina Cauda is Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Science and Technology  (DISAT), Politecnico di Torino, co-founder of the Interdepartmetal laboratory PolitoBIOMed Lab and head of the TrojaNanoHorse lab (in brief TNHLab) located at DISAT.  See more details at

Thanks to her ERC Starting Grant project (TrojaNanoHorse, GA 678151), started in March 2016, she now leads a multidisciplinary research group of 18 people, including chemists, biologists, physics, engineers and nanotechnologists. Her main research topic is about theranostic nanomaterials, from wet synthesis, chemical functionalization and physical-chemical characterization of metal oxide nanomaterials covered by lipidic bilayer from both artificial and natural origins, aimed for drug delivery, tumor cell targeting, bio-imaging. Metal oxide nanomaterials, like zinc oxide, mesoporous silica, titania and metal (gold, silver) nanostructures, as well as liposomes and cell-derived extracellular vesicles, are investigated.

Valentina Cauda graduated in Chemical Engineering in 2004 at Politecnico di Torino and then received her Ph.D. in Material Science and Technology in 2008. After a short period at the University of Madrid, she worked as a post-doc at the University of Munich, Germany on nanoparticles for drug delivery and tumor cell targeting. From 2010 to 2015 she worked as Senior Post Doc at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Torino, and then she moved, as Associate Professor, to Politecnico di Torino. For her research results she received in 2010 the prize for young researchers at the Chemistry Department of the University of Munich, in 2013 the Giovedì Scienza award, in 2015 the Zonta Prize for Chemistry, and in 2017 the USERN Prize for Biological Sciences. She has 120 scientific publications and a Hirsch Factor of 37 (updated on April 2021). She holds 6 international patents about the use of metal oxide nanoparticles in nanomedicine.

Prof. Cauda is principal investigator of several industrial, national and international projects raising more than 2 M€ funds in all. The most relevant are a recently granted FET OPEN RIA MIMIC-KeY (GA N. 964386), the ERC Proof-of-Concept XtraUS N. 957563, a Marie-Slodowska Curie Action MINT N. 842964 (where she acts as supervisor of an incoming Post-Doc from abroad), and the ERC Starting Grant Trojananohorse N. 678151


Prof. Damjana Drobne

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Prof. Dr. Damjana Drobne, head of the group for Nanobiology and Nanotoxicology at the University of Ljubljana and professor for (environmental) toxicology and for zoology with over twenty five years of research experiences. She is the founder and principal investigator of a research group for nanobiology and nanotoxicology ( Together with national and international colleges she has   published more than 100 original scientific publications and many book chapters. Her group was a partner in two large scale 7.OP EU projects (NanoMile, NanoValid), and is a partner in two Horizon 2020 project (NanoFase) and MSCA-ITN-2015 project (Pandora). At a national level, her group was founder of two national centers of excellence (CO NAMASTE and CO NanoCentre).  Since 2001, she is continuously coordinating national research projects. Recently she become an advisor to Slovenian Innovation Hub-European Economic Interest Grouping ( as an expert responsible for nanosafety. Prof. Dr. Damjana Drobne has supervised or co-supervised about 20 PhD students. She is lecturing at undergraduate as well as postgraduate study programs at University of Ljubljana in different courses on zoology, toxicology, nanobiology and nanotoxicology. In 2017, Biotechnical Faculty awarded her by Jesenko Prize in order to recognize her lifetime achievements.


Prof. Miriam Colombo

University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy

My research work contributed to the recent advances of the emerging research field of nanomedicine. In 2020 I have been appointed to lead nanoformulation and nanocosmetic platform within the interdepartmental infrastructure “Nanotechnology for precision medicine and personalized beauty and Healthcare” NanoCosPha. In 2019, I was awarded with the first prize of the “Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Premio Giovani Talenti dell'Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca”.

1) I developed novel nanoconstructs based on nanoparticles functionalized with peptides, monoclonal antibodies or antibody fragments, as innovative tools for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Moreover, in the last few years my research interest has been focused on the investigation of new nanoparticles administration routes alternative to the intravenous one, in particular oral, topical and intranasal delivery (Morelli et al. Pharmaceutics, 2019; Musazzi et al.J. Nanobiotechnol.;2017; Salvioni et al.Pharmacol. Res.,2016).

2) I contributed to the invention related to a Patent (WO2014013473-A1) describing the development of a multifunctional nanoconstruct useful for therapeutic purposes with potential in the preclinical and clinical treatment of cancer, inflammatory diseases, and neurodegenerative disorders.

3) Several high-impact publications reporting on the development of new methodologies for the synthesis, loading and bioconjugation of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems. I developed a new platform for tailoring the surface of nanoparticles. (Colombo et al. Nat. Commun.;2016).

4) I am author of 108 publications: 14 as first author and 24 as corresponding author with an IF of 34;(Scopus).

5) I have been the Principal Investigator of a My First AIRC Grant 2014 and AIRC Investigator Grant in 2022. These grant allowed me to establish and consolidate a new independent laboratory to conduct my research in nanomedical field and to develop a new targeted nanobased-tool.


Prof. Véronique Préat

University of Louvain, Belgium

Véronique Préat is full professor of pharmaceutics at the Faculty of pharmacy and head of the laboratory of Advanced drug delivery and biomaterials at the Louvain Drug research institute of the University of Louvain. She received a master and PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from this university. Her research area is focused on advanced delivery systems for unmet medical and pharmaceutical needs. In particular, her research on nanomedicines mainly focuses on the oral delivery of lipidic and polymeric nanoparticles loaded with drugs and the intravenous and local delivery of nanomedicines targeting the tumoral endothelium and cancer cells. She also focuses on the delivery of DNA and RNA with a particular interest in vaccination and cancer treatments. She supervised 38 PhD theses. She is author of more than 250 publications and book chapters with a h index 54 and more than 11500 citations. She is a highly cited researcher since 2015.


Prof. Giuseppe Battaglia

ICREA/ IBEC/ BIST, Spain and University College London, UK

Prof Giuseppe Battaglia (GB) is an ERC Consolidator grantee, and ICREA Research Professor. In 2019 GB was appointed senior group leader at the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia. GB also holds a chair in molecular bionics at the Department of Chemistry and Institute of Physics of Living System at the University College London. GB's position is 50/50 between ICREA/IBEC and UCL but will move 100% in Barcelona from 2022. GB was awarded the 2009 HFSP Young Investigator award, the 2011 APS/IoP Polymer Physics Exchange Award Lecture, the 2011 GSK Emerging Scientist Award, the 2012 Award for special contribution to Polymer Therapeutics, the 2014 RSC Thomas Graham Award Lecture, and the 2015 SCI/RSC McBain Medal for Colloid Science. GB was awarded a prestigious EPSRC Established Fellowship in 2016, an ERC Starting Grant in 2011, and an ERC Consolidator in 2018. GB was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining. GB has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers and been named inventor in 13 patents.

GB leads a strong team of chemists, physicists, mathematicians, engineers, and biologists who work alongside to design bionic units that mimic specific biological functions and introduce operations that do not exist in Nature. A constructionist approach mimics biological complexity in design principles to produce functional units from simple building blocks and their interactions; ​ this approach is Molecular Bionics. The GB group is particularly interested in how molecules, macromolecules, viruses, vesicles, and whole cells traffic across our body barriers. The group combines novel microscopic tools with theoretical and computational physics to study biological transport from single molecules, cell membranes, and whole organisms. The acquired knowledge is thus translated to bioengineer novel nanomedicines, combining soft matter physics with synthetic chemistry. 


Prof. Yurii K. Gun'ko

Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Professor Yurii Gun'ko graduated from the Chemistry Department of Moscow State University in 1987. He received his Ph.D degree in Inorganic Chemistry from Moscow State University in 1990 before taking a post as a lecturer in Chemistry in the Belarussian Institute of Technology (Belarus). In 1994 he took up a position as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Professor M. F. Lappert at the University of Sussex (UK). In 1995, he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship and worked in the University of Magdeburg (Germany) with Professor F. T. Edelman. In 1999, Professor Gun'ko became lecturer of Inorganic Chemistry in the School of Chemistry in Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), where he is currently Head of Synthetic and Materials Chemistry.

Professor Gun'ko has over 268 peer reviewed journal publications, 10 peer reviewed conference proceedings and written one book and 11 book chapters to date. He currently has a H-index of 51.

Research expertise areas are Organometallic Chemistry, Nanomaterials and Nano-biotechnology. Main research interests are: quantum dot based materials for photonics and biological imaging, magnetic nanomaterials for biomedical applications and carbon nanomaterials and their polymer composites


Prof. Peilin Chen

Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Prof. Peilin Chen received his Bachelor degree in Chemistry from National Taiwan University in 1990 and obtained his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from University of California, Irvine in 1998 under the supervision  of Prof. Peter Rentzepis. He worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Somorjai’s group in the Chemistry department  of  University  of  California,  Berkeley  between  1999  and  2001.  Prof.  Chen  joined  Research Center  for  Applied  Sciences,  Academia  Sinica,  Taiwan  as  an  Assistant  Research  Fellow  in  2001.  He  was promoted to Associate Research Fellow and Research Fellow in 2005 and 2010, respectively. He served as the  deputy  director  of  the Research  Center  for  Applied  Sciences  between  2010  and  2012  and  the  Chief Executive Officer of the thematic center of Optoelectronic in 2012. Prof. Chen was an adjunct Professor in the Chemistry Department of the National Taiwan University between 2007 and 2011, and visiting Professor in  RIKEN  and  Kyoto  University.  Prof.  Chen  received  several  prestigious  awards  in  Taiwan  including Research  Award  for  Junior  Research  Investigators in  Academia  Sinica, Ta-You  Wu  Memorial  Award of National Research Council and Career Development Award in Academia Sinica. Prof. Chen has authored or co-authored  more  than  120  papers  in  refereed  journals  and  conference  proceedings,  he  has delivered more than 50  invited  talks  in  international  meetings  and  conferences.  He  organized  more  than  10  international symposia.Prof. Chen has initiated many national and international collaborative researcheson development and  applications  of nanomedicine. Prof.  Chen  has  been  awarded  several  major  funding  for  both  domestic and  international  projects.  He  was  sitting  on  several  domestic  review  panels  and  served  as  an  advisor  for several international programs. Prof. Chen’s research topics cover a broad spectrum of nanotechnology with a  focus  on  the  application  in  nanomedicine.  Currently,  he  is  working  on  the  synthesis  of  nanoparticles  for drug  delivery  and  bio-imaging,  the  development  of  novel  imaging  tools  including  intravital  and  super-resolution imaging, the fabrication of bioelectronics device for cell sensing and isolation.


Prof. Silvia Marchesan

University of Trieste, Italy

Silvia Marchesan had her PhD in Chemistry at The University of Edinburgh (UK), Pharmaceutical Chemist (UK) and Pharmacist (Italy) qualification, honorary researcher at UCL (London) and postdoc researcher at University of Helsinki (Finland), joint fellow at Monash University and Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organization, CSIRO (Melbourne, Australia).

In 2013 she returned to the University of Trieste where her scientific adventure had started with the M.Sci. degree, (honours). In 2017, she joined the Dept. Head's Office as Research  Delegate. In 2018, she became Associate Professor. She received a JSP Fellowship at Buergenstock Stereochemistry Conference and the Vittorio Erspamer Medal (2017 Award) by the Italian Peptide Society.