The Department of Drug Sciences, whose acronym inside the Universty of Catania is DSF, is located in the main campus of the University of Catania, named university centre S. Sofia (CUSS), and has the aim of coordinating, developing and spreading the research in the fields of Drug Sciences.The department has as its objective the study of the drug from different points of view by an interdisciplinary approach. At present time there are about 56 members forming the academic staff. Researchers working in the department have collaborations with universities and research centers both in Italy and in Europe and United States of America.
Inside the department there is a Library and study room available to students who attend the courses of the Department.
The department of Drug Sciences hosts the School of Specialization in Hospital Pharmacy and the International Doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry.
Didactic and research activities
The Department of Drug Sciences offers two five years-one cycle programs in “Pharmacy” and in “and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology” (CTF) and also offers two three years programs in:“ Food and Environment Toxicology” and in “Sciences of herbal products and nutraceuticals”.
DSF participates to the ERASMUS project.
The Doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry aims to produce highly specialized professionals in the field of drug research. It is designed to complete the training of graduates in order to form top quality figures specialized in the research and development of drugs.
The main research groups working within DSF are organized in five sections: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmacology and Toxicology.
Biochemistry section: Research is primarily focused on apoptotic processes, role of TG-2 in cellular differentiation, mechanism of action of NOS activators and inhibitors and the potential therapeutic application of stem cell.
Chemistry section: Organic synthetic methodologies regarding asymmetric 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reactions and carbohydrates, synthesis and structural characterization of polyhydroxyalkanoates. Study of physical, chemical and structural properties of materials and Smart Molecular Constructs Activated by Light, including their pharmaceutical and industrial application.
Medicinal Chemistry section: Primary research targets are design, synthesis and development of neuroprotective, anxiolytic, analgesic and anticancer agents utilizing the most advanced techniques such as as MM and ADME.
Pharmaceutical Technology section: Development of new drug delivery systems (DDS) for pharmaceutical, cosmetic/cosmeceutical, nutraceutical/food applications, using several techniques such as percutaneous absorption and non-viral vector studies. Calorimetric studies are performed by DSC.
Pharmacology and Toxicology section: Research is focused on two major fields of interest: neurophamacological and neurobiological studies with a special attention to Alzheimer’s disease and neuromodulation of pain transmission and mnemonic processes.