Curriculum

Manuela RODRIQUEZ Curriculum

Manuela Rodriquez, PhD


CURRENT POSITION

Assistant Professor in Medicinal Chemistry at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno (Italy).

Manuela Rodriquez, PhD (Female), Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno (Italy). She is a medicinal organic chemist specialized in pharmacology, with particular expertise in the field of drug design and synthesis. She received a PhD in Medicinal Science from the University of Naples, Italy, working on anti-lentiviral drugs development targeting HIV. In this contest she was able to identify new class of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors (NNRTIs). She worked as organic chemist with prof. KC Nicolaou at the Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA, on total synthesis of bioactive natural products as lead compounds for drug optimization. For more tan three years she was appointed as Visiting Professor at Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department of Harvard University and at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, MA, USA, working with prof. Stuart L. Schreiber on epigenetics and DOS chemistry to identify either molecular probes or pharmaceutical active compounds for HDAC inhibition. Her interest is focused on developing and applying innovative technologies in the field of lead compound generation and optimization. Author of one patent and more than 50 publications on high-profile international journals. She counts with several overseas collaborations: Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA; The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School; Cambridge MA, USA; Massachusetts General Hospital, Cambridge MA, USA.

ACADEMIC TITLES

  • Master Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry summa cum laude (110/110 e lode) at the University of Naples, Italy, "Federico II"- March 1997.
  • PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Naples, Italy, "Federico II" on February 2002.
  • Master in Pharmacology (1997, 2002), summa cum laude (50/50 e lode) from the University of Naples, Italy, "Federico II" on October 2002.
  • Master in Drug Design & Synthesis (2002-2003) from the University of Siena, Italy, on June 2003.
  • Post-Doctoral fellow in the Organic Chemistry (2002-2005) at the "Farmaco-Chimico-Tecnologico" Department -University of Siena, Italy.
  • Integrated Skills of English Language at The Institute for English Language Programs-Harvard Extension School (2008).

FORMER JOB EXPERIENCES AND STAGES ABROAD:

  • 1997-1998: First Line Manager at the Research & Development Centre of Procter & Gamble, Italy.
  • Summer 2003: Guest Scientist at the Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA, under the supervision of prof. K.C. Nicolaou.
  • Summer 2005: Guest Scientist at the Department of Chemistry and The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA. under the supervision of prof. K.C. Nicolaou.
  • Double Sabbatical Year (01.01.07-31.12.07 and 01.01.08-31.12.08). Visiting Scientist in Chemical Biology Program at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, under the supervision of prof. Stuart L. Schreiber.
  • 01.01.09-31.12.2009: Visiting Scientist at Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, Harvard University, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge- 02138 Massachusetts, USA, prof. Stuart L. Schreiber’s Lab.
  • 01.2012-03.2012: Visiting Scientist at Chemistry and Chemical Biology Dept, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, USA, prof. S.L. Schreiber’s Lab.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

  • “Qualitative drug analysis” laboratory class (third year School of Pharmacy’s students).
  • “Synthetic and Extractive Preparations of Drugs” laboratory class (fourth year School of Pharmaceutical Chemistry’s students).
  • “Quantitative drug analysis” laboratory class (third year School of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and School of Pharmacy’s students).
  • Giving lectures of Medicinal Chemistry.
  • Giving tutorials has been a regular activity of the teaching experience.
  • As Research Supervisor she has been working with PhD students and regularly with IV/V year students on final research projects for their scientific formation and final thesis (both bibliographic as experimental).
  • From 2009 up to now “Qualitative drug analysis” full class (fourth year School of Pharmacy’s students).
  • Introduction to qualitative and quantitative drug analysis (second year School of Pharmacy’s students).
  • Medicinal chemistry (third year School of Herbal Sciences students).

TUTORSHIP PhD, MASTER, MD:

2 PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences Thesis; 1 Master Project in Science and Cosmetic Technologies; more than 20 research dissertations (3 in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis e Tecnogen S.p.A) and quite a few non-research dissertations.


RESEARCH ACTIVITY:

  • H Index:21, 1172 citazioni totali, 120 Coauthors (SCOPUS 2020), mIF: 4.543 (ISI 2014), Publications 54, 1 patent

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER:

  • Editorial Board of Current Medicinal Chemistry, Bentham Science
  • Editorial Board Cancer Research Frontiers

SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY:

  • Development of new methods approach to medicinal chemistry research using chemical tools to study dynamic biological processes at the gene, cellular, and organismal level.
  • Molecular diversity oriented synthesis of pharmacological active heterocyclic and peptidic compounds.
  • Microwave-assisted synthesis of molecules of medicinal chemistry interest.
  • Total synthesis of pharmacological active natural products as lead compound for drug optimization.
  • Regulation of epigenetic post-transcriptional chemical modifications.

From 2003 the scientific interest of Dr Rodriquez has been devoted to new methodologies with the aim of discovering more effective therapeutical agents against diseases, e.g. cancer, which cannot still be treated with specific drugs. These kinds of diseases are often associated to an altered gene transcription and, in turn, a particular chromatin structure, which undergoes epigenetic post-transcriptional chemical modifications. A long period spent at Harvard, at Prof Stuart L. Schreiber's laboratory, confirms the real interest of Dr Rodriquez in chromatin remodeling agents and epigenetic field in general. During this time she embarked on the synthesis of small molecules able either to modulate macromolecule (DNA, RNA, proteins) functions or to act as probes in medicine and biology.

From 2011, besides research activity focused on anticancer drugs and epigenetic therapies, Dr Rodriquez has undertaken a new professional path with the aim of moving promising research topics into a level of maturity ready for bulk production. The new project for technology transfer, PharmaDermoCell, grew out of existing collaboration with an endocrinologist and President of Italian Society of Aesthetic Endocrinology, Antonio Stamegna MD, prof. Rita P. Aquino, Full Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology and Socioeconomy, University of Salerno and Antonello Saccomanno, a Technology broker and business angel.
The research project -now a business idea- is a scientific solution to treat cellulite and localized adiposity satisfying the demand of costumers reshaping their silhouette, improving life quality and acceptance of their body. The innovation consists in an unique cream formulation and unprecedented direct and indirect lipolytic effects on adipose tissue because of the revolutionary BlastComplex (Italian patent request is ongoing) studied in our laboratories.
Considering the results we achieved in producing prototypes for the different PharmaDermoCell lines, we envisage that the Innovation Office of University of Salerno can assist our group, the academic entrepreneur, to plan and launch a start-up company, while acting to minimize the risks involved. So far, we got several local and National business Awards that are attracting quite a few business investors.