Maria Laura Bolognesi

MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY

Maria Laura Bolognesi received her BS degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from the University of Bologna in 1990, and in Pharmacy in 1992. In 1991 she joined Sigma Tau Industries, Rome, as Research Scientist at the Department of Chemical Research. In 1996, she earned a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Bologna under the direction of Prof. Carlo Melchiorre. After postdoctoral studies at University of Minnesota in Prof. Philip S. Portogheses’s laboratory, she returned to the University of Bologna where she has been appointed first Assistant Professor in 1998, and then Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in 2005. In 2009, she was selected as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Since the beginning of her career, Maria Laura has focused on the design and synthesis of small molecules as chemical probes for the investigation of biological targets or as drug candidates. Initially, her major research focus has been concerned with receptor chemistry, such as molecular recognition of ligands by muscarinic, alpha-adrenergic, and opioid receptors. She contributed to the development of one of the most selective muscarinic M2 receptor antagonists, tripitramine, which has been widely used in the characterization of muscarinic receptor subtypes.

She is currently focusing her research efforts on the identification of multitarget ligands for the treatment of neurodegenerative and neglected tropical diseases. In this context, she is one of the inventors of memoquin, a multitarget drug candidate against Alzheimer’s disease, which is currently in pre-clinical investigation.

Personal webpage at University of Bologna