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Tor Vergata

With about 39,000 registered student in 7 faculties, Tor Vergata is the second largest university in Rome. The Department of Chemical Sciences and Technologies is composed of 46 Professors and Researchers, 12 technicians and 5 administrative people. The Department provides three levels of Chemistry degrees (Triennial, Master and PhD) and it has been classified first among the Chemistry Departments of mid-size Italian Universities by the Validation Agency of the Italian Ministry of Education and Research according to parameters such as impact factors of papers, number of successful  European  projects  and  number  of  patents. The  group  of  Physical  Chemistry of Macromolecules participated in three EU projects from 2006 up to now.

Full Professor

Gaio Paradossi

Gaio Paradossi is a Full Professor in Physical Chemistry since 2017. Therefore, he was a PostDoc at University of California in Irvine (USA), CERMAV-CNRS in Grenoble (France) and Weizmann Institute in Rehovot (Israel). His research interests are: design of polymer systems for biomedicine; new diagnostic contrast agents, micro and nano-gels, molecular dynamics simulations of polymer systems in solution and in gel phase. He published more than 120 papers on international peer reviewed journals and filed 2 international and 4 national patents. He was scientific coordinator of the EU project SIGHT (FP6) and partner of the EU Project 3MiCRON (FP7) and of the on-going project TheraGlio (FP7).

Research Scientist

Yosra Toumia

Yosra Toumia is currently a Junior Researcher Scientist at the Department of Chemical Science and Technology of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. She graduated in Analytical Chemistry and Instrumentation Engineering at the Faculty of Sciences of Tunis in Tunisia (2012). She was awarded a "FILAS" research fellow on the Design of New Polymeric Microdevices for Biomedical Applications at the University of Rome Tor Vergata (2013-2015). In 2017 she obtained a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Her research focused on pristine graphene exfoliation in aqueous media and its anchoring in/on polymeric matrices, and on the formulation of ultrasound and photoacoustic contrast agents (microbubbles /phase-change nanodroplets) and their specific decoration.

Research Scientist

Letizia Oddo

Letizia Oddo, born 1982 in Rome, is a Junior Research Scientist at the Department of Chemical Science and Technology of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. She graduated in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology at the Faculty of Pharmacy, “Sapienza” University of Rome (July,2008). Since March 2009, she is Research Fellow in Chemistry within the group of Professor Gaio Paradossi and she has been involved in different European Projects. In 2014 Letizia has obtained a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Her Research is focused on the synthesis and study of ultrasound contrast agents, on their implementation in order to support drug delivery and other imaging modalities and also on their specific functionalization for tissue targeting.

Tasks and Tools

The lab of Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules will focus on:

Radiation-Sensitive UCA Design: In collaboration with IMEC and DoseVue NV, Tor Vergata will design and develop radiation sensitive UCA formulations. In particular, this group will focus on polymer shelled EMBs, as well as on radiation sensitive (reversible and irreversible) AVDs.
Shell Derivatisation: Tor Vergata will modify the shell of their UCA devices to enable binding of tumour targeting ligands and imaging probes.
Physico-Chemical  Characterisation: Tor  Vergata  will  actively  work  on  the  physico-chemical characterisation to assess and quantify their radiation-sensitivity, and to reveal radiation-sensitising mechanisms.

The laboratory is equipped with all relevant infrastructure to conduct its planned research activities, including several types of microscopes (AFM, FE-SEM, Confocal Microscopy), spectroscopes (NMR,IR, Raman, Circular dichroism, Uv-vis, FACS), scattering methods and standard analytical methods.

AMPHORA aims to develop a non-invasive in-situ dosimetry system for radiation therapy with the potential of on-line dose assessment by casting ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) into dose sensing theranostic devices.