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Professore Associato





-2007: Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Padova. Thesis supervisor: Prof. Stefano Moro
-2008-2011: PhD Program in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Science, University of Padova. Supervisor: Prof. Stefano Mammi

-2020-present: Assistant Professor (SSD CHIM/08)

-2007: post-graduate fellow, Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padova. Supervisors: Prof. Stefano Moro and Alessandro Padova (SienaBiotech).
-2010: Visiting PhD Program, Sanford|Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA. Supervisor: Prof. Maurizio Pellecchia
-2011-2013: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemical Science, Padova University. Supervisor: Prof. Massimo Bellanda
-2014-2016: Senior Postdoctoral fellow, Dept. of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova. Supervisors: Prof. Stefano Moro
-2017-2020: Researcher (SSD CHIM/08)

FUNDING ID (As Principal Investigator)
-2018-2020: STARS Grants call 2017, University of Padova, Italy
Project Title:"A novel strategy to speed up fragment-based drug discovery combining Supervised Molecular Dynamics with NMR data."
-2017-2019: PRID-J, Department of Pharmaceutical Science. University of Padova, Italy
Project Title: “Design of novel BCL-2 family inhibitors by using fragment-based drug discovery by NMR approach”
-2014: Grant by BIONMR (FP7) (BIO-NMR-00247). Project Title: ”Structure determination of the TxrCP4 from Echinococcusgranulosus.”
-2013-2015: Grant "Progetto Giovani Studiosi 2013", University of Padova, Italy

AA 2016/17-today: DRUG ANALYSIS 1 (M-Z)

2016-2017: Scientific Committee Member (PostDoc and PhD Student representative) of Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, Italy


Office hours

  • at Molecular Modeling Section, edificio B piano terra, Dipartimento Scienze del Farmaco
    Tutti i giorni previo appuntamento via email


Latest publications:
1. Sturlese M, Manta B, Bertarello A, Bonilla M, Lelli M, Zambelli B, Grunberg K, Mammi S, Comini MA, Bellanda M (2018) The lineage-specific, intrinsically disordered N-terminal extension of monothiol glutaredoxin 1 from trypanosomes contains a regulatory region. Sci Rep; 8: 13716.

2. Farina B, Sturlese M, Mascanzoni F, Caporale A, Monti A, Di Sorbo G, Fattorusso R, Ruvo M, Doti N (2018) Binding mode of AIF(370-394) peptide to CypA: insights from NMR, label-free and molecular docking studies. Biochem J; 475: 2377–2393.

3. Cuzzolin A, Deganutti G, Salmaso V, Sturlese M, Moro S (2018) AquaMMapS: An Alternative Tool to Monitor the Role of Water Molecules During Protein-Ligand Association. ChemMedChem; 13: 522–531.

4. Bortolozzi R, Mattiuzzo E, Dal Pra M, Sturlese M, Moro S, Hamel E, Carta D, Viola G, Ferlin MG (2018) Targeting tubulin polymerization by novel 7-aryl-pyrroloquinolinones: Synthesis, biological activity and SARs. Eur J Med Chem; 143: 244–258.

5. Salmaso V, Sturlese M, Cuzzolin A, Moro S (2018) Combining self- and cross-docking as benchmark tools: the performance of DockBench in the D3R Grand Challenge 2. J Comput Aided Mol Des; 32: 251–264.

6. Sabbadin D, Salmaso V, Sturlese M, Moro S (2018) Supervised molecular dynamics (sumd) approaches in drug design. Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1824 287-298

7. Squarcialupi L, Betti M, Catarzi D, Varano F, Falsini M, Ravani A, Pasquini S, Vincenzi F, Salmaso V, Sturlese M, Varani K, Moro S, Colotta V (2017) The role of 5-arylalkylamino- and 5-piperazino- moieties on the 7-aminopyrazolo[4,3-d]pyrimidine core in affecting adenosine A1 and A2A receptor affinity and selectivity profiles. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem; 32: 248–263.

8. Malvacio I, Cuzzolin A, Sturlese M, Vera DMA, Moyano EL, Moro S (2017) Synthesis and preliminary structure-activity relationship study of 2-aryl-2H-pyrazolo[4,3-c]quinolin-3-ones as potential checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) inhibitors. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem; 33: 171–183.

9. Manta B, Bonilla M, Fiestas L, Sturlese M, Salinas G, Bellanda M, Comini MA (2017) Polyamine-Based Thiols in Trypanosomatids: Evolution, Protein Structural Adaptations, and Biological Functions. Antioxid Redox Signal; doi:10.1089/ars.2017.7133.

10. Bertini S, Ghilardi E, Asso V, Minutolo F, Rapposelli S, Digiacomo M, Saccomanni G, Salmaso V, Sturlese M, Moro S, Macchia M, Manera C (2017) Sulfonamido-derivatives of unsubstituted carbazoles as BACE1 inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett; 27: 4812–4816.

Research Area

The scientific interests of Dr Sturlese are in the field of the recognition between small molecules and peptides with proteins, with the goal to investigate the molecular basis of the interaction processes to rationally design specific products and drugs.
He has also solved several proteins and peptides structures utilizing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy applying the most modern techniques (3D experiments, Sparse Sampling, and Fast Multidimensional NMR) to the conformational study of proteins. In particular, he has focused his attention on the use of NMR in Drug Discovery (e.g. Fragment-Based Drug Discovery, Protein-Ligand complex elucidation, binding affinity estimation) with a particular attention to cancer research.
Dr Sturlese is also involved in the development of new computational strategy to interpret and maximize the information obtained by NMR experiments. Examples of this hybrid approach are: (i) steer molecular docking by Ligand-based or Protein-based NMR signals; (ii) coupling Molecular Dynamics Simulations with chemical shit data.
Part of the scientific activity of Dr Sturlese is devoted to the production of recombinant proteins (Isotope-labeling, residue-specific-labelling, reverse-specific-labelling).

-Protein-NMR: Drug discovery by NMR, Multidimensional (1D,2D,3D) and hetero-nuclear spectra acquisition, processing and analysis. Peptide and Protein NMR Assignment (homonuclear and heteronuclear assignment), Peptide and Protein NMR structure determination.
-Molecular Biology: Protein production using E.Coli expression host, Isotope-labeling (15N, 13C), residue-specific-labeling, reverse-specific-labeling. Phage Display.
-Molecular Modeling: Structure-based and ligand-based drug design, molecular docking and virtual screening, Molecular Dynamics, Quantum Mechanical Calculation, and Programming.

Thesis proposals

-Fragment-based Drug Discovery by NMR in Cancer Research.
-Characterization of Protein-Ligand and Peptide-Protein binding mode by NMR.
-Protein expression and purification for screening purpose.
-Molecular recognition studies coupling In silico and spectroscopic techniques.