Gianfranco Pasut

foto Prof Pasut

Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova
via F. Marzolo 5, 35131 Padova - Italy
Current Position:
Full Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology

Phone: +39-049-827-5694
Fax:  +39-049-827-5366
ORCID ID 0000-0002-8754-0899
ResearcherID I-5944-2012

Pasut's Research Group

  Short CV

Gianfranco Pasut holds the position of Full Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology at the Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, Italy. With a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences earned in 2003 from the University of Padova, his expertise and contributions have moved forward the field of drug and protein delivery.

Prof. Pasut's passion for his research spans over two decades, during which he has made significant advances in polymer conjugation, a pivotal area of his specialization. He has successfully devised numerous innovative methods for polymer conjugation to proteins, fostering fruitful collaborations with various companies.

At his research laboratory, novel approaches of polymer conjugation to protein, the development of Antibody Drug Conjugates and targeted liposomes, are currently under investigation. Prof. Pasut's pioneering work extends to the utilization of the enzyme transglutaminase, where he has extended its application for the development of new conjugates.

His contributions to the field are evident through his publication record, which counts over 80 research papers and 14 book chapters. Additionally, Prof. Pasut's inventive prowess is reflected in his portfolio of 13 patents. He also serves as the scientific editor of a book dedicated to PEGylation.

Prof. Pasut has acted as a member of scientific advisory boards or scientific consultants of different pharmaceutical companies. He holds the position of Specialty Chief Editor for Frontiers in Medical Technology | Nano-Based Drug Delivery and serves as an Associate Editor for Heliyon | Chemistry.

Prof. Gianfranco Pasut is committed to advancing pharmaceutical technology. His research endeavors continue to aim to improve the landscape of drug and protein delivery, ultimately improving patient care and revolutionizing the field as a whole.


  Office hours

Upon appointment (please contact via e-mail)

  Availability for Thesis Projects

Within our research laboratory, we embark on a diverse array of projects at the forefront of drug and protein delivery. Our primary focus revolves around the following areas:

  1. Polymer Conjugation to Therapeutic Proteins: Through both chemical and enzymatic methods, we investigate the conjugation of polymers to therapeutic proteins. Our objective is to enhance the pharmacokinetic profiles of these biotech drugs, ultimately reducing their immunogenicity. By increasing the size and impeding kidney clearance through polymer conjugation, we aim to optimize the therapeutic potential of these vital treatments.

  2. Polymer Shielding of Liposomes: We apply polymer shielding techniques to liposomes to delve into the realm of antibody-targeted delivery of anticancer drugs. By utilizing this approach, we strive to precisely direct the delivery of potent anticancer agents to cancer cells, sparing healthy cells from unnecessary harm.

  3. Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs): Our laboratory is dedicated to the study and development of antibody-drug conjugates, a remarkable strategy for the precise delivery of anticancer drugs. By harnessing the power of antibodies, we aim to target cancer cells specifically, minimizing off-target effects and maximizing the therapeutic impact of these drugs.

As students join our lab, they will gain valuable exposure to various facets of drug delivery. They will have the opportunity to work with a wide range of proteins, including cytokines, growth factors, antibodies, as well as anticancer drugs and oligonucleotides. In terms of analytical methods, students will have hands-on experience with a plethora of techniques, such as chromatography (both HPLC and FPLC systems), dynamic light scattering, microcalorimetry, circular dichroism, fluorimetry, and electrophoresis, among others.

To provide interested students with a comprehensive understanding of our research projects, we encourage them to schedule face-to-face meetings, accompanied by a lab visit. These personal interactions will allow for in-depth discussions and the opportunity to witness our cutting-edge work firsthand.

Join us on this journey as we push the boundaries of drug and protein delivery, striving to make a meaningful impact on patient care and revolutionize the field of pharmaceutical sciences.


  Scientific Activities

Nanomedicines have revolutionized various therapeutic approaches, leading to remarkable advancements in patient care. These cutting-edge treatments hold immense potential, offering a myriad of benefits such as enhanced efficacy, reduced toxicity, and improved patient compliance. As we set our sights on the future of clinical practice, personalized nanomedicines emerge as the beacon of hope. However, to achieve this ambitious goal, we must address several crucial aspects, starting with the development of scalable drug delivery systems.

The key to unlocking the full potential of personalized nanomedicines lies in establishing feasible and efficient drug delivery systems. Collaborating closely with the pharmaceutical industry is instrumental in striking the perfect balance between innovation and the practicality of new drug delivery approaches.

The ultimate objective of any drug delivery system is to amplify the effectiveness of therapeutic protocols while concurrently minimizing toxicities and overall treatment costs.

Within the realm of my research, I delve into the following captivating categories:

  1. Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs): Combining the precision of monoclonal antibodies with the potency of drugs, ushering in a new era of targeted therapies that specifically attack cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue.
  2. Polymer-Protein Conjugates: Uniting the versatility of polymers with the potency of proteins to devise innovative strategies for targeted and controlled release of therapeutic agents.
  3. Liposomal Formulations: Harnessing the encapsulating prowess of liposomes to develop sophisticated delivery systems that enhance drug stability, solubility, and bioavailability. 
  4. Polymer-Drug Conjugates: Harnessing the power of polymers to create novel conjugates that optimize drug delivery and unleash therapeutic potential.

By exploring these captivating avenues, we strive to shape the future of medicine, bringing forth breakthroughs that elevate the standard of care, empower patients, and inspire hope for a healthier tomorrow.


Selected recent publications:

  1. Battista MR, Grigoletto A, Tedeschini T, Cellucci A, Colaceci F, Laufer R, Pasut G, Di Marco A. Efficacy of PEGylated ciliary neurotrophic factor superagonist variant in diet-induced obesity mice. PLoS One. 2022;17(3):e0265749. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0265749.
  2. Saggioro M, D'Agostino S, Gallo A, Crotti S, D'Aronco S, Corallo D, Veltri G, Martinez G, Grigoletto A, Tolomeo AM, Tafuro G, Agostini M, Aveic S, Serafin V, Semenzato A, Pasut G, Pozzobon M. A rhabdomyosarcoma hydrogel model to unveil cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Biomater Sci. 2021;10(1):124-137. doi: 10.1039/d1bm00929j.
  3. Bigini P, Gobbi M, Bonati M, Clavenna A, Zucchetti M, Garattini S, Pasut G. The role and the impact of polyethylene glycol on the anaphylactic reactions to the COVID-19 nano-vaccines. Nat Nanotech. 2021;16(11):1169-1171. doi: 10.1038/s41565-021-01001-3.
  4. Tedeschini T, Campara B, Grigoletto A, Bellini M, Salvalaio M, Matsuno Y, Suzuki A, Yoshioka H, Pasut G. Polyethylene glycol-based linkers as hydrophilicity reservoir for antibody-drug conjugates. J Control Release. 2021;337:431-447. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2021.07.041.
  5. Grigoletto A, Martinez G, Gabbia D, Tedeschini T, Scaffidi M, De Martin S, Pasut G. Folic Acid-Targeted Paclitaxel-Polymer Conjugates Exert Selective Cytotoxicity and Modulate Invasiveness of Colon Cancer Cells. Pharmaceutics. 2021;13(7):929. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics13070929.
  6. Dalla Pietà A, Carpanese D, Grigoletto A, Tosi A, Dalla Santa S, Pedersen GK, Christensen D, Meléndez-Alafort L, Barbieri V, De Benedictis P, Pasut G, Montagner IM, Rosato A. Hyaluronan is a natural and effective immunological adjuvant for protein-based vaccines. Cell Mol Immunol. 2021;18(5):1197-1210. doi: 10.1038/s41423-021-00667-y.
  7. Delfino D, Mori G, Rivetti C, Grigoletto A, Bizzotto G, Cavozzi C, Malatesta M, Cavazzini D, Pasut G, Percudani R. Actin-Resistant DNase1L2 as a Potential Therapeutics for CF Lung Disease. Biomolecules. 2021;11(3):410. doi: 10.3390/biom11030410.
  8. Grigoletto A, Tedeschini T, Canato E, Pasut G. The evolution of polymer conjugation and drug targeting for the delivery of proteins and bioactive molecules. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2020:e1689. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1689.
  9. Maso K, Grigoletto A, Raccagni L, Bellini M, Marigo I, Ingangi V, Suzuki A, Hirai M, Kamiya M, Yoshioka H, Pasut G. Poly(L-glutamic acid)-co-poly(ethylene glycol) block copolymers for protein conjugation. J Control Release. 2020;324:228-237. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.05.015.
  10. Alajati A, D'Ambrosio M, Troiani M, Mosole S, Pellegrini L, Chen J, Revandkar A, Bolis M, Theurillat JP, Guccini I, Losa M, Calcinotto A, De Bernardis G, Pasquini E, D'Antuono R, Sharp A, Figueiredo I, Nava Rodrigues D, Welti J, Gil V, Yuan W, Vlajnic T, Bubendorf L, Chiorino G, Gnetti L, Torrano V, Carracedo A, Camplese L, Hirabayashi S, Canato E, Pasut G, Montopoli M, Rüschoff JH, Wild P, Moch H, De Bono J, Alimonti A. CDCP1 overexpression drives prostate cancer progression and can be targeted in vivo. J Clin Invest. 2020;130(5):2435-2450. doi: 10.1172/JCI131133.
  11. Cilurzo F, Cristiano MC, Da Pian M, Cianflone E, Quintieri L, Paolino D, Pasut G. Overcoming Cancer Cell Drug Resistance by a Folic Acid Targeted Polymeric Conjugate of Buthionine Sulfoximine. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2019;19(12):1513-1522. doi: 10.2174/1871520619666190626114641.
  12. Maso K, Montagner IM, Grigoletto A, Schiavon O, Rosato A, Pasut G. A non-covalent antibody complex for the delivery of anti-cancer drugs. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2019;142:49-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2019.06.012.
  13. Catanzaro D, Nicolosi S, Cocetta V, Salvalaio M, Pagetta A, Ragazzi E, Montopoli M, Pasut G. Cisplatin liposome and 6-amino nicotinamide combination to overcome drug resistance in ovarian cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2018;9:16847-16860. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.24708
  14. Grigoletto A, Mero A, Yoshioka H, Schiavon O, Pasut G. Covalent immobilisation of transglutaminase: stability and applications in protein pegylation. J Drug Targeting. 2017;25:856-864. doi: 10.1080/1061186X.2017.1363211
  15. Montagner IM, Merlo A, Carpanese D, Dalla Pietà A, Mero A, Grigoletto A, Loregian A, Renier D, Campisi M, Zanovello P, Pasut G, Rosato A. A site-selective hyaluronan-interferonα2a conjugate for the treatment of ovarian cancer. J Control Release. 2016;236:79-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.06.033
  16. Spolaore B, Raboni S, Satwekar AA, Grigoletto A, Mero A, Montagner IM, Rosato A, Pasut G, Fontana A. Site-Specific Transglutaminase-Mediated Conjugation of Interferon α-2b at Glutamine or Lysine Residues. Bioconjug Chem. 2016;27(11):2695-2706. doi: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.6b00468.
  17. Mero A, Grigoletto A, Maso K, Yoshioka H, Rosato A, Pasut G. Site-selective enzymatic chemistry for polymer conjugation to protein lysine residues: pegylation of G-CSF at lysine-41. Pol Chem. 2016;7:6545-6553. doi: 10.1039/C6PY01616B
  18. Grigoletto A, Mero A, Zanusso I, Schiavon O, Pasut G. Chemical and Enzymatic Site Specific pegylation of hGH: The Stability and in vivo Activity of PEG-N-Terminal-hgh and PEG-Gln141-hgh Conjugates. Macromol Biosci. 2016;16(1):50-6. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201500282.
  19. Mero A, Campisi M, Caputo M, Cuppari C, Rosato A, Schiavon O, Pasut G. Hyaluronic acid as a protein polymeric carrier: An overview and a report on human growth hormone. Curr Drug Targets. 2015;16:1503-1511.
  20. Mero A, Campisi M, Favero M, Barbera C, Secchieri C, Dayer JM, Goldring MB, Goldring SR, Pasut G. A hyaluronic acid-salmon calcitonin conjugate for the local treatment of osteoarthritis: Chondro-protective effect in a rabbit model of early OA. J Control Release. 2014;187:30-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2014.05.008.


  • Pasut G, Kuehne C (2012). Polymer aldehydes derivatives. EP11008884.6
  • Satchi-Fainaro R, Pasut G (2011). Dendritic-PEG bearing paclitaxel and alendronate for targeting bone neoplasms. US61/484,991
  • D’Este M, Renier D, Pasut G, Rosato A (2010). Process for the synthesis of conjugates of glycosaminoglycanes (GAG) with biologically active molecules, polymeric conjugates and relative uses thereof. WO2010145821
  • Mero A, Veronese FM, Pasut G (2010). Method for the preparation of conjugates by transglutaminase. PD2010A000155
  • Pasut G, Veronese FM, Schiavon O (2009). Polymeric conjugate of phospholipids. PD2009A000168.
  • Veronese FM, Pasut G, Tonon G, Schrepfer R (2007). New activated poly(ethylene glycols) and related polymers and their applications. WO2007112794
  • Mazzi U, Veronese FM, Pasut G, Visentin R (2005). Polymeric conjugates for diagnosis and therapy. WO 2005011738
  • Veronese FM, Pasut G. (2004). Polyethylene glycol conjugates releasing nitric oxide. WO 2004089420

  Research projects and Funds

The research of Prof Pasut has been supported by grants from public funding bodies (e.g., AIRC Foundation, “Ricerca Finalizzata” Ministry of Health, Italian foundation for cystic fibrosis, intramural grants from University of Padova) and Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies.