Prof. Giancarlo Morelli Prof. of Chemistry Department of Pharmacy Director of Research Center on Bioactive Peptides University of Naples "Federico II" Via Mezzocannone, 16 80134 Napoli - Italy.
- Peptides for delivery Self-assembling peptides
- Radiolabeled peptides
- Peptide materials
- Professor Giancarlo Morelli, is Full Professor of General and Inorganic Chemistry at Department of Pharmacy of University of Naples “Federico II”.
- Giancarlo Morelli is Director of CIRPeB – Research Centre on Bioactive Peptides.
- Giancarlo Morelli is President of the Italian Peptide Society.
- Giancarlo Morelli is in the Committee of the Italian Network on Metal ions in Biological Systems.
- Giancarlo Morelli is Chairman of the International meeting series titled "Naples Workshop on Bioactive Peptides" Giancarlo Morelli is editor of several special issues of Journal Peptide Science.
- Giancarlo Morelli earned a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Napoli in 1980 and did a postdoctoral stay at ETH Zurich in 1980-1981.
- He joined the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Naples in 1983.
- After five years working as researcher at University of Naples, he had the Associate Professor position at University of Basilicata.
- From 1991 was at University of Naples “Federico II”, as Associate Professor of General and Inorganic Chemistry, at Faculty of Science (1991-1999) and then at Faculty of Farmacy (from 2001).
- Presently, he is Full Professor of General and Inorganic Chemistry at Department of Pharmacy of University of Naples “Federico II”.
- Giancarlo Morelliâ€™s research interest lie in peptide chemistry and in the study of the interaction between bioactive peptides and metal ions.
- in the development of new peptide conjugates for diagnostic and therapeutic applications; in the preparation of supramolecular aggregates modified by bioactive peptides as carriers for drug delivery; in the development of peptide aggregates as new peptide based materials for different applications such as in nanomedicine.
- He started the research activities studying structure and conformation of bioactive peptides; then worked, for many years, on the coordination chemistry of several metal ions with different ligands: most studies were carried out on metal complexes of Platinum(II) and Palladium(II) with olefins and diamino ligands; and of Copper(II), Nichel(II) and Iron(III) with macrocyclic ligands such as tetrazaannulenes, phtalocyanines and porphyrins.
- The relationship between structure and activity of several bioactive peptides and their metal conjugates, has been the object of his investigations, carried out with a variety of experimental techniques.
- The research goal is the understanding of the mechanism of action of biologically relevant systems and the development of new peptide conjugates acting as diagnostics, for nuclear medicine and MRI techniques, and therapeutics.
- More recently, scientific interest has been addressed to the development of peptide based target selective delivery systems for diagnostics and drugs.
- In particular he developed several peptides-iron-porphyrin conjugates as model systems for heme-proteins, and more recently peptides derivatized with radioactive isotopes of metal ions (Technetium, Indium, Gallium) or paramagnetic ions (Gadolinium) to obtain target selective contrast agents for application with Nuclear Medicine techniques and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), respectively. More recently the research interest has been addressed in the developed of new amphiphilic peptides for the obtainment of target selective supramolecular aggregates.
- The new supramolecular aggregates with different shapes and size (small spherical micelles, elongated or cylindrical micelles, large vesicles and liposomes) are characterized by the presence of several copies of the bioactive peptide on their external surface, and by many metal complexes on the external aggregate shell.
- These supramolecolar aggregates, fully characterized for their structural parameters by using Dynamic Light Scattering, Small Angle Neutron Scattering, for their stability by using fluorescence and spectroscopic techniques, and for the presence of the exposed peptides by Circular Dichroism; are able to bind membrane receptors overexpressed by cancer cells.
- They act as target-selective delivery systems for contrast agents and/or drugs.
- G. Morelli is author of more than one hundred fifty papers and of several patents.