Claudia Sissi

Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova
via F. Marzolo 5, 35131 Padova - Italy

Position:Full Professor (CHIM/08)

Phone: +39-049-827-5711
Fax:  +39-049-827-5366
LinkedIn e ResearchGate : Claudia Sissi

  Short CV

Born in Venice on 25/08/1966

1991: Degree summa cum laude in Medicinal Chemistry and Technology, University of Padova

1991-1994: PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, at the Dept of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padova (Supervisor: Prof. M. Palumbo)

1993-1994: visiting scientist at the Dept. of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

1994-2002: Post-Doc at the Dept of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padova

2002-2004: Technician at the Dept of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padova

2004-2009: Assistant Professor (CHIM/08)

2009-2015: Associate Professor (CHIM/08)

2015-present: Full Professor (CHIM/08)


  Office hours

by appointment only

  Availability for Thesis Projects

  • Structural characterization of nucleic acid sequences from oncogenic promoter
  • Ligands for selective recognitions of non-canonical DNA structures
  • Nucleic acid targeting by metal complexes
  • Topoisomerases poisons and inhibitors


  Scientific Activities

The research is largely focused on the quantitative analysis of the interactions between biological macromolecules (proteins, polysaccharide, nucleic acids) with small ligands presenting potential pharmacological activity. In the most recent years it mainly focused on the characterization of the structural equilibria occurring in DNA sequences that can play relevant roles as signaling elements. This work is implemented by the identification of ligands for these systems as well as by the definition of the binding parameters and binding mode in order to provide a rational for the biological functions. 

Currently, several collaborations are ongoing with italian (Dept. of comparative biomedicine and food science, University of Padova; Istituto Tumori of Milano, IIT of Genova, University of Firenze, Trieste, Bologna, Napoli and Catanzaro) and foreign research groups (Universities of London, Southampton and John Innes Center, UK; University of Mississippi and Georgia State University, USA; Cancer Research Center of Marseille; France).

Claudia Sissi is member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Current Medicinal Chemistry and Frontiers. She is a member of AACR, ACS and SCI.

In 2013 she won a prize for the set up for a start-up (Start cup veneto) for the production of a kit, based on a novel approach, for the detection of mRNA in biological fluids. 

  Technical expertise

The main experience concerns spectroscopic and molecular-biology techniques.

In particular:

  • Spectroscopic techniques (absorption UV-VIS, fluorescence, circular dichroism)
  • Microcalorimetric techniques (ITC)
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Electrophoretic techniques (proteins, nucleic acids)
  • Nucleic acid manipulation
  • Enzymatic assay
  • Library screening


  • Sissi, C. and Palumbo, M. (2010) In front of and behind the replication fork: bacterial type IIA topoisomerases, Cell Mol Life Sci, 67, 2001-2024, ISSN 1420-682X; IF 5.865 
  • Alcaro, S., Musetti, C., Distinto, S., Casatti, M., Zagotto, G., Artese, A., Parrotta, L., Moraca, F., Costa, G., Ortuso, F., Maccioni, E. and Sissi, C. (2013) Identification and characterization of new DNA G-quadruplex binders selected by a combination of ligand and structure-based virtual screening approaches, J Med Chem, 56, 843-855, ISSN 0022-2623; IF 5.480 
  • Bianco, S., Musetti, C., Krapcho, A. P., Palumbo, M. and Sissi, C. (2013) Ni2+ and Cu2+ complexes of a phenanthroline-based ligand bind to G-quadruplexes at non-overlapping sites, Chem Commun (Camb), 49, 8057-8059, ISSN 1359-7345; IF 6.718 
  • Pinato, O., Musetti, C. and Sissi, C. (2014) Pt-based drugs: the spotlight will be on proteins, Metallomics, 6, 380-395, ISSN 1756-5901; IF 3.978 
  • Greco, M. L., Folini, M. and Sissi, C. (2015) Double stranded promoter region of BRAF undergoes to structural rearrangement in nearly physiological conditions, FEBS Lett, 589, 2117-2123; IF 3.169

  Research projects and Funds

2016-2017: Principal Invetigator       Assegni di ricerca – CPDR151901/15: "Conformational switch of EGFR and BRAF oncogene promoter sequences towards non-canonical DNA secondary structures as anticancer treatment"

2015-2016 : Principal Invetigator      Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo-2014 (CPDA147272/14), "G-rich regions within proto-oncogene KIT promoter region as targets for anticancer therapy".

2012-2014 : Principal Invetigator      Cariparo (PARO110203/11) "Dispositivi Molecolari Selettivi per il riconoscimento di strutture “G-quadruplexes”

SCUOLA Scienze Molecolari IND. Scienze Farmaceutiche"

2012-2013 : Participant     Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo-2011 (CPDA114388): “Targeting cKit espression in canine mast cell tumor”.

2011-2012: Research Unit Coordinator        PRIN 2009 (2009MFRKZ8_004): “Dispositivi molecolari diretti verso strutture G-quadruplx: riconoscimento del bersaglio e risposta cellulare”.

2011-2012: Principal Invetigator       Assegni di ricerca – 2010 (CPDR108549/10): “Nuove chinossaline ad azione antitumorale”.

2011-2012: Principal Invetigator       AIRC – 2010 (CPDR108549/10): “Targeting G-quadruplex structures as potential anticancer approach”.

2009-2014 : Participant     FIRB-IDEAS (RBID082ATK): “Nuovi farmaci per la terapia anticancro mirata”.

2008-2012 : Principal Invetigator      MPNS COST Action MP0802: “Self-assembled guanosine structures for molecular electronic devices”

2008-2010 : Participant     Progetti AIRC: “Novel telomere-targeted chemotherapeutic agents”.

2008-2010 : Research Unit Coordinator       Progetti Strategici di Ateneo: “Processi di invasione e metastasi nel cancro: nuovi meccanismi e prospettive terapeutiche”.

2008-2009 : Principal Invetigator      Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo-2007 (CPDA078422/07): “Simociclinoni: inibitori delle topo isomerasi caratterizzarti da un innovativo meccanismo d’azione”.

2007-2008 : Participant     PRIN 2006 (2006030809_002): “Nuovi derivati chinolonici anti-HIV: screening dell’attività biologica e riconoscimento di acidi nucleici virali”.

2005-2006 : Participant     PRIN 2004 (2004037792_004): “Nuovi derivati chinolonici anti-HIV: riconoscimento di acidi nucleici virali e valutazione dell'attività”.

2004-2007 : Participant     FIRB: “Glicosamminoglicani antagonisti di elastasi e selettine come farmaci antinfiammatori”. Coordinatore nazionale: Prof. G. Torri

2004-2006 : Participant     CEE-STREP, Sixth Framework Programme: “Development of New Gyrase Inhibitors by Combinatorial Biosynthesis”.

2003-2004 : Participant     PRIN 2002 (2002038878_003): “Progettazione razionale e approccio alla sintesi di nuovi "veleni" della DNA-topoisomerasi I umana”.

2001-2003 : Participant     Progetti di Ricerca di Ateneo (PADOVA): “Nuove nucleasi sintetiche: progettazione, reattivita’ ed applicazioni biofarmaceutiche”.

2001-2002 : Participant     PRIN 2000: “DNA Topoisomerasi I”.

2001-2002: Participant      Regione Veneto – Ricerca sanitaria finalizzata. Titolo della ricerca “Basi molecolari della resistenza/suscettibilità ai fluorochinoloni in Mycobacterium tubercolosis: ricadute diagnostiche e approcci terapeutici”.

1999-2002 : Participant     CEE-STREP, Fifth Framework Programme: “Anthracene conjugates as probes of telomere structure and function”.

2004-2015 : Principal Invetigator      Ex 60% Projects, University of Padova.