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


  • Ghezzo M and Sissi C.*, Structural characterization of a cytosine-rich potential quadruplex forming sequence in the EGFR promoter, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, 2023,; IF 4.755
  • Ceschi S, Berselli M, Cozzaglio M, Giantin M, Toppo S, Spolaore B, Sissi C *(2022) Vimentin binds to G-quadruplex repeats found at telomeres and gene promoters Nucleic Acid Res, 50(3):1370-1381; IF 19.160
  • Vesco G, Lamperti M, Salerno D, Marrano CA, Cassina V, Rigo R, Buglione E, Bondani M, Nicoletto G, Mantegazza F, Sissi C*, Nardo L. (2021) Double-stranded flanking ends affect the folding kinetics and conformational equilibrium of G-quadruplexes forming sequences within the promoter of KIT oncogene. Nucleic Acids Res, 49, 9724-9737; IF 19.160
  • Ceschi S, Largy E, Gabelica V, Sissi C* (2020) A two-quartet G-quadruplex topology of human KIT2 is conformationally selected by a perylene derivative. Biochimie, 179, 77-84; IF 4.372
  • Recagni, M., Greco,M.L., Milelli A., Minarini, A., Zaffaroni, N., Folini, M., Sissi, C.* (2019) Distinct biological responses of metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer cells upon exposure to G-quadruplex interacting naphthalenediimide derivatives, Eur J Med Chem, 117, 401-413; IF 7.088

  Research projects and Funds

2022-2024 : Principal Invetigator      European Union-Next GenerationEU (PNRR M4C2-Investimento 1.4-CN00000041), "Development of new RNA-targeting compounds to modulate RNA function"

2022: Principal Invetigator       CERIC (20222139): "NMR-based structural assessment of binding of small-molecules to I-motif structures adopted by C-rich DNA"

2021-2025 : Principal Invetigator      AIRC (IG 2021 - ID. 26474) "Vimentin-G-quadruplex repeats complexes as innovative therapeutic target to control cancer progression”

2020: Principal Invetigator       CERIC (20202174): "Folding pathway and structural features of minimal oligonucleotides able to fold into I-motif"

2020: Principal Invetigator       CERIC (20207052): "Structural characterization of interactions between small molecules and C-rich DNA adopting non-canonical structures"

2019-2020 : Principal Invetigator      Progetti di Ricerca di Dipartimento-2019 (CPDA147272/14), "Intermediate filament proteins and G-rich oncogene promoters: a novel perspective to control gene expression"

2019-2021 : Participant      STARS-UNIPD (PARO110203/11) "Identification of a new Secondary Structure in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis genome as a potential pharmacological target”

2019: Principal Invetigator       CERIC (CPDR151901/15: "Investigation of folding behavior and structural features of human EGFR proximal promoter"

2018 : Principal Invetigator      CERIC (CPDA147272/14), "Investigation of folding behavior and structural features of kit* oligonucleotide in the human promoter region of c-kit gene".

2017 : Principal Invetigator      Ceric (PARO110203/11) "Structural characterization of G-rich sequences in human promotor region of EGFR gene”

2015-2016: 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"

2014-2015 : 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”

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.