Mattia Sturlese


Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova
Via Marzolo 5 - 35131 Padova - Italy
Current Position: Associate Professor  CHIM/08

Phone: +39-049-827-5081 (office) 5325 (lab)
Fax:  +39-049-827-5366


  Short CV

Born on 1981

2007: Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Padova

2007:post graduate fellow, Dept.  of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Padova. Supervisors: Prof. Stefano Moro and Alessandro Padova (SienaBiotech).

2008-2011: PhD Program in Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Science, University of Padova. Supervisor: Prof. Stefano Mammi

2010: Visiting PhD Program, Sanford|Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA. Supervisor: Prof. Maurizio Pellecchia

2011-2013: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemical Science, Padova University. Supervisor: Prof. Massimo Bellanda 

2014-2016: Senior Postdoctoral fellow, Dept. of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova. Supervisors: Prof. Stefano Moro

2017-2023: Researcher (SSD CHIM/08), Dept. of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova.

2023-present: Associate Professor (SSD CHIM/08), Dept. of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova.


  Availability for Thesis Projects

Fragment-based Drug Discovery by NMR in Cancer Research.
Characterization of Protein-Ligand and Peptide-Protein binding mode by NMR.
Protein expression and purification for screening purpose.
Molecular recognition studies coupling In silico and spectroscopic techniques.


  Scientific Activities

The scientific interests of Dr. Sturlese are in the field of the recognition between small molecules and peptides with proteins, with the goal to investigate the molecular basis of the interaction processes to rationally design specific products and drugs.

He has also solved several protein and peptide structures utilizing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy applying the most modern techniques (3D experiments, Sparse Sampling, and Fast Multidimensional NMR) to the conformational study of proteins. In particular, he has focused his attention on the use of NMR in Drug Discovery (e.g. Fragment-Based Drug Discovery, Protein-Ligand complex elucidation, binding affinity estimation) with a particular attention to cancer research. 

Dr. Sturlese is also involved in the development of new computational strategy to interpret and maximize the information obtained by NMR experiments. Examples of this hybrid approach are: (i) steer molecular docking by Ligand-based or Protein-based NMR signals; (ii) coupling Molecular Dynamics Simulations with chemical shit data.

Part of the scientific activity of Dr. Sturlese is devoted to the production of recombinant proteins (Isotope-labeling, residue-specific-labeling, reverse-specific-labeling). 

  Technical expertise

Protein-NMR: Drug discovery by NMR, Multidimensional (1D,2D,3D) and hetero-nuclear spectra acquisition, processing and analysis. Peptide and Protein NMR Assignment (homonuclear and heteronuclear assignment), Peptide and Protein NMR structure determination. 

Molecular Biology: Protein production using E.Coli expression host, Isotope-labeling (15N, 13C), residue-specific-labeling, reverse-specific-labeling. Phage Display.

Molecular Modeling: Structure-based and ligand-based drug design, molecular docking and virtual screening, Molecular Dynamics, Quantum Mechanical Calculation, and Programming. 


Annagiulia Favaro and Mattia Sturlese. A Novel NMR-Based Protocol to Screen Ultralow Molecular Weight Fragments. JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY. 2024.

Francesca Ferrari, Maicol Bissaro, Simone Fabbian, Jessica de Almeida Roger, Stefano Mammi, Stefano Moro, Massimo Bellanda, Mattia Sturlese (2021).  HT-SuMD: making molecular dynamics simulations suitable for fragment-based screening. A comparative study with NMR. JOURNAL OF ENZYME INHIBITION AND MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY. Vol. 36, 1, p. 1-14.


Giulia Di Marco, Francesca Vallese, Benjamin Jourde, Christian Bergsdorf, Mattia Sturlese, Agnese De Mario, Valerie Techer-Etienne, Dorothea Haasen, Berndt Oberhauser, Simone Schleeger, Giulia Minetti, Stefano Moro, Rosario Rizzuto, Diego De Stefani, Mara Fornaro, Cristina Mammucari (2020). A High-Throughput Screening Identifies MICU1 Targeting Compounds. CELL REPORTS. 18;30(7):2321-2331.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.01.081.


Bolcato Giovanni, Cuzzolin Albeto, Bissaro Maicol, Moro Stefano, Sturlese Mattia (2019). Can we still trust docking results? An extension of the applicability of DockBench on PDBbind database. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES 20 (14), 3558.


D. Gorbunov*, M. Sturlese*, F. Nies, M. Kluge, M. Bellanda, R. Battistutta, D. Oliver (2014). Molecular architecture and the structural basis for anion interaction in prestin and SLC26 transporters. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, vol. 5, ISSN: 2041-1723, doi: 10.1038/ncomms4622


*authors equally contributed.

  Research projects and Funds

2018 STARS Starting Grants call 2017, Supporting TAlent in ReSearch @ University of Padova - STARS Grants, University of Padova. Project Title:" A novel strategy to speed up fragment-based drug discovery combining Supervised Molecular Dynamics with NMR data."

2018 PRID Junior Grant, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova. Title:” design of novel bcl-2 family inhibitors by using Fragment-Based Drug Discovery by NMR approach”. 

2014 Grant by BIONMR (FP7) (BIO-NMR-00247). Project Title: ”Structure determination of the TxrCP4 from Echinococcus granulosus.” Principal Investigator.

2013, Grant. “From Chemical Shift Perturbation to Accurate Structural Protein-Ligand Complex Determination: a novel approach”. Progetto Giovani 2013, University of Padova, Italy. Principal Investigator

2013 Grant by BIONMR (FP7), (BIO-NMR-00177). Project Title: “Structure determination of the dithiol glutaredoxin Grx1 from the pathogen Trypanosoma brucei”. Participant

2012 Grant by BIONMR (FP7), (BIO-NMR-00121). Backbone assignment and dynamics of the monothiol glutaredoxin 1-C- Grx1 from Trypanosoma brucei.