Giuseppe BIFULCO | Curriculum
Giuseppe BIFULCO Curriculum
DATE OF BIRTH: Naples 01/03/1968.
Full Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Department of Pharmaceutical Science of the University of Salerno.
Degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology achieved at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Naples, on the 16/12/1991, vote 110/110 cum laude.
Thesis in Organic Chemistry titled "Isolation and Structural Elucidation of New Guanidine Alkaloids with Strong Cytotoxic Activity from The Marine Sponge Crambe-Crambe". Supervisor prof. Luigi Minale.
He had his PhD at University of Naples, in the Organic Chemistry group of prof. Minale. On the 9th of October, 1996 he discussed a thesis titled "Structural Studies on New Bioactive Compounds of Natural Origin and on Calcium Binding Protein".
He was awarded, in 2004, with the Italian Chemical Society (Organic Chemistry Division) "G. Ciamician" Medal, a national price for researchers.
From 03/90 to 12/91 he worked at his experimental thesis in the Department of Chemistry of Natural Products as an undergraduate student. From 01/92 to 12/92 he was scientific collaborator in the same Department. His activity as a PhD student was supervised, from 12/92 to 11/94, from prof. Luigi Minale (Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico II"). During this period he focused his attention on the study of Marine Natural Products. In particular prof. Bifulco put his efforts in the structural characterization of the products using homonuclear and heteronuclear One and Two Dimensional NMR techniques. The frequent use of NMR techniques has been integrated with mass spectroscopy (MS), UV e FT-IR.
From 11/94 to 11/95 his activity of PhD student was supervised from prof. Walter J. Chazin at the "Scripps Research Institute", San Diego, California. His research in this period has dealt with structural studies on biopolymer by multidimensional NMR. In particular, he worked on Calcium binding proteins (Calbindin) and on the interaction between the antibiotic anti-cancer agent Calicheamicin (head-head dimer) with a synthetic fragment of duplex DNA.In the period of July-August 1996 he was invited at the Scripps Research Institute as a guest scientist from prof. K. C. Nicolaou, chairman of the Department of Chemistry. During his journey he continued the studies on Calicheamicin, focusing his attention on the interaction between another synthetic dimer (head-tail) of this drug and a duplex DNA.
From 1997 to 1999 he has been a Post-Doc at University of Salerno in the group of prof. Riccio; from 1999 to 2005 he has been appointed Researcher at University of Salerno, where he has focused his attention on the study of Marine and Terrestrial Natural Products, in particular putting his efforts in the structural characterization of the products using homonuclear and heteronuclear One and Two Dimensional NMR techniques.
Currently, he is Associate Professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Science of the University of Salerno. He is involved in several research fields:, structural characterization of biological active natural organic compounds from marine and terrestrial sources; advanced NMR techniques in Organic Chemistry; Quantum Mechanical Calculation for the determination of the conformation and the configuration of natural compounds; structural studies on drug-DNA interactions; Molecular Docking and Anti-Tumour drug Design.
His research activity is proved by 84 publications on international journals and over 50 communications to national and international congresses.
GRANT FUNDING EXPERIENCE
2015 – 2018 Principal Investigator (PI) of a Grant funded by AIRC – IG 17440
2012 – 2015 Principal Investigator (PI) of a Grant funded by AIRC – IG 12777
2011 – 2013 Project Coordinator of the Research Unit (Salerno) of a Grant funded by MIUR (PRIN 2009)
2009 – 2011 Project Coordinator of the Research Unit (Salerno) of a Grant funded by MIUR – (PRIN 2006)
1998/1999 Physical Methods in Organic Chemistry (Faculty of Pharmacy).
1999-2003 Organic Chemistry (Faculty of Pharmacy)
2000-2004 Synthesis and Special Organic Techniques (Faculty of Pharmacy)
2001-2002 General Chemistry (Faculty of Pharmacy)
2002/2003 Physical Methods in Organic Chemistry (Faculty of Pharmacy).
2003/2006 Organic Chemistry (Faculty of Pharmacy)
2006-2009 Organic Chemistry I (Faculty of Pharmacy, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology degree course)
2006-2009 Stereochemistry (Faculty of Pharmacy, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology degree course)
He permanently trains and teaches the PhD students of the Pharmaceutical Science of the University of Salerno for what concerns the structural study of biopolymer by multi-dimensional NMR and the theoretical aspects of the NMR.
He has been often invited to give lectures in national and international doctoral and post-doctoral schools:
2000 Florence, "1° Workshop: Tecnologie analitiche avanzate in fitochimica, "New NMR strategies in the study of natural products".
2005 "Total Synthesis of Natural Products" XXX Summer School "A. Corbella"-Seminari di Sintesi in Chimica Organica, Gargnano (BS), University of Milan.
2005 "Practical aspects of quantum mechanical calculation of NMR chemical shifts and coupling constants", COST D28: Training School and Annual Workshop, Ischia (NA, Italy).
2007 "NMR methods for the Configuration determination of biologically active natural products" VI Laboratorio di Metodologie Sintetiche in Chimica Farmaceutica" (Siena, Italy)
2008 "NMR methods for the Configuration determination of biologically active natural products" University of Catania, Doctoral School
2009 "Structure determination of complex molecules via NMR and computational methods: theory and application" (30/01/2009), Ecole Doctorale Thématique du FNRS - METAMORPHOSE University of Mons, Belgium.
He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the "European Winter School on Physical Organic Chemistry"; in 2007 (Brixen) he presented the lesson entitled "QM calculation of Chemical Shifts in the structural determination of medium size molecules".
GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE RESEARCH ACTIVITY
My research activity started in the lab of prof. Luigi Minale (University of Naples), in the frame of a project regarding the chemical investigation of marine natural products. Such work has been mainly focused on the study of bioactive secondary metabolites. The training received in that period, oriented toward analytical aspects (cromatography and spectroscopy) - also toward the fascinating problems raising from the biological world - has been a scientific bases of fundamental importance for all the following research.
The next relevant step in my research activity has been the experience at the Scripps Research Institute of La Jolla; first in the lab of prof. Walter Chazin, where I completed my previous NMR experience, associated with complex organic molecules, with the spectroscopical characterization of proteins and DNA, and later in prof. K.C. Nicolaou Lab, in the field of interdisciplinary project at the interface between organic chemistry, structural biology and cellular pharmacology. In particular, I was involved int he NMR characterization of calicheamycin derivatives -DNA structures and in the design and structural characterization of calicheamycin dimers, new potential antitumour drugs.
In parallel, the interest in the drug-DNA interactions has also involved a productive collaboration with prof. Dale Boger, in this case for the study of the antitumour activity of duocarmycin derivatives.
More recently, I have developed new strategies in the configurational and conformational determination of complex organic molecules by means of quantum chemical calculation of NMR parameters (chemical shifts and coupling constants). The determination of the stereostructure of natural and synthetic bioactive molecules, have been used for understanding their mode of action at atomic level, and for undertaking total synthesis of the lead compound and its derivatives.
Currently, I am involved in the drug design of new antitumour compounds by means of molecular docking integrated with quantum chemical calculations and NMR screening techniques. In particular, I have identified different targets (Hystone Deacetylase, Topoisomerase I and II, MPGES-1, BCL2). After the identification of the target, a virtual screening of new lead compounds has been followed by chemical synthesis, and the final step has involved the rational design of new lead compounds.