Maria Cristina Menziani Ph.D.

Menziani, Maria Cristina
Position Department / Business Unit
Associate Professor in Chemistry Department of Chemistry
Institution Disciplines
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Chemistry
City State / Provence
Country Website
Italy link
+39 059 373543
Research interests

My research is aimed at rationalising and interpreting experimental observed behaviour of biomolecular systems and biomaterials, at a molecular level, by using computational techniques.
Many projects are carried out in close collaboration with experimentalists and emphasis on lead discovery is given.

Life Sciences

Ligand-receptor interactions This relates in particular to the investigation of ligand action at peripheral benzodiazepine receptor to design imaging agents and specific carriers for antitumor drugs and at 5HT3-receptor to obtain more selective antagonists to be used in the prevention of acute chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

Substrate specificity The major goal is to understand the molecular determinants for substrate specificity in connection with the structural and topological differentiation of cytochromes P450 in order to elaborate quantitative models for predicting specificity and carcinogenesis of new compounds.

Protein assembly and communication This includes molecular simulations of multi-protein receptor complexes, and investigation of processes eliciting signal transduction in the IL-6 family of cytokines and in redox proteins. The main aim is to design ligands and protein muteins with desired interaction and recognition.

Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationships (QSAR) The aim is to develop theoretical molecular descriptors of isolated and interacting ligands able to furnish simple and efficient QSAR theoretical screening of bio-pharmacological activities and useful models for de novo anti-cancer drug design.

Material Sciences

Bioglass and Bioglass-ceramics. The aim is to develop new structural descriptors derived by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of bioglasses and bioglass-ceramics in order to obtain quantitative models which help in the interpretation of experimental data and are useful for predictive purposes. This will allow the rational design of new formulations with specific biological properies.


1983, Degree in Chemistry, Modena University (Italy); 1985-1988, Ph.D Modena University (Italy)

Career Highlights

Academic Positions

1992 -2002, Researcher of Physical-Chemistry Chemistry Department, Modena and Reggio Emilia University.

2002 - present, Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry, Chemistry Department, Modena and Reggio Emilia University.

2005 - present, Director of the School of Graduated Studies Multiscale Modelling, Computational Simulations and Characterization in Material and Life Sciences

Professional Activities

2000-2005, Associate Director of the Virtual Centre for rational drug Design (NFCR Foundation)
2003 - present, Secretary of the Physical Chemistry Division of Italian Chemical Society (SCI)

2001- present, member of the "Centre of Excellence in New Functional Materials, their Design, Diagnostics and Exploition” Istitute of Physics, University of Tartu, Estonia

2000 - present Erasmus coordinator

By this Researcher

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