Salvatore Bongarzone


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Personal profile

Biographical details

In 2007, I was awarded a 4-year PhD studentship by the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA, Trieste, Italy). My project worked at the interface between neuroscience and medicinal chemistry by developing new ligands for neurodegenerative prion diseases. I developed the first multitarget directed ligands against neurodegenerative prion diseases combining in silico modelling and medicinal chemistry approaches. This strategy led to the discovery of three classes of anti-prion compounds able to inhibit prion fibril accumulation, delay fibril formation, and decrease oxidative stress in vitro.

In 2011, I moved to Spain to start my postdoctoral career at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona (IRB) co-founded by Marie Curie Action fellowship. Here, I applied a multidisciplinary approach using in silico modelling, organic/analytical chemistry, X-ray crystallography and in vitro studies to create novel inhibitors of UL89 cytomegalovirus terminase, enzyme involved in viral replication. My major research achievement as a post-doctoral researcher at IRB was the elucidation of the first 3D structure of a cytomegalovirus enzyme in complex with an inhibitor.

In 2014, I embarked upon a Medical Research Council (MRC) capacity building fellowship at King’s College London (KCL) at St Thomas’ Hospital, involving a four-year programme (Apr 2014 – Dec 2017) of research and training in radiochemistry using short-lived radionuclides (carbon-11 and fluorine-18) for in vivo molecular imaging applications in the field of neurodegeneration and cancer. In 2017, I have been appointed as translational positron emission tomography (PET) Radiochemist at Centre for Medical Engineering at King’s College London. As part of the team of Prof. Antony Gee, I am interested in developing novel radiochemical strategy to incorporate carbon-11 and fluorine-18 into functional groups and applying these methods to the generation of novel PET imaging probes including their in vitro and in vivo characterization.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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